Toronto breaks ground on first net zero community centre

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The new North East Scarborough Community Recreation & Child Care Centre, Toronto’s first net zero energy and emissions community recreation facility is now under construction. The building will also house the City’s second net zero child care centre.

Aquicon Construction Company Ltd. is the contractor and the project architect is Perkins & Will Canada Corporation.

The Centre is also aiming to become the first building of its kind in Ontario to achieve the Canadian Green Building Council’s Zero Carbon Building Certification. Overall, the building will exceed the requirements set by Toronto Green Standard.

Construction on the North East Scarborough Community Recreation & Child Care Centre is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2024.

The building’s design employs innovative strategies to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, reduce overall energy consumption and incorporate on-site renewable energy systems. It will be 100 per cent electricity powered through a mix of solar photovoltaic panels on its roof and façade, as well as a parking lot canopy. Air handling units will improve heat recovery efficiency by 85 per cent.

“From its pools to indoor cricket to its green roof and landscaping, the facilities of this Centre have been thoughtfully designed through intensive public input from one of Toronto’s most diverse communities,” said Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson.

In addition to a biodiverse green roof terrace, Joyce Trimmer Park will be revitalized with new landscaping and park amenities, a plan that includes planting 96 trees and native plant species to improve surrounding green space and surface water drainage.

The park will include a skateboard park, mini soccer field, basketball court, playground, splash pad, ample outdoor seating, a gathering area and public art works. The community centre amenities include a 25-lane swimming pool and leisure pool, a gymnasium large enough to accommodate an indoor cricket pitch, a teaching kitchen, and a dance and fitness studio.

The Centre is also aiming to become the first building of its kind in Ontario to achieve the Canadian Green Building Council’s Zero Carbon Building Certification. Overall, the building will exceed the requirements set by Toronto Green Standard Version 3.

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