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Waterfront Toronto CSR report released

Work ranging from flood protection infrastructure to green building projects aims to enhance the "prosperity, sustainability and resiliency" of the city

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 A view of the Corktown Common marsh and surrounding vegetation
A view of the Corktown Common marsh and surrounding vegetation

Waterfront Toronto has published an update to its 2015 Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability report. This is third instalment of the report (previous reports were issued in 2012 and 2015).

 

The latest report highlights the progress the revitalisation organisation has made in achieving economic, social and environmental goals, along with many of its future targets ranging from flood protection infrastructure to leading-edge green building projects.

 

Foundations for the future

 

It sets out to demonstrate how it is working to lay strong foundations for the area’s “long-term well-being”, with positive impacts extending far beyond waterfront neighbourhoods where new buildings, parks and amenities are being developed.

 

“As a tri-government organisation tasked with the revitalisation of Toronto’s waterfront, we have a unique role to play in moving beyond standard real estate development practices, and instead creating sustainable, livable and beautiful communities,” said Emma Loewen, sustainability and innovation analyst at Waterfront Toronto, writing in a blog post.

“As a tri-government organisation tasked with the revitalisation of Toronto’s waterfront, we have a unique role to play in moving beyond standard real estate development practices"

“In addition to master planning undeveloped and underutilised waterfront lands, we believe we have a responsibility to support social and environmental objectives in the communities we build.”

 

She continued: “Mandating affordable housing requirements, rethinking road design to benefit all users, and committing to build neighbourhoods that have zero carbon impact are just some of the ways that we strive to support inclusive and accessible neighborhoods for all.”

 

Some of the organisation’s accomplishments which are outlined in the report include:

  • 11 LEED Gold certified buildings completed, and 13 additional buildings registered to achieve LEED Gold or platinum certification;
  • In 2017, $1.25bn in funding was received from government partners to begin flood protecting the Port Lands. This important work will not only unlock land for development, but also enhance the surrounding natural ecology and improve the resiliency of the city;
  • Introducing a resiliency and innovation framework for sustainability that sets the bar even higher for sustainable development on the waterfront in the years ahead;
  • Generating $4.1bn in economic output for the Canadian economy and $848m in revenue to government;
  • More than 35km of critical infrastructure completed, including roads, new watermains, sanitary and stormwater sewers;
  • More than 13km of trails and promenades created in key areas along the waterfront;
  • More than 15,000 stakeholders have been directly engaged in waterfront revitalisation through consultation;
  • Received more than 90 awards for design excellence in categories ranging from sustainability to neighbourhood development.

“Reporting transparently on our social responsibility and sustainability outcomes is important to us,” added Loewen. “While it is not mandatory for our organisation, we believe that it’s important to be accountable to our government partners, community members and other stakeholders, and to highlight our successes in an effort to set new global best practices.”

 

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