Toronto is a city that in some ways is built on opposite ends of the spectrum. One can notice this in particular when it comes to the environmental initiative within the city. In many ways, Toronto has been a pioneer within the urban environmental movement. It was one of the first cities in Canada to begin addressing the problem of urban sprawl through rejuvenation, or gentrification projects. The city also claims to encourage environmental standards in developmental projects, pointing to the Green Development Standard list it recently developed. More and more condominium developers are seeing the value in using eco friendly materials and installing features that are conducive to perserving the environment.
On the other hand, many environmental activists point out that in many areas, Toronto is far behind other major cities in Canada and North America when it comes to green building standards. One claim made is that the city has failed to properly encourage the use of the LEED system both for public and private buildings within Toronto. The City itself has stated that it does not have the authority to require builders to meet green standards, but activists point out that moral authority is supreme when it comes to proper Earth practices.
Despite the fact that the city itself does not wholeheartedly embrace LEED as a building standard, there are several companies and developers who recognize the importance of the program both to the environment and to individuals. We should mention that there are a number of real estate projects that have been recognized for making green living contributions in their construction and maintenance. We have compiled a short list of buildings in Toronto which are LEED certified below.
HOK Canada Urbana Architects Office: Perhaps it is only fitting that a leading architectural firm use a green building as their base of operations. Nearly 200 employees, many of them LEED-certified professionals, work out of this building, which includes natural lighting, individual thermostats, and high efficiency systems.
Metro Label Printing Facility: This company is on Canada's 50 best managed list on a consistent basis, and it seems right that it is also among Canada's leaders when it comes to environmental concerns. Among other innovations, the building uses cisterns to collect rainwater for the bathrooms, has low flow fountains and faucets, and has reduced the company's energy bill by a remarkable 28%.
Thomas L. Wells Public School: A concentration on the inner environment has made the LEED system popular with parents of school children, and this school in Morningside Heights is one of the only public buildings in Toronto to be LEED certified.
As the public becomes increasingly aware of what LEED is and what it means to the Earth as a whole, it is likely that more and more buildings in Toronto will seek certification. In fact, when potential home owners are searching listings for their next home or condo they are looking for them to have green features like energy efficient appliances and low flush toilets.
In the meantime, environmentally conscious individuals in this city should actively seek out these and other LEED certified buildings for their business.
It is apparent that more and more families are making a conscience effort
to help protect their environment. Families are recycling, driving hybrid cars and reducing their carbon emissions as much as possible. Some families are hiring a nanny. Having a caregiver provide child care in their own home instead of driving their children to and from a daycare facility everyday is one way some families are choosing to make their impact. Other families are choosing to have new energy efficient appliances installed when their old need replacing or to have a doors and windows company install energy rated windows and doors on their
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