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Ontario Invests In Greening Its Office Space

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Ontario Invests In Greening Its Office Space

McGuinty Government Creates 1,000 Jobs and a State-Of-The-Art Green Building

Ontario is investing approximately $100 million in what is believed to be among the largest ever retrofits in North America, creating 1,000 new jobs and 455,000 square feet of state-of-the-art green office space.

The province recently acquired the iconic building at 222 Jarvis Street, formerly the head office building of Sears Canada. This retrofit will reduce its carbon footprint by implementing many of the initiatives outlined in the Green Energy Act, recently passed legislation which will help transform Ontario's economy to be more innovative, productive and competitive.

The design and construction of the base building retrofit will adhere to the guidelines and sustainability principles of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) rating system, with a goal of achieving LEED® Gold standing. The Jarvis Street building provides opportunities for energy-efficient building design initiatives such as:

  • A green roof
  • Solar energy Daylight & occupancy sensors for optimal lighting control,
  • State-of-the-art IT infrastructure,
  • Wireless infrastructure to reduce the need to travel to meetings,
  • Less parking and bicycle storage to encourage green commuting.

Using solar energy and constructing a green roof are also being considered.

This $100 million retrofit is the first project in the Toronto Accommodation Plan, a major government economic endeavour to green and retrofit a number of Ontario government buildings in Toronto. The plan will be led by the Ontario Realty Corporation (ORC), on behalf of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure.

Quick Facts

  • WZMH Architects, a Toronto-based firm, was selected in March to help design this green workplace.
  • The retrofit will start in summer 2009 and is scheduled to be completed by spring 2011.
  • The ORC has released a Request for Proposal for a project manager and is currently evaluating the responses.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“We are bringing to life our government’s commitment to greening Ontario’s buildings and along with it creating green jobs and fuelling a green economy. The McGuinty government takes conservation leadership very seriously. We are getting our own house in order.”

George Smitherman

Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure

“ORC is embracing sustainability by retrofitting buildings to green standards and enhancing the value of the government’s real property in an environmentally, socially and economically responsible manner. This project presents a unique opportunity to renovate a 40-year old building and create a greener, more efficient workplace that will be used as a model for retrofits across the Province.”

Dave Glass

President and CEO of Ontario Realty Corporation

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Environment and Energy