Overview

The Toronto Waterfront Scan and Environmental Improvement Strategy Study

Synopsis

The Toronto Waterfront Scan and Environmental Improvement Strategy Study has been completed to assist the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto in their joint efforts to achieve the revitalization of the Toronto Waterfront. Initially conceived to respond to the report of the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Task Force, Our Toronto Waterfront, Gateway to the New Canada, 1999, the Scan was prepared to create a comprehensive overview and integration of environmental issues and opportunities related to Revitalization.

At the outset of the study it was determined that the Scan should be grounded in a sustainability context of environmental, social and economic determinants, but with a clear focus on environmental sustainability. The study is therefore informed by the Government of Canada's sustainable development perspective, articulated most recently in Sustainable Communities for a Sustainable Planet (2002) and the recent ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. It reflects the vision and goals that have been developed by the Province of Ontario for its Smart Growth initiative, and is intended to be consistent with the sustainability perspective in the City of Toronto Strategic Plan and supporting sectoral plans.

Waterfront Revitalization will result in additional emissions into the environment. Implementation of the environmental opportunities assessed in the Scan can reduce these additional emissions significantly.

The predicted emissions reductions calculated in the Scan focus on carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulphur dioxide in the air, energy and transportation sectors. The maximum emissions reductions of all of the environmental opportunities identified in the Scan are achieved principally through the actions taken in the energy sector, and to a lesser extent the transportation sector. Environmental opportunities in the water and natural heritage, soil and groundwater, and waste sectors are focused on incremental improvements over time, through the ongoing development and implementation of medium and long term strategies in the City of Toronto.

In order to achieve the Scan principle whereby the City after Waterfront Revitalization should produce less emissions than the existing developed area of the City, it will be necessary to apply the concepts and recommendations from the Scan into other parts of Toronto to achieve additional emissions reductions, beyond what can be achieved in the Waterfront itself.

The relative contributions of energy and transportation opportunities to carbon dioxide reduction, and reductions of other pollutants, support a priority focus on high energy efficiency standards in the Waterfront and across the City of Toronto as a whole, combined with integrated energy supply technologies that reduce the emissions impact of energy generation.

Achieving significant reductions in emissions with respect to transportation should continue in support of reducing the overall emissions profile of the City of Toronto. The ongoing development and implementation of medium and long term strategies for air, water and natural heritage, soil and groundwater, and waste will result in substantial incremental improvements over time for the Waterfront and the City of Toronto as a whole.

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