Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee and Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee recently broke ground for the new North East Scarborough Community Recreation & Child Care Centre.
This Centre, which is located south of the Rouge National Urban Park at 8450 Sheppard Ave. E., will be the City of Toronto’s first net zero energy and emissions community recreation facility. The building will also house the City’s second net zero child care centre.
The building’s leading-edge 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.
Outdoor green design is also an important component of the Centre’s vision. In addition to the building featuring a biodiverse green roof terrace, Joyce Trimmer Park will be revitalized with new landscaping and park amenities. The landscape design will include the planting of 96 trees and native plant species to improve surrounding green space and surface water drainage.
The park will feature 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 child care centre will have 62 spaces available for infants, toddlers and preschool age children. The centre’s playground will overlook a small ravine that travels up into the Rouge, complementing the naturalized look of the playground.
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.
Buildings are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto today – mainly due to the burning fossil fuels for heating and hot water. Last December, City Council adopted the TransformTO Net Zero Strategy with a target to reduce GHG emissions in Toronto to net zero by 2040, 10 years earlier than initially proposed.
As part of that Strategy, City Council committed to lead by example and adopted goals to reduce emissions from City operations – primarily buildings, including new ones, vehicles and waste. This project demonstrates that it’s possible to achieve net zero building emissions with existing technology.
Construction on the North East Scarborough Community Recreation & Child Care Centre is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2024. Joyce Trimmer Park will be temporarily closed to the public during the construction period. The project architect is Perkins&Will Canada Corporation, and the contractor Aquicon Construction Company Ltd. Both were selected through competitive bidding process.