DREAM Unlimited is retrofitting 19 buildings across Ontario and Saskatchewan to net zero standards with $136 million in financing from the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB). A ribbon cutting ceremony was held last week to mark the start of the decarbonization initiative. 

Lee Hodgkinson Head of Sustainability & Technical Services at Dream, Ehren Cory Chief Executive Officer at Canada Infrastructure Bank, Ana Bailão Deputy Mayor, Gord Wadley Chief Operating Officer at Dream REIT

The ribbon cutting ceremony, attended by representatives of DREAM REIT, the CIB, and Deputy Mayor Ana Bailao, was held at Dream’s 36 Toronto Street building, which is one of the buildings in the city that is being retrofitted.

The Greater Toronto Area will see 18 buildings and Saskatoon will see one building transformed to net zero carbon emissions through the program. The funding from CIB is part of the Commercial Building Retrofits Initiative, of which Dream is the first real estate company in Canada to receive funds. The short-term goal of having these buildings retrofitted is to reduce carbon emissions by over 40% in the next 36 months, while the long-term goal is to reduce them to net zero by 2035.

“We have an obligation to develop and manage our real estate to generate positive impacts and are committed to challenging the status quo as we set out to achieve net zero by 2035 or sooner," said Michael Cooper, CEO of DREAM Office REIT.

36 Toronto Street in Toronto

The 19 buildings that will be retrofitted range from boutique historical buildings to downtown high-rises, with the oldest building dating back to 1908.

The buildings include; 

  • 80 Richmond Street,
  • 56 and 67 Temperance Street West, 
  • 350, 366, and 655 Bay Street, 
  • 74 Victoria Street, 
  • 20 and 36 Toronto Street, 
  • 6 Adelaide Street East, 
  • 425 Bloor Street East, 
  • 438 University Avenue, 
  • 2206 Eglinton Avenue East, 
  • 10 Lower Spadina Avenue, 
  • 349 Carlaw Avenue,
  • The Residences at Weston Common,
  • 50 and 90 Sussex Centre in Mississauga, and 
  • Princeton Tower in Saskatoon.

Sussex Centre in Mississauga

According to DREAM, the company has begun upgrading the various systems of each building, which includes boilers, heat pumps, and cooling systems, and turning them into or replacing them with energy efficient systems and low-carbon heating sources.

“It is incumbent on us all in the industry to examine our real estate and ensure we are making positive impacts that contribute to a sustainable, low carbon future,' said Gordon Wadley, COO of Dream Office REIT. "There’s an urgency for real estate companies to create innovative partnerships and deploy solutions at an incredible scale."

Of the initiative, Mayor John Tory said “Our city has a goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2040. We know that in order for us to achieve this goal we all need to work together including with the private sector. I want to thank DREAM for their leadership in retrofitting 19 buildings – 18 of them here in [the Greater] Toronto [Area]."

* * *

UrbanToronto’s new data research service, UrbanToronto Pro, offers comprehensive information on construction projects in the Greater Toronto Area—from proposal right through to completion stages. In addition, our subscription newsletter, New Development Insider, drops in your mailbox daily to help you track projects through the planning process.