News / Toronto

Toronto neighbourhood wants to get to net zero

Residents of Mount Dennis neighbourhood wants to make the community carbon neutral.

Mike Mattos, president of the Mount Dennis Community Association, wants the neighbourhood to reach “net zero.”

Justin Greaves / Metroland file

Mike Mattos, president of the Mount Dennis Community Association, wants the neighbourhood to reach “net zero.”

Mount Dennis residents want their community to become Toronto’s first carbon neutral neighbourhood.

Rick Ciccarelli of the Mount Dennis Community Association is working with the city and other partners to develop a plan on how to make the dream a reality.

“We’re trying to notch the bar up on how this community can be more sustainable,” he said.

The neighbourhood is expecting a population boost when the Eglinton Crosstown light-rail project is finished.

It’s slated for 2021 and would mean a faster route from the west-end neighbourhood to the city centre.

Getting to net zero means carbon used in new buildings will be offset by finding efficiencies in the existing ones, said Mike Mattos, president of the community association.

Mattos said the neighbourhood has to reduce energy usage by about half to reach the goal.

High-rise towers that can be retrofitted to become more energy efficient are “big targets” for the project, he said.

An open house was held on Monday to discuss ways to do this, and they still need to figure out how to divide responsibilities between the community, city, and other partners like Metrolinx and Toronto Hydro, Ciccarelli said.

Getting to “net zero” would mean engaging regular people and nudging them towards lifestyle changes, as well as making sure all new buildings in the area are as energy efficient as possible.

“At the end of the day it’s less carbon, less electricity,” said Mattos.

“The concept is that we get all the people in the room and we figure out how we achieve the goal without spending a huge amount of money.”

If successful, it’s believed Mount Dennis would be the first neighbourhood to reach the carbon neutral target.

More on Metronews.ca