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September 24, 2008
Council approves Mayor's Tower Renewal program
The innovative Mayor's Tower Renewal initiative was overwhelmingly approved by Toronto City Council today clearing the way for the city to bring environmental, social and economic improvements to Toronto's aging concrete apartment block neighbourhoods. By a 36-3 vote, council voted to adopt the principles of Mayor's Tower Renewal and to establish a project office by November 2008. A pilot site strategy for each of the four pilot sites will be developed by March 2009.

Mayor's Tower Renewal is an ambitious program that focuses on delivering multiple benefits to communities by renewing concrete high-rise residential towers. About 1,000 of these concrete slab construction towers, built in the 1960s and 1970s, are located in Toronto.

"I'm incredibly pleased with the tremendous support my colleagues have shown for this important initiative," said Mayor David Miller. "Mayor's Tower Renewal offers an exciting opportunity to do the right thing for the environment, the right thing for neighbourhoods and the right thing for people by making cities more liveable and prosperous."

The project involves cladding high-rise buildings in a way that reduces energy use by 50 per cent or greater while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by three to five per cent for the entire urban area. Mayor's Tower Renewal will bring additional benefits including:
• creation of local green jobs
• an increase in on-site small-scale retail and markets
• upgraded green space around the buildings
• improved space for neighbourhood interactions
• installation of solar, wind and geothermal energy and green roofs
• increase in water conservation and on-site management of waste
• increase the demand for locally-produced green and clean technology
• foster community gardens and urban agriculture at the sites.

The Mayor’s Tower Renewal pilot sites were chosen to demonstrate a series of possible outcomes, taking into account a variety of neighbourhood contexts. Four pilot sites have been identified, one in each Community Council area including Etobicoke-York, North York, Scarborough, Toronto and East York.

The pilot site strategy that will now be developed for each site will include a number of elements such as community energy plans, options for community use of space and local employment strategies. Work on the sites will be coordinated by the Tower Renewal project office and will be geared to the site conditions and geography of each particular apartment neighbourhood.

Information about Mayor's Tower Renewal is available at

Media contact: Stuart Green, Office of Mayor Miller, 416-338-7119



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