Back to News & Events March 23, 2012

Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund Supports Markham’s Community and District Energy Infrastructure

MARKHAM, ON – March 23, 2012 – Berry Vrbanovic, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and councillor for the City of Kitchener, Ontario, and Paul Calandra, MP for Oak Ridges—Markham and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced Green Municipal FundTM (GMF) loan and grant contributions to the Town of Markham and Markham District Energy. The town and the utility put the $13.7 million in funding toward a series of district energy and community infrastructure initiatives.

“FCM’s Green Municipal Fund offers a range of resources and services that specifically address the sustainable community development needs of municipal governments,” said Vrbanovic. “The financing and knowledge provided by the Fund supports the development of communities that are more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.”

“The Government of Canada is assisting municipalities across the country in achieving their goal of a cleaner and healthier environment for Canadians through the Green Municipal Fund,” said Mr. Calandra. “Today’s announcement is another example of how our government — in partnership with FCM — is helping Markham and MDE build a greener future for our citizens.”

The East Markham Community Centre and Library (EMCCL) will be energy-efficient, environmentally friendly and will meet the town’s LEED® Silver requirement for new construction.

The EMCCL will link to the Markham-Stouffville Hospital and connect to Markham District Energy’s fourth plant — Bur Oak — for heating and cooling. It is expected to emit 440 tonnes less in greenhouse gases than a similar building constructed to code and not connected to a district energy plant. It is also expected to consume 45 per cent less energy than required by the Model National Energy Building Code.

The community centre and library project will improve quality of life by providing residents with a fitness facility, pool, library, meeting space and a rehearsal hall. Hospital patients will have access to the centre’s fitness facility and pools, and doctors will have access to its medical reference library.

Markham District Energy (MDE) has strategically utilized GMF funding to expand its thermal grid which provides heating and cooling energy to 100% of all buildings built in Markham Centre since 2000 totaling 6 million ft². Customers include IBM, Honeywell, a YMCA, two schools, Markham theatre and a number of residential and commercial buildings. GMF funding also supported the construction of a high efficiency power generation plant that provides electricity and heat to the community; and emergency power services to selected local businesses.

“MDE is a leading example of district energy in North America and represents a significant contributor to the Energy and Climate priority of Markham’s Greenprint Community Sustainability Plan by providing resilient, efficient and low-emissions heating, cooling and backup power for Markham residents and businesses”, said Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “We’re very proud of the MDE’s achievements and their positive contribution to the community.”

“Funding from the Green Municipal Funds was critically important for MDE achieving its long term vision for Markham Centre”, said Deputy Mayor and MDE Chair Jack Heath. “Changing the energy delivery model in our communities is capital intensive and requires long term and strategic funding partners. The FCM has been that partner for MDE and has contributed to MDE becoming the model for district energy development in Canada”.

The Government of Canada endowed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) with $550 million to establish the Green Municipal Fund™. The Fund supports partnerships and leveraging of both public and private-sector funding to reach higher standards of air, water and soil quality, and climate protection.

− 30 –

About Markham District Energy

MDE, an energy company owned by the Town of Markham, is committed to developing world class community-based district energy systems to encourage local economic development and demonstrate environmental leadership. MDE owns and operates award-winning EcoLogo certified community energy systems that produce thermal energy and electricity for buildings in Markham’s emerging downtown and the growing urban development surrounding the Markham Stouffville Hospital.

About FCM

FCM has been the national voice of municipal governments since 1901. It fosters the development of sustainable communities to improve quality of life by promoting strong, effective, and accountable municipal government.

For more information:

Town of Markham
Dennis Flaherty
Director, Communications
Town of Markham
Tel.: 905-415-7520

Markham District Energy
Bruce Ander
Markham District Energy
Tel.: 905-513-4164

FCM’s Green Municipal Fund
Maurice Gingues
Media Relations Officer
Green Municipal Fund
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Tel.: 613-907-6399
Fax: 613-244-1515

Natural Resources Canada
Patricia Best
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Tel.: 613-996-2007

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Tel.: 613-992-4447