Enwave and the City of Toronto Cool Down the Downtown Sustainably

In All, Environmental & Sustainability, UDIN (All), Urban Inspiration, USA & Canada by World Unwrapped

Project Leads: City of Toronto and Enwave Energy Corp

Enwave and the City of Toronto collaborated to make the largest lake-water cooling service designed by Griffin International Engineering. This enables Toronto to air-condition the downtown area without the use of fossil fuels and is a less expensive alternative in the long-run.

The system was built by ACCIONA Infrastructures to offer a sustainable, alternative source of air conditioning by using cold water from the depths of Lake Ontario to cool downtown Toronto office buildings. Water drawn from Lake Ontario for the city’s potable water supply is now pumped from a deeper source, allowing its cooler and more stable temperature to be utilized for air conditioning before being added to the municipal water supply (ACCIONA website, 2013).

This system is not only sustainable, it also uses natural resources as a way to address a city-wide problem and consumes less energy than a standard air-conditioning system. Sustainable development is inherently innovative because it does not have a choice. In order to keep humans comfortable and not kill the earth in the process, creative solutions have to be created–as with this lake-water cooling service.

Often people believe that sustainable solutions like this one will not work in densely populated urban centers, but Toronto is an example of a sustainable solution for an urban city on mass scale.