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Going Green: 5 eco-friendly buildings in York Region LEEDing the way to soften environmental impact

Buildings in Vaughan, Whitchurch-Stouffville and Markham have achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum rating
April 8, 2021
Adam Martin-Robbins

A lot more new homes and office buildings are striving to go "green" by being designed and built to the reach the highest ratings under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system, with the ultimate goal of reducing their environmental impact.

Here are five eco-friendly buildings in York Region that are LEEDing the way:

Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre

This sustainable building nestled in York Region’s Hollidge Tract forest, 16389 Highway 48 in Whitchurch-Stouffville, opened in 2015.

It offers a place for the public to learn about and connect with the natural environment.

The building scored a platinum LEED rating, garnering top marks for water efficiency, energy performance and use of renewable energy.

Earth Rangers Centre interior

The Earth Rangers Centre

This two-storey building, at 9520 Pine Valley Dr. in Vaughan, houses the offices, educational and animal care areas for the kids' conservation organization.

It achieved a gold LEED rating in 2009, then platinum in 2012.

The centre boasts numerous green features including geothermal heating and cooling, earth tubes, wastewater treatment, green roofs, white roofs and recycled-rubber roofs as well as solar power generation.

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority Restoration Services Centre

Constructed in 2007, this two-storey administrative building, 9741 Canada Company Ave. in Vaughan, was among the first in Ontario to achieve a LEED platinum rating.

Its sustainable features include rainwater harvesting, composting toilets, recycled building materials, heat recovery ventilators and high levels of natural daylight.

Richmond Hill Toyota

Built on a four-and-a-half-acre site at 11240 Yonge St. in Richmond Hill, the dealership achieved a LEED gold rating in 2016.

It has charging stations for electric vehicles, as well as a special water feature and scored high marks for water efficiency, energy optimization, innovation and design. 

River Park Uptown Condominium

The four-tower, 607-unit condo development, 8200 Birchmount Rd. in Markham, scored a LEED platinum rating in May 2017.

It was designed to reduce water usage by 50 per cent, compared to conventional condominiums.

The condominium is outfitted with heat recovery ventilators, efficient lighting and high-performance windows to boost energy efficiency.