York Region Research and Education Network

Working with a range of public sector research and education assets, including school boards, libraries, post-secondary institutions, hospitals and local business incubators, Chris project managed the exploration of developing a York Region Research and Education Network.  The purpose the initiative was to provide dedicated high-speed connectivity between York Region's education and research assets in order to foster research, collaboration and innovations in service delivery.

The project envisioned connecting all of the participating organizations via the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network so that they could take advantage of not only high-speed connectivity, but also a range of cloud-based services, internet peering and reduced costs for internet connectivity.

York Region Commercial Office Market Analysis

The Regional Municipality of York and its municipal partners have an ambitious plan to develop four new downtowns along the corridors of Highway 7 and Yonge Street.  Referred to as the Region's Centres and Corridors, these areas identified as high-density multi-use communities and the location for the Region's growth in office type employment.

In order to better understand the market opportunity for commercial office development in the Region's various locations within the Centres and Corridors, as well as identify challenges to attracting commercial office development, Chris project managed an initiative to complete an economic analysis of the Region's commercial office market.

This study looked at understanding the costs and benefits of developing in the Region's Centres and Corridors and then comparing these against similar commercial office nodes in the Greater Toronto Area.  With this comparison complete, the study then provided a range of policy and program recommendations for facilitating commercial office development in York Region.

York Region Broadband Strategy

Chris initiated and project managed the development of the York Region Broadband Strategy which provides a roadmap for improved connectivity for businesses, residents and the public sector in York Region.

The Strategy was developed in partnership with York Region's nine local municipal partners (Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Aurora, King, Whitchurch-Stouffville, Newmarket, East Gwillimbury and Georgina).  To assist in developing the Strategy, large and small telecommunications companies were also engaged, including Bell, Rogers and Telus, to help shape the strategy's targets, recommendations and work plan.

The Strategy provides a range of recommended actions focusing on three key areas:

  • Education and Advocacy - these actions focus on educating stakeholders on the importance of connectivity to their and the Region's success.
  • Municipal Processes - these actions focus on ways municipal processes, such as access agreements and road re-construction projects, can be leveraged to encourage investments in connectivity infrastructure.
  • Infrastructure Investments - these actions focus on identifying a range of infrastructure investments to improve connectivity for residents, businesses and the public sector.

To view the strategy visit: www.investinyork.ca/broadband.

York Region Post-Secondary Investment Attraction Strategy

Chris initiated and project managed the development of the York Region Post-Secondary Investment Attraction Strategy.  The Strategy aims to increase the presence of post-secondary institutions within York Region in order to meet the needs of the Region's diverse economy and growing population.

The Strategy was developed in collaboration with York Region's nine local municipal partners (Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Aurora, King, Whitchurch-Stouffville, Newmarket, East Gwillimbury and Georgina) and included input from a range of stakeholders, including major employers in the Region, a number of post-secondary institutions, and thought leaders in the field of education and research.

The Strategy identifies a range of post-secondary opportunities, including everything from learning centres to meet local specific skill gaps, to establishing a comprehensive research campus.  The Strategy also includes a policy framework for the Region's involvement in post-secondary investments to ensure they align with Regional planning goals and infrastructure investments. 

 

Pearson Eco-Business Zone District Energy System Feasibility Study

As a result of the Partners in Project Green Strategy, Chris project managed the development of the Pearson Eco-Business Zone District Energy System Feasibility Study.  

The goal of the study was to identify the business potential for district energy around Toronto Pearson International Airport (Toronto Pearson) - focusing on leveraging the Greater Toronto Airports Authority's (GTAA) existing co-generation facility for heating and cooling, as well as identifying the potential to start a new system with its own energy generation system.

The feasibility study included engaging a range of land owners and businesses in the vicinity of Toronto Pearson to identify their interest in centralized heating and cooling, while developing potential system solutions and a business model for a potential district energy system.

To view the feasibility study visit here.

Energy Leaders Consortium

Chris initiated the development of the Partners in Project Green Energy Leaders Consortium - a group of businesses from around Toronto Pearson with a commitment to working together to reduce their energy consumption.

Levering funding from various funding partners, Chris worked with his team and a consultant to develop the Energy Leaders Consortium.  The program provided a work plan for participating companies to identify, target and reduce their energy consumption.  Leveraging ongoing mentoring, regular training sessions and the use of various energy monitoring technologies, participants developed their reduction plans and worked with each other to drive savings in their respective businesses.

The Energy Leaders Consortium included the following companies:

  • Bayer
  • Broan-NuTone
  • Cott Beverages
  • CKF
  • Greater Toronto Airports Authority
  • Husky Injection Molding
  • Janes Family Foods
  • Lincoln Electric
  • Orbis
  • Magellan Aerospace
  • Pratt and Whitney
  • Weston Bakeries

In just its first year, the participating companies were able to collectively reduce energy consumption by 11.1 eGWh for a total savings of 1.15 million dollars.

Pearson Eco-Business Zone Materials Exchange Program

As a result of the Partners in Project Green Strategy, Chris led the development of the Pearson Eco-Business Zone Materials Exchange Program.  The goal of the program was to help companies identify ways to turn their waste into feedstock for other companies. Overall, the initiative aimed to help drive waste reduction, while facilitating business development and supply chain innovations.

The development of the materials exchange included completing a review of existing materials exchanges globally to better understand the economic and policy drivers that made exchanges successful, while identifying the required tools, marketing and resources that help exchanges grow.  With the relevant information in hand, a business model was developed and funding partners secured to implement the materials exchange program.

The Pearson Eco-Business Zone Materials Exchange Program continues to operate and assists companies around Toronto Pearson International Airport in reducing their waste costs and identifying new sources of feedstocks.

To learn more about the exchange or utilize it for your company, visit http://www.partnersinprojectgreen.com/programs/waste-management/materials-exchange-program.

To view the feasibility study visit here.

Region of Peel Spill Decision Support System

Working within a public-private partnership, Chris project managed the development of the Region of Peel Spill Decision Support System - a web-based spill response system for managing chemical and oil spills within the Region of Peel.

The project's purpose was to provide spill responders a tool for storing historical spill information, tracing spills from their origination to their entry point into watercourses, and identifying potential spill sources by including  a database of chemical storage within the Region.

The project required converging various databases and storm sewer datasets into a comprehensive tool that could be deployed in the field to help improve spill response, while protecting the environment.  

From project initiation to completion, Chris pulled together the four municipal partners to develop the web-based spill system, identifying funding sources, developing a public-private partnership to develop the tool, and managing the consulting team through the technical development of the web-based system.

 

Partners in Project Green Policy Toolkit

As a result of the Partners in Project Green Strategy, Chris project managed the development of the Partners in Project Green Policy Toolkit - a number of planning policy tools to encourage green business through the development process.

Working with the municipalities of Toronto, Peel, Mississauga and Brampton, Chris worked with his team to develop 11 policy tools for municipal use.  These included communications tools, primers and policy templates that each municipality could use to encourage green business development and a more consistent approach to eco-economic development across the Pearson Eco-Business Zone.

The communications tools were meant to help municipal staff learn and communicate about Partners in Project Green and green business. The tools included text that could be ‘cut-and-paste’ or edited as needed to help staff communicate to different audiences, such as other staff, council, businesses, or developers, the benefits of green business.

The primers provided brief overviews of key land-use issues in relation to encouraging green business. The primers were there to assist staff from different municipal departments develop a common, albeit high-level, understanding of the policy, regulatory, and incentive framework that is shaping eco-business zone activity in the area.

The policy template tools provided specific examples of best practises, current policy wording, advice and other practical, hands-on guidance from creating eco-business policies, such as official plan statements, policy language and subdivision guidelines in municipalities touching on the Pearson Eco-Business Zone.

To view the Pearson Eco-Business Zone Policy Toolkit visit: www.partnersinprojectgreen.com/policytoolkit.

Barriers & Opportunities with Rooftop Solar in the Pearson Eco-Business Zone

To support the adoption of rooftop solar in the Pearson Eco-Business Zone as part of the Ontario Government's Green Energy Act, Chris project managed a study on the barriers to rooftop solar and potential solutions for the Pearson Eco-Business Zone.

RooftopSolarStudyCover.jpg

Based on research and consultation with market participants, the study identified challenges that fell into four broad categories: 1) Economic Hurdles; 2) Legal and Policy Hurdles; 3) Institutional Knowledge / Capacity Hurdles; and, 4) Technical Hurdles.  

With these identified, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority developed a range of tools and resources to help organizations overcome these hurdles and implement rooftop solar installations in the Pearson Eco-Business Zone.

To view the study visit here.