About Us

ABOUT US

Background

Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) is one of the largest environmental organizations in Canada with 600-plus employees and managing more than 40,000 hectares of property and nine watersheds in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

At TRCA we see every day how climate change affects all aspects of our lives – from the food we eat to the homes we live in. To assist with the reduction of greenhouse gas pollution and help move to a prosperous low-carbon economy, TRCA challenges itself and its partners to create a “Living City.”

Paddlers on the Don River

The Don River, Toronto, Ontario

The vision of the Living City: to transform the GTA into one of the most sustainable, livable city regions in the world, where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature’s beauty and diversity.

Creating The Living City Campus

A key component of the strategy for advancing the Living City vision was the development of an innovative centre for demonstration, research, and education called The Living City Campus.

Located at the Kortright Centre for Conservation in Vaughan, Ontario, The Living City Campus is Canada’s largest environmental and renewable energy education and demonstration centre, welcoming approximately 80,000 visitors per year.

Aerial view of the Kortright Visitors Centre

The Kortright Visitors Centre

Situated on 325 hectares of woodland, the site features many Living City Labs and demonstration sites, showcasing the latest research in renewable energy, energy efficiency, wastewater treatment and sustainable building design.

The results generated through ongoing research inform our educational training programs and events, increasing the awareness and adoption of sustainable technologies and practices.

To help accelerate the development of The Living City Campus, TRCA has partnered with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) – one of the world’s largest building research, certification, and training organizations.

BRE developed the “Innovation Parks” concept in 2003 to assist the British construction industry in achieving new building code standards.

Similar to TRCA’s existing Archetype Sustainable Houses, but on a much larger scale, these parks inform industry and policy makers on the viability of construction innovation that can deliver improved performance and reduce carbon footprint, helping to drive Britain’s building industry towards net zero carbon.

kitchen and dining area of the Archetype Sustainable House

Inside the Archetype Sustainable House

The Innovation Parks initiative has expanded into an international network, with three parks in operation in the UK and China, and five others proposed or in development in Brazil, Canada, Dubai, Switzerland and Liverpool, UK.

Working with BRE, TRCA will lead collaboration between government and corporate partners in the building industry to expand its existing demonstration, research and education programs at The Living City Campus, making it the exclusive BRE Innovation Park in Canada.

Our Mission

Most people on this planet will soon live in cities. As city regions become the engines of economic growth, their sustainability is under pressure. Resolving critical urban problems — from sustainable development and water supply to waste management and green space preservation — poses ever-increasing challenges.

Aerial view of Toronto looking toward Lake Ontario

However, there is good news: the urbanization boom has been accompanied by a worldwide boom in the development of sustainability solutions, technologies and ideas. The promise of a better future lies in harnessing, developing and implementing these solutions.

At The Living City Campus, our mission is to provide a centre of excellence for urban sustainability and to work with our partners to demonstrate innovative solutions for low-carbon buildings and sustainable communities, connecting people and ideas to build The Living City.

solar heating demonstration at The Living City Campus