CITY Toronto

Neighborhood Renewal Boosts Climate Resilience

Toronto’s Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plan is bringing adaptation and mitigation measures to apartment buildings and single-family homes.

Toronto’s Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plan (SNAP) is a locally tailored home retrofit program reaching both homeowners and renters with building upgrades and community enhancement initiatives. Assisting residents from planning to implementation of projects, SNAP simultaneously targets energy conservation, urban forest enhancement, water conservation, and stormwater management, as well as local food production in order to create more resilient neighborhoods.

In the Black Creek neighborhood, a community of 25,000 people which was home to one of SNAP’s six pilot projects, positive results have already been observed; 88% of participants have undertaken at least one retrofit action since the program launched in 2012. One SNAP program underway in Black Creek, Harvest the Rain, has distributed 217 rain barrels to residents in an effort to protect against basement flooding while using the collected water to support vegetable gardens and tree planting. City-wide, SNAP measures are expected to reduce stormwater runoff and pollutants from private lots by 30%, expand urban forest cover by 8%, and reduce electricity use by 10%.

Co-Benefits

Environmental

SNAP assists in achieving targets established by the City of Toronto by reducing electricity use in the neighborhood by 10% and reducing natural gas use by 17% below 2007 levels by 2020.

Social

1,500 neighbors have connected with one another through the Black Creek SNAP program.

Economic

SNAP aims to satisfy 20% of a community’s vegetable needs with onsite gardens, helping residents save money on grocery bills.

Health

SNAP’s expansion of urban forest cover and promotion of gardening increases the community’s contact with nature, which has positive impacts on mental health.