Projects: Tower Program

From 2018 to 2020, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), City of Mississauga, and Region of Peel collaborated to deliver a neighbourhood-scale tower program and demonstration project aimed at water, energy, and landscape retrofits and community co-benefits at older tower properties.

The Burnhamthorpe neighbourhood contains a cluster of more than 45 older high-rise multi-unit residential buildings built during the post-war period, many in need of retrofit. At the same time, this area is home to many new immigrants and low-income households.

Identified by Burnhamthorpe SNAP Action Plan, the tower program responded to the need for residential building resilience and food security in the tower community.

aerial view of residential towers in the Burnhamthorpe SNAP neighbourhood

About the Tower Program

In 2018, TRCA, City of Mississauga, and Region of Peel collaborated to deliver a neighbourhood-scale tower program aimed at engaging older tower owners and managers in sustainable action, uncovering shared tower retrofit opportunities, securing local implementation partnerships, and encouraging peer learning.

Program components included one-on-one meetings with towers, the use of strategic tower demonstration projects to showcase action, and neighbourhood-scale partnerships and initiatives. Key collaborators included the City of Mississauga, Region of Peel, Ecosource, and Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre, as well as many others.

This work directly supports the City of Mississauga’s Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP), Stormwater Program, and Housing Strategy. It also supports the Region of Peel Climate Change Master Plan and Water Efficiency Strategy, and TRCA’s Etobicoke and Mimico Creeks Watershed Plan.

Tower Demonstration with Starlight Investments

As part of the program, a tower demonstration project was launched to capture attention and one-on-one help in navigating through available programs and opportunities.

The purpose was to showcase innovation in water, energy, and landscape retrofits and community co-benefits, test new technologies or processes, demonstrate a business case for retrofit and co-benefits, and create implementation partnerships.

To identify the demonstration site, a strategic selection process was launched, inviting all eligible towers in the neighbourhood to apply. A selection committee with a cross-section of public and private partners conducted an evaluation of applications.

Starlight Investments’ tower properties were selected based on the level of owner interest and green leadership, and potential for the properties to showcase innovative multi-objective retrofits.

The selected sites include 1485 Williamsport Drive, 3480 Havenwood Drive and 1315 Silver Spear Road in Mississauga.

Starlight Investments tower property in Mississauga
Starlight Investments tower property in Mississauga

SNAP Approach to Tower Revitalization

The team replicated SNAP’s approach to collaborative multi-unit residential building (MURB) revitalization, which integrates neighbourhood objectives, the property owner’s planned projects and priorities, and tenant interests.

Tenant engagement identified potential future on-site projects and programming, top-of-mind interests and concerns, and connected tenants with available local programs.

Efforts were made to collaborate with local partners who worked directly with tenants in the buildings and understood their interests and needs. In 2019, the team worked closely with the property management to promote and deliver a summer event with Ecosource, the Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre, and the City of Mississauga’s Climate Change Project team.

Burnhamthorpe SNAP neighbourhood residents take part in tower revitalization project
Burnhamthorpe SNAP neighbourhood residents take part in tower revitalization project


Key Outcomes of the Program and Demonstration include:

  • Multi-objective recommendations for three older towers, ranging from on-site operational improvements in energy, water, and irrigation systems to broader recommendations for the tower owner’s portfolio of buildings across the GTA
  • Development of a summary list of up-to-date programming that towers may participate in
  • Early implementation Local Food Action Projects led by Ecosource, including two accessible garden beds and 85-plus households receiving microgreen indoor growing kits
  • Five-plus relationships brokered at the demonstration site with towers and local implementation organizations (i.e. Starlight, Ecosource, Mississauga, Peel, consultants)
  • 100-plus tenants engaged in summer event to identify a community action project and connect them with other local community programming
  • 40-plus participants engaged in multi-stakeholder workshop sharing best practices in MURB revitalization and scoping implementation projects
  • 30-plus towers engaged as part of neighbourhood tower program and demonstration selection process
  • City relationships established with advisors to help scope future tower engagement activities



For more information, please contact:
Shannon Logan, Senior Program Manager, Sustainable Neighbourhoods
(647) 284-1583 |

In Collaboration With:

Starlight Investments | Ecosource | City of Mississauga | Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre | Region of Peel