By Mark Hutchinson, Vice President of Green Building Programs, Canada Green Building Council
The changing nature of the parking and transportation industry has highlighted the importance of understanding the sector’s environmental impact and its key role in mitigating climate change. Among those leading the charge in this area is the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto’s North York area, which has been no stranger to innovative new initiatives throughout its 50-year history, including a number of sustainability efforts as part of its green program.
In July 2018, the mall achieved Parksmart certification at the Pioneer level for existing parking structures by obtaining more than 90 points for its G Parkade southwest parking garage, and in August, Yorkdale’s newly constructed E Parkade east structure certified Parksmart Bronze by achieving between 110 and 134 points. These are the first Parksmart certified projects in Canada – and the first retail certifications in the world.
The Parksmart rating system is administered in Canada by GBCI Canada, which is jointly-owned by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). Designed to advance sustainable mobility through smarter parking structure design and operation, Parksmart helps parking structure owners and managers ensure their assets are future-proof and functioning optimally in order to maximize operational savings.
For both Yorkdale projects, the Parksmart certification process has served to highlight opportunities to maximize and modernize parking assets, ensure strong returns on investment, and provide an enhanced parking experience for mall patrons.
Redefining parking as part of a broader green strategy
Yorkdale has had green initiatives in place for more than two decades, from being one of the first shopping centres in Canada to implement a recycling program, to more recent measures such as the utilization of reusable tableware and cutlery, organics composting and an urban…