Dream kicks off ambitious net zero retrofit initiative, transforming 19 buildings into resilient landmarks

CIB Media
Media Team
Dream will be retrofitting 19 buildings across Ontario and Saskatchewan to net zero standards with $136 million in financing from the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

TORONTO, MAY 12, 2022 – The transition to net zero by 2035 for DREAM UNLIMITED CORP. (TSX: DRM) (“Dream Unlimited”), DREAM OFFICE REIT (TSX: D.UN) (“Dream Office”), and DREAM IMPACT TRUST (TSX: MPCT.UN) (“Dream Impact”), collectively referred to as “Dream” is well underway, as one of the leading Canadian real estate organizations announce the start of an ambitious decarbonization initiative that will see 19 buildings across Toronto and Saskatoon transformed to net zero. As real estate accounts for nearly 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, Dream’s efforts underscore the critical role real estate companies play in developing creative solutions that meaningfully and effectively tackle the climate crisis.

A significant $136.6-million investment from the Canada Infrastructure Bank is funding this work, as part of the Commercial Building Retrofits Initiative. Dream is the first real estate company in Canada to receive funds under the Initiative and it ensures the fast-tracking of Dream’s decarbonization projects.

The program’s launch was marked today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on-site at Dream’s 36 Toronto Street building which is one of the 19 buildings being retrofitted to reduce carbon emissions by over 40% in the next 36 months and to net zero by 2035.

Creating approximately 1,500 jobs in the process, Dream has begun upgrading each buildings’ various systems – including boilers, heat pumps and cooling systems – to energy efficient systems and low-carbon heating sources. Once complete, the buildings will become healthy and more resilient workplaces for the 15,000 employees who work there.

The 19 buildings that will be retrofitted range from boutique historical buildings to downtown high-rises, with the oldest building dating back to 1908. Eighteen of the buildings are located within Toronto, while one is located in Saskatoon. The 19 buildings are:

Dream Retrofits Location

The extensive initiative accelerates Dream’s ambitions to achieve its pledge to achieve net zero emissions by 2035. With a portfolio totaling over $15 billion, the pledge represents one of the most ambitious targets in the real estate sector, aiming to achieve net zero 15 years ahead of the Paris Agreement.

We are proud to support Dream’s net zero program across its portfolio. Our significant investment demonstrates a long-term commitment to expedite large-scale retrofits. By working with leaders in the Canadian real estate sector, we support economic growth while making our communities greener and more sustainable.

- Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank

It is incumbent on us all in the industry to examine our real estate and ensure we are making positive impacts that contribute to a sustainable, low carbon future. There’s an urgency for real estate companies to create innovative partnerships and deploy solutions at an incredible speed and scale. Our partnership with the CIB exemplifies how Dream is on the leading edge of decarbonization in the industry.

- Gordon Wadley, COO of Dream Office REIT

Dream is tackling the climate crisis with a multi-faceted approach across our entire portfolio. This includes collaborating with Government partners to bring innovative net zero communities – Quayside and LeBreton Flats – to Canada. We have an obligation to develop and manage our real estate to generate positive impacts and are committed to challenging the status quo as we set out to achieve net zero by 2035 or sooner.

- Michael Cooper, Chief Responsible Officer for Dream Unlimited

Our city has a goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2040. We know that in order for us to achieve this goal we all need to work together including with the private sector. I want to thank DREAM for their leadership in retrofitting 19 buildings – 18 of them here in Toronto. This will help us create a greener and cleaner city.

- John Tory, Mayor of Toronto

About Dream Unlimited Corp.

Dream Unlimited Corp. is a leading developer of exceptional office and residential assets in Toronto, owns stabilized income generating assets in both Canada and the U.S., and has an established and successful asset management business, inclusive of $13 billion of assets under management across three Toronto Stock Exchange listed trusts, our private asset management business and numerous partnerships. We also develop land and residential assets in Western Canada. Dream Unlimited expects to generate more recurring income in the future as its urban development properties are completed and held for the long term. Dream Unlimited has a proven track record for being innovative and for our ability to source, structure and execute on compelling investment opportunities.

About Dream Office REIT

Dream Office REIT is an unincorporated, open-ended real estate investment trust. Dream Office is a premier office landlord in downtown Toronto with approximately 3.5 million square feet owned and managed. Dream Office has carefully curated an investment portfolio of high-quality assets in irreplaceable locations in one of the finest office markets in the world.

About Dream Impact Trust

Dream Impact Trust is an open-ended trust dedicated to impact investing. Impact investing is the intention of creating measurable positive, social and environmental change in our communities and for our stakeholders, while generating attractive market returns. Dream Impact’s underlying portfolio is comprised of exceptional real estate assets reported under two operating segments: development and recurring income, that would not be otherwise available in a public and fully transparent vehicle, managed by an experienced team with a successful track record in these areas. The objectives of Dream Impact are to create positive and lasting impacts for our stakeholders through our three impact verticals: environmental sustainability and resilience, attainable and affordable housing, and inclusive communities; balance growth and stability of the portfolio, increasing cash flow, unitholders’ equity and NAV over time; leverage access to an experienced management team and strong partnerships in order to generate attractive returns for investors; provide investors with a portfolio of high-quality real estate development opportunities, concentrated in core geographic markets; and to provide predictable cash distributions to unitholders on a tax-efficient basis.

About the Canada Infrastructure Bank

The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) is an impact investor enabling new infrastructure projects which benefit Canadians. As it executes $35 billion in investments, the CIB focuses on five priority sectors: broadband, public transit, clean power, green infrastructure and trade and transportation. By collaborating with partners in the public and private sectors, the CIB is transforming the way infrastructure is planned, financed and delivered in Canada.

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