25 St. Clair Avenue East rehabilitation project

25 St. Clair Avenue East in mid-town Toronto is undergoing a major rehabilitation which will reduce the building’s greenhouse gas emissions by over 80% and serve as a flagship model of the Government’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. The project will demonstrate the Government’s commitment to the environment, incorporating elements such as a high-efficiency building envelope, a geothermal system, and photovoltaic panels.

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Project overview


Toronto, Ontario
Locate 25 St. Clair Ave. on a map

Type of project

Complete rehabilitation of building interior and exterior.

All building systems; electrical, plumbing, mechanical, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) to be replaced.

Installation of sustainable features.

Lead department

Public Services and Procurement Canada—Owner & Project Leader

Construction firms
  • BGIS—Project Manager
  • DIALOG—Architect & Prime Consultant – contract awarded 2017
  • Urbacon—Construction Manager – contract awarded 2017
Project status
  • Project began July 2018
  • Construction underway
Next steps
  • Employee engagement activities for all tenants ongoing through fall 2022
  • Tenant engagement activities ongoing to November 2023 in-service date

Project description

The 25 St. Clair Rehabilitation project will demonstrate the government’s commitment to the environment; incorporating elements such as high-efficiency building systems, geothermal system, and photovoltaic panels. These elements are anticipated to reduce the building’s greenhouse gas emissions by over 80%. Once rehabilitated, the building will accommodate several government departments and agencies, including Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) and other federal occupancies. Upon completion, the facility will serve as the flagship Government of Canada Building (GoCB) in the Ontario Region. The project is a critical element in the overall strategy to include a rationalization and reduction of overall space holdings in downtown Toronto. The project will be implemented by applying the Government of Canada Workplace (GCWorkplace) standard, which will result in an estimated overall space savings of approximately 9,000 m2.

Video: In Pursuit of Carbon Neutral: 25 St. Clair Building

Making Better Possible: In Pursuit of Carbon Neutral: 25 St. Clair East Building

Video length: 4:21 minutes


(Text on screen: Making better possible)

(Mirela Nasaudean speaks)

(Arthur Meighen Building sign)

Having the approval to go with maximum carbon neutral was a dream. So when we got the approval, oh I think I cried.

(Text on screen: In pursuit of carbon neutral)

(Text on screen: Mirela Nasaudean, Project Team Leader, Public Services and Procurement Canada)

I don't remember, but I was so happy. It was the proudest moment in my civil servant life.

(Mirela looking out a window)

(Street view with cars passing)

Arthur Meighen Building is located at 25 St. Clair Avenue in Toronto, Ontario.

(Mirela in mechanical room speaking)

As a project manager, I was just asked to start with a feasibility study in 2015 when we were looking at a major renovation of the project.

(Mirela and Maria McGibbon in front of the building discussing)

That was pretty much what we were tasked to do: understand what's the condition of Arthur Meighen Building.

(Mirela discussing blueprints with 2 colleagues)

A change in direction came through. I was so excited when I heard that. That was an opportunity for us to actually look at something better.

The Canadian Green Building Council was brought to the table by the Headquarters team by asking us if we were interested to actually be one of the pilot buildings that are participating in the Zero Carbon Pilot program.

(Building facade)

(Maria McGibbon speaks)

(Text on screen: Maria McGibbon, Senior Sustainability Specialist, Public Services and Procurement Canada)

(Maria in mechanical room taking notes on pad)

(Canadian flag flying on building roof)

(Computerized image of the view from the sky of the future building)

Midway through the first design of the project, we were told to stop what we were doing and revisit a new design to ensure that we are pushing the boundaries and going carbon neutral.

We knew we could do it, we just didn’t know how, and that was part of the challenges. There was no previous template, there was no previous direction on how to do this.

(Maria looking over blueprints with 2 colleagues)

(Maria opening a sliding door)

We had, as a team, had to create the path forward.

(Computerized image of front of future building)

(Drawings of future solar panels on the roof)

(Animated graphic showing geothermal system operations)

We defined carbon neutral as being firstly energy efficient as possible and secondly using and creating energy in the building, so utilizing solar panels on the roof, using a geothermal system to heat and cool the building.

(Kent A. Watson speaking to camera)

(Text on screen: Kent A. Watson, Regional Client Service Director, Public Services and Procurement Canada)

I think it’s extremely important for us, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), to lead the federal government in building design of this type.

(Kent and Maria going over blueprints)

(Pan of an empty floor with Maria talking to 2 colleagues)

(Text on screen: 80% with downward arrow)

The design itself is going to take the current building and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, carbon emissions, by more than 80%.

So just that fact itself will be able to identify to, you know, current employees or new employees that, you know, by working in this environment, they are contributing to a much healthier environment both within the office and, you know, within the city itself.

(View from the back of an employee working on a computer)

(View of a city)

(Maria speaks to camera)

The maximum site carbon neutral option also included wellness features. Ensuring that there was access to daylight and views in the stairways and making sure that each floor was connected inside and outside, so as you’re walking up the stairs, you can look outside the entire way from the bottom floor to the top floor.

(Moving images of the design for the future staircase from the front of building)

(View from sky of the future building computerized design)

(Kent speaking to the camera)

(Mirela crossing an empty room)

(Text on screen: WELL building standard, air, water, nourishment, light, comfort, fitness, mind)

(Computerized image of a workout room)

The WELL certification is an enhancement to a normal building design. It looks at the occupants’ health. It takes into account water, light, the occupants’ health themselves, energy use. It’s a holistic design approach that incorporates everybody.

(Mirela in front of a screen making a presentation to colleagues)

Accessibility was always something that PSPC and Government of Canada was looking at. Every single ramp, every single space, every single sitting area or collaboration area would be accessible for everyone. Canadian National Institute for the Blind have a great pilot happening at Yonge and St. Clair.

(A beacon installed over a door)

What they're doing is they are collaborating with all the businesses in the area by introducing these beacons that are small devices that will be introduced inside of the buildings or outside of the buildings.

Those beacons will be able to communicate to a smart device that the people will carry with them and will be able to read to them what's happening in that area.

(A woman with headphones on clicking on her smartphone)

(Maria speaking to the camera)

We were supported by our senior management to look outside the box and explore. The only way we’re going to, you know, make a change is if we take action and create a true flagship for Canadians and provide a new way of renovations for buildings.

(Maria by a window inside the building)

(Outside view of the front of current building)

(Maria and Mirela on rooftop discussing with flying Canadian flag in the back)

(Mirela on rooftop talking to a colleague)

(Computerized image of front of future building)

(Text on screen: Currently under construction, expected completion by 2022)

(Public Services and Procurement Canada signature)

(Music stops)

(Canada wordmark)

Key milestones

Benefits to Canadians

This rehabilitation project will create more than 300 full time construction and consultancy jobs for over four years while it is underway. Additionally, once the project is completed, approximately 1500 federal employees will work in the building and will contribute to the local economy when visiting shops and restaurants in the area.

The significant sustainability elements of this project will contribute to meeting Canada’s commitments in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

CNIB will facilitate the deployment of GoodMaps, an accessible digital mapping application, throughout the building. GoodMaps is a camera-based positioning system paired to a user’s personal device, which uses audible messaging to assist individuals with visual impairment in navigating the building. This is a low-cost, high-impact application that requires no physical infrastructure.

In addition to the GoodMaps program, the 25 St. Clair Rehabilitation includes a wide range of accessibility and inclusive features, many of which go above and beyond current building codes and accessibility standards. From universal washrooms and accessible workstations and architecture to tactile signage and assistive listening systems, the rehabilitated Government of Canada flagship building will showcase a workplace without barriers.

Photo gallery

Select the image to enlarge.

View enlarged image of 25 St.Clair Ave – pre-construction
View enlarged image of rendering of buildings post-construction

Latest news

May 18, 2017: Public Services and Procurement Canada Participating in Zero Carbon Pilot Program to Reduce Government of Canada’s Carbon Footprint

Related links

Directory of Federal Real Property: 25 St. Clair

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