Minto's Hospitality Group Turns Out the Lights


    OTTAWA, March 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Next Saturday, March 29th, guests staying
at three Minto properties may be making a conscious decision to spend an hour
in the dark. That is what the Minto Group, well-known real estate developer
and property manager, is hoping for.
    As part of the company's green initiative, Minto's Hospitality Group is
participating in Earth Hour(TM) at 8 p.m. on March 29th. Staff are dimming
common area lights to a minimum standard for safety and extinguishing exterior
lighting at three of their première properties. Signage will be posted
throughout Minto Suite Hotel and the Carlisle Residence, both located in
downtown Ottawa, plus MintoYorkville in Toronto, promoting Minto Hospitality
Group's commitment to the environment. The signs will ask guests in 792 suites
to participate in the power-down by turning off all the lights in their suites
for exactly one hour.
    Another division of the company, Minto Green will measure the effect of
Earth Hour at these locations by comparing hydro consumption to the same
period last year. Vice President George Van Noten says that calculating energy
consumption and the associated cost savings is only a small component of the
overall goal. "What we are really focusing on is trying to do our part to
build the awareness of everyone around us - our guests, our employees and our
service providers - that climate change is a huge concern and we all need to
look at ways we can help save the environment for future generations. This
initiative is part of an overall strategy that the Minto Group has been
building on for several years now with their 'Thinking Green...Living
Greener(TM)' movement."
    Earth Hour is a global initiative that was first orchestrated in Sydney,
Australia in 2007 by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Sydney
Morning Herald. The goal of the inaugural Earth Hour was to demonstrate how
simple it was to reduce emissions and the associated impact on climate change
by turning off lights all over the city for just one hour. This year's
campaign has spread across the globe and whole cities are registering to
participate. So far in 2008, Canada has the highest rate of participation of
any country with hundreds of cities signed up.

    Background

    The Minto Group is a family-owned, fully integrated real estate
development, construction and management company with operations in Ottawa,
Toronto and south Florida. Since 1955, the Company has built more than
60,000 new homes. Minto currently manages more than 15,000 residential rental
homes and apartments in Ottawa and Toronto and carries a commercial portfolio
of more than two million square feet of office, retail and industrial space.
In addition to these holdings, the Company owns and operates a CAA/AAA Four
Diamond hotel in downtown Ottawa as well as Canada's largest portfolio of
executive furnished suites.
    Taking a proactive approach to corporate responsibility, Minto's
commitment to energy efficiency and green-building practices was demonstrated
in the 1970s - decades ahead of competing Canadian residential builders and
developers - when the company created its Energy-Wise standard of new-home
construction. In 1992, Minto built the Innova House for Natural Resources
Canada, which showcased leading edge technologies. This led to Minto becoming
the largest production builder in Canada to offer R-2000 homes.
    Minto's sustainability commitment reached greater heights in 2005 with
the first LEED (R) - Canada certified condominium, Radiance@MintoGardens in
Toronto. Since then, Minto has committed to designing and building all of
Minto's high-rise residential and commercial properties as LEED (R) rated
buildings. For new, detached single-family homes, Minto offers ENERGY STAR(TM)
ratings.
    A true leader in energy efficiency in the development industry, Minto has
been widely recognized for its efforts to reduce natural resource expenditures
while maintaining or improving the working and living environment of our
customers. Acknowledgments include:- Canada 's 2005 Energy Efficiency Award, Natural Resources Canada
    - Green Toronto Award for Resource Conservation, City of Toronto
    - Leadership Award for City Livability, Canadian Urban Institute
    - Award for Environmental Excellence for Minto Roehampton, FRPO
    - Green Award of the Year, Greater Toronto Chapter of the National
      Association of Industrial and Office Properties
    - Four Leaf Rating for Minto Suite Hotel, Audubon Green Leaf Eco Program
For further information: Gwen Cox, Director of Communications, Minto
Group, (613) 782-3128