City of Toronto splashes into solar at Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre

    TORONTO, Sept. 20 /CNW/ - Today, community members joined Councillor
Paula Fletcher (Ward 30 Toronto - Danforth) and City of Toronto
representatives at a showcase of the solar hot water system that heats the
indoor swimming pools at Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre. The centre,
operated by Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, has two indoor pools with
an area of 360 sq. m and 70 sq. m, respectively. Under the umbrella of
Toronto's Energy Retrofit Program
(, the Jimmie
Simpson pool conversion to solar heating began in October 2006 and has an
estimated cost savings of $12,095 annually thanks to reduced energy bills.
    "The City of Toronto has earned acclaim as a world leader on the
environment," said Councillor Paula Fletcher. "The Solar Pool Party is a great
way to invite the community to see how the City is taking great steps towards
energy conservation, learn about renewable energy alternatives and how to save
money on their own energy bills."
    As the home of Canada's largest solar-heated pool, Jimmie Simpson
Recreation Centre uses two solar systems, consisting of 91 unglazed solar
collector panels covering 400 sq. m of the flat roof of the swimming pool
area. The piping system has a dedicated pump and is piped as a secondary water
system to the swimming pool water circulation system. The system is controlled
by the building's computerized control system. A temperature sensor mounted
adjacent to the solar panels measures ambient conditions (solar and wind
temperature) and determines whether solar heating is available. The controls
also prevent losses when heat is not available.
    "Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation is proud to support the energy
retrofits at Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre because it is not only a great
gathering place for the community and a great place for exercise, but the
solar heating system uses renewable energy, saves money and protects the
environment," said Brenda Patterson, General Manager, Parks, Forestry and
    The Solar Pool Party at Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre included
workshops on renewable energy and energy efficiency, solar neighbourhood tours
of the Riverdale neighbourhood, children's activities, pool games and exhibits
from solar companies and community groups.
    "The Riverdale neighbourhood has done a great job of bringing neighbours
together to purchase solar energy equipment for their homes," said Mary
Pickering, Associate Director, Toronto Atmospheric Fund. "We hope to use the
lessons learned from this local experience to accelerate renewable energy
across the whole city, both on homes and on city facilities."
    In June, 2008 the City of Toronto and Toronto Atmospheric Fund launched
Solar Neighbourhoods, a pilot program to help homeowners in Ward 30 conserve
water and energy, providing financial incentives to purchase a solar water
heater. Solar Neighbourhoods will help homeowners assess their home's
suitability for solar panels, assist with finding a contractor, monitor the
system, and provide financing options and cash rebates of up to $1,000. These
rebates are in addition to an existing $1,000 now available from provincial
and federal governments.
    The City of Toronto will also be accelerating solar installations on its
own facilities, using a unique "solar utility" model to expand solar heating
to many more of the City's pools - a step that supports actions outlined in
the City of Toronto's Climate Change, Clean Air and Sustainable Energy Action
Plan. Learn more about Solar Neighbourhoods by visiting

    Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home
to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine
of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America.
In the past three years, Toronto has won numerous awards for quality,
innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government
is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

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For further information: Media contact: Parks, Forestry and Recreation
media line, (416) 560-8726,

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