Federal funds of $9.4M support net-zero fire station build in Peterborough, Ont.

Click to play video: 'Peterborough net-zero fire station receives $9.3 million from federal government'
Peterborough net-zero fire station receives $9.3 million from federal government
Peterborough is inching closer to the finish line on a landmark build for the city. Fire Station 2, a net-zero building, is receiving new federal funding to help cover construction costs. Robert Lothian reports – Jan 24, 2024

Federal funding of nearly $9.4 million is supporting the construction of the new net-zero fire station in the north end of Peterborough, Ont., officials announced Tuesday.

The new fire station will replace Peterborough Fire Services’ existing Fire Station 2 on Carnegie Road, which has been in use since 1967.

The funding consists of $1,226,080 in grants and $8,173,910 in loans through the Green Municipal Fund which focuses on helping municipalities to focus on net-zero emissions projects. The fund is administered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and is funded through an endowment by the Government of Canada.

The new fire station, being built at the site of the former Northcrest Arena on Marina Boulevard, will feature an energy-efficient design which will utilize renewable energy. The building will pursue certification through the Canada Green Building Council and will feature automated control systems, ground source heat pumps, solar panels on the rooftop and a heat-recovery system.

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Fire chief Chris Snetsinger helped lead the groundbreaking for the new station in February 2023. Construction is expected to be completed this fall.

“For the firefighters, moving into a new building will be good for morale,” he told Global News.

Click to play video: 'Ground broken for new Fire Station 2 in Peterborough’s north end'
Ground broken for new Fire Station 2 in Peterborough’s north end

The building will also be constructed from mass timber instead of concrete, steel or aluminum to achieve a lower carbon footprint. It will also include water-saving features and be re-situated to reduce flood risk and meet operational standards.

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“This transformative project, set to replace the aging Fire Station 2, will incorporate renewable energy, mass timber construction and water-saving technologies, demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and substantial operational-cost savings of $24,270 per year for the city,” said Whitby MP Ryan Turnbull, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, on behalf of Johnathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.

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Added Wilkinson: “Today’s announcement for Peterborough will provide greater security to its citizens while supporting climate action. By investing in renewable energy and buildings with a lower carbon footprint, we are taking the steps needed to create good-paying jobs, reduce energy bills and fight climate change for years to come. Congratulations to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and all of those involved in this important project.”

Scott Pearce, FCM president, says Canadian municipalities influence half of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions with public buildings being large contributors. Therefore, municipalities need to take the lead on projects to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

“The FCM’s Green Municipal Fund is there alongside the federal government to help local communities as they strive for greater sustainability,” he said. “Today’s announcement of support for the City of Peterborough and its fire station initiative is further proof of that. Together, we are moving towards a more sustainable future.”

A design of the new fire station No. 2 being built in the north-end of Peterborough, Ont. Construction is expected to be completed in the fall 2024.

Peterborough Mayor Jeff Leal says the fire station will be the city’s first building that is designed, built and certified as a zero-carbon building for both performance and design categories.

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“This key investment in the City of Peterborough Fire Services will enhance community safety by reducing emergency response times, while also protecting our environment by producing zero emissions,” he said. “Thank you to the federal government for investing in sustainable community infrastructure in Peterborough.”

Leal says the city is financially ready to handle the $8.1M loan for the project.

“A good example, we recently paid off the outstanding loan to Venture we had for renovations to the Peterborough Memorial Centre which were completed in 2023,” he said.

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