The Boyle Renaissance Master Plan is a unique multi-phase neighbourhood revitalization project located in the heart of the City of Edmonton’s downtown district called, “The Quarter’s” adjacent to the historical Boyle community. Once all 3 phases are completed, the project intends to represent a new model for how inner city growth and development can integrate practices and planning that foster social, economic, cultural and environmental sustainability at affordable levels.
Construction of the YMCA Welcome Village. It includes 150 affordable housing units, as well as a new community centre, children’s daycare and other amenities.
Construction of 90 units intended for long-term affordable housing, designed specifically for seniors and individuals with disabilities.
Reconstruction of the old York Hotel, providing more affordable housing.
Mike Holmes was asked by the City of Edmonton to join this initiative in March 2011. He partnered with Darlene Lennie and the Métis Capital Housing Corporation to revive the project’s ambitious plan for exemplary sustainable features that were in danger of being lost due to budget cuts and planning measures.
The results are a clear demonstration of out-of-the-box thinking, which enabled the project to meet and exceed original hopes and expectations. Mike’s team is acting as co-project managers to ensure measures are properly incorporated and maintained.
The main purpose of this ambitious project is to provide affordable, senior-friendly, barrier-free housing for Aboriginal seniors and the disabled, creating a comfortable and healthy environment conducive to the needs of its residents.
From inception to execution, the 90-unit complex has been designed and constructed by local architectural firm, Architecture ATB to accommodate the distinct needs of the elderly and disabled.
Located on 95 Street between 104 Avenue and105 Avenue, the $22-million 120,000 sq.ft. complex stands seven floors high and incorporates green design technologies, including shared heat and power systems. A commercial space on the ground floor provides an active streetscape and relevant local services to the neighbourhood—key features for reviving the community in the Master Plan.
The success of the project is due to an impressive working partnership between the City of Edmonton, Province of Alberta, Canadian Paraplegic Association, Boyle Street Community League and the Métis Capital Housing Corporation (MCHC), who will act as building Owners & Operators.
PHASE II has introduced the first District Energy application in Edmonton that crosses public right-of-ways to different building owners and operators.
District Energy is the ability to share hot and/or cool water between multiple buildings powered by just one mechanical plant. This approach provides higher efficiencies, less operating costs and reduced emissions.
The selected power source is a co-generation heat and power system known as “CHP” or combined heat and power. It was chosen for two reasons:
This system is estimated to reduce GHG emissions by 7,500 tonnes over the 30-year life of the system—the equivalent of removing 2,884 cars from the road. Other PHASE II sustainability features include:
The project’s invaluable partnerships have not only made the construction of the complex possible, but also affordable to those who need it most.
The Métis Capital Housing Corporation
Métis Capital Housing Corporation (MCHC) is the building Owner & Operator and has participated with the City of Edmonton's overall Master Plan for the revitalization of Edmonton’s downtown core. It has been a member of the Boyle Renaissance Advisory Committee since 2007, providing input on the necessity of affordable housing in the area, while ensuring Aboriginal interests are represented.
ENMAX Energy Corporation
ENMAX Energy provided the necessary infrastructure for district energy and combined heat and power (CHP), allowing affordable housing units to benefit from advanced heating and power systems that use cleaner burning natural gas. ENMAX is providing heat to PHASE I and heat and electricity to PHASE II. The installation of the CHP system is the result of an affordable housing budget through an investment partnership with ENMAX Ltd. Mike’s team continues to work with ENMAX and the City of Edmonton on additional large-scale applications of District Energy to reduce the environmental impact of urban-living.
Select suites benefit from Cisco’s “Cisco Smart Home System” allowing residents to control advanced home applications, such as heat, window shades, door locks and lighting, from a single touch pad interface. Cisco also provides the infrastructure connecting into each suite to ensure fast and easy upgrades for residents’ future technology requirements.
City of Edmonton
Through the Cornerstone Funding program, the City of Edmonton has provided leadership in sustainable design and strong support to the team throughout all stages of the project. The City of Edmonton Council, City Staff and Mayor, Stephen Mandel have each demonstrated a strong commitment and political determination to establish responsible and sustainable development for Edmonton communities.
Province of Alberta
Through continued support at the provincial and federal CMHC levels, projects which advance the interests and standards of affordable housing to new levels and higher value are possible.