TORONTO, ON – The University of Toronto (U of T) unveiled a plaque commemorating the 100th anniversary of the innovative Central Steam Plant that provides heat and hot water to the downtown campus today. The Plant, located on Russell Street, supplies heating to over 75 per cent of the indoor spaces at the U of T’s St. George campus.
“It might be unusual to celebrate a steam-powered energy system, but this infrastructure is an amazing example of how visionary engineers, smart politicians, and concerned citizens worked together 100 years ago to create a legacy that’s still very much in use today,” said Scott Mabury, VP University Operations.
The U of T’s district energy system was the first planned large-scale system of its kind in Canada. Although the system has been extended, renewed, and modernized since its 1912 construction, the infrastructure’s flexibility allowed the campus to efficiently grow without requiring excessive investments in equipment, real estate, and energy to heat buildings.
The steam from the plant is generated by four massive boilers fuelled by natural gas (originally fuelled by coal) which is sent through steel pipes to several campus buildings for producing heat and hot water. Waste heat produced by a jet turbine co-generation unit is also used to heat boilers and produce steam. During summer, steam is used by absorption chillers in the Medical Sciences Building for refrigeration.
“In a way, this facility still inspires U of T engineering students to create things that will help and improve the quality of life for all Torontonians for the next hundred years ,” said Mr. Mabury. “It deserves to be celebrated.”
Photos are available upon request.
For more information, contact:
U of T Media Relations