Report Summary

Ken Soble Tower Transformation: A Case Study in Deep Retrofit and Housing Renewal

The Ken Soble Tower Transformation will modernize 146 units of affordable seniors’ housing, while reinvigorating community spaces and outdoor gathering areas, planning for aging-in-place and barrier-free living, and a changing climate. One of the first Passive House retrofits in North America, at 18 storeys and more than 80,000 sqft, the Ken Soble Tower will be one of the largest EnerPHit-certified projects in the world. Slated for completion in 2021, the project will provide residents with improved comfort and control of their indoor environments and with the ability to withstand extreme climate events into the future.

With thousands of aging postwar apartment towers across the country providing critical affordable rental housing for millions of Canadians, strategies for the preservation, modernization and low-energy retrofit of this housing stock are urgently required. The Ken Soble Tower rehabilitation can provide a piece of the crucial roadmap needed to guide future projects.

  • The project will demonstrate a number of energy retrofit solutions that will advance industry capacity, including high-performance envelope and building system retrofits targeting more than 90% greenhouse gas emission reductions, alongside a host of co-benefits including healthy, and comfortable indoor environments.
  • It will also demonstrate a set of social sustainability outcomes, designed for accessibility, aging-in-place, and social opportunities by focusing on an increase of up to 21% barrier-free units and improved resident and community amenity spaces.
  • Finally, it will ensure the maintenance of long-term affordability, while demonstrating economic sustainability through reduced operating costs, with the project addressing all urgent capital repairs and replacing many aging distribution systems at once.