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canada: Reevely: Effort to green downtown gets big boost from provincial grant

OTTAWA — Electric car-charging stations and plugging private buildings into the federal government’s central heating plant are the key projects for a small but increasingly well-funded effort to make downtown Ottawa the country’s first “eco-district,” its executive director said Tuesday.

Don Grant was still aglow from an announcement by the provincial government’s Trillium Foundation that it’ll give the eco-district effort $199,600 over the next three years. MPPs Yasir Naqvi and Bob Chiarelli praised it lavishly in presenting the money in a little do at Hub Ottawa’s hip “collaborative workspace” on Bank Street for freelancers of all kinds who want a place to work downtown, with other people. The elevator often doesn’t work but the Wi-Fi does.

Hub Ottawa’s symbolic of a trend the eco-district people want to ride. Downtown offices built for the federal government have been clearing out at the same time as rising energy costs are making them more expensive to operate. Reliable big-money tenants are harder to find and those who remain are more demanding than Public Works has historically been.



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