Alec Baldwin helps promote deep water cooling of Toronto
By Maria Babbage
Published August 17th, 2004
TORONTO (CP) - Hollywood heavyweight Alec Baldwin heaped
praise on Canada's "forward-thinking" approach
to energy Tuesday at the launch of a new system that uses
the frigid waters of Lake Ontario to cool downtown office
The system is nothing short of a "miracle,"
gushed Baldwin, 46, the square-jawed star of blockbuster
films like The Hunt for Red October and Ghosts of Mississippi
who moonlights as an environmental activist.
"This is an important signal you are sending not
only to your fellow countrymen but to the world,"
Baldwin told the gathered crowd.
"There's no project on a municipal level this size
that's been attempted or has been executed before like
Unconventional thinking seemed to be at the heart of
Tuesday's event, which looked like a Hollywood premiere,
complete with a blasting techno soundtrack, fog machine,
and bizarre floor show of twirling gymnasts contorting
themselves around a large ring suspended from the ceiling.
Enwave, the private company co-owned by the City of Toronto
and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System
that developed the system, also collected $10 million
from the federal government Tuesday to expand the project.
"As Canadians, we take a lot of pride in being leaders
rather than followers," said federal Human Resources
Minister Joe Volpe as he announced the funding.
The Ontario government also lent its support to the venture,
announcing informal discussions with the company to extend
the system to the Ontario legislature -an estimated $14-million
"How could anyone here in this room today doubt
that Ontario has what it takes to solve the problems of
today and to come up with creative solutions for tomorrow?"
asked Ontario Energy Minister Dwight Duncan.
Baldwin lauded Enwave and Canadian officials behind the
project as "heroes" -but not before a vitriolic
condemnation of U.S. President George W. Bush.
"You have to have a government that's not sitting
on top of you and crushing you with their ignorance, like
we have in the United States right now," Baldwin
"You have to have forward-thinking, open-minded
. . .people who face the scientific facts, and here in
Ontario, you have that in the provincial Minister of Energy
The deep water cooling system draws lake water five kilometres
from the city's shoreline to a downtown pumping station,
where the 4 C water chills the coolant used to air-condition
offices along the company's closed supply loop.
Twenty downtown buildings are already connected to the
system, including the Air Canada Centre and Royal Bank
Plaza. The company also provides steam-based heating services
through its 20-kilometre network of underground pipes.
Enwave's latest venture, about 15 years in the making,
will produce enough air conditioning to cool nearly 100
buildings or seven million square metres of office space.
The company claims the system will free up 59 megawatts
from Ontario's overtaxed electrical grid and remove 40,000
tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air -roughly the equivalent
of taking 8,000 cars off the road.
Enwave chief executive Dennis Fotinos said the plan is
to stretch the system eastward along the Toronto waterfront
and boosting its capacity by an additional 30 per cent.
The 13 buildings at the Ontario legislature alone would
use roughly 20 per cent of the system's total capacity,
said Fotinos, a former Toronto city councillor. All customers
along the northern stretch would help bear the cost of
putting in the system.