Zibi becomes the National Capital Region's first carbon-neutral community - Zibi Skip to Content

Zibi becomes the National Capital Region’s first carbon-neutral community


Innovative partnership with Hydro Ottawa and Kruger Products creates first district energy system of its kind in North America

Image: President of ZCU Scott Demark photographed by Hydro Ottawa 


Gatineau, May 10, 2022 – Leaders from Zibi, Hydro Ottawa, Kruger Products, Hydro Québec and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, along with the Hull-Aylmer Member of Parliament and the mayors of Ottawa and Gatineau, met earlier today to tour and celebrate the opening of the region’s newest and most innovative district energy system: the Zibi Community Utility (ZCU).

Zibi, a 34-acre waterfront community straddling Ontario and Quebec, is being developed by Dream Unlimited Corp (TSX:DRM) and Dream Impact Trust (TSX:MPCT:UN). The Zibi Community Utility is a partnership between Zibi, Theia Partners and Hydro Ottawa.

With its opening, the ZCU is putting the National Capital region on the map as a leader in combating climate change. It is substantially reducing carbon emissions by using district energy for heating and cooling. The ZCU is the only district energy system (DES) in a master-planned community in North America to use low-grade post-industrial waste for the heating of buildings – an innovation rarely considered for heating in cold climates, and is one of only a few DES in North America to meet 100 per cent of the community’s heating needs without fossil fuels.

The ZCU plant recovers effluent heat from the end of the tissue-making process from the neighbouring Kruger Products’ Gatineau tissue plant and injects it into the new central energy plant, where the heat is upgraded and moved through a pipe network to the buildings. Beginning this summer, chillers will reject heat to the Ottawa River to efficiently produce chilled water to cool the buildings.

The plant, which is located on the lower level of Aalto, a residential rental building in Gatineau, has also become a sustainability showpiece for the region, allowing residents and visitors to see the operations and learn about the innovative technology.

Since coming online in December 2021, it has been servicing three residential buildings and three office buildings totalling 615,000 square feet. When completed, all four million square feet of residential and commercial buildings at Zibi will be interconnected through a hydronic loop that delivers heating and cooling energy, saving 4,420 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) per year.

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“We are grateful to our partners for joining us today to celebrate the opening of the ZCU, and for their invaluable support in helping us take this giant step towards becoming a sustainability showpiece in the heart of the nation’s capital and a model for communities around the world on how to create innovative partnerships that help curb the effects of climate change.”

Michael J. Cooper, President and CEO, Dream Unlimited

“Today’s launch of the Zibi Community Utility represents a significant turning point in our history. Our legacy will be defined by every decision we make and every step we take to help our customers and our community achieve a sustainable energy future. This project not only showcases the innovation possible within the energy sector, but how we can all adapt our businesses, products and strategies for a better and healthier planet with zero-carbon, zero-waste and net-zero operations.”

 Bryce Conrad, President and CEO, Hydro Ottawa

“Kruger Products is excited to be part of the celebration marking the inaugural season of the Zibi Community Utility system. As Canada’s leading manufacturer and distributor of quality tissue products for household, industrial and commercial use, we are committed to working with our local partners to make everyday life more comfortable and sustainable. We thank our Gatineau plant team members for actively engaging in this innovative project and their continued support in reducing the community’s environmental footprint.”

Michel Manseau, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Canadian Consumer Business, Kruger Products

“Zibi’s district energy system (DES) is aligned with Hydro-Québec’s major directions. In fact, we are focusing on innovation and support for our customers in order to be the driving force behind the decarbonization of Quebec and to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. We are proud to have supported the project for the innovative nature of the solutions that are being implemented to meet the community’s heating and cooling needs.”

Nancy Guénette, Director, Services and sales Business Customers, Hydro-Québec


Image: President of Zibi and a partner of THEIA Partners, Jeff Westeinde photographed by Ottawa Hydro 

About Zibi

Zibi is a 13.7-hectare (34-acre) waterfront community carefully designed by Dream Unlimited, (TSX: DRM), and Dream Impact Trust, (TSX: MPCT.UN). It is a borderless neighbourhood, connecting the cities of Gatineau and Ottawa, where more than 5,000 people will live and 6,000 people will work, and containing three hectares (eight acres) of riverside parks and public squares, and more than one million square feet of commercial space. It is one of the most sustainable communities in the world, and the first One Planet Living endorsed Global Leader in Canada, a global framework developed by Bioregional and the World Wildlife Fund. www.zibi.ca

About Dream Unlimited Corp.

Dream is a leading developer of exceptional office and residential assets in Toronto, owns stabilized income generating assets in both Canada and the U.S., and has an established and successful asset management business, inclusive of $15 billion of assets under management across three Toronto Stock Exchange listed trusts, our private asset management business and numerous partnerships. Dream also develops land and residential assets in Western Canada. Dream expects to generate more recurring income in the future as its urban development properties are completed and held for the long term. Dream has a proven track record for being innovative and for our ability to source, structure and execute on compelling investment opportunities. For more information, please visit our website at www.dream.ca. 

About Dream Impact Trust

Dream Impact Trust is an open-ended trust dedicated to impact investing. Dream Impact’s underlying portfolio is comprised of exceptional real estate assets reported under two operating segments: development and investment holdings, and recurring income, that would not be otherwise available in a public and fully transparent vehicle, managed by an experienced team with a successful track record in these areas. The objectives of Dream Impact are to create positive and lasting impacts for our stakeholders through our three impact verticals: environmental sustainability and resilience, attainable and affordable housing, and inclusive communities; while generating attractive returns for investors. For more information, please visit: www.dreamimpacttrust.ca.

About Theia Partners

Theia Partners is a development agency that has health, wellness and sustainability at the very core of its DNA. They are passionate about creating communities in which living your happiest and healthiest life is hard-wired. Where you get the chance to know your neighbours through smart design and where sustainability is carefully woven into the urban fabric. THEIA and its partners have been instrumental in developing several of Canada’s first LEED Platinum buildings across Canada. theiapartners.com.

About Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc.

Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc. (Hydro Ottawa) is a private company 100 per cent owned by the City of Ottawa and whose core businesses are electricity distribution, renewable energy generation, and energy and utility services. As a leading partner in a smart energy future, Hydro Ottawa is committed to sustainability and reducing its impact on the environment in all aspects of its operations. It owns and operates three primary subsidiary companies: Hydro Ottawa Limited – a local distribution company that delivers electricity to more than 353,000 customers in the City of Ottawa and the Village of Casselman; Portage Power – the largest Ontario-based municipally-owned producer of green power with 128 megawatts of installed green generation capacity (enough to power 107,000 homes); and Envari – an energy solutions company offering products and services that help reduce energy consumption and costs for municipalities, industrial and commercial clients, and various local distribution companies.

About Kruger Products L.P.

KPLP is Canada’s leading manufacturer of quality tissue products for household, industrial and commercial use. KPLP serves the Canadian consumer market with such well-known brands as Cashmere®, Purex®, SpongeTowels® Scotties®’ and Bonterra™. The Away-From-Home division manufactures and distributes high-quality, cost-effective product solutions to a wide range of commercial and public entities. KPLP has approximately 2,700 employees and has been named a Greater Toronto Area Top Employer for ten consecutive years.  The Company operates nine FSC® COC-certified (FSC® C-104904) production facilities in North America. For more information visit www.krugerproducts.ca.



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