Toronto Acorn Healthy Homes Demands

Toronto Acorn (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) is a "multi-issue, membership-based community of low- and moderate-income people" (quote from that fights and wins change by doings things like doorknocking, petitioning and non-violent direct actions.

The first organized group was founded in Weston-Mt. Dennis. They now have groups all over the city. Some of the fights and wins they've had over time include strengthening enforcement of standards in apartment buildings and regulation of the payday loan industry. Current campaigns include fighting for a new Residential Tenancy Act and for licensing all landlords in Toronto. Join an open, local meeting or learn more about how to get involved here

We touched base with a local organizer who highlighted the fact that retrofits and ageing high rises are a climate justice issue.

Read Acorn's full Healthy Homes Demands here. Or read on for highlights related to Retrofits and ageing High Rises and more ways to amplify and take action.


𝗥𝗲𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗳𝗶𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗔𝗴𝗲𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗛𝗶𝗴𝗵 𝗥𝗶𝘀𝗲𝘀 

(from the Healthy Homes Demands)

"ACORN recognizes the urgent nature of the Climate Crisis and that actions need to be taken immediately that are based in Energy Equity. Retrofitting Toronto's aging highrise communities from a resident led perspective is an important step in achieving Energy Equity." 


Emissions in Cities from Buildings:

  • 55% from buildings.

  • 29% from large apartment buildings and condos

Some of the things that need changing are old appliances, replacing leaky windows, as well as updating electrical systems and natural gas heating.

"Voluntary measures are not enough to catalyze transformative action toward net zero emissions, mandatory requirements are necessary. There is a big risk of retrofit costs being passed on to lower income tenants."


Acorn's Demands to avoid retrofit costs being passed on to tenants and at the same time, help meet Toronto's net zero targets:

   • "Explore creating minimum efficiency standards and categories within RentSafe and/or Landlord licensing system to ensure that costs of retrofits will not be passed on to low-income tenants.

   • Similar jurisdictions in Europe use the categories to ban rent increases and new rentals in substandard or lower energy efficiency buildings.

   • Support Landlords to access Retrofit funding to improve energy efficiency. Financing conditions for landlords contingent on no costs passed onto tenants.

   •Require Landlords as a part of RentSafe or landlord licensing to demonstrate that no additional costs as a result of retrofitting have been passed on to tenants."


Take Action: Ask your organization to sign on and support the Healthy Homes Demands.


Learn More: For more information, Acorn has two reports on retrofit best practises: New Field Guide Tenant Engagement Retrofit Process and Toronto State of Repair - 2020.


Watch for: A new report based on a current tenant survey looking at energy efficiency and demands around retrofits in March.

Thanks to Andrew Marciniak - Toronto ACORN, for sharing this information with TO350 for the Climate Justice Neighbourhood Mapping Project. Map page coming soon!