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Ontario and Toronto Plan for City’s Growing Electricity Demand

In a joint effort, the Government of Ontario and the City of Toronto have unveiled plans to tackle the impending surge in electricity demand driven by the city’s rapid growth and development. The collaborative initiative aims to address the pressing need for new energy infrastructure to power homes, businesses, transit, and electrification projects.

Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, emphasized the importance of early planning, stating, “Building new electricity infrastructure, especially in a busy and growing city like Toronto, can take more than a decade to develop and deploy, so it’s critical we start planning early so we can put shovels in the ground sooner.”

Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow echoed this sentiment, highlighting the significance of clean energy infrastructure for the city’s future. “Toronto is growing – we’re building new housing, transit and community spaces – all of which are going to need more power,” said Mayor Chow.

The plan includes the development of an Integrated Regional Resource Plan for Toronto by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), with input from the public. Proposed measures range from a potential third transmission line into the downtown core to small-scale local generation and storage options like rooftop solar and batteries.

Lesley Gallinger, President and CEO of the IESO, emphasized the need for community involvement in shaping the future of Toronto’s electricity system. “Expanding our electricity system will require a variety of solutions, and we’ll need everyone’s involvement as we develop practical approaches for this transformation,” Gallinger stated.

This initiative is part of the broader Powering Ontario’s Growth plan, which aims to meet increasing energy demand while reducing emissions. Measures outlined in the plan include advancing nuclear energy, competitive procurements for clean energy resources, and investing in new transmission infrastructure.

The public engagement process initiated by the government will provide an opportunity for residents to contribute to the discussion on electricity demand forecasts and potential solutions. Families and businesses are also encouraged to participate in existing energy efficiency programs to reduce consumption and lower bills.

Toronto’s peak electricity demand is expected to double by 2050, driven by factors such as new housing construction, economic growth, transit expansion, and increased adoption of electric vehicles. Currently, the Portlands Energy Centre stands as the city’s primary source of electricity supply, generating approximately 550 megawatts.


The collaborative efforts of the Government of Ontario and the City of Toronto in planning for the city’s growing electricity needs are commendable. With Toronto’s population and infrastructure expanding rapidly, it’s crucial to anticipate and address the challenges associated with meeting increased energy demand sustainably.

The proposed measures, including the development of an Integrated Regional Resource Plan and public engagement initiatives, demonstrate a proactive approach to ensuring the reliability and sustainability of Toronto’s energy infrastructure. By investing in clean energy solutions and promoting energy efficiency, Ontario and Toronto are taking significant steps towards a more resilient and environmentally friendly future.

Residents and stakeholders are encouraged to participate in the public consultation process and take advantage of existing energy efficiency programs to contribute to the city’s energy transition. Through collective action and innovation, Toronto can continue to thrive while reducing its carbon footprint and building a more sustainable urban environment.


Kelly Deschamps is the dedicated City Hall Reporter, bringing forth the pulse of municipal affairs with precision and clarity. With an astute eye for detail and a passion for uncovering the stories that shape urban life, Deschamps delivers comprehensive coverage of local governance. For inquiries or feedback, contact Kelly at

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