When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Humber’s North Campus recently, he brought along three cabinet ministers.

Minister of Finance Bill Morneau, Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Etobicoke North MP, and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna attended as Trudeau announced the government’s plan to move forward with a carbon tax. McKenna also spent some time touring campus buildings undergoing energy retrofits.

Construction on one of those buildings, NX, is replacing the outside with an ultra-high-performance skin. Revamped heating and cooling systems will further reduce energy consumption by an expected 80%. This will make NX one of the most energy efficient buildings in Canada.

With this project, Humber is on track for Canada’s first institutional Passive House retrofit certification. Passive House is the most rigorous voluntary energy-based standard in the design and construction industry.

As Humber strives to become the healthiest campus in Canada, a number of initiatives are underway to make this happen.

  1. Going smoke-free
    Effective January 1, 2019, all Humber campuses (North, Lakeshore and Orangeville) will be smoke free.
  2. That fair trade life
    In summer 2017, our Lakeshore campus became the first college campus in Ontario to be designated fair trade by the Canadian Fair Trade Network. The designation was received for our commitment to ensuring the availability of fair trade products such as coffee, tea and chocolate in vending machines, the bookstore and campus eateries. We are pursuing the same designation for North Campus by the end of 2018.
  3. Take Back the Tap
    A campaign is underway to reduce the amount of single use water bottles used on campus. Since new water refill stations came to North and Lakeshore in 2013, it has saved more than five million single use bottles. To sign the Take Back the Tap pledge and learn more, visit http://humber.ca/sustainability/take-back-the-tap.
  4. Food security
    Recognizing the importance of food security, a pay-what-you-can soupbar and food learning garden opened recently at Humber North. In partnership with IGNITE and Feed it Forward, the soupbar is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Food donated by local restaurants, businesses and the food learning garden is turned into delicious, organic soups and stews, for the cost of whatever change is in your pocket.
  5. A reimagined Arboretum pond
    Humber College, the City of Toronto, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the Humber Arboretum are working together to revive the Humber Pond. The 8700m2 pond sits just west of Highway 27, along the West Humber Trail. It was built not long after the college opened to collect overflow stormwater from North campus, to make the water going into the West Humber River cleaner and calmer. The Humber Pond Revitalization Project aims to improve water quality, provide a wildlife habitat in and around the pond, remove invasive species and eventually turn it into a social space for exploration, learning and enjoyment.