Toronto has 200 new buildings under way, a fact we often like to boast about and compare to construction activity in New York — a city with half the number of buildings under way despite it’s population being much larger (8.1 million).
What many people overlook is how Toronto’s infrastructure will handle the building boom. According to the Toronto Star, the boom is straining the city’s power system.
“Toronto Hydro says it’s scrambling to find ways to connect big, new developments to the power grid,” writes The Star’s John Spears.
“Many of them need dedicated cables to connect to the hydro grid. But the closest downtown transformer stations are often running at full capacity, which forces the utility to install long cables from more distant stations, some of them kilometers away.”
It’s an interesting perspective and an issue that will surely get more attention in the coming years as more and more large buildings are completed.
The Star article notes that no developments have been delayed by the lack of power connections, though it will become more difficult to find way of feeding power into the crowded core.
So where do we go from here? Toronto Hydro is prepping a new application for the Ontario Energy Board. The plan is to build a new transformer station on Bremner Street at the cost of $128 million over three years. The new station would feed developments in the downtown core, according to The Star.
It’s unclear whether the Ontario Energy Board will approve the application, but more frequent blackouts may be in the cards if a solution is not implemented in the near future.