Ottawa’s planned Zibi community receives $23-million investment

Section 10 of the Zibi project. Photo: c/o Hydro Ottawa and Zibi.

The federal government and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) are investing $23 million in Hydro Ottawa to create a district energy (DE) system for Ottawa-Gatineau’s new Zibi waterfront development.

The investment comes through the Ministry of Infrastructure and Communities, and the Ministry of Natural Resources, and from FCM’s Green Municipal Fund.

The DE system, designed by Longueuil, QC-based engineering firm Eequinox, will allow the carbon-neutral waterfront development to create the National Capital Region’s first net-zero community on 34 acres of brownfield lands between Ottawa and Gatineau’s urban core.

Heat exchanges related to energy recovery. Photo: c/o Hydro Ottawa and Zibi.

“Investing in innovative solutions to reduce emissions is critical to tackling climate change,” said Catherine McKenna, minister of Infrastructure and Communities, while making the announcement. “The Zibi project will develop the National Capital Region’s first district energy system to provide zero-carbon heating and cooling to residents, and it is positioned to be the most sustainable community in Canada. In partnership with the FCM, federal funding will help make this exciting project a reality, creating jobs and building a cleaner, more inclusive community right here in the heart of Ottawa.”

The new DE system will remove greenhouse gas emissions from building heating and cooling operations “by leveraging locally generated hydroelectricity, river-coupled cooling from the Ottawa River and waste industrial heat from the local Kruger Products plant.”


New truss bridges to carry the pipes with thermal energy. Photo: c/o Hydro Ottawa and Zibi.

Zibi, the Algonquin Anishinabe word for “river,” is being developed by Dream and Theia Partners, and when completed will be Canada’s most sustainable neighbourhood. The waterfront community will feature millions of square feet of commercial space, including a plaza and riverside retail, housing for more than 5,000 people, and almost eight acres of riverfront greenspaces.

The 15-year project is currently in year five, with two condos and a rental building set to open this fall, and another eight-storey office building nearing completion.


For more on the project visit Zibi.