MaRS Discovery District and Peter Gilgan Foundation present the Better Buildings Mission

July 4, 2024

The Peter Gilgan Foundation is proud to announce that we have partnered with MaRS Discovery District, North America’s largest urban innovation hub and a registered charity, to launch Mission from MaRS: Better Buildings.

The buildings and construction sector is a massive contributor to the climate crisis, responsible for 37% of all global carbon emissions. This mission seeks to accelerate the adoption of Canada’s most promising climate technologies in support of three objectives:

  • Accelerate the uptake of low-carbon building materials and methods that will lower the embodied carbon of new buildings.
  • Reduce operational emissions of Canada’s building stock through the adoption of innovations.
  • Amplify the role of Canadian cleantech in existing efforts to create a more resilient, adaptive, and affordable built environment.

Through the mission, MaRS will work with ventures and industry partners to create a more sustainable built environment and support the commercialization of high-potential Canadian technologies.

On Tuesday June 25th over 240 participants from across North America joined the virtual launch event. Opening Remarks were delivered by Luke Gilgan, Director of Programs at the Gilgan Family Office and Board member of Peter Gilgan Foundation and Mattamy Asset Management.

“We see the effects of climate change around us every day. We know what’s causing it, and we know what needs to be done. One of those things that needs to be done is to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a result of construction and development. We know that this project will help accelerate important solutions to this urgent challenge.”

Luke Gilgan, Director of Programs at Gilgan Family Office, Board member of Peter Gilgan Foundation and Mattamy Asset Management

The launch event included a fireside chat with Dr. Shoshanna Saxe, Associate Professor at the Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering at the University of Toronto and Randal Froebelius, Project Executive and Senior Advisor for MaRS Hubs.

It also included panel discussions featuring, Ali Hoss, Chief Sustainability Officer at Triovest; Jolene McLaughlin, Vice President of Climate and Sustainability at EllisDon; Mwarigha, Vice President of Housing Growth, Development & Asset Sustainability at WoodGreen; and Phil Santana, Director of Sustainability at Mattamy Homes.

This partnership presents an amazing opportunity to support Canadian clean-tech ventures  with market-ready technologies that reduce embodied and/or operational carbon in our built environment, through the Better Buildings Adoption Accelerator.

Feel free to join the Accelerator Info Webinar or check out the applicant guide. For any questions, please contact

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