Corporate Flood and Heat Risk Management

Helping Businesses Become Resilient in the Face of Climate Change 

Human-induced climate change is putting people, ecosystems, and the economy at risk. The International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) has identified human-induced warming of urban areas is leading to heavy precipitation and flood risks. In the Greater Toronto Area, businesses will need to assess upstream and downstream impacts related to their operations to mitigate the impacts of extreme heat and flood risk on their property.     

The Corporate Flood and Heat Risk Management (CFHRM) program, delivered by Partners in Project Green in partnership with Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program (STEP), educates and supports business managers, sustainability consultants, and facility managers from the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI)/Multi-Unit Residential Building (MURB) sectors to inspire action to build climate resilience. 

This programming focuses on Green Infrastructure (GI), also referred to as Low Impact Development (LID) or Nature-based Solutions. These techniques can take shape in many ways, one of the most effective outcomes is reducing impermeable surfaces such as concrete and asphalt, and replacing them with grass, gardens, gravel, or other solutions. The aim is to allow water to soak into the ground rather than run off into municipal storm drains, or into your building. They utilize the environmental services that nature provides as a method of building resiliency to climate change while creating a host of co-benefits such as: 

  • Improved water quality & groundwater recharge  
  • Reduced number of costly flooding events  
  • Reduced urban heat island effect  
  • Increased habitat for pollinators and other wildlife (e.g., birds)   
  • Enhanced natural beauty 

The Program Includes: 

1. Educational modules  

These videos discuss flood and heat risks within the Greater Toronto Area, the need for flood mitigation measures, the issue of urban heat, and the business case for implementing Low Impact Development/Green Infrastructure solutions to build heat and flood risk resilience. A special module on understanding our collective connection to water through an Anishinaabe woman’s perspective is also available.   

1. Introduction and Background of Flooding in the ICI Sector

2. Types of Flood Risk & TRCA Tools to Protect Your Business

3. Current Initiatives and Actions to Address Flood RIsks

4. Use of Low Impact Development & Green Infrastructure to Help Mitigate On-Site Stormwater Management Risks

1. Setting the Stage- Urban Heat

2. Green Infrastructure for Heat Mitigation and Adaptation

3. Why and How to Mitigate Urban Heat

1. The Beginning- Connection

2. Present Day, Loss of Connection

3. Possibilities

4. Walking Gently on Mother Earth Re-Connection

2) Site Assessments  

Businesses within the regions of Peel, Toronto, and York may be eligible for site assessments that identify opportunities to improve on-site stormwater management and heat mitigation with a custom report. The site assessments are delivered in partnership with TRCA’s Sustainable Technology Evaluation Program.  

1. A free outdoor Flood and Heat Risk Preparedness Assessment. 

2. A summary of the results from the assessment with flood and heat resilience best practices for the property. 

3. Knowledge of LID/GI measures that can help improve on-site, localized flood and heat risk resiliency.  

4. LID/GI maintenance resources.

Participating businesses must be an ICI/MURB property landowner/lessee that meets the following criteria: 

1. Landowner/lessee owns or leases a property with sizeable outdoor space within TRCA’s boundary.

2. Landowner/lessee demonstrates willingness to learn about best practices to improve on-site flood and heat risk resiliency on their property. 

3. Landowner/lessee is committed to taking actions to improve climate resiliency and funding implementation of GI/LID solutions.  

4. Landowner/lessee willing to have key staff complete free online training – Corporate Flood and Heat Risk Management program .  

5. Lessees have written permission from landowner that:  

– Allows TRCA to conduct outdoor site assessment (data collection)  

– Allows implementation of LID/GI projects on their property that are funded by lessee or landowner (e.g., rain gardens, bioretention/bioswale, native vegetation plantings, etc.;  

– Agrees to maintain projects implemented on the property. 

3) Incentives  

Businesses who have completed a site assessment may be eligible for incentives to partially support the design and implementation of a flood or heat risk adaptation project on their site. The solutions must focus on reducing stormwater runoff and heat risks including but not limited to:

  • Native tree /shrub garden planting.
  • Roof runoff captured to a rain garden/underground trench/above ground cistern.
  • Stormwater runoff near parking lots captured through grading and draining into a vegetated swale (enhanced, or bioswale), bioretention cell.
  • Permeable pavers for walkways or parking lots.

Limited site assessments available. If you are a business or MURB that is interested to learn more about the CFHRM site assessments and incentives, please contact