West Toronto Initiative for Solar Energy (WISE)

A Great Success in 2007 with more to come in 2008

Our project aims to demystify solar technology, simplify product research and the purchase decision, and create the opportunity for participants to decrease their personal environmental footprint while contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto.

  • For detailed information on our 2008 System Packages scroll down to 2008 Solar Infomation Kit
  • For a report on our recent Solar Home Tours scroll down to Solar Homes Tour A Great Success on June 14th
  • For recent Media coverage of the WISE Project click here or scroll down to WISE Solar Project in the News
  • For a report on the 2007 project click here or scroll down WISE Project 2007 Report

Solar Homes Tour A Great Success on June 14th 

This year at the Strawberries and Asparagus Festival, the Toronto Renewable Energy Co-operative launched the first ever free and guided residential solar tour.  This exciting new initiative gave 50+ participants the chance to view the featured photovoltaic or solar thermal installations and an opportunity to speak with homeowners about their solar experience.  You can see a copy of the Solar Homes Tour brochure here and access the interesting article on the Tour published in the Globe and Mail Real Estate section on Friday, June 13th here.

If you have any questions regarding the solar tours specifically feel free to contact us via phone at 416 977 5093 or email at [email protected] we considering doing more of these in the future.

WISE Solar Project in the News

Read all about the success of the WISE Solar Project in the April 2008 edition of Canadian Geographic.  Pick it up at a newstand near you or read a synopsis of the story here .


   For a video clip about the WISE Project go to    City TV News blog site.





2008 Solar Infomation Kit  

Solar information meetings were held on March 4th and 25th. Over 100 people came out to learn about solar energy, about energy audits, about what their neighbours have done, about how they can get involved this year and to meet our vendors.

The Fair this year was held in conjunction with Greenneighbours 21 and the Conservation Council of Ontario .

The Solar Information Kit distributed at the March 25th WISE meeting is available for downloading.

Complete March 25th Solar Information Kit

Kit Components

ARISE Technologies System Package Info

After you have read over the material you can:

  1. Fill out the on-line form on the website to your right and use the drop down menu to indicate whether you would like an email or phone  consultation or if you are ready to buy.  We will be in touch.
  2. Submit your sign-up letter. After going over the material and doing your site assessment, if you have made your decision to go ahead download the sign-up letter, fill it in, and submit it as an email attachment to [email protected], by fax to 416-599-3100 or drop it off at 248 Rushton Road.
  3. Visit the websites of our vendors - ARISE Technologies, Globe Solar Energy and Green$aver.
  4. Note:  Prices quoted are for installations within the project boundaries - Dupont St., Spadina Rd., Briar Hill Cres., Keele St. Vendors may charge more for installations beyond these boundaries.


  • Solar Electric FAQ
  • Solar Thermal FAQ
  • Community Solar General FAQ
  • Basics of Solar Electric and Thermal
  • Ontario Government Solar Incentives Information
  • Federal Government Solar Incentives Information

    WISE Project 2007 Report

    The West Toronto Initiative for Solar Energy (WISE) is a community-led renewable energy project to organize the bulk purchase of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) and Solar Hot Water (SHW) systems by residents of West Toronto. As of Dec/07 we had 46 systems installed and another 40 scheduled for installation as soon as the weather permited in spring/08. The project demystifies solar technology, simplifies product research and the purchase decision, creating the opportunity for participants to decrease their personal environmental footprint while contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto.

    The numbers were impressive. WISE 2007 had 160 requests for home site evaluations. Only 14 homes proved unsuitable for an installation. Of the remaining 146 homes, 86 systems were ordered as of December 1/07 and we hope many more will commit come spring 2008. Participants are  investing  more than $160,000 for 60 solar hot water systems installed by Globe Solar Energy and $570,000 for 26 solar electric systems, totalling 57 Kilowatts of capacity, installed by ARISE Technologies. And these systems are already having an impact displacing natural gas or feeding electricity to the grid reducing Green House Gas (GHG) emissions in Toronto. But much more needs to be done. 

    If you want to view some of the 2007 installations click on the links below for Web Albums of some Solar thermal installations and some of the PV sites. There is also a link to an excellent Map with our installation sites on it.  And we have made our original RFP document available for people who may be planning their own Solar Initiative.  Finally we have a link to an excellent presentation about the WISE Solar Project and the Downtown West Solar Project which David Booz and Ken Traynor made to the CANSIA National Solar Conference in November 2007.  Check it out.  It is the best summary of our projects, warts and all, that is available.  We hope you find the information useful.

    View our presentation to the CANSIA 2007 National Solar Conference click on the David Booz et al presentation

    View a Web Album of some WISE Project Solar Hot Water Installations

    View a Web Album of some WISE Project Solar PV Installations

    View a Map of our 2007 WISE project Installation Sites

    Original WISE Project 2007 Request for Proposals Document


                    WISE Project 2007 Installation Sites
    Brief WISE Project Chronology/History
    • June – Sep./06 Three public recruitment meetings
    • Nov/06 - Standard Offer Program (SOP) announced
    • January – April/07 - RFP development
    • May 1 circulation of RFP by OSEA and CANSIA
    • May 24 to June 7 - vendor selection
    • June 14 wise.ourpower.ca website updated with solar information kit, prices and web links to the two winning contractors, ARISE and Globe Solar
    • June 14 Solar information email sent to 300+
    • June 19 first Solar information night with vendors 150 attended generating 72 home visit requests.
    • July 5 first Solar Hot Water installation completed
    • July 11 second Solar info night staged increasing request for home evaluations to 111
    • July 15 first PV array installation completed
    • July 16 first SOP contract application submitted
    • July 20 closure of eligibility for vendor discounts based on confirmed sales. Registration now 145
    • Both ARISE and Globe Solar hire local residents as representatives to accelerate participant contact
    • September 17 first 11 SOC issued, Oct 1st 9 more
    • September 26 first dual meter base and inverter installed
    • November 14th first PV system hooked up to the grid!
    • March 4th WISE Solar fair starts Phase 2

    Please circulate information about the WISE Project to any friends, neighbours or colleagues you feel would be interested.

    Help make WISE the largest residential solar project in Canada.

    If you have questions email [email protected] and put WISE Question in the Subject line.


    West Toronto Initiative for Solar Energy