Back in 2006 we first looked at how green roofs were becoming a development issue in Toronto, in 2009 Toronto implemented that green roof bylaw. Then in 2014 we took a look at how North America’s green roof industry is growing.
This year, Toronto has become the hub for green roofs! Torontist took a look into what made this happen and why green roofs are perfect for cities.
There are approximatelyÂ 500 green roofs, big and small, in Toronto. This is thanks toÂ a 2010 bylaw [PDF]Â requiring all new developers to cover between 20 and 60 per cent of their buildings with vegetation. Itâ€™s the first (and, for now, only) regulation of its kind in North America, making Toronto uniquely positioned for environmental design.
The bylaw is why the 41-storyÂ RBC WaterPark Place [PDF]Â at Bay Street and Queens Quay has three green roofs that together could fill a NFL football field.
Developers can opt out of installing anything remotely grassy for a fee. But Jane Welsh, City Hallâ€™s project manager for environmental planning, toldÂ TorontoistÂ only five per cent of buildings choose to go sans-green roof.
Welsh also says municipally-owned buildings install a green roof anytime thereâ€™s a repair or replacement to the top of the building, when feasible.