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Toronto Condo News: Developers Seeing Red over Green Roofs

June 16, 2009

When Toronto’s city council passed a bylaw May 27, 2009 mandating green roofs on new commercial, industrial, institutional and high-rise residential condos, its proponents hailed it as a major step toward preserving the environment.

Toronto would be the first city in North America to make roofs planted with greenery a must on almost everything except the smallest structures.

“What the bylaw does is limit our options for future buildings,” says Stephen Upton, vice-president for development at Tridel Corp., one of the city’s major high-rise condominium developers. “Council has decided on this path without investigating any other options or even creating pilot projects to work out details and measure results.”

The new bylaw states that residential condo structures are affected if they are more than 20 metres or about six storeys tall. There is also a clause, however, that allows developers to opt out by making a payment to a new fund that will be used to promote retrofitting existing structures with green roofs.


A green roof is required for all new development in Toronto above 2,000 square metres of gross floor area. Here are the required percentages of greenery:

20 per cent: Portion needed for 2,000 to 4,999 square metres

30 per cent: For 5,000 to 9,999 square metres

40 per cent: For 10,000 to 14,999 square metres

50 per cent: For 15,000 to 19,999 square metres

60 per cent: For 20,000 square metres or greater

Source: City of Toronto

As always, there are two sides to every storey, but I think that everyone has to be conscious of the environmental impact of our society whether it be recycling in your homes or green roofs on new condo developments.

Read the entire article by Terrence Belford from Tuesday’s Globe and Mail.

Please comment, your opinions want to be heard!

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