Green Roof Bylaw

In 2009 Toronto became the first city in North America to pass a green-roof bylaw. It applies to new commercial, institutional, and residential development applications with a minimum gross floor area of 2,000 square meters, and to all new industrial development regardless of size. The bylaw includes a graduated roof coverage requirement ranging from 20 to 60 percent (City of Toronto 2009). Similar laws already exist in Japan, Switzerland, Germany, and France. The City of Toronto is also being creative and proactive in greening its own structures: for example, the Eglinton West subway station’s tar roof is being transformed into a 9,000-square-foot garden (ICLEI 2011). This type of leading by example is an excellent way for local governments to promote green infrastructure initiatives. More information can be found at http://www.iclei.org/index.php?id=10223 and http://www.toronto.ca/greenroofs/overview.htm.

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