Toronto, Ontario Green Roof Pilot Program
In 2009, we anticipate the Green Roof Pilot Program to be merged with a more comprehensive program of renewables and re-named the Eco-Roofs Incentive Program. The new program will be administered by the Toronto Environment Office. Stay tuned for more details.
City Council approved the first Green Roof Incentive Pilot Program in May 2006 and Toronto Water administers the program. The staff report describes the original program in detail. The pilot program was such a success that it was extended.
A total of 30 successful applications were approved in 2007/2008. Watch this site for photographs and technical information about the green roofs which have received grants. Detailed information about the incentive program is provided below.
The Green Roof Incentive Pilot Program supports the City's stormwater plan known as the Wet Weather Flow Master Plan. The overall goal of the Green Roof Pilot Program is to encourage green roof construction in the City. In addition, the program will:
- Result in the construction of a variety of green roof types which could be used for education and promotional purposes
- Provide an opportunity to showcase various green roof technologies and planting styles
- Provide a grant of $50 per square metre of eligible green roof area up to a maximum of $10,000 for single family homes and a maximum of $100,000 for all other property owners in the City of Toronto
Read more about the benefits of green roofs.
Who is eligible
Any private property owner in the City of Toronto with a water account with the City is eligible, regardless of building size and type, so long as the building is capable of supporting a green roof that meets the specifications and requirements. Each green roof applicant must demonstrate that the proposed green roof:
- has a continuous coverage of growing media over at least 50% of the roof footprint (roof area) of the building
- has a vegetation mix as opposed to a monoculture and a sustainable organic growing medium that replenishes nutrients and retains moisture
- has a maximum slope of 10 percent
- has a depth of at least 150 mm (6 inches) for a new building. The depth will permit greater flexibility in terms of the type and variety of vegetation that can be incorporated and will help ensure greater survival of plants (existing buildings with a lesser growing medium thickness may be considered for the pilot program if the applicant (or manufacturer) submits test data indicating the performance of the system with respect to water runoff coefficient and plant survival ability
- is installed over heated spaces (non-heated spaces, such as underground garages will not be considered for the pilot program)
The green roof pilot program is continually accepting applications and success applicants are notified as funds are approved by Council. All applicants for new and existing buildings must also obtain a City building permit and meet all regulatory requirements. The application must include:
- A completed application form
- Detailed drawings showing green roof coverage and plant materials, growing medium and construction details
- Supporting documentation demonstrating runoff coefficients for the design for projects over 1000 square metres
- A five year maintenance contract for projects greater than 1000 square metres
What is a green roof
For the purposes of the incentive program, a green roof is defined as a system where a vegetated area becomes part of the building's roof and includes vegetation, a growing medium, a filter layer, a drainage layer, a root resistance layer and a waterproof membrane. More information on green roofs is available.