Toronto debates making green roofs mandatory for some buildings

The last few years have seen Toronto make huge strides in their green roof policy. With 8,300 square metres (83,000 square feet) of green roofs installed in 20o7 alone, Toronto has become the top Canadian city for green roof implementation, and has jumped to seventh place in North America Annual Green Roof Survey.  Traditionally hampered by a lack of power vis-a-vis the province of Ontario (typical of many Canadian cities), the new City of Toronto Act (COTA) is changing this, and the City of Toronto seems to be taking its new power seriously.  Section 108 allows Council to pass a by-law requiring and governing the construction of green roofs as an exception to the Building Code Act of 1992, a power which the City previously did not have.

COTA also potentially will give the City the ability to mandate green roofs through their Toronto Green Standard (2007) and their Climate Change Plan (2007) .  Significantly, Toronto is as of late 2008 considering making green roofs mandatory for some industrial, commercial, and institutional (ICI) buildings as well as governing their construction. Should this pass, they would be the first city in North America to both require green roofs and govern their construction.  Toronto is also considering mandating green roof construction standards. Open houses for public comment for both proposals were held in December 2008 and the proposal is currently under discussion.  Toronto’s Green Roof Policy.

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