Canadian Consulting Engineer

Toronto now requires green roofs

February 8, 2010
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

On January 31, the city of Toronto introduced its new Toronto Green Standard and Green Roof Bylaw.

On January 31, the city of Toronto introduced its new Toronto Green Standard and Green Roof Bylaw.

The Toronto Green Standard has two tiers of performance measures, which address issues including energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, water quality and solid waste. All planning applications for new developments are required to meet Tier 1, while those who chose to meet the higher criteria at Tier 2 will get a 20% refund of their development charges.

On January 31, 2010 Toronto also became the first North American city to require green roofs on new developments. It applies to permit applications for residential, commercial and institutional developments that are more than 2,000 square metres in gross floor area. Industrial buildings have until January 31, 2011 to comply. The city is offering grants to help owners retrofit existing buildings with a “cool” or green roof. The Eco-Roof Incentive Programs provides $50 per square metre of green roof up to a maximum of $100,000. Cool roofs are those with a membrane or coating that reflects the sun’s rays, and are eligible for $5 per square metre to a maximum of $50,000.

A press releases says the new green standard and green roof bylaw are part of Toronto’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.


The green roof bylaw is controversial in some quarters. The city’s release says: “Widespread implementation of green roofs in Toronto will provide significant economic and environmental benefits in the areas of stormwater management, and reducing the heat island effect (and associated energy use), which is a particular concern as global temperatures rise. Green roofs also help enhance biodiversity, improve air quality and beautify the city.”

For information about the Eco-Roof Incentive program, visit




Stories continue below

Print this page

Related Stories