The Roof, the Roof, the Roof is a Lawn
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The Roof, the Roof, the Roof is a Lawn

With the passage of the City of Toronto Act 2006 on New Year’s Day 2007, rumblings that the city would impose green regulatory measures on new developments pointed to significant reforms of the Municipal Code. Today, as the Planning and Growth Management Committee meets to hammer out the finer points, those reforms appear poised—at this stage, anyway—to make Toronto the first city in North America to require green roofs on new commercial and residential buildings.
After January 30, 2010, according to a draft version [PDF] of the by-law being tossed around today, every building “with a gross floor area of 5,000 square metres or greater shall include a green roof,” meaning that rooftops greater than five thousand square metres in area will require 30% green coverage, with 60% for rooftops exceeding twenty thousand square metres. Further, the construction and maintenance of new roofing will toe strict guidelines laid out in the Green Roof Construction Standard [PDF], ranging from assembly and load bearing to fire safety and plant selection. Even minimal alterations will be subject to City approval.
Although the plan sells itself, it’s not outlandish to imagine the city’s realtors and high-market landlords seeing red in the fine print. As reported earlier today by the National Post, public schools, industrial developments, and public housing will be exempt from the proposed bylaw’s reach—a consideration due to the overall cost of such reform—while the high-rise megaliths of Toronto’s skyline, from condos to office towers, will face a deterring $100,000 fine for non-compliance.
A public meeting has been recommended for May 6, at which point the Planning and Growth Management Committee’s agenda [PDF] will be discussed in a more open forum.