Toronto Expands Green Roof Incentive Program

In 2009, Toronto became the first city in North America to establish a bylaw requiring green roofs of new development. This bylaw has now been in effect for nearly four years; applies to new building permit applications for residential, commercial, and institutional developments of greater than 2,000 square meters.

Recently, Toronto expanded their Eco-Roof program to offer funding opportunities for buildings not subject to the bylaw – including existing residential, industrial, commercial and institutional properties, as well as new properties of the same that have a gross floor area of less than 2,000 square meters.

The Eco-Roof Incentive Program provides funding for existing buildings, and new buildings not subject to the Green Roof By-law. The program was expanded in 2012 to include new and existing Toronto Public and Separate School Board buildings. Buildings must be located in the city of Toronto, and eligible green roof projects will receive $75 per square meter, up to a maximum of $100,000.

To be eligible for the Eco-Roof Incentive Program, project design and maintenance of the roof must abide by the Toronto Green Roof Construction Standard (bylaw 583-2009) and cover a minimum amount of roof space according to the following guidelines:

Gross Floor Area
(Size of Building)
Minimum Coverage of Available Roof Space
(Size of Green Roof)
Less than 4,999 m² 20%
5,000-9,999 m² 30%
10,000-14,999 m² 40%
15,000-19,999 m² 50%
20,000 m² or greater 60%
* Available roof space is defined as the total roof area minus areas designated for renewable energy devices.

Applicants must complete the online Eco-Roof Application Form as well as providing the following documentation:

  • A photo of the roof prior to construction.
  • Detailed plans of the proposal showing percentage coverage, plant material and type of growing medium and construction details.
  • A copy of the maintenance plan as required in the Toronto Green Roof Construction Standard.

Applications are being reviewed on a monthly basis, but – as with all things like – approval is subject to funding availability. You will receive notification about whether you are approved for funding within six weeks of making your submission. Approval must be obtained prior to beginning work, and projects must be completed within six months of the application date.

So, to recap – to apply for funding:

  1. Review the Eligibility Criteria.
  2. Read and agree to the Terms and Conditions
  3. Apply using the online Eco-Roof Application Form

If you have any questions, or to submit your application, please contact Eco-Roof Program Coordinator Annemarie Baynton ([email protected] or 416-392-1848).

Mountain Equipment Co-op’s green roof (Spadina, Toronto, ON). Flickr credit: padraic

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