Toronto's Green Roofs

Or is it rooves? Last September, I had the chance to explore a few of Toronto's best green roofs for Jamie Sarner's blog. You can read his article here. There are actually even more rooftop green spaces in the city but many are either private or didn't respond to my enquiries. A few that come to mind that we missed out on were Ryerson's rooftop farm, UofT's farm of the same kind, Mountain Equipment Co-Op, Covenant House, and the Rekai Centres. Not to mention all the private residences that employ roofs of their own. The ones I did visit were amazing as it was. I was thoroughly impressed by the thought and effort than went into each of them, especially Hugh Garner and Native Child & Family Services where technology met nature met aesthetic design met community.

I would love to continue to get up on the rooftop gardens of the city and add to this list! If you know of one and have access, I'd definitely shoot it for you... and me. Hit me up!

The Hugh Garner Co-Op. Definately stop by on Doors Open to learn all about the community that put this together and is keeping it in such amazing shape! Not only does it support wildflowers and grasses, it also has vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens as well as trees! Yes, trees on the roof!

The Hugh Garner Co-Op. Definately stop by on Doors Open to learn all about the community that put this together and is keeping it in such amazing shape! Not only does it support wildflowers and grasses, it also has vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens as well as trees! Yes, trees on the roof!

The Big Carrot has a publicly accessible green roof and garden above its retail store in the Carrot Common on the Danforth. During summers it's a perfect little oasis to eat lunch or enjoy the bees. The gardens are tended by community members with plants ranging from herbs to fruits to teas, as well as a honeybee colony.

The Big Carrot has a publicly accessible green roof and garden above its retail store in the Carrot Common on the Danforth. During summers it's a perfect little oasis to eat lunch or enjoy the bees. The gardens are tended by community members with plants ranging from herbs to fruits to teas, as well as a honeybee colony.

The Robertson Building boasts both a green roof and a living wall. The roof is a selection of wild and native grasses and flowers. In midsummer it's at its blooming best and due to the make-up of grasses, it's very hardy to the hot, dry summers as well.

The Robertson Building boasts both a green roof and a living wall. The roof is a selection of wild and native grasses and flowers. In midsummer it's at its blooming best and due to the make-up of grasses, it's very hardy to the hot, dry summers as well.

The roof of the YMCA in downtown Toronto is member's only but visible from any of the surrounding condos and skyscrapers. The new YMCA on Cherry is also going to have a green roof.

The roof of the YMCA in downtown Toronto is member's only but visible from any of the surrounding condos and skyscrapers. The new YMCA on Cherry is also going to have a green roof.

My alma mater, University of Toronto, has a few green roofs on its St. George campus and this one, the GRIT Lab, is hidden up above the architecture building and provides research on green roof technologies and biology.

My alma mater, University of Toronto, has a few green roofs on its St. George campus and this one, the GRIT Lab, is hidden up above the architecture building and provides research on green roof technologies and biology.

Nestled in the hustle and bustle of College St. near Bay is the Native Child & Family Services buildling with one of the most beautiful and meaningful green roofs in the city. Included here is a sweatlodge, sacred grasses, and the Three Sisters. All the plants are native to Ontario.

Nestled in the hustle and bustle of College St. near Bay is the Native Child & Family Services buildling with one of the most beautiful and meaningful green roofs in the city. Included here is a sweatlodge, sacred grasses, and the Three Sisters. All the plants are native to Ontario.

Another publicly accessible roof is on the platform at new City Hall. I'd lived in the city a lot of my life and still had no idea this was even a thing. It mostly consists of meadow grasses and mossy ground cover.

Another publicly accessible roof is on the platform at new City Hall. I'd lived in the city a lot of my life and still had no idea this was even a thing. It mostly consists of meadow grasses and mossy ground cover.


Hugh Garner.

Hugh Garner.

A honeybee on a wildflower at City Hall.

A honeybee on a wildflower at City Hall.

The Big Carrot community garden.

The Big Carrot community garden.

Robertson Building.

Robertson Building.

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