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article imageToronto's Arcadia Co-op celebrates new green roof garden Special

By KJ Mullins     Sep 26, 2010 in Environment
The residents of Arcadia Housing Co-op on Queen's Quay in Toronto celebrated a new green space this Sunday. The artist community's back yard has been transformed from a cement slab into a garden area for neighbours to gather and enjoy nature.
While the garden area looks like a backyard it is in reality a green roof. It sits on top of the parking garage that the Co-op shares with neighbouring Harbourside Co-op.
The idea of a garden isn't a new one for the community, they already had a roof garden. There had been talks with the city in the past for funding to create a garden space but money was always an issue. Finally last year the Co-op took the action into their own hands and helped to bring about construction of the garage roof that had to be done. That construction opened the way for a green area above. During the spring and summer work on the garage and ground above took place, breaking up the cement covering.
Toronto s Arcadia Co-op celebrates new green roof.
Toronto's Arcadia Co-op celebrates new green roof.
On Sunday as neighbours gathered for the opening celebration area politicians were on hand to celebrate with them. MP Olivia Chow, Adam Vaughan, City Councilor and Rosario Marchese, MPP were all on hand to talk about the greening of the co-op. Marchese had a special connection to Arcadia. He lived in the neighbouring Harbourside Co-op years ago when it was first built. Marchese said that the city did give some resistance to the green space but in the end the residents of Arcadia won the right to green their space.
Toronto s Arcadia Co-op celebrates new green roof.
Toronto's Arcadia Co-op celebrates new green roof.
Politician Olivia Chow is also no stranger to co-op living. Before her and husband Jack Layton's family outgrew their 2-bedroom apartment they were co-op residents.
"You don't see just green but beauty. It's so precious, it should be replicated everywhere."
Toronto s Arcadia Co-op celebrates new green roof.
Toronto's Arcadia Co-op celebrates new green roof.
Adam Vaughan expressed pride about the co-op in his riding, saying that the city needed more co-ops.
"The only way to grow a city is to grow a neighbourhood. The best way to grow a neighbourhood is to grow a garden." Vaughan said adding that co-ops are a great form of housing in Toronto. He said that the city needed more co-ops.
Carole, a neighbour at Harbourside is the chairperson of the gardening committee. She said that it is fantastic that Arcadia has created a wonderful, warm space for their community.
Toronto has been very active in greening roofs in the city. Green roofs have both environmental and financial benefits. A green roof can reduce cooling costs by as much as fifty to ninety percent. The plant life can also filter pollutants and carbon dioxide which helps lower some disease rates like asthma. When a green roof is in place the life span of the roof is dramatically increased as is the real estate value.
In May 2009 the city of Toronto approved a by-law that mandates green roofs on residential and industrial buildings over six storeys high. By next year industrial buildings will be required to render 10 percent of their roofs green.
Toronto s Arcadia Co-op celebrates new green roof.
Toronto's Arcadia Co-op celebrates new green roof.
Toronto s Arcadia Co-op celebrates new green roof.
Toronto's Arcadia Co-op celebrates new green roof.
Toronto s Arcadia Co-op celebrates new green roof.
Toronto's Arcadia Co-op celebrates new green roof.
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