Green Roof Installed Over Toronto Subway Station


Jake Schabas at Spacing

The Eglinton West subway station was designed by the late great Arthur Erickson and was supposed to be spectacular; the roof is almost completely column-free, because it was going to all be a spectacular cantilever over the expressway they were cutting into downtown. Then Jane Jacobs mobilized the community and the expressway was cancelled south of Eglinton, and all that amazing cantilevering sits on dirt.

But now it gets a little more spectacular again, as TreeHugger regular Terry McGlade installs a 9,000 square foot green roof.
Jake Schabas at Spacing

This ain't exactly Renzo Piano's California Academy of Science, but hey, this is Toronto; judging from the Star a year ago, we are lucky to get this. Jake Schabas at Spacing notes that it is visible to transit users (albeit through glass) and those drivers parked on the expressway.


Jenna caught up with Terry McGlade and Carolyn Moss, another regular on TreeHugger, at a Green Roofs and Roof Gardens workshop.

Terry McGlade was interviewed by Allison Hanes in the National Post, who asked what kind of roof it was:

"It's about a 9,000- to 10,000-square-foot green roof. It's [planted with] all sedums. They're sometimes called an alpine plant. They are drought resistant or drought-tolerant. They grow no taller than about four inches, then they have a flowering period which is usually in June and spills over into July. But they're planted in such a way that you end up with a very green carpet look. There's 9,000 square feet of planting, but that's composed of about 70,000 or 80,000 plants."


I interviewed Terry at the Canadian Green Building Festival last year.

Terry also pointed out one of the benefits, that green roofs actually can help roofs last longer:

"I was just at a conference in Germany in May and Germany is the home to the whole green roof movement. I saw green roofs that dated back 30 years that used the same kind of plant material and soil material. They're still there and they're still doing fine. Our oldest green roof is about 10 years in the city. The longevity factor for the roof, though, is quite interesting, because now the roof is not being exposed to any elements, it's not being exposed to heat or cold, so the roof itself is not expanding or contracting and that gives longevity to the roof. You don't have heat or cold doing that expansion or contraction. We've actually helped this roof gain an extra probably 20 years."

More in Spacing and the National Post

Carolyn Moss shows me how to plant a green roof: Green Roofs: A primer

Tags: Green Building | Green Roofs | Toronto | Transportation

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