“It’s a disease and they’re all green….” Pearl Jam

I’m quite sure the following context of this piece is not what Eddie Vedder had in mind when he wrote that song. But do you ever wonder how things would look if we gave back to nature what we’ve taken away?

Consider the idea from a top down perspective starting with rooftop gardens. If we look at the dimensions of the city of Toronto being roughly equivalent to 632 square kilometers(1) of coverage then take a look at this:

If the average square footage of a home in urban centers is 1000 sq. feet (2), using some roofer-style cost determinants to ballpark the average roof coverage at 1400 sq. ft. (3), I’m about to do some number crunching to figure out how many homes would have to put in rooftop gardens to reclaim the 632 sq km of Toronto that is concrete.

The answer: 4 514 286 homes.

Ok, so now that you’ve certified me greenly insane, I think you get the idea! There may not be that many homes in Toronto to put in green rooftops nor has the entire city been turned grey but it’s a start. If the rooftop pumps out close to the equivalent of one person’s daily oxygen requirements that’s a good start. (4)


Most people spend anywhere from $10-20/sq foot to install interlock pavers or flagstone in their driveway or patio. For $7-12/ sq foot you can have a fully installed ELT Easy Green™ rooftop system put in.

Additional advantages to replanting the concrete jungle:

· Improved overall air quality and less smog.

· Temperature regulation in the actual building and surrounding area of the building

· Reduction of storm water run off

· Finally, there are a number of innovative technologies that are poised to inject more green into the concrete jungle.


Did you know that the City of Toronto has been running a program whereby you can be given a free tree to plant on your property? I haven’t even examined how many trees were cleared to create Toronto but this is a fantastic green investment!

Urban Forestry Services plants trees on City owned street allowances fronting residential properties for free. Periodically, Urban Forestry Services will canvass neighbourhoods for tree planting opportunities.

To order your free tree click here to download our residential street tree planting brochure or call (416) 338-TREE (8733).

Interested in a tree for your backyard?

Contact LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) which is a local non-profit group dedicated to improving Toronto’s urban forest. They offer Toronto residents subsidized backyard tree planting.

The service includes on-site advice on appropriate species and planting location, a 1.2 to 1.8m tall native tree, and the planting service. Native shrubs are also available.

Contact LEAF at 416-413-9244 or on the web at










Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s