Mid-century downtown Toronto icon gets a 21st century upgrade

TD Bank Group and Cadillac Fairview have announced the completion of the Living Roof on the Toronto-Dominion Centre pavilion, located at the corner of King and Bay Streets in the heart of Toronto’s financial district.

The TD Living Roof is a low maintenance, extensive system with plant material growing in an aluminum structured grid to keep the heritage aspect of the Mies van der Rohe pattern seen on the ceiling of the inside of the pavilion, which serves as a branch of TD. The Living Roof covers most of the 22,000-sq.-ft. roof and is made up of Creek Sedge Grass, an evergreen native plant species hardy enough to thrive in the Toronto climate and tolerant to the shade conditions of the TD Pavilion roof.

The TD Pavilion roof was in need of replacement and upgrading to a living roof costs only an additional 25 per cent more than a conventional roof. Upgrading to a green roof did not require any structural upgrades due to the original design and loading capacity of the existing roof, allowing the historical integrity of the pavilion to be preserved while improving the environmental performance. Living Roof layers and additional insulation installed as part of the re-roofing doubles the R-value of the original roof to R-20.

The City of Toronto does not treat its storm water, instead the storm sewers are drained directly into Lake Ontario. The living roof serves as a treatment method improving the quality of water that goes back into the lake and reducing the amount of water being deposited into the lake by holding water and allowing it to evaporate back into the air.

While not open to the public, it is nevertheless visible to the approximately 10,000 people who work in the surrounding office towers, giving TD a nice bit of green marketing. The idea itself was inspired by TDC Green Council, the advisory group for occupant engagement and sustainability at Toronto-Dominion Centre. “The Green Council is made up of tenant representatives who act as the advisory group for developing and driving TDC’s engagement program, acting as the catalyst for sustainability,” said David Hoffman, General Manager of the Toronto-Dominion Centre. “Since its establishment in February 2010, the Green Council has made it clear, through their commitment to action, that sustainability is a core value of TD Centre tenants. The Living Roof represents those values and is a bold expression of working together for environmental stewardship.”

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