…searching for relevant coupons to the story (just a guilty pleasure of mine )
My friend, TorontoArtsGirl, just published a blog post about rooftop gardens in Toronto.
I started contemplating a rooftop garden of my own when I read Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Year of the Flood’ last December. A darkly funny story about a not so far away future in a society monopolized by corporations, genetic mutations and nearly destroyed by a manufactured virus, one cult called “God’s Gardeners” grew their food on rooftops. Although the novel’s world is somewhat more terrifying than the current Stephen Harper government, this idea appealed not only to the paranoid part of my brain (the part that wants to build a bomb shelter equipped with a library and Ping-pong table) but also to the practical Mennonite side as well. Just think how much sunlight a rooftop garden receives! TorontoArtsGirl’s blog post renewed my interest in this idea–I had no idea that rooftop gardens were so prevalent amongst Toronto’s finest hotels and restaurants. There are rooftop gardens on top of City Hall, the University of Toronto, ROM and Royal York Hotel, you see.
What Do You Need for a Rootop Garden?
This is the part that makes me cringe because you need a flat, water-tight rooftop…and mine is most definitely slanted. Brian and I haven’t had the roof examined for a few years, and who knows, it might be time for a replacement (I can’t believe I’m almost hoping this is the case.) I had heard that flat roof leaks are more common, but an article I read in one of Brian’s handy-manly magazines on commercial roofing informed me that, these days, you can purchase a flat roof that comes with a lifetime warranty. Flat roof repair? Forget about it! Another undeniable benefit of a flat roof is the extra space you will enjoy in the rooms at the top of your house.
Rooftops Should be Green, Or White
I also read that Switzerland has just passed a bylaw ordering all buildings to cover at least 20% of their rooftops–even existing ones. Those Swiss are an interesting, interested, culture, aren’t they? Luckily for us North Americans, we can copy the brilliant innovations in rooftop gardening the Swiss are likely to come up with as a result of their progressive bylaw.
Dr. Steven Chu, from the U.S. Department of Energy announced in November that if our rooftops and roads were white instead of heat-trapping black, it would be the equivalent of removing 11 years’ worth of car exhaust from the atmosphere.
Why Make a Rooftop Garden?
The benefits are pretty obvious. Since I cannot move to Switzerland (unless I do one of those get-rich-quick discount media buyer schemes) all I can do is educate myself and hope my roof needs replacing soon, because there’s no way Brian’s going to go for the flat roof if not. He’s been really interested in these insulated concrete forms lately…I guess it’s a new green construction/insulation technique that reduces the energy spent and chemicals released by heating and air conditioning. Should we just build a new house? Oh boy. I’m digressing, quite uselessly now, so, thank you, TorontoArtsGirl for the inspiration, coupons are below; the benefits of a rooftop gardens are as follows:
-improves air quality
-more time spent outdoors
-boosts the local food economy/movement
-delays rainwater runoff
-increases bird habitats
-increases building value, for owners and tenants
-should create more jobs in the green sector
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