Grants for Green and Cool Roofs

Grants are available to support the installation of green and cool roofs on Toronto homes and buildings.

Green roofs support the growth of vegetation and consists of a waterproofing membrane, drainage layer, organic growing medium (soil), and vegetation. Cool roofs reflect the sun’s rays and reduce heat build-up through a coating applied over an existing roof system, or a new single-ply waterproofing membrane.

Benefits of eco-roofs:

  • Save energy
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduce urban heat
  • Capture stormwater
  • Improve air quality
  • Create habitat
Green Roof Incentives
  • $100 / square metre installed
  • up to $1,000.00 for a structural assessment
Cool Roof Incentive
  • $2 to $5 / square metre

Eligible buildings

  • existing residential, industrial, commercial and institutional buildings in the city of Toronto
  • new residential, industrial, commercial, and institutional buildings with a gross floor area of less than 2,000 m²
  • all new construction projects by Toronto School Boards and not-for-profit organizations

Grant applications must be approved prior to commencing any work on the roof.

Projects that have started, or are complete, are not eligible for funding.

Projects must be completed within six months of the application date

Incentive

  • $100 per m2 of green roof

Funding requests greater than $100,000 are subject to approval by City Council

Green roofs on existing buildings are also eligible for a Structural Assessment Grant. See information below.

Design/Construction Requirements

Must be designed and constructed in conformance with the Toronto Green Roof Construction Standard.

Coverage requirements

Gross Floor Area*
(Size of Building)
Minimum Coverage of Available Roof Space**
(Size of Green Roof)
Less than 4,999 m² 20%
5,000 – 9,999 m² 30%
10,000 – 14,999 m² 40%
15,000 – 19,999 m² 50%
20,000 m² or greater 60%

* Gross Floor Area – The total area (all floors) of a building, above and below average grade, measured from the exterior wall of each floor level, including voids at the level of each floor, such as an atrium, mezzanine, stairwell, escalator, elevator, ventilation duct or utility shaft, but excluding areas used for the purpose of parking or loading.
** Available Roof Space – The total roof area minus areas designated for renewable energy, private terraces, and residential outdoor amenities (to a maximum of 2 square metres per unit). 

Documentation requirements

Photo of the roof prior to construction (not applicable for new construction).

  1. Roof plan: A detailed drawing of the roof showing:
    • Total roof area in m2
    • Proposed green roof area in m2
    • Percentage green roof coverage
    • Total gross floor area of the building
  2. Green roof design plans showing:
    • plant material
    • type of growing medium
    • construction details
  3. Maintenance plan that addresses:
    • protection measures for vegetated areas from impact of foot traffic (i.e., minimizing potential for damage);
    • the amount, time and control of irrigation;
    • the amount, type and time of fertilizer application;
    • weed management, including how often, which weeds to remove;
    • replanting (if required);
    • periodic inspection of drains, edging, roof penetrations, flashings, non-planted areas. This information may also be part of the roofing membrane maintenance program;
    • troubleshooting, and
    • assignment of responsibility for removal of, care for, and reinstallation of growing medium and vegetation in the event of a leak.
  4. If you are also applying for a Structural Assessment Grant, you must provide the following:
    • A copy of the structural assessment report, which evaluates the ability of a building to hold the weight of a green roof that meets the City’s Green Roof Construction Standards.
    • A copy of the paid invoice for the structural assessment.

These documents can up uploaded via the online form or emailed to ecoroof@toronto.ca. The City reserves the right to request additional supporting documentation.

Structural Assessment Grant

Grants are available to help offset the cost of a structural assessment to determine if an existing building can carry the additional weight of a green roof.

You must hire a structural engineer licensed to work in the Province of Ontario and undertake the structural assessment prior to applying for funding for your green roof.

To be considered for a structural assessment grant, you must include the following documentation with your green roof funding application:

  • A copy of the structural assessment report, which evaluates the ability of a building to hold the weight of a green roof that meets the City’s Green Roof Construction Standards.
  • A copy of the paid invoice for the structural assessment.

The grant will equal the cost of the structural assessment or $1000.00, whichever is less. If a structural engineer determines that the building cannot support a green roof, the applicant will still be eligible for a Structural Assessment Grant.

If you are interested in applying for a Structural Assessment Grant, please notify the Eco-Roof Program Manager by email: Annemarie.Baynton@toronto.ca

Eligible buildings

  • existing residential, industrial, commercial and institutional buildings in the city of Toronto
  • new buildings with a gross floor area of less than 2,000 m²

Grant applications must be approved prior to commencing any work on the roof.

Projects that have started, or are complete, are not eligible for funding.

Projects must be completed within six months of the application date.

Incentive

  • $5 / m² for a cool roof with a new membrane, or
  • $2 / m² for a cool roof coating over an existing roof

Funding requests greater than $100,000 are subject to approval by City Council.

Material requirements

Roofing material or coating system must meet the following criteria:

  1. Low slope (flat) roofs with a surface slope less than 16.7% or 9.5 degrees.
    • Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) rating of 78 or greater;
    • emissivity equal to 0.9; asbestos and mercury-free;
    • and emit zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ozone-depleting substances (ODSs).
  2. Steep slope (pitched) roofs with a surface slope greater than 16.7% or 9.5 degrees:
    • Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) rating of 29 or greater;
    • emissivity equal to 0.9;
    • asbestos and mercury-free; and
    • emit zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ozone-depleting substances (ODSs).

Coverage requirements

Full roof retrofits

The roof must cover 100% of available roof space (excluding mechanical equipment or other environmental technologies).

Partial roof retrofits

Partial retrofits are eligible for funding, however, the goal is to have 100% of the building’s roof area covered with a cool roof. Applications for partial cool roofs must therefore include:

  • A letter from the property owner stating their intention to complete future roof replacements with an eco-roof surface that meets requirements of the City’s Eco-Roof Incentive Program.

Documentation requirements

  1. Photo of the roof prior to construction (not applicable for new construction)
  2. Roof plan: A detailed drawing of the roof showing:
    • Total roof area in m2
    • Proposed cool roof area in m2
    • Percentage of cool roof coverage
    • Total gross floor area of the building
  3. Manufacturer documentation providing evidence that the materials used meet the minimum requirements (SRI, emissivity, etc).
  4. Five-year maintenance plan and contract, or equivalent assurance that includes:
    • at minimum, an annual roof cleaning;
    • an annual roof condition assessment and resulting maintenance;
    • if applicable, re-coating of cool roof spray as per the life expectancy of the material or site conditions; and
    • the inclusion of all maintenance recommendations provided by the manufacturer or materials supplier.

These documents can be uploaded via the online form or emailed to ecoroof@toronto.ca. The City reserves the right to request additional supporting documentation.

Apply to the Eco-Roof Incentive Program using this Application Form

Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Eco-Roof Program Coordinator in advance of their application to discuss their proposals: Annemarie.Baynton@toronto.ca or 416-392-1848.

How are Applications Assessed & Approved?

  • Applications will be reviewed on a monthly basis.
  • Applicants will be notified of their application status within six weeks of requesting a grant.
  • Application approval is subject to funding availability.
  • Cool roof applications greater than $50,000 and green roof applications greater than $100,000 are subject to Council approval.
  • Green and cool roof projects that have already started or are complete are not eligible for funding.
  • Projects must be completed within six months of the application date.
  • Funding recipients will be selected based on the eligibility criteria.
  • Applications will be reviewed by an independent Review Committee, comprised of staff from the Environment and Energy Office, City Planning, Toronto Building and Toronto Water.

When will the Grant Payment be Issued?

The City will issue payment upon completion of the project provided that:

  • A complete and compliant application has been approved.
  • The installation is fully completed in accordance with all terms and conditions of this Program.
  • A permit has been obtained from the Chief Building Official in accordance with the requirements of the Green Roof Bylaw (for Green Roofs only).

The following documentation has been received by the City:

  1. Declaration Letter: from the roofing contractor verifying the installed eco-roof has been completed in accordance with the terms and conditions of this program, and includes the final size of the eco-roof in square metres
  2. Photographs of the completed eco-roof
  3. Final invoice stating the full cost of the installed eco-roof
  4. Invoice or quote showing the cost associated with any maintenance plan proposed

Note: The City may request an inspection of the eco-roof by City staff or its agent verifying the installed Eco-Roof has been completed in accordance with the terms and conditions of this program.