Green Roofs – Gone? The Rideau Centre

congress centre demolished

Rideau Ctr rooftop path and patio

narrower rooftop path

In this blog’s series on rooftop greenspaces I’ve tried to illustrate that we already have a number of attractively landscaped and useful green roofs. One of the earlier roofscaping treatments was the Rideau Centre, and it’s one of the largest. It’s a maze of wide and narrow paths, trees, shrubs, lawns, patios. Not many benches though, probably to discourage loitering or using the park. Regular inhabitants include Rideau Centre staffers smoking or lunching, bunny rabbits, squirrels, birds, and transients. Main access points are from the doors at the Cinema level (4th floor) or staircase up on the MacKenzie King Bridge just west of the main entrance.

A portion of the landscaped roofs was over the former Congress Centre, now mostly demolished. The new building will have extensive glass roofs, which are the antithesis of green roofs: they shed all their water, fast, and do not provide useful recreational space or support a habitat.
As always, you can click on the photos to enlarge. I highly recommend doing just that on these photos : the size and vigor of these trees and shrubs is truly amazing.
I vaguely recall that whent the Rideau Centre was built, provision was made for several high rises (offices and residential) to be built above the complex, which would have vitalized the mall at all hours and given more people a proximate enjoyment of the lush rooftop.