Green and Sustainability Features Minimize Air, Water and Noise Pollution
The Toronto Green Development Standards contain performance targets and guidelines that relate to site and building design in order to promote better environmental sustainability of development. The green innovations at the Leslie Barns are all built to this standard.
- The north facing curved green roof is the largest green roof of any transit facility in Canada and among the top five green roofs in Toronto and top 10 in Canada. It is covered in rooftop plantings, a mix of alliums and sedums, which reduce heat inside the building and also controls precipitation run off.
- The site's waste management program is designed to divert more than 70 percent of the solid waste generated at the site from landfill or incineration facilities.
- The site includes a storm water management pond at the east end of the yard, which, among other things, irrigates the rooftop plantings, and helps contain pollutants that run off surfaces at the site during heavy storms.
- Bird friendly windows: In addition to glazing to conserve energy, the windows are designed to protect birds. At the advice of the Friends of the Spit, the windows are striped to deter birds from flying into the building.
Bringing the Site Alive with Landscaping, Trails, Plants and Trees
When looking for a company to provide landscaping around the building, the City of Toronto held a contest. The winner, Brown & Storey Architects Inc., was given a challenging mandate, they were asked to landscape and add public open space to the area as well as making the facility attractive for neighbouring residents as well as users of the Martin Goodman Waterfront Trail, which runs along the two public sides of the site.
The design concept combined both functional and aesthetic elements. The landscaping plan, for example, included an acoustic barrier that over time will become one of the attractive features of the site. You may recognize it as the large grey wall that surrounds the facility. But it won't stay as simply a grey wall. The wall is covered in a red soil medium with sections of wire mesh. Overtime, the "red wall" will be covered in trailing green vines to create a magnificent vertical garden.
The landscape design also added amenities to the area including footpaths, seating areas and extensive new native plantings that provide combinations of dense growth and open clearings along the length of the Martin Goodman Trail. At the site borders, there are lights as well as benches installed so as hikers walk the trail, they can rest, or take a look at the yard through viewing panels.
300 new native trees and plantings now surround the perimeter of the facility, including: yellowwood, Ohio buckeye, hackberry, Kentucky coffee, black cherry, sycamore, red and bur oaks, American elms, basswood, swamp white oak, red sunset maple, ironwood and paper birch.
Look for these New Additions - Public Art Coming Soon
There have always been plans for public art at the site. One piece has already been chosen. Designed by Dean Baldwin, a Toronto based artist, it will be located at the gateway of the Leslie Spit (foot of Leslie Street). "Typha" (Cat Tail) is being made out of 11,000 lbs. of weathered steel including Toronto streetcar railway track and rods bundled into a collection of 'reeds', 'rushes' and 'cattails'.