Toronto’s Green Streets program a trailblazer

Green Streets provide a place for stormwater to soak into the ground providing water for plants and trees to grow and eventually act as natural filters, says Kristina Hausmanis, project manager for the Green Streets program.

“We’re treating stormwater at the source and turning it into a resource.”

The beginning of the program might be traced back to the 2008 Queensway Sustainable Sidewalk Pilot Project. Named after the community it is located in, it involved the installation of two underground bioretention areas with soil cells supporting four trees in a parking lay-by.

Consisting of frames which protect the soil while still supporting vehicle weight, it was the first installation of the silva cell system in the world where stormwater was routed into the cells for the purpose of filtering water and quality control, she says.