"The $2.2 million garden has been drawing thousands of visitors since it opened in May-more than 10,000 people on the first weekend alone," reports Tim Keough.
"The city has really been pushing the green side of construction and wanted to lead by example," says Bruce Bowes, Toronto's chief corporate officer. "A number of projects have been undertaken at city hall. One is the roof podium. Others include hooking up to a deep-lake water-cooling system and adding building-automation systems."
Two local firms, Plant Architect and Shore Tilbe Perkins + Will, planned the new rooftop oasis and are leading the larger transformation of the square below.
The Finnish architect Viljo Revell, who completed Toronto's modernist city hall in 1965, had always intended for the podium roof to be publicly accessible, but "it had been closed off for about fifteen years," says Mary Tremain, a partner at Plant.