24 Dec 2012
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Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST)


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Year: 2010 Owner: Native Child and Family Services of Toronto Location: Toronto, Canada Building Type: Non-Profit Type: Extensive System: Single Source Provider Size: 5,716 sq.ft. Slope: 1% Access: Accessible, Private

Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) provides an array of services such as Canada’s largest Aboriginal Head Start program, residential and day camps, children’s mental health services, youth outreach services, residential care, and much more. When a new roof was needed, they decided to install a green roof, rather than a conventional roof, to facilitate traditional Aboriginal culture in their urban setting. Bioroof was able to provide the materials and expertise to create a plant palette that would be instantly recognizable to the Haudenosaunee (a.k.a. Iroquois) who lived on the land that would become Toronto five centuries later. The plant palette includes traditional Anishnaabe (a.k.a. Ojibway and Algonquin) medicines such as cedar, sweet grass and sage. At the core of the plantings is a garden of corn, beans and squash - “The Three Sisters.” In traditional Haudenosaunee farming practice, these three seeds were sown together in a mutually supporting relationship: the corn would support the bean stalks, the beans would act to fix nitrogen in the soil and fertilize the plants, while the wide and low leaves of the squash would keep weeds at bay and help trap moisture in the soil. But the gardens are not just symbolic, they provide an opportunity for the city children and youth visiting the centre to learn firsthand about traditional horticulture and life ways. As well as an open air classroom, the roof is also a meeting place for the community. The accessible areas have been built with soft surface play areas, natural log seating and a fire pit. The heart of the roof is the Healing Lodge, a structure influenced by the traditional Anishnaabe Sweat Lodge. The Native Child and Family Services of Toronto is featured in the month of April in the 2013 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Calendar Para más información: http://www.greenroofs.com/projects/pview.php?id=1467

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