Having A “Green” Condo Is About More Than Energy Efficiency


We live in a country with a lot of urban sprawl and as our cities grow, urban and suburban green spaces can be few and few between. This is why it’s important to efficiently maximize the green space we have within these environments.

For centuries humans have recognized the importance of green space in cities. The first public parks were built in the 16th century by the Spanish Crown in Europe and the Americas. Since then, the Garden City Movement became widespread throughout U.K. Canada and the US at the turn of the 20th century.

Keeping a condo community happy is at the top of a condo board’s priority list. 

What better way to keep your residents happy than to keep them healthy? In the past 30 years, several studies have been conducted to explore the connection between exposure to green space and general overall health.

There are a number of reasons why green space is important to our overall health and wellbeing. People exposed to nature are more physically active, have more positive social lives, and experience reduced stress. The overall mental health of those more often exposed to green space has been repeatedly documented. Also, when physical activity is performed outdoors, people are reported to have more energy, vitality, and enjoyment than when the same activities are done indoors. Greenspace has also been documented to greatly reduce attention fatigue and to increase the ability to cope with stress.

Not only do green spaces in the urban setting play a huge role in the overall health of individuals in our community, but to our environment as well. We are learning more and more that green spaces also help create energy-efficient communities and can help reduce our carbon footprint. Planting as much vegetation as possible helps to reduce greenhouse gases and improve air quality. Trees and other plants provide a low cost and environmentally friendly solution to stormwater management which is important for condos and other commercial spaces with large paved areas.

Applewood Landmark has revitalized their outdoor spaces and expanded the use of the common areas around the property. 

Built in 1978 by the Shipp Corporation Ltd, these beautiful high-rise Mississauga Condos can be found at 1300 Bloor St. Featuring 299 Units spread over 26 floors, Applewood Landmark has suites ranging in size from 1074 to 3600 square feet with several different layouts. Residents can enjoy access to amenities like a Gym / Exercise Room, Rooftop Pool, Concierge and Security Guard, and Underground Parking.

When living in a high-rise unit without a balcony, simple things like cooking and eating outside are not always options.

Applewood Landmark encourages the use of their newly designed outdoor space, featuring a patio, pergola and barbeque area.

In 2015, Maintenance repairs were to begin on the underground parking garage which meant the removal of several trees and plants as well as all lawn space that was previously sitting on its roof. In opting for the full extent of the work that should be done on the underground parking, repairs would then not need to be made again for another 25 or 30 years. This was the perfect opportunity to design an enjoyable outdoor space for the residents that would last for years to come. The wish list included: new walkways from the visitor parking lot, a large patio to host social gatherings, a pergola or shade structure, and barbeque and eating area for residents, all within a beautiful landscape. Additionally, a separate smoking area was to be designed, away from the patio and entrance to the building, as Applewood Landmark became 100% smoke-free in 2015.

Together with Gelderman Landscapse Services, the board decided the main design objective here was to expand the use of the vast green spaces that Applewood Landmark had to offer its residents beyond the beautiful gardens and stretches of lawn. The sun deck on the top floor gets much use but the outdoor space on the main level was lacking appeal and function. In designing a large patio, residents are free to welcome guests and to gather for social functions. An easily accessible patio area features a large pergola for shade, a bubbling rock feature to reduce noise pollution, and several raised planters with lush greenery to create a private oasis. The new designated smoking area is tucked between serviceberries and black-eyed susans and is away from the main patio and building entrance.

Since construction, spruce trees have been planted to minimize wind rushing through the area and to also create more privacy from Bloor Street.

Residents of Applewood Landmark are thrilled with the transformation of the main level outdoor space. The new barbeque is great for families and friends to gather while the weather is nice and gives another reason for residents to get outdoors and mingle. Applewood Landmark is a perfect example of how a project like this can go a long way in keeping residents happy and keeping our surroundings healthy.

Chelsea Mills, Landscape Designer

Gelderman Landscape Services