© Marc Sardi / WWF-Canada lavender growing in an urban garden

BIOPOLIS PROJECTS

Explore Biopolis projects and discover how citizens, researchers, institutions, businesses and community organizations are supporting biodiversity in cities across Canada.

Biodiversity Projects in Canadian Cities

The projects listed on Biopolis are diverse and a source of inspiration for all. They were selected according to their objectives to enhance and preserve urban biodiversity in cities across Canada. Explore our featured projects to discover how citizens, researchers, institutions, businesses and community organizations are working to support urban biodiversity.

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    Terre Promise

    Terre Promise

    Terre Promise produces the seeds of about 150 varieties of heritage, rare and endangered garden plants. They practice a selection process that encourages the adaptation of these varieties to the conditions of the Montreal area. All of their seeds are open pollinated, are non-GMO and none are under patent. The seeds are produced using ecological farming techniques free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Terre Promise believes that nature knows better than anyone how to meet her own needs. They seek to maintain soil and vegetation biodiversity by favoring the maintenance of wild species and by reducing soil disruption. They also work hard to comply their farming practices to the recommendations prescribed by Seeds of Diversity Canada in terms of bee-friendly farming. Their seeds are produced on a one-hectare plot of land at La Ferme Bord-du-Lac, an ‘‘incubator farm’’ based on Île-Bizard (borough of L’Île-Bizard / Ste-Geneviève) and packaged in their workshop located in the Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough of Montreal.

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    Green roof at the Stinson Bus Garage

    Green roof at the Stinson Bus Garage

    Les Toits Vertige is a Montreal company specializing in the design and construction of green roofs. Their mission is to transform the flat roofs of Montreal into urban oases, improving the quality of life for all without affecting urban development.

    The project that has had the greatest impact on biodiversity to date is undoubtedly the green roof of the STM building on Stinson street, located in an industrial area of Ville Saint-Laurent where mineral surfaces are vast and ground vegetation is rare. Completed in 2014, it is one of the largest vegetated roofing projects in Canada, extending over an area of 72,000 ft². The roof canopy is composed of twenty species of plants, namely sedum, which bloom from May to October and attract a host of insect pollinators.

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    Mon fleuve et moi

    Mon fleuve et moi

    Mon fleuve et moi is the first educational project that brings young people closer to the St. Lawrence River, to inform them and raise awareness of the issues surrounding its protection, enhancement and development. The project includes an educational kit and a drawing contest for students in primary, secondary, college and professional training from all regions of Quebec. Once they have learned more about the St. Lawrence River through the detailed educational kit, students are invited to express their artistic visions for the river through their drawings.

    The project includes an educational kit and a drawing contest for students in primary, secondary, college and professional training from all regions of Quebec. Once they have learned more about the St. Lawrence River through the detailed educational kit, students are invited to express their artistic visions for the river through their drawings.

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    Scientific Fishing

    Scientific Fishing

    The primary purpose of scientific fishing is to show citizens the multitude of fish species living in the waters surrounding parc des Rapides in LaSalle. Wildlife experts from Heritage Laurentien then take inventory to determine the richness of local biodiversity.

    The public is invited to participate in activities, in order to promote citizen science. Since the beginning of this initiative more than 50 fish species have been recorded, including lake sturgeon and American shad, two species at risk in Quebec. The data gathered from these studies confirms that Des Rapides Park enjoys great levels of fish biodiversity that should be protected and showcased.

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    10 oasis of biodiversity

    10 oasis of biodiversity

    As part of Earth Day 2016, the Mayor of Saint-Laurent, Alan DeSousa, unveiled 10 biodiversity oasis to be developed throughout the year to highlight 10 years of conservation of the Marcel-Laurin park. These proposed developments include a biodiversity pond, a green rest stop, a monarch butterfly observation station, as well as floral spaces and other oases of biodiversity.

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    Adopt a River

    Adopt a River

    Adopt a River aims to raise awareness among children (the decision-makers of tomorrow), as well as educate and engage them about protecting the environment through sustainable development and watershed management.

    Using simple scientific equipment and educational materials, the project helps students aged 10-15 years old participate actively in protecting water. As a bonus, the project connects diverse learnings in a tangible and inspiring way.

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    Adventurers by Nature

    Adventurers by Nature

    The Groupe uni des éducateurs-naturalistes et professionnels en environnement (GUEPE) is a non-profit organization offering young people, and the greater public, educational and professional services in natural and environmental sciences.

    By promoting close contact with nature, GUEPE increases knowledge and helps their clients develop greater respect for biodiversity. Adventurers by Nature is the program that brings together their entire offering of workshops and field trips in natural science available for students in both preschool and elementary school.

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    Fleurs sauvages du Québec

    Fleurs sauvages du Québec

    Fleurs sauvages du Quebec is an educational website created to provide easy and instant access to the flora of Quebec. The objectives are to show the public the richness, diversity and beauty of Quebec flora, build awareness of the importance of conservation for natural environments, pool and share information on flora and the environment, and facilitate the collection of information on plants in Quebec from various sources.

    The beautifully illustrated and accessible content is queried via a search engine that works with simple and intuitive criteria for rapid identification of observed flowers. Each flower has its description reviewed by botanists, to ensure both comprehensive understanding and total accuracy.

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    Chemin Vert Marconi-Alexandra

    Chemin Vert Marconi-Alexandra

    The Chemin Vert Marconi-Alexandra, a concept proposed by the Société de développement environnemental de Rosemont (SODER), will be a green corridor of biodiversity at the heart of the Alexandra-Marconi district in Rosemont/Petite-Patrie. The project will take advantage of the old railway in the neighbourhood by transforming three areas: des Carrières bike path (south of Beaubien Street), the site of the former Canadian Pacific Railway (between Beaubien and St-Zotique) and private parking west of Marconi Street.

    The Chemin Vert will encourage interventions as well as green, urban, and cultural initiatives all along nearly 1.2 km of green space, in an area sorely lacking in natural or public spaces. SODER wishes to actively involve residents, merchants, homeowners and visitors of the district to promote co-creation throughout the project process.

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    Conservation of the Pierrefonds-Ouest Sector

    Conservation of the Pierrefonds-Ouest Sector

    Sauvons l’Anse-à-l’Orme is an action team that banded together to stop a vast development project in Pierrefonds-Roxboro and Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue.

    The City of Montreal has announced its intention to develop 6,000 new housing units on 185 hectares of fallow agricultural land, marshlands and wetlands bordered by a beautifully dense forest. This land is currently home to a wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic wildlife, a large number of which are threatened or endangered, such as the Bobolink, the Northern Map Turtle, the American Kestrel, the Brown Snake and the Jefferson Salamander.

    Sauvons L’Anse-a-l’Orme believes that this natural space should be protected in its entirety, and that any development will have irreversible effects on the biodiversity that thrives here.  In a study released by the David Suzuki Foundation in Feb 2016, it was shown that connectivity in adjoining nature parks could be reduced by up to 24%. Through massive citizen opposition to the loss of this last unprotected natural area on the island of Montreal, they hope to protect this area by creating a great new regional, provincial or national park.

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    Santropol Roulant Green Roof

    Santropol Roulant Green Roof

    The rooftop garden of Santropol Roulant is a hidden gem in the Plateau Mont-Royal district. Here community members can admire the large garden, 60 planters, beehives, and a small greenhouse. The building façade is now completely landscaped and decorated with creepers, hops and vines.

    The real beauty of this garden is that it is one of the three pillars of the food cycle within Santropol Roulant. Some of the food that grows in the garden is used for their meals on wheels program, then any leftover scraps are composted by worms in the subsoil, and finally the compost is redistributed to the garden. This is not a completely closed cycle, however it still allows Santropol to reduce the distance their food travels and the amount of waste produced.

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    Circuit Jardins – Sentier Urbain

    Circuit Jardins – Sentier Urbain

    Led by the non-profit organization Sentier Urbain, whose mission is to encourage community mobilization for greener social spaces, Circuit Jardins transforms socially problematic vacant lots into naturalized, thematic gardens. These charming gardens are located in the Ville-Marie and Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve districts. They are veritable oases that strengthen the ties between humans and nature, fight the negative effects of urban heat islands, and increase the city’s biodiversity, all while creating new green spaces for citizens.

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