We're Looking for New Sites to Depave!

Seeing too much pavement in your community? Tell us where! We depave everything from city property, school playgrounds, old parking lots, to business fronts & more! As long as it’s pavement where people will appreciate more greenspace. We want to make your wishful thinking a reality! So get excited and be sure to send us an email at depave@greenventure.ca with any and all potential sites! Check out this blog post to learn more about Depave and what makes an ideal site.

Renewing & Beautifying Community Spaces

Depave Paradise is a project of Green Communities Canada and Green Venture that engages volunteers and neighbourhoods in Canadian communities to remove pavement (by hand!) and plant gardens filled with native species or install permeable surfaces in its place.  Hard surfaces, such as driveways, parking lots and buildings, interrupt the natural water cycle by preventing rain water from soaking into the ground.  This in turn leads to flooding, poor water quality, and creates urban heat islands that are warming up our cities.  By removing pavement and replacing it with green space, we are increasing the infiltration rate of rainwater, cooling our neighbourhoods, keeping our water clean by filtering polluted runoff, increasing natural habitat for birds, bees, and butterflies, and providing us and our children with greater connections to the natural world.

Through partnerships with local schools, organizations and community groups, Green Venture removes asphalt and concrete to renew and beautify community spaces by adding natural playgrounds, community vegetable gardens, trees, rain gardens, permeable pavers and other permeable surfaces. In addition to building a strong sense of community, this program also increases usable public space and frequently improves a community’s water quality.


Since 2012 Green Venture has Depaved:

1056 m² of Asphalt on 9 Sites and absorbed 880,000L of stormwater annually. See our project below and on the DepaveParadise.ca site here.


Beyond community building, the benefits of depaving are numerous and include:

  • Decreasing the runoff of stormwater to lower its impacts on our sewers and help improve our community’s water quality and restore natural hydrologic cycle
  • Increasing urban green space and ecosystems present in our cities and reversing the proliferation of hard surfaces
  • Educating residents about the effects of stormwater runoff and benefits of permeable surfaces, green space and reconnecting the urban landscape to nature
  • Fostering behavioural change and community engagement
  • Decrease the heat island effect and help cool urban areas

Depave in the News

Time to get Excited about Depave!

Spring approaches, & soon the snow will be melting away for good! Here at Green Venture, no snow means it must be time to start ripping up impermeable surfaces with our Depave Paradise Program, but where should we begin? We’re currently on the hunt for new Depave sites, see the graphic at the bottom of…

Signs of Spring (and Smoking!) in the Depave Garden

By: Nadine Nesbitt A tiger swallowtail flutters along the tops of the newly planted perennial plants now stretching towards the sky after a long winter’s sleep in the Depave Garden, while a sparrow bounces across the mulched ground searching for last years seeds. There are signs of Spring in the Depave Garden! This year much…

Dundas School Depaves Paradise

The Yorkview Elementary School community transformed a 172-square-metre section of asphalt playground into a green learning space that will help improve storm water management.

Our Past Depave Projects:

Yorkview Elementary School - Fall 2019

Area Depaved: 172m2

Storm Water Diverted: 143 620 L annually

Native Plants: 542 + 12 trees!

Volunteers: 204


Students, staff, administration and community volunteers created an environmental learning space at Yorkview Elementary School. Three rain gardens, hundreds of native trees, shrubs and plants and 10 garden boxes, one for each class, we’re created by volunteers. See our graphic for sponsors and partners. Thanks to Conservers Society and District for charitable sponsorship for the Yorkview Depave Paradise project.

Depave Pradise Yorkview Fall 2018

Read the blog post here

Adelaide Hoodless Elementary School – Fall 2017

Area Depaved: 202m2

Storm Water Diverted: 160 694 L annually 

 Native Plants: 219 + 3 trees!

Volunteers: 105


Over 100 parents, students, teachers and administrative staff helped to Depave this area to create a natural green space for students including a permeable pathway through a rain garden, butterfly garden, native grass garden, sensory garden and the “Lake Adelaide” garden.


New Horizons Thrift Shop & Collectables – Fall 2017

Area Depaved: 50m2

Storm Water Diverted: 59 000 L annually 

Native Plants: 30

Volunteers: 42


Welcome Inn Community Centre and New Horizons Thrift Shop partnered with Green Venture to install 2100 square feet of EcoRaster permeable pavers at the James St. parking lot. Seeded with microgreens with parking lot with absorb and filter stormwater!

Depave Paradise on James – Fall 2017

Kenilworth Depave @ Our Lady of Vietnam & Holy Family Parish – Spring 2017

Area Depaved: 113m2

Stormwater Diverted: 126 660 L annually 

Native Plants: 174 + 5 trees!

Volunteers: 74


The Crown Point Garden Club, Homeside Hub Community Planning Team, Crown Point Planning Committee, and Green Venture partnered to change four parking spots in the lot into a vibrant garden for all to enjoy!

Monseigneur de Laval – Spring 2017

Area Depaved: 185m2

Storm Water Diverted: 205 000 L annually 

Native Plants: 2 trees!

Volunteers: 69


Students and staff from Monseigneur de Laval depaved a portion of their schoolyard to create an outdoor classroom!

Monseigneur-de-Laval – Spring 2017

St. Brigid Catholic Elementary School – Spring 2017

Area Depaved: 53m2

Storm Water Diverted: 47 496 L annually 

Native Plants: 104 + 1 tree!

Volunteers: 53


St. Brigid school transformed a section of their asphalt yard into a green space. Each student participated by drawing their vision for the area, then helped to make it a reality by planting, mulched, raking, depaving and watering!

R.A. Riddell Elementary School, Hamilton – 2016

Area Depaved: 58m2

St. Margaret Mary Catholic Elementary School, Hamilton – 2014

Area Depaved: 130m2

St. Augustine Catholic Elementary School, Hamilton, 2012

Area Depaved: 93m2