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Lufa Farms
Photograph: Lufa Farms / @lesfermeslufa

Montreal is now home to the world's largest urban rooftop greenhouse and farm in the world

Since its completion on August 26, Montreal's Lufa Farms is now home to the world's largest rooftop greenhouse farm, the size of three football fields.

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki

As of August 26, Montreal became home to the world's largest rooftop garden and farm with the completion of the local grocery delivery service Lufa Farms' latest construction.

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Hier, nous avons célébré l’inauguration de notre quatrième et plus grande serre sur toit au monde à Ville Saint-Laurent. Avec ses 163 800 pieds carrés, elle surpasse nos trois autres serres réunies et vient doubler notre capacité de production, nous permettant ainsi de récolter 25 000 lb de tomates et d’aubergines par semaine. • Notre mission a toujours été de cultiver les aliments là où les gens vivent, et ce, de manière durable. En ce moment, l’intérêt des Québécois envers les aliments frais, locaux et responsables ne cesse de grandir. Nous n’aurions jamais su nous adapter et répondre aussi rapidement à la demande sans la confiance et le soutien continus de nos partenaires et des Lufavores. • • • We celebrated the inauguration of our fourth and the world's largest rooftop greenhouse in Ville Saint-Laurent yesterday. At 163,800 square feet, it's larger than our three other greenhouses combined and doubles our total growing capacity, with 25,000 pounds of tomatoes and eggplants being harvested every week. • Our mission has always been to grow food where people live and to grow it more sustainably. Now more than ever, people across the province are joining us on that journey. It's thanks to our partners along with Lufavores, old and new, that we were able to achieve the impossible. • • #rooftopfarming #agricultureurbaine #lufavore

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At 163,800 square feet (close to three football fields and dwarfing the latest rooftop urban farm in Paris by over 10,000 square feet), the farm located on top of a defunct warehouse in the borough of Saint-Laurent is capable of growing enough food for 10,000 families, and has enabled the company to double it production from feeding 1% of the city to 2%.

That number may not seem like a lot to some, but the production is considerable when taking Montreal's long winters into account. Growing 25,000 pounds of tomatoes per week as well as eggplants at this new site, the combined efforts of the company's greenhouses now produce over 100 varieties of vegetables across what is 300,000 square feet of growing space.

"It’s an unbelievable step forward for hyper-local, sustainable urban farming,” said Mohamed Hage, Co-Founder and CEO of Lufa Farms in the press release announcing breaking ground on this latest greenhouse in November 2019.

The greenhouse's construction also makes it possible to "fight against heat islands in our district," said Saint-Laurent’s mayor Alan DeSousa, "where more than 70% of the surface area is devoted to industrial and commercial activities. And lastly, it confirms Saint-Laurent's position at the forefront of the new... particularly innovative green technologies.”

Using double-paned glass and two sets of energy-saving screens for its insulation, the greenhouse captures rainwater to be used in a closed-loop irrigation system. No pesticides are being used, plants are grown in coconut fiber bags allowing for the reuse of water and have introduced bees for pollination and ladybugs for pest control.

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The new farming structure marks the tenth anniversary of Lufa Farms, co-founded by Lauren Rathmell when she was 21 with her husband.

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