Depave Paradise

Digging in with our community to replace hard surfaces and pavement with beautiful, liveable green spaces.

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What is a Depave Paradise Project?

New Hamburg Residents Removing Pavestones to Plant Native Species
New Hamburg Residents Removing Pavestones to Plant Native Species

Depave Paradise is a nation-wide movement started by Green Communities Canada. The goal is to dig up underused paved spaces and turn them into lush green landscapes for communities to enjoy. Hard surfaces, such as driveways, parking lots and buildings interrupt the natural water cycle by preventing rain water from soaking into the ground and creating heat sinks, warming up our cities. By removing pavement and replacing it with native plants, trees and shrubs we are increasing the infiltration rate, recharging our groundwater supply, and cooling our neighbourhoods.

Why Depave?

Pavement is an impermeable surface, so all the water that hits it eventually flows off of it, usually into municipal stormwater systems. By removing pavement and creating gardens, polluted run-off is reduced, since gardens are permeable and absorb rainwater as it falls. Eventually this water soaks back into groundwater aquifers, giving us more clean drinking water. Plants also absorb carbon dioxide, and access to green spaces have been proven to be good for mental health.

Are you interested in getting involved in a depave project? Do you know of a space that needs depaving?

Depave illustrated diagram. Before shows the negatives of pavement. After shows trees, shade, and the benefits of depaving.
A Depave Paradise project provides benefits for both people and the environment!


1. Hard surface does not absorb rain, creating runoff.
2. Hot sun reflects off of dark surfaces, creating hotter temperatures.
3. Soil does not receive air, water or sunlight. 


4. Native plants provide food and shelter for insects, mammals, and other creatures. 
5. Rain soaks into the ground, getting filtered and cleaned. 
6. Trees provide shade that cools off surfaces below. 
7. Rain, sun, and air keep soils healthy and productive. 

Sheppard Public School - Kitchener


Parking lot prepared for depaving with pylons marking areas.


A garden with natural play features and a large log in the foreground.

Downtown New Hamburg - Wilmot

Keatsway Public School - Waterloo

Funders and Partners

Logo shows a stylized trillium flower and the text Ontario Trillium Foundation/Fondation Trillium de l'Ontario
Logo shows a stylized tree and text Depave Paradise
Logo shows text Green Communities Canada and a stylized house and tree
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