Commercial Roof Replacement at Community Center and Place of Worship in Toronto’s Thornhill Neighborhood

Commercial Roof Replacement at Community Center and Place of Worship - Toronto

Community Center Commercial Roof Replacement Client        Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto logo

Community Center and Place of Worship

Building Address:

Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto

613 Clark Avenue West

Thornhill Neighborhood, Toronto


The Ask

The roof of BAYT (Beth Avraham Yosef of Toronto), a synagogue and community centre in the Thornhill neighborhood just north of Toronto, was at the end of its life cycle, with leaks in many areas. The building owner had completed repairs over the past several years that had been costly and caused interior damage.


Before - Replacement Roof at Community Center and Place of Worship - Toronto, Canada


The client wanted to replace the roof in phases, allowing BAYT to maintain daily operations. Interior renovation would follow. During the planning stage, we considered factors including: Building architecture, roofing condition, normal building usage, potential weather issues, budget and outlays, and servicing history. The client awarded us the job in November, meaning that winter weather might also affect the job. 

Phase 1: Fall and Winter 2021 — Main Area, School and Social Hall

Phase 2: Summer 2022 — Sanctuary and Lower Lobby

See specifications below for replacement area for two phases. 


Key Challenges and Solutions

This project had several challenges that required special attention, and certain situations required teamwork with other contractors.

These included: 

Multi-Level Building Structure:

BAYT had a multi-level roof requiring us to supply additional hoisting equipment and double or triple handling of materials and refuse for inaccessible areas. We utilized garbage tarps and a hoist to lower debris into the disposal bins from the main roof level from 50 feet above. Other issues included having very little space for set-up, plus the fragile original roof conditions required us to take extra safety precautions—such as limiting traffic over the old roof. 


Multi-Building Buliding Structure - Before - Replacement Roof at Community Center and Place of Worship - Toronto, Canada


Continued Community Use:

Continued use of the building for daily activities and special functions intensified space and safety issues. We took special care to always leave the site tidy, with clear pathways and proper access to traffic routes and parking. 

HVAC Equipment:

A 150-ton crane was used to lift roofing materials to the roof and to raise several oversized HVAC units to allow the project to proceed. We also had to deal with three additional pieces of equipment that could not be lifted—two make up air units and one huge HVAC unit. In partnership with the membrane manufacturer’s technical representative, we designed a plan that created a watertight condition while avoiding the need to lift these units. 

We also minimized downtime and costly crane lifts by working with Kelson, the client’s HVAC contractor, to map out each piece of HVAC equipment and execute a plan to complete sensitive work around each unit. 

Skylight Replacement:

Six acrylic skylights needed replacement, along with two large three-section barrel skylights, one with a centre openable section. We worked with Artistic Skylights to keep the premises dry while completing the necessary roofing work.

Access for Plumbing:

Difficult access to the interior created multiple plumbing challenges. To make connections to existing roof drains, our plumber utilized special rope ladders to reach difficult areas. For connections that were done from the roof level, we cut the roof deck substrate to remove existing roof drains and install new ones. 

Supply Chain:

It was difficult to procure materials and contain project costs given COVID-related shortages. We submitted the first quotation to the building committee in early April, 2021 and a tender submission through a third-party consultant that summer. We received the job award in early November 2021. Given the time frame, both Phase 1 and Phase 2 were affected by multiple rounds of supplier increase. First, in 2021 and then again in May 2022.

We worked with our suppliers to protect against some of the price increases. While we usually get materials “just in time” to use them, we accepted materials on-site before the required work began, rather than risk a price increase later on. As another example, in fall 2021 we locked in the pricing from the skylight company for work scheduled for completion in summer 2022 to save the building owner money.


  • Building Height: 40-50 feet
  • Entire roof Area: 33,980 feet 
  • Replacement area: 31,327, done in two phases:

Phase 1: 19,904 sft.

Phase 2: 11,423 sft

o Mikveh ritual area and ground floor canopy roofs – were excluded

  • Membrane Type: hybrid roofing membrane – 2 plies sand/sand SBS modified bitumen base sheet mopped with hot type 2 roofing asphalt, flood coat of hot roofing asphalt with embedded pea gravel
  • Insulation: 2.5” ISO mechanically fastened and 0.5” Perlite mopped in hot asphalt  
  • Ballast: ⅜” pea gravel
  • Flashings: two plies SBS modified bitumen membrane
  • Metal copings: 26 gauge pre-painted metal


Any time a roof is replaced or installed, a number of factors need to be considered. We have experienced these issues frequently over our more than 60 years in business. One is being flexible to meet client needs, such as allowing people to continue using the building during the work. Second is working with our clients’ contractors to ensure that the roof is installed correctly and prevents future leaks. A third factor, especially during these challenging times, is adjusting to pricing and supply chain issues.

Contact Elite Roofing for your next roofing project

We take great pride in working with community organizations. Furthermore, we complete their projects on time and on budget, while meeting their operational needs. For expert roofing of your community-use building, contact Elite Roofing today