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January 18, 2018

Toronto raises performance standards for new development, targets zero emissions by 2030

The City of Toronto has updated the Toronto Green Standard to include stepped performance targets to approach zero emissions for all new buildings by 2030. This update represents a critical step toward achieving City Council’s low-carbon goals established in TransformTO, Toronto’s Climate Action Strategy.

The Toronto Green Standard sets out the requirements for new development in Toronto to do its part to improve air and water quality, reduce energy use and waste, and enhance tree cover and wildlife habitat. Introduced in 2010, the made-in-Toronto green development standards program was the first of its kind in North America to combine mandatory with incentivized, voluntary targets.

“Toronto has always been a leader in protecting our environment and conserving energy, and we are already seeing TransformTO help ensure the long-term vibrancy and livability of our city with our raised Green Standard,” said Mayor John Tory. “I look forward to supporting full funding for TransformTO when this year’s budget comes up for a vote next month and look forward to the further progress we can make on addressing climate change.”

“The Toronto Green Standard strives to create more comfortable, well insulated buildings and homes that use less energy and cost less to operate,” said Councillor David Shiner (Ward 24 Willowdale), Chair of the Planning and Growth Management Committee. “Toronto continues to raise the bar every four years with these standards, improving the quality of the built environment and the quality of life for our residents. By 2050, this updated Toronto Green Standard will have reduced greenhouse gas emissions to the equivalent of taking more than 250,000 cars off the road each year.”

To date, more than 1,300 planning projects have been subject to these standards, resulting in the removal of more than 115,205 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, equivalent to taking almost 30,000 cars off the road. Twenty projects certified as Tier 2 high performance buildings (the City’s highest level of sustainable design) are profiled on the City’s website at

The updated Toronto Green Standard comes into effect May 1, 2018. The new standard supports Toronto’s Zero Emissions Buildings Framework developed in partnership with The Atmospheric Fund and guided by local building industry stakeholders. The framework provides Toronto’s approach to reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, while ensuring their construction remains safe and durable. The framework outlines Toronto’s approach to long term energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions from buildings. View the Toronto’s Zero Emissions Buildings Framework at

The City of Toronto is also targeting zero emissions for its own new facilities designed and built by 2026, starting with the Mount Dennis childcare centre, which will be designed to meet zero energy and emissions standards.

The updated performance measures directly support the goals of TransformTO and the 100 Resilient Cities initiatives and reflect the objectives of the proposed changes to the Ontario Building Code and the Province of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan.

More information about the Toronto Green Standard and profiles of projects are available at

More information about TransformTO, Toronto’s Climate Action Strategy, is available at