Toronto Green Standard hitting new development applications in 2022

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Implementation of the Net Zero Existing Buildings Strategy is expected to increase local building retrofit economic activity by 87 per cent over the next 30 years in Toronto, and nearly double annual investment in existing buildings. It is also expected to create an additional 7,000 direct, full-time jobs in local construction, energy services and supportive work over 30 years.

The Toronto Green Standard (TGS) is a critical component of efforts to achieve zero emissions buildings by 2030 and meet 2050 city-wide GHG reduction targets. For more than 10 years, it has served as a market transformation tool both locally and provincially, resulting in quality building projects that help make Toronto a great city.

Toronto approves bold strategy to reduce emissions from existing buildings to net zero by 2050

Version 4 of the TGS, approved by council last week, advances requirements for building energy and GHG reduction and electric vehicle parking, and introduces tracking of embodied emissions in building materials used in construction.

It addresses resilience through enhanced green infrastructure to manage stormwater runoff, reduce urban heat island impacts and promote biodiversity, including extensive and higher performance green roofs, bioswales, rain gardens, native pollinator species plantings and a new requirement for “green streets” (roads or streets that incorporate green infrastructure).


Version 4 will apply to new development applications beginning on May 1, 2022. Introduced in 2010, the TGS is updated approximately every four years.

The city says the TGS has resulted in 169,000 tonnes of avoided carbon dioxide (CO2e)  emissions annually, equivalent to removing more than 42,000 vehicles off the road each year. Cumulative avoided emissions total more than 5.43 metric tonnes of CO2e between 2010 and 2050.

For municipally-owned developments, Version 4 will require net zero emissions in 2022, in keeping with the established commitment to show leadership.

An updated TransformTO Net Zero Strategy will be presented later this year. The strategy will outline the pathway to reduce community-wide GHG emissions from key sources in Toronto, including buildings, transportation and waste.

The strategy will focus on bold climate actions that need to be taken by 2030, to keep us on track to achieve net zero by 2050 or sooner. Community engagement is currently underway and residents can provide input on climate action priorities throughout the month of July. More

A confirmatory bylaw is needed for the plan to take effect.


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