Developing Toronto

Toronto Green Standard

The Toronto Green Standard (TGS) is a two-tier set of performance measures for sustainable site and building design. Tier 1 is required for new construction in Toronto and Tier 2 is a higher, voluntary level of performance with a financial incentive. Projects that achieve Tier 2 may be eligible for a partial refund on Development Charges paid to the City.

The TGS is complements working with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) voluntary rating system. Achieving Tier 1 and Tier 2 performance measures will contribute towards LEED credits. See the Toronto LEED Supplement for a comparison.

Greening new development helps to reduce future infrastructure demands and environmental impacts making a healthier, more livable city. The TGS integrates environmental performance requirements to improve our air and water quality, reduce green house gas emissions, enhance urban ecology and reduce solid waste to landfill.

Toronto Green Standard Tools and Resources

Acknowledgement of Tier2 green feature - Plaque.jpg

Tier 2 & Development Charge Refund: Application and Enrollment

Applicants who choose to meet Tier 2, a voluntary higher level of environmental performance may be eligible for a Development Charge Refund.

Certified Tier 2 projects are acknowledged by a brushed steel plaque that is displayed in the building lobby or in another prominent location. The green features of the project are also profiled on the City of Toronto's website. Contact sustainablecity@toronto.ca about profiling your certified Tier 2 project or ordering a sign.

Canada Green Building Council logo

Toronto: LEED Supplement

Achieving the TGS contributes towards LEED certification. The Toronto LEED Supplement summarizes the similarities and differences between the Toronto Green Standard and LEED Canada NC 2009 rating system and notes documentation accepted by the City of Toronto.

Tier 2 Project Profiles

Green Building Map

The Canada Green Building Council's Marketing Committee proudly launched the interactive map of Ontario's green building landscape. The map features all Ontario buildings that have achieved LEED and Toronto Green Standard Tier 2 Certification. You can review the building information (including the address, rating system, design team, and more) by clicking on the dots on the map below.


View Larger Map with Legend

More Resources

Toronto Green Standard Manual Cover page

Notice to Clients: 2014 Green Standard Update

Toronto City Planning updated the Toronto Green Standard in consultation with City Divisions, the development industry and its stakeholders. The updates were adopted by City Council on July 16, 17, 18 and 19, 2013. Version 2.0 of the Toronto Green Standard applies to new development applications submitted on or after January 1, 2014. The 2010 Toronto Green Standard continues to apply to applications submitted prior to 2014.

Go to the City Council adopted report recommendations on the Toronto Green Standard.

Go to the Updated Toronto Green Standard (Appendix A and Appendix B of the report).

Highlights of Changes to the TGS: See the presentation on the Toronto Green Standard 2014 Review and Update Highlights.

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Raising the Bar on Energy Performance

The updated Toronto Green Standard (Version 2.0) includes new and improved performance measures and higher energy targets of 15% above the Ontario Building Code (Tier 1) and 25% above the Ontario Building Code (Tier 2). The TGS is a key strategy for reducing green house gas emissions by 30% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. According to the Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF), Toronto's improved energy efficiency standards will save Toronto's citizens and businesses an estimated $114M and avoid over 750,000 tonnes of climate-damaging GHG emissions by 2025 at marginal incremental design and construction costs.

The Toronto Green Standard workshop report is based on a workshop hosted by the City of Toronto to assist the development industry to understand the new energy efficiency targets, as directed by City Council. Case studies of local development projects were presented that have achieved levels of energy performance equivalent to the new Toronto Green Standard Tier 1 (15% better than current Ontario Building Code) and Tier 2 (25% better than current Ontario Building Code).

Toronto Green Standard Workshop report


There were also two energy background studies prepared by Sustainable Buildings Canada with recommended increases in energy efficiency targets for the Toronto Green Standard.

Report #1 Review of Energy Codes and Standards

Report #2 Cost benefit Study of Building Archetypes

View the tutorial presentation on the Ontario Building Code and TGS energy efficiency requirements prepared by ECOVERT Sustainability Consultants. The presentation introduces and compares requirements and provides additional advice and resources to consider in designing high performance buildings.