Proven, ready-to-deploy climate actions that "multi-solve."




Implement and manage compliance of green development standards.

Priority Actions

Green development standards are design requirements for new buildings that increase energy efficiency and lead to better designed communities.

Most GTHA municipalities have adopted such standards already, however a few remain.

Those without standards should accelerate their adoption, while others should consider updates and improvements.

  • Set energy and carbon intensity targets for each building type
  • Embodied carbon requirements
  • EV-ready requirements
  • A schedule for future updates leading to net zero ready new construction by-or-before 2030
  • Resources and training for staff to manage compliance.
  • Incentives for projects which exceed minimum requirements
  • A higher standard for municipally owned or funded projects including affordable housing.


As the cost of housing and monthly energy bills continues to increase, green development standards and existing building performance standards make homes and businesses more efficient and affordable.

They reduce carbon emissions, reduce the burden on our strained electricity system, and generate local economic value.

As the impacts of climate change become more frequent, standards for new and existing buildings can improve resiliency and protect resident health and comfort in extreme weather events.



Design and implement existing building performance standards.

Priority Actions

Building performance standards (BPS), as discussed in our policy primer, are a key policy tool used to improve environmental performance of existing buildings, with targets that become stricter over time.

They are already in effect in 11 jurisdictions across the United States, with another 27 expected to adopt them over the next few years. Vancouver was the first Canadian city to introduce them, and Toronto is making progress to become the second.

Municipalities across the GTHA need to focus on designing and implementing these policies now, with input from communities including housing and commercial building associations and tenant representatives.



Remove parking minimums and require EV ready parking in all new parking areas

Priority Actions

  • Remove or reduce minimum parking requirements in new developments
  • Require 100% EV-ready parking in all new residential parking, and 25% for non-residential parking
  • Leverage federal funding and public lands (e.g., libraries, arenas, school parking lots) to support the buildout of public EV charging infrastructure
  • Review parking rules that prevent EV infrastructure from being installed


Removing parking minimums reduces embodied carbon emissions from new construction while improving housing affordability and encouraging the use of transit and active transportation.

Requiring EV-ready parking spaces increases accessibility of EVs to all Torontonians while avoiding the expense of retrofitting buildings to accommodate EV charging in the future.

Removing parking minimums reduces embodied carbon emissions and offers significant costs savings from new construction while encouraging the use of transit and active transportation. Requiring EV-ready parking spaces increases EV accessibility for everyone while avoiding the expense of retrofitting buildings to accommodate EV charging in the future.



Streamline clean energy processes and services to incentivize and reward electrification and solar PV.

Priority Actions

Review bylaws and permitting processes to remove red tape and accelerate clean electrification, including:

  • Ensure exemptions for rooftop solar from height restrictions
  • Review and remove unnecessary zoning barriers to heat pumps, energy storage, or ground-mounted solar (e.g. excessive setback requirements)
  • Streamline building permitting processes for solar, storage and heat pump installations
  • Waive building permit requirements for residential solar projects that meet established criteria


Removing red tape will reduce the cost and complexity of climate action for households and businesses.

These recommendations also reduce municipal workload associated with managing permits, zoning amendments and minor variances.