Toronto Green Standard Air Quality Icon

Development Features

  • Encourage the use of low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles, carpooling and carsharing
  • Encourage cycling as a clean air alternative
  • Encourage walking as a clean air alternative for all ages and abilities
  • Reduce the impact of local heat islands on human and ecosystem health

AQ 1.1 Single-Occupant Auto Vehicle Trips

Reduce single occupancy auto vehicle trips generated by the proposed development by 15 per cent through a variety of multimodal infrastructure strategies and Transportation Demand Management (TDM) measures.1

AQ 1.2 LEV and Sustainable Mobility Spaces

If providing more than the minimum parking required under the Zoning By-law, the excess spaces must be dedicated priority parking spaces for low-emitting vehicles (LEV), carpooling/ridesharing or for publicly accessible spaces dedicated to shared vehicle systems such as carsharing, ridesharing, or micro-mobility systems.2,3,4

AQ 1.3 Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Design the building to provide 25 per cent of the parking spaces with electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). The remaining parking spaces must be designed to permit future EVSE installation.5,6

AQ 1.4 Electric Vehicle Infrastructure, Low Carbon Pathway (Optional)

Design the building to provide 50 per cent of parking spaces for with electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). The remaining parking spaces must be designed to permit future EVSE installation.5,6


Specifications and Resources

  1. AQ 1.1 applies where Transportation Impact Study (TIS) is required as part of a development application as outlined in the Development Guide Terms of Reference for the Preparation of Transportation impact Studies. Prior to undertaking a formal TIS, it is recommended that City staff be consulted to confirm whether a TIS is required and determine the scope of analysis required. Travel Demand Measures may include but are not limited to improvements to pedestrian connections, bicycle parking/bike stations, and dedicated parking for carsharing vehicles.
  2. AQ1.2 only applies where there is a minimum Zoning By-law car parking requirement. The effective Zoning By-law is the applicable bylaw in effect for the subject property on the date of the application.
  3. Low-emitting vehicles (LEV) are defined as vehicles having a Combined Fuel Consumption Rating (CFCR) of 6.5L/100km or less, as defined by Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency. Carpooling is when two or more workers share a car ride to work locations. Carsharing refers to fee-based, shared automobile use that is intended to substitute for private vehicle ownership. It makes occasional use of a vehicle affordable while providing an incentive to minimize driving and rely on alternative travel options as much as possible.
  4. For institutional, commercial and retail developments, the number of dedicated priority parking spaces (LEV, carpool or carshare) should be no less than one dedicated space for every 10 parking spaces provided above the minimum Zoning By-law requirement.
  5. Electrical Vehicle provision means Level 2 Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (208/240 VAC) installed in compliance with Section 86 of the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. Provide to each designated parking space. The physical provision to permit future EVSE installation consists of empty raceways or conduits starting in a junction box in the electrical room and terminating in a junction box central to each parking garage floor. This conduit will be empty to accommodate future wiring.
  6. The Ontario Building Code includes requirements for electric vehicle charging systems.

AQ 2.1 Bicycle Parking Rates

Bicycle Zone 1 and Bicycle Zone 2: Provide long-term and short-term bicycle parking spaces consistent with the non-residential bicycle parking rates identified in Chapter 230 of the City-wide Zoning By-law.1,2,3,4

AQ 2.2 Long-term Bicycle Parking Location

Long-term bicycle parking must be provided in a secure controlled-access bicycle parking facility or purpose-built bicycle locker:

(i) on the first storey of the building;
(ii) on the second storey of the building;
(iii) on levels of the building below-ground commencing with the first level below ground.5,6

AQ 2.3 Short-term Bicycle Parking Location

Locate short-term bicycle parking in a highly visible and publicly accessible location at-grade or on the first parking level of the building below grade.7

AQ 2.4 Shower and Change Facilities

Provide shower and change facilities consistent with the rate identified in Chapter 230 of the City-wide Zoning By-law.1

AQ 2.5 Publicly Accessible Bicycle Parking

For all uses within 500m of transit station entrance, provide at least 10 additional publicly accessible, short-term bicycle parking spaces, at-grade on the site or within the public boulevard bicycle parking in addition to parking required under AQ 2.1. Bicycle Parking must be weather protected except where located in the public boulevard.8


Specifications and Resources

  1. Bicycle parking rates, shower and change facilities in the TGS are consistent with the Bicycle Parking Space Regulations, Chapter 230 of the City-wide Zoning By-law.
  2. All bicycle parking spaces must be designed in accordance with the Bicycle Parking Space Regulations, Chapter 230 of the City-wide Zoning By-law and for other aspects of bicycle parking spaces, refer to the City of Toronto’s Guidelines for the Design and Management of Bicycle Parking Facilities.
  3. Long-term (occupant) bicycle parking spaces are bicycle parking spaces for use by the occupants or tenants of a building. Short-term (visitor) bicycle parking spaces are bicycle parking spaces for use by visitors to a building.
  4. Bicycle Zone 1 is defined as the area of the City bounded by the Humber River on the west, Lawrence Avenue on the north, Victoria Park Avenue on the east and Lake Ontario on the south. Bicycle Zone 2 includes all areas of the city not included in Bicycle Zone 1.
  5. Long-term bicycle parking may be provided on levels below ground, starting on the first level below grade and moving down, in one level increments, when at least 50 per cent of the area of that level is occupied by bicycle parking spaces until all required bicycle parking spaces have been provided. Calculate 50 per cent of the net area of the parking level (deduct required areas such as elevator shafts, drive aisles and mechanical rooms).
  6. Where bicycle parking is located on or below the second parking level of the building below-ground, provide at least one elevator accessible to bicycles with direct access to each level where bicycle parking is located. The location and dimensions of the elevator must facilitate easy access for bicycles.
  7. A short-term bicycle parking space must be no more than 30m from a pedestrian entrance to the principal building on the lot.
  8. Short-term bicycle parking to meet this standard is in addition to bicycle parking provided in AQ 2.1 and is intended for use by the general public. Bicycle parking spaces must be within 30m of the pedestrian entrance to the building, must comply with the City of Toronto’s Guidelines for the Design and Management of Bicycle Parking Facilities, and must be visible from the sidewalk.

AQ 3.1 Connectivity

Provide safe, direct, universally accessible pedestrian routes, including crosswalks and midblock crossings that connect the buildings on-site to the off-site pedestrian network and priority destinations.1

AQ 3.2 Sidewalk Space

Provide a context-sensitive pedestrian clearway that is a minimum of 2.1m wide, to safely and comfortably accommodate pedestrian flow.2,3

AQ 3.3 Weather Protection

Provide covered outdoor waiting areas for pedestrian comfort and protection from inclement weather.4

AQ 3.4 Pedestrian Specific Lighting

Provide pedestrian-scale lighting that is evenly spaced, continuous and directed onto sidewalks, pathways, entrances, outdoor waiting areas and public spaces.5


Specifications and Resources

  1. Off-site pedestrian networks and priority destinations include sidewalks, transit stops/stations, parking areas (bikes and cars), surrounding parks and open space, mid-block walkways, underground concourses, primary building entrances or other key pedestrian access points, crossings and routes.
  2. The pedestrian clearway is the universally accessible, unobstructed, direct and continuous path of travel within the sidewalk zone. A clearway greater than 2.1m wide may be required at corners, transit nodes or other contexts with high pedestrian volumes or pedestrian activity (e.g. at-grade patios and retail uses): City of Toronto Accessibility Design Guidelines.
  3. A context-sensitive sidewalk zone at least 6m wide, measured from curb to buildings face, is recommended to support a variety of streetscape elements including the pedestrian clearway, trees, furniture, lighting, utilities, cafés, etc. that contribute to a vibrant and complete street. For more information see:

Vibrant Streets

Toronto Urban Design Streetscape Manual

Avenues and Mid-Rise Buildings Study (Performance Standard #7A: Minimum Sidewalk Zones)

Tall Building Design Guidelines (Section 4.2 Sidewalk Zone).

  1. Outdoor waiting areas must include the primary entrance to the building or any entrance adjacent to a lobby. Coverings such as canopies and awnings should be opaque for shade and weather protection and to mitigate bird collisions.
  2. Pedestrian scale lighting must be Dark Sky Compliant in accordance with EC 5.1, directed downward and includes fixtures such as bollards or lower-scale pole fixtures along pedestrian routes. For details on pedestrian scale exterior lighting design strategies that minimize light pollution, refer to the Best Practices for Effective Lighting.

AQ 4.1 UHI Non-roof Hardscape

Use a combination of the following strategies to treat at least 75 per cent of the site’s non-roof hardscape (including driveways, walkways, courtyards, surface parking areas, artificial turf and other on-site hard surfaces.)1,2,3,4

  • High-albedo paving materials with an initial solar reflectance of at least 0.33 or SRI of 29
  • Open grid pavement with at least 50 per cent perviousness
  • Shade from existing or new tree canopy within 10 years of landscape installation
  • Shade from architectural structures that are vegetated or have an initial solar reflectance of at least 0.33 at installation or an SRI of 29
  • Shade from structures with energy generation.

AQ 4.2 Green and Cool Roofs

For new buildings or building additions with a GFA greater than 100m² provide the following:

  • Green roof equal to the greater than 50 per cent of the Available Roof Space or the coverage requirement of the Green Roof By-law
  • Cool roof on areas of Available Roof Space not covered by green roof area.5,6,7

Specifications and Resources

  1. Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) is a measure of a surface’s ability to reflect solar heat. The SRI for a given material is calculated using both the reflectance value and emittance value of the material. Black asphalt has an SRI of 0 and a standard white surface is 100. Pavement types range between these values with a SRI of 35 for gray concrete.
  2. Open grid pavement consists of concrete or hard plastic grid systems with large pore spaces filled with a planted growing medium or light coloured aggregate.
  3. Shade of 10-year canopy width is measured at solar noon at the summer solstice (approximately June 21). Refer to EC2.1 – 2.5 for the applicable tree planting standards. Shade cast by buildings is not an eligible strategy.
  4. Energy generation systems consist of solar photovoltaics (PV), solar thermal collectors and wind turbines.
  5. Refer to the Green Roof By-law for definitions of Green Roof and Available Roof Space, details on calculating the green roof area required and the Toronto Green Roof Construction Standard. Definition of Available Roof Space includes exclusions for areas dedicated to renewable energy generation.
  6. Cool roofing materials must have a minimum initial reflectance of 0.65 and minimum emittance of 0.90 or a three-year aged SRI value of 64 for a low-sloped roof and a three-year aged SRI of 15 for a steep-sloped roof. Low sloped roofs have a surface slope of less than 1:6 (9.5 degrees) and steep sloped roofs have a surface slope greater than 1:6 (9.5 degrees).
  7. Consider designing green roofs to promote biodiversity. Refer to the City of Toronto Guidelines for Designing for Biodiversity on Green Roofs.