Toronto Green Standard Air Quality Icon

Development Features

  • Encourage walking as a clean air alternative for all ages and abilities
  • Reduce the impact of local heat islands on human and ecosystem health

Tier 1

AQ 1.1 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 1.2 Sidewalk Space

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

AQ 1.3 Weather Protection

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

AQ 1.4 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 & 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 2.1 m 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 6.0 m 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.
    Vibrant Streets
    Toronto Urban Design Streetscape Manual
    Avenues & Mid-Rise Buildings Study (Performance Standard #7A: Minimum Sidewalk Zones)
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Tier 1

AQ 2.1 UHI Non-roof Hardscape

Use a combination of the following strategies to treat at least 50 per cent of the site’s non-roof hardscape (including driveways, walkways, courtyards, surface parking areas, artificial turf and other on-site hard surfaces):

  • High-albedo paving materials with an initial solar reflectance of at least 0.33 or SRI of 29 1
  • Open grid pavement with at least 50 per cent perviousness 2
  • Shade from existing or new tree canopy within 10 years of landscape installation 3
  • 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 4

AQ 2.2 Green & Cool Roofs

Roof areas must be provided with one of the following:

  • Green roof for at least 50 per cent of Available Roof Space;5,7 OR
  • Cool roof installed for 100 per cent of Available Roof Space;5,6 OR
  • A combination of a green roof, and cool roof and solar PV for at least 75 per cent of Available Roof Space.5,6,7

Tier 2

AQ 2.3 UHI, Non-roof Hardscape (Core)

Use any combination of the strategies in AQ 2.1 to treat at least 75 per cent of the site’s non-roof hardscape (including driveways, walkways, courtyards, parking areas, artificial turf and other on-site hard surfaces).

Specifications & 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 zero and a standard white surface is 100. Pavement types range between these values with an 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 calculated at solar noon. 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 thermal collectors, photovoltaics and wind turbines.
  5. Refer to the Green Roof Bylaw for definitions of Green Roof and Available Roof Space for green roof areas, details on calculating the green roof area required and the Toronto Green Roof Construction Standard.
  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 steeply 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.