Update December 18: The TransformTO 2018 Operating Budget Request Briefing Note is now online and was received by the Budget Committee (Program Capital and Operating Budget Review) on December 15, 2017.

What is Transform TO?

TransformTO, Toronto’s new and ambitious climate action plan, identifies how we’ll reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and improve our health, grow our economy, and improve social equity. In July 2017 City Council unanimously approved a set of long-term, low-carbon goals, and strategies to reach them.

Toronto’s greenhouse gas reduction targets, based on 1990 levels:

  • 30 per cent by 2020
  • 65 per cent by 2030
  • 80 per cent by 2050

Achieving these targets will require transformational changes in how we live, work, commute, and build.

What will Toronto look like in the future?

  • Homes and buildings: By 2030, all new buildings will be built to produce near-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. By 2050, all existing buildings will have been retrofitted to improve energy performance by an average of 40 per cent. Homes and buildings generate about half of the greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto today.
  • Energy: By 2050, 75 per cent of the energy we use will be renewable or low-carbon; 30 per cent of total floor space across Toronto will be connected to low-carbon heating and cooling energy.
  • Transportation: By 2050, 100 per cent of vehicles in Toronto will use low-carbon energy; 75 per cent of trips under 5 km will be walked or cycled. Vehicles generate about one-third of the greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto today.
  • Waste Diversion: By 2050, 95 per cent of waste will be diverted from landfills. Waste generates more than 10 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto.

Everyone will have a part to play in transforming Toronto into a low-carbon city. Learn more about what Toronto will look like in 2050.


With the support of community consultations and technical scenario modelling, TransformTO identified strategies that will reduce Toronto’s emissions and lead to a low-carbon city that is healthier, more prosperous and more equitable. More than 2,000 Torontonians were engaged in developing the plan.

TransformTO delivered two reports:

TransformTO was led by the City’s Environment & Energy Division and The Atmospheric Fund.

Briefing Note: TransformTO 2018 Operating Budget Request

Report #2: The Pathway to a Low Carbon Future

Report #1: Short-Term Strategies

City of Toronto Engagement Reports

Community Engagement Reports

From August 2015 to July 2016, TransformTO’s first phase of engagement encouraged residents to contribute their ideas to a shared vision of a low-carbon Toronto in 2050. A variety of engagement and outreach tools promoted participation from residents, community groups and stakeholders online and at events. More than 2,000 residents identified ideas and actions that will help build a healthy, equitable and prosperous Toronto as well as achieve our 80 per cent greenhouse gas emissions reduction target by 2050. All of the community feedback, community-submitted reports and other submissions were compiled and summarized in a Community Engagement Report.

Reports from community-hosted events:

Equity & Engagement Report

The Engagement & Equity Report created through the USDN Building Diversity Fellowship offers valuable advice for TransformTO going forward on how best to engage marginalized and equity-seeking groups in developing climate action plans and designing and implementing climate solutions.

Modelling Advisory Group Report

If you need assistance accessing the content within these documents, please contact:

Ash Michael

What is our vision for Toronto in the year 2050? How will we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent? These questions and more were the focus of the TransformTO Community Conversations and events.

Nearly 2,000 Torontonians participated in TransformTO events and online survey to share their visions for Toronto in 2050.

From the community feedback provided at the TransformTO events, community reports and other submissions, common ideas and themes were identified.The most mentioned ideas overall, across categories were:

  • better transit (transit that is reliable; accessible, affordable, clean and expanded)
  • complete, dense and walkable communities
  • urban agriculture
  • cycling infrastructure
  • presence of green space

Transportation and behaviour change were most-highly prioritised by participants. All of the community engagement reports are available on the Reports and Resources tab.

Engagement Resources

Centre for Social Innovation Event: The Six in 2050

On April 7, 2016, we invited 70 members of the environmental and social innovation community to reflect on pathways to deep carbon reduction in Toronto.

The Synthesis & Summary reports outline the ideas that emerged.

Transportation: Low Carbon Mobility in Toronto

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the Scarborough Civic Centre on November 26, 2016. The event was a success, with over 250 attendees joining us in person and via Periscope.

Our panelists for this event included:

Marianne Hatzopoulou, Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, UofT
Adam Arnold, Program Management Lead, UrbanTrans North America
Hilary Holden, Director of Transit and Sustainable Transportation, City Planning, City of Toronto
Ashley Curtis, Director of Transportation Infrastructure Management, Transportation Services, City of Toronto

Materials from the event:

Energy and Buildings in a Low-Carbon Toronto

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the North York Memorial Community Hall on October 29, 2016. Over one hundred residents shared their opinions on Energy and Buildings in Toronto by attending the event, contributing to TranformTO interactive activities at the event and filling out the TransformTO Workbook.

Our panelists for this event included:

Michael Brooks, REALpac
Katie Harper, Project Neutral
Leslie Malone, Acadia Centre

Materials from the event:

Community & Infrastructure Resilience

Preparing Toronto for an Extreme Weather Future – Community & Infrastructure Resilience

Thank you to everyone who joined us at Innis Hall, University of Toronto, on September 24, 2016.

Our panelists for this event included:

Seana Irvine, Evergreen
Dr. Lucy Cummings, Faith and the Common Good
Dr. Patricia McCarney, World Council on City Data; Global Cities Institute, University of Toronto
Grant Humes, Toronto Financial District BIA

Materials from the event:

Early in 2016, the City began a technical modelling exercise to assess how greenhouse gas emissions will change over time in key sectors – buildings, transportation, waste, energy sources, land use – given current federal, provincial and municipal policies and programs.

TransformTO technical modelling will be used to measure and identify the potential impact of various combinations of emission reduction strategies and actions, with the goal of identifying the best and most effective strategies to reduce our emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

The strategies and actions that are being modelled were identified through two main sources – input provided by the community through the online TransformTO survey and community conversation events, and a formal review of best practices of strategies being implemented in cities around the world.

Technical Reports

Technical backgrounder

The Technical Backgrounder provides an overview of the technical modelling process, assumptions and methods.

Business-as-planned report

The Business-As-Planned modelling results describe Toronto’s future greenhouse gas emissions based on all current municipal, provincial and federal programs, plans and regulations.

Modelling Toronto’s Low Carbon Future: Results of Modelling Greenhouse Gas Emissions to 2050

This Report identifies the results of a technical modelling process to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto by 80 per cent by 2050.

Co-benefits and Co-harms of Climate Action Report

The Co-benefits and Co-harms Report examines how certain greenhouse gas reduction actions drive other beneficial outcomes. The report reviews three main areas of potential synergies: economic prosperity, health, and social equity.

Modelling Advisory Group

A group of thirty-seven community leaders, academics, City staff and subject-matter experts was convened to provide input on the TransformTO initiative and technical scenario modelling. The group membership was carefully selected to include a diverse representation from multiple perspectives (energy, environment, economy, health, equity and social justice). Led by the Technical Modelling Consultants (SSG and WhatIf? Technologies), the Modelling Advisory Group members are consulted on the criteria, limitations and approach to the technical modelling.

Read the Terms of Reference for the Modelling Advisory Group.