Existing buildings are Toronto’s largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, accounting for approximately 56 per cent of total community-wide emissions. The City’s Net Zero Existing Buildings Strategy focuses on reducing emissions from existing buildings with the ultimate target of achieving net zero emissions by 2040, and an interim target of cutting emissions nearly in half by 2030, relative to 2008 levels. Achieving these ambitious targets will require the City to take nine key actions identified in the Net Zero Existing Buildings Strategy. The most critical of these actions is establishing mandatory emissions performance standards for all existing buildings that will require improved emissions performance over time.

In the Updated Long-Term Financial Plan (LTFP) (2023.EX7.1), Council approved the expedited introduction of a mandatory Emissions Performance Standards By-Law, which is necessary to drive the scale and depth of emissions reductions in the buildings sector, including residential, commercial, industrial and institutional buildings. Introducing these requirements would establish the City of Toronto as a leader in its commitment to reducing building emissions and provide certainty to the development and retrofit sectors on actions needed to support emissions reductions.

The Emissions Performance Standards By-Law is slated for Council in Q4 2024. This year, City staff will be engaging with Toronto residents, building owners and other impacted communities to collect input that will inform the development of this new By-Law.

Questions about the development of this new By-Law can be directed to buildingemissions@toronto.ca.