Building green to advance City’s climate change goals

On April 17, Mississauga Council approved the City’s updated  Green Development Standards (GDS). The GDS updates include mandatory and voluntary metrics for developers to consider when designing new residential and non-residential developments, to lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and ensure new developments are more resilient, energy-efficient and sustainable. The GDS, initially developed in 2012, have been updated to include energy and resilience considerations and will help the City achieve the goals of the Climate Change Action Plan and become a net-zero community.

“Buildings in Mississauga are responsible for around 50 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions from our City. However, these emissions can be greatly reduced through better building and site design, and through the updated GDS in our Site Plan process,” said Acting Mayor Matt Mahoney. “Greener buildings not only help us tackle climate change, they also save everyone, from owners to renters, more money through energy efficiency. Our updated Green Development Standards provide clear direction to the development industry on how to design buildings that will help us achieve the objectives set out in our Climate Change Action Plan. We want to work closely with the building industry to achieve our shared goal of a greener Mississauga.”

The City conducted extensive consultation on the draft mandatory and voluntary metrics with residents, industry representatives and the development industry as part of the Green Developments Standards update. Staff also reviewed best practices from other Ontario municipalities to ensure the updated GDS aligned – an important factor for the development industry.

“Our updated GDS will help the local building industry cut down on harmful emissions and better prepare for climate change impacts, ensuring that new buildings under site plan control are better for everyone – nature, people, and our local economy,” said Andrew Whittemore, Commissioner, Planning and Building. “Mississauga is doing what we can, within our jurisdiction, to tackle climate change through better building design and operation. Small changes can make a big difference in reducing GHGs and energy use.”

Updated GDS

The updated GDS establishes a tiered structure that includes both mandatory and voluntary developer requirements. The requirements are divided into three tiers: tier one, which contains mandatory requirements, and tiers two and three, which include voluntary and higher performance standards. Over time, the initial voluntary tiers (tiers two and three) will become mandatory to achieve the goal of new near net-zero developments by 2030.

The updated GDS will take effect on March 1, 2025.

Incentives for builders

In alignment with other municipalities, the City of Mississauga will conduct a feasibility study to determine appropriate incentives, which may include financial incentives, to increase uptake of the tier two and tier three voluntary metrics and higher performance standards by the building industry.

For more information about the City of Mississauga’s Update to the Green Development Standards, visit

Picture of a green roof on a sustainable building