The Design Guidelines for ‘Greening’ Surface Parking Lots provide specific strategies and measures which developers, designers and reviewers of surface parking lots can apply to help meet Official Plan policies and environmental performance targets of the Toronto Green Standard.

The Guidelines are designed to deal with common urban design and environmental challenges found within and around surface parking lots.

‘Greening’ the surface parking lot involves:

  • planting trees;
  • providing good quality soil and generous landscaped areas;
  • enhancing pedestrian and cycling infrastructure;
  • managing stormwater on-site;
  • reducing the urban heat island effect; and
  • using sustainable materials and technologies.

At the November 19-20th, 2007 meeting of City Council, the draft Design Guidelines for ‘Greening’ Surface Parking Lots were approved for public release and stakeholder consultation.

Council also approved a recommendation for City staff to apply and test the draft Guidelines during the design, review and approval of all new developments containing surface parking.

At the conclusion of the consultation and test period, no substantial modifications were identified. Furthermore, the Guidelines are now an approved specification referenced by the Toronto Green Standard. Minor updates were completed in January 2013 to make the Guidelines consistent with the current requirements of the Toronto Green Standard.