The Tri-Country Green Development Standards (GDS) project is a joint effort among Grey, Dufferin, and Wellington Counties (the Counties) to create unified Green Development Standards that are informed by best practices, existing building credentials programs, and input from stakeholder consultation. The Counties will work closely with member municipalities. 

The Tri-County Rural Green Development Standards will establish a consistent framework across the Counties making it easier for the development industry to understand and implement in their projects. The document will incorporate standards and guidelines that can be applied through all phases of development planning applications right through to construction.  

Family of 4 using sidewalk in a residential neighbourhood

How Can I Get Involved?

Dufferin residents can attend a public visioning session on March 26th. Stay tuned for more details.

What Are Green Development Standards (GDS)?

Green Development Standards (GDS) include measures for developers and builders to create thoughtful and innovative developments using sustainable design​.

GDS are based on principles to guide development at a level of planning and design that focuses on the community as a whole​. They are a critical policy tool for municipalities to achieve their greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, their Official Plan goals, their goals for sustainability, and support climate adaptation 

What are examples of Green Development Standards? 

There are several green development standards in place in Ontario. Some examples include: 

Why Are Green Development Standards Important?

  • Municipalities are witnessing rising climate impacts such as higher temperatures, more severe weather events, threats to agriculture, and impacts to health. ​ 

  • Most of Canadians lead high carbon lifestyles due to their reliance on gasoline vehicles for transportation and the use of fossil fuels to heat the buildings they live and work in.  

  • Municipalities can put cost-effective policies in place that will benefit their residents in the future. ​ 

  • With GDS in place, Municipalities can ensure that buildings and infrastructure are constructed to be more resilient to disruptions from extreme weather events.  

What Are the Benefits of Green Development Standards?

Green Development Standards provide a mix of benefits to communities. These come in the form of environmental benefits, social benefits, and economic benefits and include: 

Environmental Benefits 

Social Benefits 

Economic Benefits 

  • Reduces energy consumption​ 

  • Reduces vehicle dependency​ 

  • Improves water management​ 

  • Increases green space and biodiversity​ 

  • Increases climate resilience 


  • Improves air quality​ 

  • Promotes healthier more active lifestyles​ 

  • Increases access to outdoor greenspace​ 

  • Promotes the development of affordable and mixed-used housing​ 

  • Promotes community design that embraces heritage and culture 

  • Increases property values​ 

  • Reduces municipal infrastructure costs ​ 

  • Longer lasting building stock ​ 

  • Improves energy affordability 

  • Creates jobs  


Timelines for Creating Green Development Standards



Completion Date 

Awareness Building 

This phase will raise awareness of the Project though webinars and public meetings. This includes: 

  • One public visioning session in each County to solicit input on how Green Development Standards can contribute to sustainable communities.  

  • One webinar for the development and construction industry to raise awareness of Green Development Standards.   

  • Engagement content posted throughout the project on  the MetroQuest platform 


April 30, 2024 

Creating a Desire for Change 

This phase will result in a draft of the Green Development Standards through a series of workshops and charrettes with the building industry and municipal staff. 


July 31, 2024 

Knowledge Mobilization 

This phase will seek feedback on the draft Green Development Standards from municipal staff & council, the development industry and the general public. Standards will be revised based on feedback received.  


November 30, 2024 

Quick Poll