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News From MTI

Hello Mass Timber Colleagues! 

Feature: R-Hauz Queen Street Project

R-Hauz's pilot avenue townhome is the first 6-storey all wood mass timber residential building in Ontario. Situated on Queen St. East, it is the first of two side by side townhomes. With all six stories completed in just over 5 weeks, it embodies the benefits of a mass timber product designed for main streets, a more sustainable and affordable option than its concrete alternative. The R-Town is faster and built from the rear lane so as not to obstruct traffic and features a direct access elevator, balconies and front and back windows in every unit providing for exceptional natural light, privacy and air circulation.

Image Credit: Mehrdad Tavakkolian

Feature: Timber Systems celebrates 40 years

This year finds Markham-based Timber Systems Limited celebrating its 40th year of industry leading contributions to building with wood in Canada.

By pursuing and achieving some significant changes in building codes to allow timber construction to play in a much wider field that was normally the domain of concrete and steel work, company President Gary Williams has been a key player as one of those advancing the opportunities to construct larger and taller buildings in wood.

Not only has the company supplied many hundreds of projects over the 40 years of its operations, their ongoing contributions to many design teams have helped guide decisions in choosing the most effective wood products to serve a particular project.

Timber Systems continues to provide the community centres, recreational and worship spaces that have regularly been constructed of wood, but most often those have been suburban or regionally located. However, quite recent years have seen its timber work move “Downtown Toronto”.

Both the just completed four-level flagship Shoppers Drug Mart project at the Yonge/Bloor corner and the six-story mixed-use project currently being constructed for R-Hauz on Queen Street benefited from extensive collaboration between Timber Systems and the design teams to successfully integrate Glued-laminated Timber and Cross Laminated Timber into their construction. These projects were the first to use CLT for the elevator and stairwell shafts in Ontario.

Even though the beauty of exposed Mass Timber in the interior of these two projects is not apparent from the street, Torontonians are enjoying the exposed elegance of wood construction at these two other recent Timber Systems’ successes; one at Ontario Place, and the other at St. James’s park.

Image Credit: Timber Systems. Top: Shoppers Drug Mart Yonge/Bloor. Bottom: Ontario Place Trillium Park Pavilion.

Feature: 124,000 SF Mass Timber Project for OSSTF/FEESO Headquarters

After almost 50 years, the Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) is modernizing its headquarters with the announcement of its new multi-tenant commercial building designed by Moriyama & Teshima.
The 3-storey 124,000 SF Mass Timber project will seamlessly integrate tenant spaces with the revitalization of the OSSTF/FEESO’s existing office space in Toronto. Upon entering the building, visitors and occupants will immediately be drawn to a light filled, triple height atrium that joins the two spaces; a central feature stair is framed by Glulam (Glued-laminated timber) columns and a vertical wooden screen, dramatically rising to meet a skylight formed by a diagrid of Glulam beams. This diagrid extends from the interior to the exterior to form a continuous canopy over the third-floor terrace shared by OSSTF/FEESO staff and tenants.
Located at 60 Mobile Drive, the building will be one of the first developments on employment lands that is close by the new Eglinton Cross Town LRT. Coupling that with the DVP being only a few minutes away, the building is easily accessible from anywhere in the city.
Targeting LEED Platinum, the design is the result of extensive consultation with the community, staff, and leading experts in sustainable design. The Don Valley ravine edge on which the building sits will also undergo intensive restoration and stabilization through naturalization and water balance strategies. Low Impact Development (LID) measures will control the major overland storm water flow route through the site and into the ravine.
Designed to the highest environmental standards, the OSSTF/FEESO’s new headquarters is built on a foundation of social, financial and environmental sustainability.

Image Credit: Moriyama & Teshima Architects

News from the Institute


1. MTI participated in The Architect's Newspaper Virtual Mass Timber Conference on September 24

Thanks to our director, Dr. Anne Koven for moderating a great panel discussion entitled "CLT's High Ambitions: Timber Assembly in Tower Design" at the Mass Timber Conference. The day was filled with exciting events so be sure to check out the website for more information on the discussions.

2. Welcome Onboard - Sanjana Patel!

We are very pleased to introduce Sanjana Patel, our newest MTI team member. Sanjana is a Masters of Architecture student joining our communications team. She has interests in timber construction and material exploration through digital fabrication. Welcome Sanjana!

Updates from our Partners

  • MTI will be attending the virtual Michigan Mass Timber Summit. The summit's goal is to accelerate the adoption of mass timber through identifying a list of challenges and addressing them with the support of key stakeholders. The event runs Sept 22, Sept 29, and Oct 6 from 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM EST. Register here.

  • Congratulations to the CIF-IFC for a successful virtual conference and AGM! You can find more information about the program on their conference webpage.

  • DIALOG pioneers the design of a 105-storey zero carbon hybrid wood tower featuring their patent-pending Hybrid Timber Floor System!
  • Formline Architecture, LGA Architectural Partners, and Public Work collaboration thoughtfully incorporates site and indigenous tradition in the design of UTSC's upcoming Indigenous House.

  • BCIT's newest student housing building in 38 years will be an example setting mass timber structure.

That's all for now -- thanks for reading!
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Mass Timber Institute · University of Toronto John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design · 1016N-33 Willcocks St. · Toronto, On M5S 3B3 · Canada

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