No. 19: Because wood is good
Toronto is about to get the tallest mass timber structure in North America
It’s light but strong as concrete, easy to transport, low carbon, locally sourced and fire safe. According to some studies, just being near it makes people happy. It’s called wood. But this ain’t your grandfather’s wood—it’s mass timber: engineered wood that pushes beyond the physical limits of old-fashioned planks and beams. Think of it as insanely strong, oversized, high-tech plywood. It’s fire resistant because the outside of the material chars rather than ignites.
U of T is an early adopter: it’s got plans for a 14-storey mass timber tower to hold classrooms and offices. At 264 feet, it will be the tallest mass timber structure in North America when completed—but the way things are going, that record probably won’t stand for long. George Brown College has plans for a soaring structure of its own. There’s an office block coming to the Junction, condos near St. Clair and Keele, and in Liberty Village, a new five-storey commercial development that’s close to done—and everyone says it smells fantastic. When’s the last time someone said that about glass and steel?