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Canadian Timber Building Could Be A Trendsetter

Construction is underway in downtown Toronto on a multi-story mixed-use project that incorporates an innovative combination of glulam and cross-laminated timber (CLT).

The timber installation, scheduled for completion in mid-September, encompasses a combined floor and roof area of 3,800 square meters. The development, located at the southwest corner of Charles and Yonge streets, is thought to be the first significant contemporary “mass timber” project to proceed in the city’s downtown core.

By definition, mass timber construction uses large, prefabricated wood members for wall, floor and roof construction. These products include glue-laminated timber and CLT. “Timber construction is definitely staking a new claim, so many years after now century-old wood buildings were being constructed in the city,” said Gary Williams, president of Timber Systems Ltd.

The Markham, Ont.-based company was awarded a contract in November 2015 to both supply and install the timber for the four-story project which incorporates an existing heritage-designated building.

The project is being carried out for Shoppers Drug Mart, now owned by Loblaw Companies, by a team that includes Toronto-based architects Brook McIlroy and structural engineers Blackwell. The two firms have collaborated on wood construction projects in the past.

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