Canada Invests in Construction of Modern Tall Wood Building in Toronto

News release

May 30, 2019—Toronto, Ontario—Natural Resources Canada

Investing in the long-term use of wood in Canada’s construction industry will increase the demand for Canadian wood products, create good, middle-class jobs for Canadians and help the Government of Canada achieve its climate change goals.

Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for Spadina–Fort York, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a $4.1-million investment to build a 10-storey tall wood building in Toronto.

Construction of The Arbour, a $134-million project at George Brown College’s Waterfront Campus, will use an estimated 3,000 cubic metres of wood and will be a new, net-zero carbon emissions academic wood structure.

Both during its construction and once complete, The Arbour will serve as a living laboratory where students and researchers will learn to design, construct, operate and monitor climate-friendly buildings. It will also house a new childcare facility to serve the growing community.

Residential and commercial buildings are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and using low-carbon construction products, such as wood, supports Canada’s climate change objectives. Building tall with wood also means using advanced wood building systems and engineered mass timber products to meet and exceed building code requirements.

The Arbour is the first project funded through the Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) program, which received $39.8 million over four years in Budget 2017. GCWood encourages the use of wood in non-traditional construction projects, such as tall buildings, low-rise non-residential buildings and bridges. It aims to position Canada as a world leader in tall wood construction and the low-carbon economy. 


“Mass timber engineering keeps getting better, creating new opportunities in the Canadian construction industry. We know how important innovative forest products are to meeting climate change targets, creating jobs, stimulating economic growth and building more resilient communities.”

Adam Vaughan
Member of Parliament, Spadina–Fort York

“By supporting advancements in wood construction, the federal government is driving innovation in the construction sector and investing in a more sustainable future for all Canadians. This support will be vital as George Brown College develops The Arbour, Ontario’s first tall-wood, low-carbon institutional building. As the home of a research hub focused on mass-timber construction, as well as flexible learning spaces and a community childcare centre, this facility will serve as an example of how we can incorporate sustainability into all aspects of our lives, including where we learn, work and play.”

Anne Sado
President, George Brown College

“We couldn’t be happier about this announcement. The selection of The Arbour as an NRCan tall wood demonstration project is a significant achievement for George Brown College, the project team, and the City of Toronto. This versatile building will stand as a clear, inspiring demonstration of what can be achieved with modern wood construction. The example set by The Arbour will help drive advancement in sustainable wood construction and lead the way for additional tall wood projects in the Greater Toronto Area and across the country.”

Marianne Berube
Ontario Wood WORKS! 

“The funding announcement in support of The Arbour at George Brown College is not only essential for the project, it is an important investment in our collective low-carbon future. The funding will, among many other benefits, make possible the testing and development of the project’s structural innovations as well as enable the rigorous proofs required to introduce changes to the building codes. Achieving The Arbour, a larger scale low-carbon, highly sustainable public building, will open doors for the future developments and accelerate the growth of the mass timber industry in Canada by inspiring change.”  

Carol Phillips
Moriyama & Teshima Architects

Associated links


Vanessa Adams
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada

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