Federal Investment Supports Building Novel 14-Storey Mass-Timber Academic Tower at the University of Toronto

News release

January 18, 2024       Toronto, Ontario      Natural Resources Canada

Enhanced construction practices are enabling buildings across Canada that are resilient to the impacts of climate change while locking in absorbed carbon. Innovative building materials, including mass timber, are helping to drive down emissions in the buildings sector while creating good jobs across the Canadian supply chain – including in sustainable forestry.

Today, Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, announced a $3.9-million federal contribution to the University of Toronto for the construction of a 14-storey mass timber academic and research tower on its St. George campus. The contribution comes through the Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) program.

The new building, with its innovative design and creative wood structure, will provide a new and creative workspace for several faculties and act as a living laboratory to further the university’s innovation agenda. The structure is being constructed almost entirely from engineered Canadian timber.

Mass timber products require less energy to produce and store carbon dioxide. By choosing mass timber, construction projects are reducing pollution and energy waste while contributing to a growing area of climate action. Mass timber products sustainably contribute to the future of low-carbon construction and the development Canada’s bioeconomy in a manner that is consistent with the forest carbon cycle.

This project helps to expand Canada’s wood market into tall wood buildings, creating good jobs in the forest and construction sectors that contribute to Canada’s fight against the climate crisis.

Across Canada, the construction sector is transforming, with more low-carbon solutions like wood-based materials and systems being used. From conservation to sustainable development, Canada’s forest economy supports many communities and directly employs hundreds of thousands of Canadians who will continue to contribute economically to building a net-zero future.

The Government of Canada is supporting Canadian industries and workers, who are innovating to meet the growing global demand for more sustainable construction materials such as mass timber, carbon-cured concrete and zero-emissions steel.


“The Government of Canada's Green Construction through Wood program is supporting more sustainable Canadian materials for the construction industry. The University of Toronto’s Academic Wood Tower project is one of many examples of innovative technologies being used to create resilient and low-carbon buildings, while preventing carbon emissions. I congratulate all those involved in this important project.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson

Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

The Academic Wood Tower at U of T is a historic development that symbolizes where we are headed: a cleaner future where Canadian workers sustainably use Canadian materials to build more affordable and sustainable communities. The Government of Canada is pleased to help get this tower built, right here in Toronto.”

Julie Dabrusin

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

“As a global university, we have a responsibility — and an opportunity — to show the world how to positively shape urban environments. With the Academic Wood Tower, made possible thanks in large part to our generous supporters, U of T is leveraging Canada’s leadership in forestry and wood technologies to demonstrate a better way to build, all while providing our faculty and students with state-of-the-art spaces for their research, teaching, learning and community engagement. Ambitious projects like these are why U of T is increasingly regarded as a global leader in sustainability.”

Meric Gertler

President, University of Toronto

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