limberlost place timber bridge

Toronto is getting a cool new pedestrian bridge made almost entirely out of wood

Toronto has entered into the age of modern mass timber construction, and the first few ultra-sustainable, net-zero buildings in this new wave are already being woven into the urban fabric.

George Brown College's Limberlost Place will stand as one of the most prominent new timber structures in the city, now racing through construction at the institution's Waterfront Campus.

Construction of the building crossed a major milestone last month when an all-timber pedestrian bridge was hoisted into place, connecting Limberlost Place's sixth floor with the fifth floor of the Daphne Cockwell Centre for Health Sciences next door.

According to PCL Construction, the firm building the innovative project, the bridge was prefabricated at an off-site location using cross-laminated timber pieces, shipped to the site in sections, and assembled over a period of four days.

Video provided by PCL summarizes the process of the assembly and the hoisting of the 31-metric-tonne load.

"It was incredibly exciting to witness the installation of the mass timber pedestrian bridge at Limberlost Place," says Nerys Rau, GBC's Project Director for Limberlost Place. "It was really impressive to see the placement done with such methodical precision."

Made up of two glulam (glue-laminated) trusses and four cross-laminated timber panels, the bridge measures over 21 metres long and stands 65 feet above street-level below.

Though the main structural elements are of timber construction, the bridge's vertical members are fastened with 22 steel planes and pinned by over 240 steel dowels, meaning that the new pedestrian link is not built entirely of wood.

Aside from the bridge, construction is speeding along for the ten-storey building, designed by Acton Ostry Architects and Moriyama Teshima Architects.

The project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2024 and will open for classes the following January, serving as the new home of GBC's School of Architectural Studies, the School of Computer Technology and the Brookfield Sustainability Institute.

Lead photo by

PCL Construction


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