TRCA office

Toronto is getting a breathtaking new wood building next to a ravine

A lot of people like to mock Toronto for becoming a bit of a concrete jungle, so seeing a wood-based building rising up is certainly a nice change of pace.

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) just announced a new office on the edge of Black Creek ravine that will feature exterior cedar wood cladding meant to honour the heritage buildings in nearby Black Creek Pioneer Village.

TRCA office

The office was designed by  ZAS Architects in a joint venture with Bucholz McEvoy Architects.

Located at 5 Shoreham Drive and adjacent to York University campus, the wood-first building will measure 4-storeys and 8,100 square metres and cost about $65 million to build.

TRCA office

The atria on the ground floor with large skylights allow daylight to penetrate deeply into the building, highlighting the project’s biophilic design.

Of course, this isn't the first wood building in Toronto. George Brown College unveiled one just a few years ago as did U of T. There have also been a number of office and residential buildings made out of wood.

TRCA office

The ravine edge of the site is integrated into the project landscape design and thereby brings the ravine ecology “into” the building. The landscape integrates active transportation entry points, including conections to bike trails in the ravine.

TRCA's new office will be loaded with sustainable design features including a green roof, rainwater harvesting system and solar chimneys which will generate five per cent of the building's electricity.

The city already has a fair amount of green buildings, so adding another to the list is a good sign that Toronto is making some progress with sustainable design and fighting against climate change.

Photos by

ZAS Architects


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