Google sister company proposes mass timber neighborhood


It seemed impressive enough that tall buildings are being constructed with cross-laminated timber. That’s nothing – how about an entire neighborhood?

Sidewalk Labs, a sister company to Google, just announced a proposed $1 billion, 12-acre community in Toronto, Canada, that would be built largely with mass timber. The new neighborhood, called Quayside, would include 3 million square feet of CLT and glue-laminated timber (Glulam), and 3,000 residential units. Quayside would be the largest mass timber development in the world and is designed by Vancouver, B.C., architect Michael Green.

“Sidewalk Toronto is considering using tall timber technologies on an unprecedented scale, and exploring what it would mean to build Quayside primarily, or even entirely, out of tall timber,” said the team in the design document, also released yesterday.

The design team says, “it would take just 100 minutes of growth of (Canadian) forests to support an entirely timber Quayside.”

Toronto’s building code currently allows for only six stories of tall-timber construction. That is expected to be extended to 12 stories by 2021, but Sidewalk Labs has plans for towers of up 50 stories.

What’s even more incredible is that Quayside is part of a much larger 800-acre district in Toronto, called the Eastern Waterfront. Sidewalk Labs could use mass timber to build the entire 800 acres.