Toronto's ongoing building boom has been typified by concrete construction, becoming the de facto building medium for new development. While concrete and steel will remain the preferred methods for high-rise construction, changes to the Ontario Building Code (OBC) that went into effect in January 2015 are fostering a new generation of mid-rise developments that will be constructed with timber frames of up to six storeys.

One such development, now in its registration phase and possibly the first six-storey timber frame building to rise in Toronto, is Heartwood The Beach, a Quadrangle Architects-designed development from Fieldgate Homes and Hullmark, planned for the northeast corner of Queen Street and Woodbine Avenue.

Heartwood The Beach, Quadrangle, Fieldgate, Hullmark, TorontoRendering of Heartwood The Beach, image courtesy of Fieldgate/Hullmark

The skeleton of Heartwood The Beach will be constructed using cross laminated timber (CLT), a strong and lightweight material that exhibits superior thermal, acoustic, and seismic performance, as well as greatly improved fire resistance over basic timber. Unlike concrete and steel, the use of CLT generates very little waste on a construction site, another element in the product's sustainability.

Heartwood The Beach, Quadrangle, Fieldgate, Hullmark, TorontoStreet level rendering of Heartwood The Beach, image courtesy of Fieldgate/Hullmark

The natural aesthetic of the development's frame and exterior finishes—foregrounded in the slogan 'Designed by nature, grown by the sun'—is to be complemented by a public art installation by Brent Comber, who is known for his 'Shattered Spheres'. Meant to represent three-dimensional spaces like the earth, the sky and the universe, an example of Comber's Shattered Spheres is visible on the left-hand side of the image below, rendered in one of the development's amenity spaces. Like the development itself, the illuminated art pieces will be sculpted from wood, carrying on the natural theme of the project.

Heartwood The Beach, Quadrangle, Fieldgate, Hullmark, TorontoAmenity space at Heartwood The Beach. "Shattered Sphere" visible on left, image courtesy of Fieldgate/Hullmark

In addition to common indoor amenity areas like the space pictured above, the development will boast a green roof, further offsetting the development's already minimal carbon footprint.

Heartwood The Beach, Quadrangle, Fieldgate, Hullmark, TorontoAerial rendering depicting green roof at Heartwood The Beach, image courtesy of Fieldgate/Hullmark

In total, Heartwood The Beach is offering just 37 units, ranging in size from 923 square feet on the lower end up to 1,550 square feet for penthouse units. Most of the development's units will be over 1,000 square feet in size.

Heartwood The Beach, Quadrangle, Fieldgate, Hullmark, TorontoRendering of suite interior at Heartwood - The Beach, image courtesy of Fieldgate/Hullmark

Additional information and renderings can be found in the project's dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment using the field provided at the bottom of this page.