At Queen and Woodbine, Fieldgate and Hullmark's Heartwood The Beach will add a mid-rise presence to the northeast corner of this popular Toronto neighbourhood. Like many of the more modestly scaled projects throughout the city, the 6-storey building is contributing fine-grained urban density to the growing city. However, while the Quadrangle-designed building is modest in its exterior scale, the project is ambitious—and innovative—from the inside.

Heartwood the Beach, Toronto, by Fieldgate Homes, Hullmark, Quadrangle Looking northeast from Queen and Woodbine, image courtesy of Fieldgate/Hullmark

Taking advantage of updated provincial regulations, the project will be Toronto's first new 6-storey wood frame condominium. Embracing the natural material from both environmental and aesthetic standpoints, the Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) structure celebrates wood as a durable, sustainable—and beautiful—design element.

Heartwood the Beach, Toronto, by Fieldgate Homes, Hullmark, Quadrangle Looking northwest from Queen east of Woodbine, image courtesy of Fieldgate/Hullmark

Compared to steel and concrete, timber has the advantage of being a more sustainable and efficient building material. Unlike most human-made construction materials, wood is fully renewable, and takes far less energy to manufacture. In addition, since CLT production typically uses 99% of each tree—and most of the remaining material is used to create bio-mass fuels—the process leaves behind very little waste. 

Heartwood the Beach, Toronto, by Fieldgate Homes, Hullmark, Quadrangle The exposed wood ceiling gives the living spaces an uncommonly warm ambiance, image courtesy of Fieldgate/Hullmark

Quadrangle's design also utilizes wood tones as a prominent design element. Heartwood's suites feature 9' exposed timber ceilings, creating an aesthetic that Quadrangle Principal Richard Witt describes as "uniquely warm and welcoming." Renderings also show wood tones prominently used throughout the suites and communal areas, with a "Shattered Spheres" art installation by Brent Comber—dubbed "the wood whisperer" by Azure Magazine—promising a meditation on materiality, nature, and three-dimensional space.

Heartwood the Beach, Toronto, by Fieldgate Homes, Hullmark, Quadrangle The "Shattered Sphere" artwork will accent the amenity areas, image courtesy of Fieldgate/Hullmark 

With improvements in engineering and safety, wood is now able to meet the standards of Ontario's construction industry, performing similarly to to steel and concrete in terms of thermal and acoustic insulation, as well as fire safety. 

Heartwood the Beach, Toronto, by Fieldgate Homes, Hullmark, Quadrangle A rendering of a bathroom interior, image courtesy of Fieldgate/Hullmark

The development will also feature a green roof, further offsetting the building's minimized carbon footprint. In a city where the volume of construction often imposes on traffic and pedestrian movement, the wood-frame project promises an accelerated and minimally disruptive construction timeline.

Heartwood the Beach, Toronto, by Fieldgate Homes, Hullmark, Quadrangle Aerial view of the project, image courtesy of Fieldgate/Hullmark

Heartwood's 37 residential units will range in size from 923 ft² to 1,550 ft², with a variety of one and two bedroom configurations available. 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.