The Government of Ontario announced yesterday that it will follow through on plans to amend the Ontario Building Code (OBC) to allow the use of wood-frame construction in buildings of up to six storeys. For years now, the building industry has been pushing for the province to adopt an OBC six-storey wood standard similar to that which exists in British Columbia, a province which has seen over 100 wood-frame construction projects as a result.

Wood-framed construction, image by Jack Landau

Bryan Tuckey, President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), sees this as a major step forward for the Ontario building industry. “BILD welcomes the news that the province will undertake a regulatory review of the implications of adopting the proposal” said Tuckey. “This first step is great news for our industry and new-home buyers”.

This announcement is very important for Toronto in particular, as the Toronto's Avenues and Mid-Rise Guidelines suggest that buildings approximately as tall as a street's right-of-way provide an ideal transition between main roads and low-rise residential neighbourhoods. The average right-of-way on Toronto’s Avenues would equate to an approximately six-storey building. With wood-framed construction holding several cost advantages over concrete and steel, wood-reinforced structures of up to 6 storeys can easily provide affordable housing options while adding significant density to our Avenues.

To see Bryan Tuckey's full announcement, please follow this link.