The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is planning a new headquarters to be built on Shoreham Drive just west of York University's main campus in northwestern Toronto and beside the Aviva Centre, Tennis Canada's premier facility for professional tournaments. An application for Site Plan Approval (SPA) filed with the City earlier this month offers a glimpse at the new four-storey facility, which features a low-carbon wood and concrete hybrid design by Toronto's ZAS Architects and Dublin-based Bucholz McEvoy Architects that reflects the project's natural setting along the Black Creek, and speaks to the TRCA's mandate through its sustainable building medium.

Site of the proposed development, image via Google Maps

The project dates back to June 2016, when the TRCA Board approved the construction of a new facility on the site of their outdated and too-small previous headquarters. (The TRCA has temporarily relocated their head office to a commercial park in Vaughan.) The next big step for the project came early in 2017, when councils representing all six of TRCA’s participating municipalities approved the project, along with the allocation of $60 million in funding towards the new building. The new head office design process lasted from October 2017 to July 2018, resulting in a proposal that makes ample use of timber.

TRCA headquarters, image via

Architectural plans for the project show that the main building envelope will consist of cedar timber cladding and glazing. Other materials include timber screens, brise soleils for summer shading and winter light, glazing and timber assembly with fitted timber shading, and timber-louvred opening lights. Plans also show a pair of a solar chimneys rising 6.4 metres above the building’s roofline, to passively draw hot air out of the building, and which will factor into the building's goals of meeting both a minimum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification and WELL Building certification.

TRCA headquarters, image via submission to City of Toronto

The SPA application is the latest part of an approvals process expected to continue into early 2019. Construction contracts are planned be tendered from February to March 2019, with construction tentatively scheduled to last from June 2019 to March 2021.

TRCA headquarters, image via submission to City of Toronto

Additional information and images can be found in our database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.

Related Companies:  Eastern Construction, Schollen & Company, Vortex Fire Consulting Inc.