As Canada grapples with the increasing need for sustainable and affordable housing, Assembly Corporation has emerged as a crucial player in addressing these complex challenges. Founded in 2018, Assembly is notable for its modular, turn-key building solutions, specializing in multi-unit residential projects throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Utilizing mass-timber and light-frame wood panels manufactured offsite, Assembly’s innovative construction techniques enable more sustainable and efficient building than traditional methods.

Assembly streamlines the building process while committing to creating spaces that are both humanizing and environmentally conscious. Their sustainable building practices, focusing on mid-rise housing and urban infill, using existing infrastructure to avoid creating sprawl that threatens our natural landscapes. With a portfolio of six completed and 12 ongoing projects, Assembly’s method of using pre-fabricated, wood products promises a scalable solution to deliver affordable, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing homes.

Looking north to 1602 Queen Street East, image courtesy of Assembly

In February 2021, Assembly marked a milestone with the completion of its pilot project at 1602 Queen Street East, (above), the first all-wood, mass-timber six-storey residential building in Ontario. Designed by SMV Architects, this groundbreaking development showcases Assembly's sustainable construction practices. Research conducted by the Centre for Climate Change Management and Energy and Power Innovation Centre at Mohawk College highlighted that this pilot project operates with 35% less operational carbon per square foot compared to similar residential buildings.

Looking at Assembly’s portfolio, all the ones noted below feature Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) Mass-timber floor panels and light-frame engineered wood wall panels prefabricated at a large scale. High-performance envelopes and efficient mechanical systems result in a building performance between 20% to 55% better than code requirements. Each project provides 20% more barrier-free units than required by building code.

The 60 Bowden Street development, in partnership with Woodgreen Community Housing and designed by McCallumSather Architects, will transform the site of Danforth Baptist Church with affordable apartments tailored for underserved seniors. Incorporating a geothermal heat pump system, the eight-storey building optimizes energy use while providing a full spectrum of health and wellness supports.

Looking southwest to Danforth Church Housing Addition, designed by McCallumSather for Assembly Corporation, and Woodgreen Community Housing Inc

Currently under construction, 215 Wellesley Street East is an eight-storey residential infill project set to provide supportive units specifically designed for women transitioning from incarceration and facing poverty. CMV Group was the design architect and the architect on record is McCallumSather. This building integrates a geothermal ground source heat pump. Situated in Cabbagetown, the building also includes critical support services located at grade, which assist residents in developing essential life management and employment skills.

Under construction at 2217 Kingston Road, a collaborative effort between Assembly and the Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Society reflects a deep commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. This six-storey building, designed by McCallumSather Architects and Smoke Architects, is geared towards providing transitional housing and comprehensive support for formerly incarcerated Indigenous women. True to Indigenous teachings on respecting the land, this project features a geothermal ground source heat pump, ensuring the operation is environmentally friendly.

Thunder Woman Healing Lodge, designed by McCallum Sather Architects for Assembly Corporation and Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Society

7 Vanauley Street will serve as an inclusive space in Toronto's Alexandra Park. This six-storey affordable housing project, undertaken in partnership with the YMCA of Greater Toronto, will provide housing specifically dedicated to 2SLGBTQ+ youth who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Using a geothermal ground source heat pump for its heating and cooling needs, the Rent-Geared-to-Income model ensures that no tenant pays more than 30% of their income towards housing.

An aerial view of 7 Vanauley Street, designed by CMV Group architects for YMCA of Greater Toronto

Finally, 1120 Ossington Avenue is an infill project under construction in Toronto's Davenport neighbourhood. This three-storey project, with designing architect Smart Density and the architect on record McCallum Sather Architects, is a strategic addition to an existing converted church, expanding its capacity with 26 affordable units. Assembly is focused here on rapid housing delivery, specifically targeting groups in need; this building is constructed using mass timber and equipped with air source heat pumps.

Looking southwest to 1120 Ossington Avenue, designed by Smart Density for Assembly Corporation

Assembly continues to push the boundaries of sustainable construction and affordable housing, with the company poised to further innovate with advancements in modular building technologies, accessibility, and sustainable practices, aiming to create more livable, resilient, and inclusive urban environments.

UrbanToronto will continue to follow progress on these developments, but in the meantime, you can learn more about them from our Database files, linked below. If you'd like, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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UrbanToronto has a research service, UrbanToronto Pro, that provides comprehensive data on construction projects in the Greater Toronto Area—from proposal through to completion. We also offer Instant Reports, downloadable snapshots based on location, and a daily subscription newsletter, New Development Insider, that tracks projects from initial application.​​​​

Related Companies:  ASPECT Structural Engineers, Crozier & Associates Consulting Engineers, Element5, RWDI Climate and Performance Engineering, Smart Density, SvN