Topping off ceremony marks new construction phase for Toronto’s Limberlost Place

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

George Brown College (GBC) hosted a topping-off ceremony Aug. 9, to mark completion of the structural elements at Limberlost Place in Toronto.

Stacey LaForme, Chief of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, PCL District Manager Myke Badry, design team leads Carol Phillips of Moriyama Teshima Architects and Russell Acton of Acton Ostry Architects attended the celebration.

Limberlost, Ontario’s first mass-timber, net-zero carbon emissions institutional building, has now reached the highest point in construction. The final wood and steel beams were installed in the 10-storey facility located at George Brown College’s (GBC) Waterfront campus in Toronto’s east Bayfront community.

Now that the frame is complete, a new phase of work begins inside the net-zero carbon emissions building, which will open for classes in January 2025. Limberlost Place will be the new home to the schools of architectural studies and computer technology, Mary’s Place child care centre, and a student fitness facility. It will also house the Brookfield Sustainability Institute (BSI).

The building design has earned several honours in Canada and around the world, including the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s 2023 Research and Innovation award.

PCL broke ground on Limberlost Place in December 2021. The 10-storey structure, built using Canadian-sourced mass-timber components, was designed by the team of Moriyama Teshima Architects and Acton Ostry Architects.

“Limberlost Place sets a new standard for green building and specifically mass-timber construction, and today’s topping-off ceremony marks a significant milestone,” said Limberlost Place Project Director Nerys Rau. “We are immensely proud of the progress made so far on this stunning example of climate-resilient construction that raises the bar when it comes to both design and function.”

The structure contains extraordinary elements, including a mass-timber pedestrian bridge on the fifth floor, connecting it to the Daphne Cockwell Centre for Health Sciences, and the largest wood column of its kind in North America (and possibly the world).

Crews will soon start installing and assembling the elements that promote well-being, the adaptable use of space, and energy efficiency at Limberlost Place. These elements include the passive ventilation system powered by solar chimneys, rooftop photovoltaics, a deep-water cooling system, and flexible design components that maximize access to natural light and fresh air.

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