Toronto Plans Mass Timber Pilot Program

The city of Toronto, ON, has announced a mass timber pilot program for affordable rental housing. This 100-home project – the first of its kind in Toronto – will take a new climate action approach to deliver affordable housing using mass timber and other low-carbon materials for building construction. The development is being designed to the Toronto Green Standard Version 4. To reach this tier, this development will see no on-site fossil fuel use, maximize on-site renewable electricity, and use mass timber and other low-carbon materials as much as possible. As a result, this building will be near net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Mass timber construction presents an opportunity to rapidly scale up the supply of affordable housing in Toronto. The pilot program will focus primarily on mid-rise development, but can also include analyzing both missing middle (housing types such as laneway houses, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, townhouses, and low-rise apartment buildings) and tall building development through a mass timber form. Staff will report to planning and housing committee in the fourth quarter of 2023 on the results of the pilot program and, if successful, will provide a full set of recommendations to establish a new permanent Mass Timber Affordable Housing Program.