77 Wade is one of Canada’s tallest hybrid timber office buildings under development. The eight-storey, 14,000 sq m, “code-breaking” structure not only surpasses current height restrictions, it also achieves 78% exposed wood, allowing the future tenants to benefit from the building’s materials.
Located in Junction Triangle, the LEED Gold targeted project is a modern interpretation of the turn-of-the-century post and beam lofts beloved by the City’s burgeoning tech sector. The project celebrates wood and natural light, but unlike traditional lofts eliminates beam shadows and cramped floorplates through an innovative flat ceiling system.
Developed in collaboration with the project team’s structural engineer and mass timber fabricator, the hybrid solution combines glue laminated timber (GLT), steel beams, and poured-in-place concrete to create floors that are up to 50% thinner than other mass timber projects in development. The resulting flat ceilings easily accommodate building systems, and the strength of the hybrid system allows for a desirable 9 x 9 metre grid, making the building highly flexible for the developer/owner and their future tenants.
Current code has recently upped the number of floors allowed in wood structures to 12 from six-storeys, but still requires wood be covered with drywall for fire protection. The solution for 77 Wade surpasses the code requirements and the project has achieved unprecedented height and percentage of exposed wood by demonstrating a different approach to the City’s building department through the Alternative Solutions Process.
A folded curtain wall system provides a dynamic form at street level and exposes the innovative structure within. The design of the main entrance invites users into retail and collaboration spaces with a geometric unfolding of the space. Outside, a wood canopy creates shade for a landscaped outdoor POP that leads to a path connecting to Metrolinx’s planned linear park and multi-use trail.
77 Wade demonstrates what is possible when a team of creative thinkers challenge themselves to think outside the box – or, in this case, the Code. This prototypical building provides a replicable and scalable model for future commercial developments that can share in the biophilic and carbon sequestration benefits of wood construction.