toronto's quayside waterfront will see mass-timber housing by adjaye associates

toronto's quayside waterfront will see mass-timber housing by adjaye associates

the next quayside plan for toronto’s waterfront 


toronto‘s waterfront is soon to be transformed with a new ‘quayside’ development, designed by a consortium including adjaye associates, alison brooks architectshenning larsen, and landscape design practice SLA. developed together with dream unlimited and great gulf, the new neighborhood will introduce 800 affordable housing units, public spaces, and opportunities for new business, including a residential building in mass-timber. the complex will cover 4.9 hectares site along the waterfront toronto’s waterfront and includes over 8,000 square meters (86,000 square feet) of forested green space and an urban farm.


the plan comes nearly two years after sidewalk labs scrapped the quayside ‘smart-city’ which would have introduced buildings by snøhetta + heatherwick studio to the 12-acre stretch of disused land along lake ontario.

quayside torontoadjaye associates ‘timber house’ tower rising above quayside | images courtesy of waterfront toronto



five towers woven together with lush green space


the quayside proposal by alison brooks architects (see more), adjaye associates (see more), henning larsen (see more), and SLA (see more) is the winning entry of an international competition by waterfront toronto launched in march 2021. developed by dream unlimited (see more) and great gulf (see more), the design hopes to stand as an architectural and cultural landmark on the city’s waterfront, transforming the area into an all-electric, zero-carbon community.


the proposal includes five towers, most notably one of canada’s largest residential buildings in mass-timber designed by adjaye associates and topped by an urban farm. each of the five towers will be woven together with a park designed by SLA. 

quayside torontoa street view of the timber house by adjaye associates



the elements of the planned neighborhood


after revealing the lush, plant-filled conceptual visualizations of its new quayside plans, waterfront toronto (see more) notes that nothing is yet set in stone. major elements of the proposal are expected to include over 800 affordable housing units — over double the amount of waterfront toronto’s existing affordable housing. to ‘address an urgent need,’ the group emphasizes family-sized residences, and are planned to be delivered in early development phases.


quayside is expected to take shape as an all-electric neighborhood with car-free parks between the five towers, marking an ‘exemplary low-carbon development and innovations.’ the new public spaces will be accessible to all, and include the two-acre community forest by SLA. what’s more, a multifaceted arts and cultural center will become a citywide destination while ‘bringing together space for the performing arts, Indigenous-centered cultural celebrations, and flexible education spaces.’

quayside torontothe car-free urban parks between the five towers



working closely with first nation


waterfront toronto is working closely with southern ontario’s mississaugas of the credit first nation (MCFN). MCFN chief stacey laforme says: ‘toronto and its waters are a significant place to our people and all the people of ontario. as host first nation, we will continue to work to ensure that quayside will be a place that celebrates indigenous history and presence and lays the foundation for a good future based on inclusion, respect, and reconciliation.’


george zegarac, president and CEO of waterfront toronto comments:we set out to make quayside the kind of community that meaningfully improves the lives of its residents, neighbours, and visitors. the proposal from dream and great gulf will make a real difference in the lives of those who live near the waterfront or come to visit, by creating affordable rental housing, extensive public spaces, and new jobs and business opportunities.

quayside torontothe western curve by alison brooks architects


street-level view of the western curve by alison brooks architects

toronto's quayside waterfront will see mass-timber housing by adjaye associatesgreenhouses and rooftop gardens


the overstorey building by henning larsen

toronto's quayside waterfront will see mass-timber housing by adjaye associates

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