Here's a snapshot of some of the most important issues
for the residential construction industry.
Canada is the nation of wood, right?
Then why is it impossible to build mid-rise wood-frame above six storeys in Ontario, a region full of forests known to some as the province of opportunity? Because the Ontario Building Code limits wood-frame construction to six storeys.
When you look east, you see a 13-storey timber-frame condo in Quebec City; look west and eat your heart out – 18 storeys at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Internationally, England, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the U.S. are among the countries that build with wood well over six storeys.
And that’s where our director of innovation and building science comes in: Paul De Berardis is joined by Michael de Lint, our new director of regulatory reform and technical standards, in presenting our showpiece blog of the summer on the alternative solutions approach the industry can take with the Ontario government to make mass timber-frame construction a reality.
Our team recently travelled to Montreal to visit Arbora, a fantastic eight-storey wood-frame building – there is no reason why we shouldn’t be able to do this in Ontario, especially the GTHA where there is a desperate need for alternative housing options to fill the gaps in the housing spectrum.
But a change to regulation is not enough. Without improved approval processes, guidelines and an ability to build, there are still overwhelming barriers that exist in Ontario.
Let’s move Ontario in the direction of becoming a global innovation leader: see the story below.
As for the other stories: in my column for the Toronto Sun, I address the knock-on effects of the construction strikes; and ahead of school’s return, we re-visit high school teacher Elvy Moro and the excellent Construction Trades Exploration Program (CTEP).
Enjoy the newsletter!


Mid-rise wood-frame: Let's go above 6 in the 6ix

In his debut column for, Paul De Berardis teams up with Michael de Lint for a report on Montreal's eight-storey, wood-frame Arbora condo by the newest members of our team. Why can't we go higher than six in Ontario? Maybe we can.

Read their column here.

Labour turmoil aftermath impacts homebuyers

In his Toronto Sun column, Richard Lyall explains why some new-home buyers are experiencing longer delays than they had expected as a result of the 46-day trades strikes in May and June.

Read Lyall's column here.

TDSB teacher finds young talent for industry

Here is the conclusion of the two-part series on on the Construction Trades Exploration Program (CTEP). This story focuses on the program's roots and fact sheets for those who know Toronto teens who might want to try the trades.

Read Lyall's column here.

A frank conversation on going net zero

RESCON's tech guru Michael Steele writes the conclusion of his two-part series, challenging the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change's action plan and recommending mandatory energy audits for the existing building stock.

Read Steele's column here.

Who said infrastructure isn't sexy?

RCCAO executive director Andy Manhan and former Ontario deputy minister Michael Fenn team up to write about the future of infrastructure based on the report "Megatrends: The Impact of Infrastructure on Canada's and Ontario's Future."

Click here for the article.
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