George Brown College Secures $4.1 Million for The Arbour

$4.1 million in funding comes from Green Construction through Wood Program launched by Natural Resources Canada

TORONTO – George Brown College is pleased to announce a Government of Canada investment of $4.1 million to construct Limberlost Place – Ontario's first mass-timber, low-carbon institutional building. The funding is part of the Green Construction through Wood Program (GCWood) launched by Natural Resources Canada.

"I would like to thank the federal government for supporting advancements in wood construction and investing in a more sustainable future for all Canadians," said Anne Sado, President, George Brown College. "Not only is this funding driving innovation in the construction sector, but it is also enabling George Brown to expand our Waterfront Campus so we can continue training the highly skilled workers our economy needs."

The Arbour is poised to become a Toronto landmark, while leading the way in green construction.  It will be home to an advanced research hub focused on mass-timber construction, which will support the development of innovative concepts and research in sustainable building. George Brown College Professor Christopher Timusk will serve as the inaugural Mass Timber Research Chair. A specialist in the areas of building science and wood composite materials, Professor Timusk will bring together researchers, students and industry partners to explore, develop and test innovative solutions and technologies that advance the use of mass timber.  

The Arbour will also be home to George Brown's School of Computer Technology and School of Architectural Studies, as well as a childcare centre supporting the local community.  The facility will feature 'breathing' rooms using solar chimneys for sustainable, natural ventilation, as well as flexible learning spaces with walls that can be extended or retracted.

"The Arbour project is a significant achievement for George Brown College," said Marianne Berube, Executive Director of Ontario Wood WORKS!. "This versatile building will stand as an inspiration of what can be achieved with modern wood construction, and will lead the way for additional tall wood projects in the Greater Toronto Area and across the country."

While construction is slated to begin in 2021, the Arbour's modern design by Moriyama and Teshima Architects and Acton Ostry Architects has already received accolades. It has been awarded the Sustainability Prize at the 2019 MIPIM/Architectural Review Future Project Awards; the First Award in the Institutional Concept category at Rethinking the Future's 2018 Architecture, Construction & Design Awards; and the 2018 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence. It has also been nominated for Azure Magazine's 2019 AZ Awards in the Unbuilt Buildings category.

Quick Facts:

  • The GCWood program was announced as part of the Government of Canada's Budget 2017 with $39.8 million in funding available over four years, starting in 2018–19. The funds support projects and activities that increase the use of wood as a green building material in infrastructure projects.
  • The building is expected to have a 16,250 square-metre footprint.
  • The Arbour will house research facilities for climate-friendly building practices, the School of Computer Technology,  School of Architectural Studies, a new child care facility, and a research hub that will generate innovative ideas and research in low-carbon, mass timber construction.
  • Construction is scheduled to begin in 2021 at the southeast corner of Queens Quay East and Lower Sherbourne Street on a 0.23 hectare brownfield site, situated north of George Brown's Daphne Cockwell Centre for Health Sciences.
  • The Arbour will cost approximately $130 million to build.

About George Brown College

Toronto's George Brown College has established a reputation for equipping students with the skills, industry experience and credentials to pursue the careers of their choice. The college offers programs from its three campuses located across the downtown core, and provides housing at its student residence, The George, which opened in September 2016. George Brown offers 162 full-time programs and 194 continuing education certificates/designations across a wide variety of professions to a student body of nearly 29,000 (full-time enrolment) students, including 17 per cent international students; and over 67,000 continuing education registrants. Students can earn certificates, diplomas, graduate certificates, apprenticeships and degrees.


For more information, please contact:

Joyann Callender
External Communications Manager
George Brown College
416-415-5000 ext. 3159