Demolition has significant negative impacts — from creating unnecessary energy, carbon, and material waste in a climate crisis to erasing the cultural and social stories that are embedded into a place. Construction, renovation, demolition, and building waste account for more than 40% of today’s landfills and experts estimate Ontario will exceed its landfill capacity in 2023.
But what if architects, designers, and builders shifted their perspective away from linear thinking, and started to see waste as a resource? The Circular Living Lab at 165 Niagara Street in Toronto aims to act as an incubator for circular construction and urban mining in Toronto, supporting innovative designers who are leveraging the cultural and environmental potential of the existing. The Lab will feature an integrated art installation that reveals the beauty and craftsmanship of undervalued building materials. It will also include an exhibit featuring transformed and upcycled products and furniture sourced from the deconstruction and salvage of a 9,000 sq.ft. home in Erin, Ontario, which yielded wood, rosso levanto marble, copper sheeting, and more.
Living Labs are industry agnostic. They provide spaces for different groups to come together and build on one another’s knowledge towards a mutually beneficial goal. Here, the goal is to learn how to create a more sustainable built environment and reduce waste through reuse. Visitors will learn how we can collectively shift from linear productions to circular living through community efforts and co-creation.
The launch of the Circular Living Lab is a collaboration between Toronto designers and planners working on deconstruction and reuse: