As Toronto becomes increasingly vertical, with tall towers making up the majority of new housing supply, the City has unveiled its newest piece of specialized firefighting and rescue equipment -- and it’s the tallest of its kind on the continent.

Called the Bronto Skylift 70m articulated aerial unit -- or Tower 1 for short -- this new aerial platform has the ability to reach 70m (230 ft), approximately 22 storeys high. That’s double the height of Toronto’s next tallest aerial apparatus, which reaches 11 storeys. Outfitted with a high-volume, master stream nozzle at the end of the platform, it will be able to flow up to 3,800 litres of water per minute, greatly enhancing crews’ aerial firefighting capabilities. 

This increased operational versatility is an important benefit for Fire Services, who will now have the ability to get above and over the top of buildings and address overhead obstructions -- a common occurrence in high-density urban areas. 

The truck will be stationed downtown at the 207 Front St. E station, among the city’s greatest density of high rises, but can be deployed where needed in case of fire, search and rescue, and industrial emergencies. It’ll also be on hand for rope rescues, an occasional occurrence at the Scarborough Bluffs.

“It’s no secret that Toronto is getting taller. You can see the evidence throughout the downtown skyline and beyond of the many cranes at work. Having firefighting equipment that can ensure the health and safety of residents living in high rises and the firefighters who attend these buildings just makes sense,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory.

firefightingTower 1/Toronto Fire Services

The City points to a recent report by international consultancy firm Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB), which found that Toronto has the most active construction cranes among 14 cities in North America. And, that number is steadily on the rise, with the number of fixed cranes on construction sites increasing 21% in the first quarter of 2022 alone, across commercial, industrial, residential, and mixed-use projects.

READ: More Than 15,000 Construction Workers Just Went on Strike in Ontario

Added Matthew Pegg, Chief and General Manager, Toronto Fire Services, “The addition of this 70-metre articulating aerial platform into Toronto Fire Services fleet represents a significant enhancement to the already world-class levels of fire protection services provided in Canada’s largest and most diverse city. This resource will become even more important as Toronto continues to become increasingly vertical and dense in the years to come.”

Urban Living