Concrete Toboggan

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TBog is short for the University of Toronto Concrete Toboggan Team. We are a team of engineering students who compete in the annual Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race (GNCTR). GNCTR is one of the oldest and largest engineering design competitions in Canada, and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Each year, over 400 Canadian engineering students come together and do what engineers do best: race concrete toboggans down ski hills at 80 km/h. To compete, each team must construct a toboggan that has concrete running surfaces, weighs less than 300 lbs, has functioning steering and braking systems, and can safely carry 5 riders down the hill.


The toboggan itself is a carefully designed machine. Our design process begins with generating a solid model of the proposed superstructure design, including the steering and braking systems. This model is analyzed and revised to optimize performance, weight, and stress concentrations. Meanwhile, the concrete mix is formulated and goes through a series of iterations to produce the highest strength-to-weight ratio (among other factors). Finally, after the designs have been finalized, construction of the toboggan begins—this stage requires students with machine shop and concrete pouring experience.


Throughout the years, our team has done extremely well in all categories of the competition—all thanks to the help and support from our generous sponsors. In most recent history, the team came in second place overall in the Vancouver 2013 competition and was the proud recipient of the CIRCA award for the most effective use of fly ash in our concrete in 2009. Here are some more of our distinguished achievements from the past year:


  • 2nd place for Overall Competition (out of 22 teams)
  • 1st place for Best Performing Toboggan
  • 1st place for Shortest Braking Distance
  • 2nd place for Technical Report
  • 2nd place for CIRCA Most Effective Use of Fly Ash in Concrete
  • 2nd place for Holcim Most Sustainable Toboggan
  • 2nd place for Slalom Run
  • Most Improved Team Award 2013