In the last decade, many energy dissipating systems have been proposed to raise the seismic design of structures beyond the conventional ductility design approach. Among these new systems, friction damping has shown some great potential. In a friction damped system, friction damping devices are inserted in a structure and slip at a predetermined optimum load during severe seismic excitations, before any yielding of the structural members has occurred. Slipping of the devices allows the structure to dissipate the input seismic energy mechanically by friction rather than by inelastic deformation of the structural elements. This paper presents an overview of the recent research and development in Canada on a particular type of friction damped bracing. Analytical and shake table test results are first summarized to illustrate the earthquake performance of friction damped structures compared to the performance of conventional building systems. The development of a design slip load spectrum for the rapid estimation of the optimum slip load distribution is then presented. Finally, two practical examples of the implementation of this system are described: (1) the design of a reinforced concrete library building; and (2) the retrofit of a precast concrete school building.