Toronto Asks: How Dense Is Too Dense?

A decade of high-rise condo construction has transformed Toronto's skyline. But it appears the sky's not the limit when it comes to more skyscrapers. A proposal to build three 80-story towers designed by Frank Gehry has sparked a debate over density.
Michael Verdi / Flickr

As densification becomes the mantra for planners and public officials across North America, cities are struggling to determine the right balance between infrastructure, compact growth, and quality of life. How to find this balance "reverberates in the debate over the grandiose triple-tower development proposal on King St. W. that’s being pushed by theatre magnate David Mirvish and renowned architect Frank Gehry," writes Alex Ballingall. 

"Toronto’s chief planner, Jennifer Keesmaat, has expressed 'serious concerns' over how the already jam-packed downtown strip can handle an influx of people living in three new 80-storey towers. 'I don’t think we as a city have an obligation to absorb this much density,' she recently told the Star’s Christopher Hume."

"And yet, many agree — including Keesmaat — the city must get denser; the question of how, and how much, is vital to shaping the Toronto of tomorrow."

Full Story: Dense living: Toronto struggles with the right formula


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!