Toronto's High-Rise Boom Could Mean End of Sprawl

Toronto is swimming in high-rise construction, with the second highest rate in the world. Some say this shift to the urban core spells the end of sprawl in Toronto.
September 19, 2008, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Talk about a green shift: For the first time in generations, developers are now building as much housing inside city limits as they are in outlying suburbs. The result of surging condominium construction coupled with a steady decline in green-fields housing starts, the new balance suggests strongly that the age of sprawl in Toronto has passed."

"One thing is certain: There is no end to high-rise construction in the central city. Record sales from 2007 have turned into record construction this year, with 11,200 new units started in the first seven months of 2008 - more than the total number of housing starts in all 2007."

"There are 99 high-rise buildings under construction in Toronto, according to, a website that tracks buildings worldwide, which ranks it second among North American cities to New York City, with 179."

"On a per capita basis, however, there is currently twice as much high-rise construction in Toronto as there is in New York. On an absolute basis, no other U.S. city is comparable. Chicago has 54 high-rises under construction, Boston has 14 and Atlanta 19."

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Published on Thursday, September 18, 2008 in Globe and Mail
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