Toronto Reaches for the Skies
According to a new study by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Toronto is "spearheading a countrywide interest in tall building development." The city has increased construction of not only highrise office towers, but also tall residential buildings like the 277-metre Trump International Hotel and Candarel's 272-metre condo project. "There's no doubt that Canada is at the forefront of discussion around how to create more vibrant urban centres, increase density and build more sustainable cities," said Kevin Brass, Council spokesperson.
In the last eight years, 25 buildings of more than 150 metres have been constructed in Canada compared to only five between 1995 and 2005. Toronto ranks first in Canada with 30 buildings over 150 metres, and the newest skyscrapers are commonly 60 stories, compared to the average of 30 to 35 ten years ago. "We're turning into a very exciting city," said Riz Dhanji, vice president of sales and marketing for Canderel Residential Group, "The tall buildings are bringing the density and the people into the downtown core and making us more of a walkable city, which is fantastic."
The Council voted Winnipeg's 22-story Manitoba Hydro Place "the best tall building in the Americas" in 2009 and recognized Mississauga's 50- and 56-story Absolute World with the same award last June. The group may soon hold its annual conference in Canada for architects and building professionals to get a firsthandlook at the North American leader's highrise developments. Antony Wood, the Council's executive director, said, "When Canada wins the best tall building in the Amercas twice in four years, you kind of think to yourself, there's something good going on up there."