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Toronto Curates its Skyline With Tall Building Design Guidelines

An update to Toronto's Tall Building Design Guidelines seeks to address problems with the seven-year-old planning document, while strengthening the protections afforded historic properties, key sightlines, and local context.
May 29, 2013, 6am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Toronto is more than ever a city of skyscrapers, and so it is prudent they don’t scrape anybody the wrong way," writes Katie Daubs. "A new set of guidelines call for tall buildings to coexist with the rest of the city, by preserving certain views, honouring neighbourhood context and pedestrian experience — and, this one’s small one — but important: by suggesting that balconies have at least 1.5 metres of space and a rectangular persuasion for dining and seating, thank you very much."

"The latest effort come after six years of watching what worked and didn’t work in the past," she explains. "The general content is similar to existing planning documents, with more specific language and changes based on feedback from developers, ratepayer’s groups and citizens. One of the changes is a call for shorter base buildings," says Councillor Peter Milczyn, (Etobicoke-Lakeshore), chair of the planning and growth management committee.

"[Toronto’s director of urban design Robert Freedman] says the guidelines are 'not a checklist' and there is not likely a tower in the city that meets all of them. The idea is that when staff review an application, they should be looking to see if the 'applicant met the spirit and intent of the guidelines.'”

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Published on Monday, May 27, 2013 in The Toronto Star
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