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Toronto Leading Western World in Tall Building Construction

tall buildings canada

Canada’s biggest city is getting even bigger, with a pace-setting number of skyscrapers set to join the city skyline.

According to a Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) report dubbed “Canada Rising,” Toronto is leading the western world in terms of new buildings 150 metres or taller currently under construction.

Toronto has 15 such buildings currently in the works. As of 2005, the city had only 13 buildings of 45 storeys or higher in total, a figure that will be more than tripled by 2015, when the currently-underway projects will bump that number to 44.

Vancouver and Calgary are also experiencing a boom in tall buildings, meaning Canada as a whole will see its tall building total nearly triple from 27 in 2001 to 74 in 2015, the study says. In 2012 alone, the country saw four buildings stretching up 200 metres or more built, a Canadian record.

Currently, Toronto leads the country with 30 tall buildings and Calgary is second with 14.

First Bank Tower and Scotia Plaza

“Canada is reshaping its urban centers and tall buildings are playing a large role,” said CTBUH executive director Dr. Antony Wood. “Canada is at the forefront of discussions about density, transportation and urban sustainability.”

The dramatic increase in tall buildings in Canada can be credited in large part to the condo boom. As of 2001, 26 of 27 Canadian buildings over 150 metres tall were hotels or office buildings, with a residential building at 44 Charles Street West in Toronto the lone exception. Of the 17 such currently being built nationwide, 15 are partly or wholly residential, and eight of the nine tall buildings completed in 2012 were the same.

As Canada grows taller, the quality of the buildings being built is also improving. In 2012, Mississauga’s Absolute Towers won the CTBUH Best Tall Building Award for the Americas, a title previously taken by Winnipeg’s Manitoba Hydro Place.

Canada’s tallest skyscraper remains Toronto’s First Bank Tower, which was built in 1975 and reaches 298 metres. That was challenged, but not surpassed, by the recently-completed Trump International Hotel and Tower, also in Toronto, which stands 277 metres tall.

By Mark Schafer

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