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Toronto’s crowded skyline could see scores of new skyscrapers sprouting up in the next few years, more than doubling the number of tall buildings in the city, according to a new report.
“80 new residential and mixed-use skyscraper projects are in various stages of development, 31 of which already have a completion date set,” according to research by Point2 Homes, a real estate listing site.
With 60 skyscrapers — defined as buildings that exceed 150 metres in height — Toronto currently ranks number 17 among cities with the highest concentration of skyscrapers, according to the Chicago-based The Council on Tall Buildings, which maintains a global database of tall vertical structures.
With the 31 buildings that have a set timeframe, Toronto can expect to jump to 10th place, replacing Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital. Even then, Canada’s most populous city’s skyscraper portfolio will be well below Hong Kong, which ranks first worldwide with 354 skyscrapers — and more on the way.
Among the new towers in Toronto are numerous “supertalls,” a nickname for skyscrapers over 300 meters in height.
The new structures would dwarf the 290-meter First Canadian Place, currently the tallest building in the country.
Indeed, developers of supertalls are vying for national first place. The One, a 1 Bloor West skyscraper already under construction, will be the tallest building in Canada at approximately 306 meters upon its completion scheduled for 2023.
Cresford Developments has also put forward a proposal for a luxury 85-storey behemoth dubbed Yonge Street Living (YYSL) Residences. The building was initially proposed as a 344-meter structure, aiming to be the tallest in the country, but may have to be scaled back in height.
“If completed, (it) will be one of the most impressive mixed-use buildings in the city,” Point2 Homes said in its report.
The sudden spike in sky-high towers comes at a time of housing shortages in Toronto. The city’s burgeoning population is clamouring for more housing options at affordable rates, according to Daniel Freeman, senior vice president at Freeman Real Estate.
“We’re a world-class city and we have housing needs,” said Freeman. “That’s an inevitable function of a growing world-class city.”
Toronto and its neighbouring suburbs are encircled by a green belt of permanently protected land comprising farms, forests, and wetlands, making outward expansion impossible without encroaching on the protected territories. With the lack of space and the demand for housing, Freeman says the only way for developers to build is upwards.
He expects an increase in new families opting to live in high-rise buildings rather than detached and semi-detached homes.
“Twenty years ago, families weren’t targeted,” he said. “You probably found there were more condos built for empty nesters — people that were retiring or needed a smaller space because their children moved out. Now, there are more condos built for families.”
Statistics Canada’s 2016 Census reflects this forecast, showing that nearly 44 per cent of Toronto’s residents lived in some form of apartments.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019