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Discussion: Toronto: Skyline unlimited

  1. #1

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    Par défaut Toronto: Skyline unlimited

    Skyline unlimited
    Recession can't slow city's big-tower boom

    Adam McDowell, National Post
    Published: Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    A crane was assembled at the corner of Bay and Harbour streets in recent weeks, and Scott Dickson rejoiced.

    Tower geeks such as Mr. Dickson had feared that the fourth tower of the Pinnacle Centre development, kitty-corner from the Air Canada Centre, had been felled by the recession. Its name, which seemed ironic at the time, was Success Tower II.

    Like virtually the entire complement of Toronto's planned mega-skyscrapers, which includes 18,400-metre-plus monoliths under construction at the moment, Success II survived the rough winds of the recession without its financing toppling over.

    "I think Toronto's been largely immune [to the recession],'' Mr. Dickson said yesterday. ''Look at house prices; bidding wars are happening again. I don't know what's going to happen, I just know we're going to have cranes in the air for the next five, six, seven years."

    Whereas the early 1990s recession killed off many high-rise projects both commercial and residential -- memorably leaving behind the famous Bay and Adelaide stump in the core for years -- observers are emerging from the most recent one, and noticing that the skyline of a few years from now remains as tall and shiny as ever.

    "Toronto looks like a boom city," said Mr. Dickson, the owner of a boutique firm called Upside Down Marketing & Design, who used Photoshop to cook up a rendering of Toronto's skyline as of 2014, as seen from Marina Del Rey, next to Etobicoke's Humber Bay Park.

    "It's kind of an exciting time to be a skyscraper geek. Everything is getting bigger in Toronto. I remember when 30 storeys was a big deal. Now 50 storeys is the norm."

    Twenty-three of Toronto's 65 buildings standing 122 metres (400 feet) or taller have been completed during the past five years, and at least another 15 are scheduled to be added to the total by 2014.

    The city's collection of skyscrapers, in other words, will have almost doubled from 42 to 80 in the space of a decade.

    Mr. Dickson said the coming 75-storey Aura condo tower at Yonge and College, now at the excavation stage, is the one to watch for. "It's a big boy. That's going to change the skyline the most, I think. There's still a chance they're going to ask for another 10 floors, too."

    Shawn Micallef, a senior editor at Spacing magazine, managing editor of the new online magazine Yonge Street and a pioneer "psychogeographer," observed that the mad building boom will not truly be felt until the buildings are actually built.

    "Skyscrapers just sort of seem to appear," he said.

    "In our peripheral vision, we see all these cranes and towers going up but they don't register until someone moves in and flicks on a light switch. All of a sudden there's a light where it doesn't belong. That's why I'm always struck by the sight of them. 'Oh, there are more people in the sky.' "

    One tower that will need to be removed from Mr. Dickson's future sky is One Bloor East, a project that got as far as clearing the southeast corner of Yonge and Bloor before shutting down. The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers erased developer Bazis International's financing arrangement. Now the site belongs to Great Gulf Homes, but no tower design has been released.

    "All the geeks are sitting on their hands waiting for something," said Mr. Dickson. "There was a rumour that it was going to be in the 65-storey range."

    Success Tower II, in the meantime, simply changed names and is now being marketed as 33 Bay. It will rise up to 46 storeys; tall, but not colossal by the standards of 2010s Toronto. If all goes well, the lights will go on in October of next year.

    This spring, its developer, Pinnacle International, will open a sales centre for its next project, a 46-storey condo tower at Adelaide and John, said sales and marketing director Anson Kwok yesterday.

    It will be one of several major Entertainment District projects to come in a localized mini-boom over the next decade. As Mr. Kwok said, "Stay tuned."



    The Ritz-Carlton is set to win the four-way race to become Toronto's first super-luxury hotel.

    It is at full height, 53 storeys at Wellington and Simcoe, and just weeks away from being fully enclosed. Meantime, two others competing in the five-star race, Yorkville's Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and the Trump International downtown, are both still below 17 storeys. And, at the corner of University and Adelaide, the Shangri-La has only recently returned to ground level after going deep for parking.

    When the Ritz-Carlton opens in October, it will have at least a six-month edge on the three other developments, all combining world-class hotels with deluxe condominiums. But by the second quarter of 2012, these four projects will deliver just under 1,000 five-star hotel rooms to the Toronto market.

    "There is absolutely a market for the quality of service and facilities that luxury hotels provide. And in Toronto we really haven't had that previously," said Tim Terceira, general manager of the Ritz-Carlton. "I think it's great for Toronto and I think it's great for each other as well. It's very healthy."

    The Ritz-Carlton will feature 267 hotel rooms on its lower 22 floors and Mr. Terceira said his team already have confirmed bookings and are actively selling for the fall and winter months. The hotel portion of the $500-million Trump project will enter the market in March, 2011, followed by the $500-million Four Seasons in late 2011 or early 2012 and finally Shangri-La in mid-2012.

    Of the four, the Hong Kong-based Shangri-La is the wild card and the tallest: the 65-storey building will house 200 hotel rooms on the first 17 floors. "Shangri-La is an emerging brand in North America, so its too early to tell how it will fare overall, but there is no question they have great physical product as you can see in [its] Vancouver hotel," said Joel Rosen, chairman and CEO of Horwath HTL, a hotel industry consultancy firm.

    Steve Darley, National Post
    Read more: [url][/url]

  2. #21

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    Citation Envoyé par mark_ac Voir le message
    I'll give you a good example, everybody is bitching about tearing down the bonaventure expressway and having some prime land be available for private development..which will increase city of Montreal revenue stream.

    I know! It's a no brainer for me! not only would we be tearing down and eyesore, but it would go a long way to improve the quality of life of the people who live in the area. It would also add some much needed tax revenue to the city!

    But noooooo! Not here. Over here, we have to debate everything for a decade, and then IF we do decide to go ahead with the project, we've waited sooo long, that the costs have double(if not tripled) in the meantime!

    Great way of doing things!
    Daddy Likes It Dirty!
    Veni, vidi, vici!
    Faith is belief in the absence of evidence.

  3. #22

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    It's strange. For such a left-wing ultra-liberal province and for such a left-wing ultra-liberal city, Montreal sure is resistant to change...

  4. #23

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    Citation Envoyé par Cataclaw Voir le message
    It's strange. For such a left-wing ultra-liberal province and for such a left-wing ultra-liberal city, Montreal sure is resistant to change...
    Economically, it is the liberals who are resistant to the good kind of change and the conservatives who favour growth and expansion of the economy. A right of center society is more favourable to development than a left of center one.

  5. #24

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    Citation Envoyé par mark_ac Voir le message
    The comments on this thread are pathetic. The attitude is "its ok to be small, and be cheap".

    We need a think big attitude. That doesn't necessarily mean compromising our values.

    Quebec needs pro-business, pro-development, yet with a social conscious. We need to stop focusing on political issues such as language, and sovereignty for a little bit, and focus on the things that will attract development.

    Everybody is so defeatist in this city, and we are scared to think that the sky is the limit.
    Mark, up until very recently, I used to believe that the political situation in this province was hurting us in terms of projects. I don't believe that anymore. One only needs to look at the recent project cancellations (The casino, bonaventure, the pine-park towers..etc) all of which were dashed because of nimbys and their supporters. I hate them all more than anything in this world.

  6. #25

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    Citation Envoyé par mark_ac Voir le message
    Everybody is so defeatist in this city, and we are scared to think that the sky is the limit.
    Isn't it one of the problems? Sky in Montreal is not the limit... Mount Royal is!

    I would say cut red-tape 75%, corporate and property taxes for corporations having offices downtown (pro-rated to number of employees) and we'll see buildings popping up.

  7. #26

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    Par défaut Toronto Becomes First City To Mandate Green Roofs

    Summer is just around the corner, and for those who live in big cities, that means spring warmth will soon give way to searing heat. Green roofs can help regulate city temperatures, giving people, and the electrical grid, a much needed break.

    Toronto is the first city in North America with [URL=""]a bylaw[/URL] that requires roofs to be green. And we're not talking about paint. A [URL=""]green roof[/URL], also known as a living roof, uses various hardy plants to create a barrier between the sun's rays and the tiles or shingles of the roof. The plants love the sun, and the building (and its inhabitants) enjoy more comfortable indoor temperatures as a result.

    Toronto's new legislation will require all residential, commercial and institutional buildings over 2,000 square meters to have between 20 and 60 percent living roofs. Although it's been in place since early 2010, the bylaw will apply to new industrial development as of April 30, 2012. While this is the first city-wide mandate involving [URL=""]green roofs[/URL], Toronto's decision follow's in the footsteps of other cities, like Chicago and New York.

    Under the direction of Mayor Richard Daley the [URL=""]city of Chicago[/URL] put a 38,800 square foot green roof on a 12 story skyscraper in 2000. Twelve years later, that building now saves $5000 annually on utility bills, and Chicago boasts 7 million square feet of green roof space. New York has followed suit, and since planting a green roof on the Con Edison Learning Centre in Queens, the buildings managers have seen a 34 percent reduction of [URL=""]heat loss[/URL] in winter, and reduced summer heat gain by 84 percent.

    But lower utility bills aren't the only benefit of planting a living roof. In addition to cooling down the city, green roofs create cleaner air, cleaner water, and provide a peaceful oasis for people, birds and insects in an otherwise polluted, concrete and asphalt-covered environment.

    I would have thought Montreal would have done that before anyone else, but congrats to Toronto doing this though.
    Dernière modification par jesseps ; 16/04/2012 à 12h23.

  8. #27

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    An excellent idea. We should do the same here! It's a no-brainer!
    Daddy Likes It Dirty!
    Veni, vidi, vici!
    Faith is belief in the absence of evidence.

  9. #28

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    Just imagine a lush canopy of greenery sweeping accross the Plateau's rooftops... from this vantage

    Toronto: Skyline unlimited-7018833297_723f13614d_c.jpg

    Il parait que le ''green roofing'' prend de l'ampleur a Montréal ces derniers temps. J'ai un copain qui travaille la dedans... je crois qu'il faut etre ingénieur agricole pour installer ce genre de truc. Assez complexe comme opération.

  10. #29

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    J'espère qu'on va faire ça ici. Ça n'a que des avantages.
    Au pays de Québec rien ne doit mourir et rien ne doit changer... (Louis HÉMON, Maria Chapdelaine)

  11. #30

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    Le problème que la grande majorité des immeubles plus vieux ne peuvent pas supporter ce poids additionel. (surtout les petits immeubles résidentiels que l'on retrouve sur le Plateau ou à NDG)
    Daddy Likes It Dirty!
    Veni, vidi, vici!
    Faith is belief in the absence of evidence.

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