Rick Eglinton/Torstar news service
In the spring, Toronto was ranked one of the top cities in Canada for purchasing real estate. It’s no surprise, as experts predict that property values here will skyrocket over the next several years. And when it comes to quality of life, Toronto also ranked in the Top 15 worldwide. With all this going for our fabulous city, combined with its projected population growth in the near future, it’s easy to see that we need more housing. In the case of our urban situation where available land is dwindling, the solution — as so many cosmopolitan cities in the world have discovered — is to build “up.”
When you look at places like New York, Chicago, Shanghai, Dubai and many other cities across the U.S., Europe, Asia and The Middle East, the landscape is a glorious collage of skyscrapers. Many of these are apartment buildings and condominiums that accommodate the burgeoning populations in these international locales. Toronto has joined that roster of cities for numerous reasons, including satisfying population demands and the intensification requirements that comply with Ontario’s “Places to Grow” act. But frankly, Toronto’s condominiums are getting higher because of other considerations as well, such as aesthetics and impact on their surroundings.
Simply put, tall, slender buildings are more attractive than short, wide masses that dominate the pedestrian realm along a city block. Many pointed towers now are soaring up to 60 and even 80 storeys, and the effect is stunning. Today’s condominium towers are more sophisticated in design and offer more view corridors. And let’s face it — spectacular views represent one of the major benefits of living in a condo.
They also create fewer and less overbearing shadows that affect surrounding vegetation and pedestrian walkways.
Designing for height is a complicated process that includes innovative engineering and a vision for architectural elegance. This can entail striking classic designs with traditional highlights, or modern minimalist exteriors that exhibit the clean lines so many of today’s purchasers find appealing. What’s truly remarkable is that our condominium suites in Toronto are much larger on average than those in many foreign cities. A 400- or 500-sq.-ft. suite that we consider appropriate for a single person or couple here might house an entire family elsewhere in the world.
Architecture is just one of the things that make a city great, but it is an important one.
Tall and light is taking precedence over low and oppressive as Toronto grows “up” in the world condominium market.
Linda Mitchell is Vice-President of Marketing, High-Rise for Monarch Corporation. In 2005, Linda was presented with the coveted OHBA SAMMY (Sales and Marketing Member of the Year) award. In 2003, she received the Riley Brethour Award acknowledging outstanding and consistent professional achievement in residential sales and marketing.