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Thread: Is this the biggest construction boom Toronto has ever had?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Is this the biggest construction boom Toronto has ever had?

    Walking around downtown I cannot get over the number of new buildings going up. Old ones getting pulled down to make way for new and notices telling of new buildings about to come. I know there was a big boom in the 60s/70s when many of the downtown office towers got built, but Toronto must be growing faster than it ever has in its history.

    In fact I'd wager we're one of the fastest growing city from a new building perspective in North America right now.

    Opinions?


  2. #2

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    Yes but I would add that it's also the biggest demolition boom.

  3. #3
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    Have they demolished anything important?

  4. #4

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    No. Think about the period about 100-120 years ago when most of the Annex, the Junction, High Park, Parkdale and many more neighbourhoods went up at once. The current condo boom is tiny by comparison.

  5. #5

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    Here is a chart I made a while ago, comparing Toronto, Chicago and New York in highrise construction over the years. I believe that it measures number of floors over some value (possibly 12 floors) completed in a given year. It's been a while, so my memory is a bit hazy. But the important point is that the metric I used was the same for all three cities, and it shows Toronto in the biggest high-rise boom of its history, surpassing the biggest booms in New York or Chicago.



    Here are the cumulative totals for the three cities. Toronto is catching up with Chicago's totals. Since this chart was created, the line for Toronto has continued to climb upward, while the line for Chicago has remained basically static:

    Last edited by Mongo; 2012-Mar-19 at 20:11.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the informative post, Mongo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongo View Post
    I believe that it measures number of floors over some value (possibly 12 floors) completed in a given year. It's been a while, so my memory is a bit hazy.
    Edit: I just noticed that the graphs can't represent buildings over 12s as Toronto already surpasses Chicago in that category. This must be measuring something much more significant. Buildings over 100m perhaps?
    Last edited by ahmad.m.atiya; 2012-Mar-19 at 20:34.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ahmad.m.atiya View Post
    Thanks for the informative post, Mongo.



    Edit: I just noticed that the graphs can't represent buildings over 12s as Toronto already surpasses Chicago in that category. This must be measuring something much more significant. Buildings over 100m perhaps?
    I'm guessing it measures the amount of floors that the 12+ storey building stock contain. So even though Toronto has more 12s+ buildings, they are on average not as tall.

  8. #8

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    I just remembered what I had been measuring. It's the total height in feet of all buildings over 300 feet high completed in that city in a given year, minus the total height of all buildings over 300 feet high that were demolished in that year.
    Last edited by Mongo; 2012-Mar-19 at 21:58.

  9. #9

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    Number of floors over 12 storeys is not the same thing as number of buildings over 12 storeys. It looks like it was 2003 when the current boom took off.

    Just musing here but could the success of the planning policies implemented back in 1996 for "The Kings" play a role in kick starting the residential construction boom we're seeing today?


    Quote Originally Posted by ahmad.m.atiya View Post
    Thanks for the informative post, Mongo.



    Edit: I just noticed that the graphs can't represent buildings over 12s as Toronto already surpasses Chicago in that category. This must be measuring something much more significant. Buildings over 100m perhaps?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by fedplanner View Post
    Number of floors over 12 storeys is not the same thing as number of buildings over 12 storeys. It looks like it was 2003 when the current boom took off.

    Just musing here but could the success of the planning policies implemented back in 1996 for "The Kings" play a role in kick starting the residential construction boom we're seeing today?
    Sorry, I misread that (35k buildings over 12 storeys would be wishful thinking :P). Number of floors over 12 storeys is much more significant than number of buildings over 12 storeys. Total height of all buildings over 300ft is even more significant
    Last edited by ahmad.m.atiya; 2012-Mar-19 at 22:04.

  11. Default

    If we're counting buildings in general and not just high-rises, it seems to me that the 60s/70s boom was still bigger. Think of what most of Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke, Markham, Mississauga, etc. all looked like in the 1950s compared to the 1980s.

  12. Default

    I think Silence & Motion is correct: the 60s-70s boom was even bigger. Mongo's stats, while accurate, are probably for buildings of a certain height (over 30 storeys?). While a few financial district skyscrapers built in the 60s and 70s qualify at this height, Toronto built a crap-ton of 20-30 storey slabs. The city was also half the size, so the effect would have been much more substantial.

    When it comes to demolition, I would hardly think that this is the biggest boom we've gone through. I remember reading somewhere that over 25,000 properties were demolished between 1950 and 1975!

  13. #13

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    Here is Brian Persaud's take on the subject, courtesy of BBH:

    Over the past 6 years of our current condo boom, there has been an average of 15,000 units added to the market. This is almost peanuts compared to what was happening during the 60s and 70s
    http://blog.buzzbuzzhome.com/2011/11...n-toronto.html
    Last edited by Southcore; 2012-Mar-20 at 00:30.

  14. Default

    While a few financial district skyscrapers built in the 60s and 70s qualify at this height, Toronto built a crap-ton of 20-30 storey slabs.
    Yea, despite the current condo boom, I don't think we've broken the record of 30,000 apartment units built in 1968. Also, consider the sheer amount of industrial buildings built during the 1950's-1970's.

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