The final touches are being applied to the exterior of the Trump International Hotel and Residences, giving us a much better idea of how it will effect Toronto's skyline, and how it fits in with the surrounding towers. Designed by Zeidler Partnership and developed by Talon International, the project is aiming for completition in 2012.

One of the design aspects we've been anxiously waiting to see arive is the light spire, which now rises from the quater onion dome. This spire reaches a height of 922 feet, 'officially' making the tower the second tallest building in Canada, surpassing neighbouring Scotia Plaza.

Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto by Talon InternationalImage by vegeta_skyline

As was expected, this has stired up quite a bit of discussion within our forums and the larger community; what constitutes a 'building'? Does the building officially end on it's last floor, or does it include antennae, mechanical elements and spires?

Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto by Talon InternationalImage by drum118

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat was asked to judge wether the spire should be considered an extension of the building and therefore part of the overall height, or if height in this case was only measured to the roofline. The CTBUH recognizes tall buildings within three different categories - height to architectural top (including spires, but not technical equipment), height to highest occupied floor, and height to tip (including technical equipment). In their listing for the Trump Tower, the CTBUH confirms that the architectural height and tip height are the same, at 922 feet.

Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto by Talon InternationalHighest Buildings to Tip - image sourced from CTBUH

According to their website, Toronto's First Canadian Place ranks 57th in the world, at a height of 978 feet. Scotia Plaza currently ranks 87th, reaching 902 feet. Both of these measurements are to the roof line, or highest occupied floor. They then placed the Trump Tower (including spire) a total of 20 feet higher than Scotia Plaza. Remove the spire, and the tower drops to a total hieght of 776 feet, measured at the roofline.

Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto by Talon InternationalImage by vegeta_skyline

What are your opinions on the issue of height measurement and the CTBUH? And, more importantly, what do you consider to constitute a building - is it exclusive to the architecturally designed portion, or should it include the technical elements as well? Chime in on our forum for the Trump Tower here, and check out our database listing for the Trump Tower below for more information on the project.