It's that time of year when it seems that every second article you read looks back at some aspect of change over the last 12 months, giving us all a chance to reflect on the things we care about. For some, how much taller the skyline is now over this time last year is worth digging into, as well as checking how our skyline stacks up against others. In the world of skyscrapers it's the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat who wield the most respected rulers, and the result of their 2017 labours is now available online for our consideration.

The Ping An Finance Center in Shenzhen, China, image © Terri Meyer Boake CTBUHTallest new building of 2017: The Ping An Finance Center in Shenzhen, China, image © Terri Meyer Boake via CTBUH

2017 was a big year for going tall, so the CTBUH reports, the biggest ever in fact: 144 buildings from around the world taller than 200 metres were completed. For anyone who follows the skyscraper scene, it won't be a surprise to learn that 53% of all of those completions were in China: more in that one country than every other country in the world combined. In the city of Shenzhen alone there were 12 buildings completed over 200 metres tall, which is more completions than any other entire country had. China's 76 completed new 200 metre + buildings this year were followed by the 10 completed in the United States. Third was South Korea with 7, and Canada followed with 5.

One Bloor East designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects for Great Gulf, TorontoToronto's tallest new building of 2017: One Bloor East by Great Gulf, image by Steve Velasco

Of Canada's 5, 4 are here in Toronto. We'll get into those shortly, but let's stay with the stats a little longer. Only 4 cities in the world had more 200 metre + tall buildings completed than Toronto: Shenzhen, Nanning, and Chendgu—all in China—and Jakarta, Indonesia. 6 cities had 4 200 metre + tall buildings complete: along with Toronto they were Changsha and Wuhan in China, Busan South Korea, Pyongyang North Korea, and New York City. If you don't want to nitpick too much, you can consider all 6 of those cities to be tied for fifth place… or if you do want to break the tie, you can score by the total number of metres in height of those buildings. By that measure, Toronto comes in ninth place, behind Pyongyang (what, really?!) and ahead of New York. In total, there were a whopping 69 cities around the world hat had at least one 200 metre + tower complete.

Harbour Plaza Residences rising behind the Sun Life Financial Centre, TorontoHarbour Plaza Residences rising behind the Sun Life Financial Centre and RBC Waterpark Place, image by jdoe1369

Want to dig deeper into the stats? Check out the CTBUH's Skyscraper Centre web pages where you can study buildings worldwide to your heart's content.

Here in Toronto, our 4 tallest are from 3 developments, and we're featuring them here with photos by contributors to the UrbanToronto Forum. Tallest was the 257.3 metre One Bloor East by Great Gulf, in second and third are the two Harbour Plaza Residences towers by Menkes at 236.5 and 228 metres, and finally 88 Scott by Concert Properties comes in at 204 metres. You can learn more about all of these buildings by digging into our database files and associated Forum threads, linked below.

88 Scott rising over the reopened Berczy Park, Toronto, Concert Properties88 Scott rising over the recently reopened Berczy Park, image by skycandy

Tomorrow we're starting our own look back at 2017 by presenting our year-end poll. We have 68 buildings that were completed here in 2017 to consider, and we'll be looking for your favourites from 7 categories. Come back tomorrow afternoon to weigh in on what made 2017 quite a year for new Toronto buildings!


To request more info directly from 88 Scott Street click here