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Is there a reason Toronto condo's are only allowed a certain height??


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Nov 3, 2013
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Okay so correct me if I'm wrong, but very few Toronto downtown condo buildings are higher then 50 or 60 stories (or around there). Is there a reason why the city wont allow a 100-story building?? or maybe even 150 to 200 stories??

Sorry if this is a stupid question. Go ahead and flame me if you must :eek:
because there are things called planning regulations? Or the fact that no developer would ever want to actually build a 200 storey building because that's just completely ridiculous?
and absolutely 0% of that building was based on a real financial structure. buildings that height are wildly expensive and impractical in many ways. No developer would make money on a building that size, even if they wanted to
Okay, so please explain to me why someone in Dubai could make money on a building that size, and someone in Toronto could not??
Okay, so please explain to me why someone in Dubai could make money on a building that size, and someone in Toronto could not??
Buildings like they have there are not feasible in most of the world. Dubai has insane oil money, and uses very poorly paid foreign workers to build. The place is also a human rights nightmare. Dubai is not somewhere to emulate.

One of the planning restrictions other than money for Toronto would be shadow impacts. These have and will continue to play a large role in the heights of Toronto's buildings. A bunch of the taller proposals have been cut down for this reason of impacting the surrounding parks and also (from insider experience) limits buildings heights before they every make it out to the public.

This is only one reason of many that were mentioned about and probably later on. Another minor issue is the location of such a tall building "should" be located in the downtown clusters, but this land is pretty much used up as well with our massive building boom. So sites for one of these monsters are also very limited if a developer were to want to build one.

Definitely has a multitude of planning obstacles.
It's not so much a question of whether the city would allow it as whether any developer would actually want to build it.

Buildings over a certain height are a logistical nightmare. At some point, so much of the floor space is dedicated to elevators that the floor plates become very inefficient. The only way to make supertalls financially viable is a combination of a) low construction cost, b) high price per square foot, and c) factors other than simple return on investment (e.g., desire to build a landmark as a symbol or attractor of investment). That's how Dubai got their 160-storey tower.

New York has a couple of proposed residential towers that break 100 storeys, but the unit count is very low (often around one per floor -- these aren't cheap), which mitigates the elevator problem.

In Toronto, the sweet spot for return on investment is likely around 50-60 storeys, but we do have a few outliers planned or under construction. 1 Yonge is going to hit 95 storeys, Mirvish+Gehry will be 92, Sugar Wharf will be 90, YSL and The One will be 85, and there are probably others I'm forgetting that are around that range. So the answer is that there's no reason we couldn't build an (approximately) 100-storey condo in Toronto, it's just that it doesn't make sense most of the time.
Excellent responses from the last 3 posters. There are probably a combination of different reasons, and you guys touched on all of them I think.

It would still be cool if someone went ahead and built a 150-story monster though, just for kicks :)
Just for reference, Dubai is building a new tower which will be almost twice the size of the CN tower, and 100 metres taller than the Burj Khalifa:

the underground parking construction cost is going to be ridiculous. Planning regulations and traffic analysis wouldn't allow that. Currently Toronto is hoping to achieve transit-oriented development, or TOD.