The 2010s marked an unprecedented decade of growth for Toronto, with substantial changes to the city’s built form. Several important events like the Pan Am Games and the recent Raptors run to the NBA championship increased the city's presence on the world stage in the last ten years, and through these events and others, the world was shown a taller, denser, more vital Toronto.
On the cusp of the second decade of the new millennium, the tallest building built in Toronto was the 2009-completed west tower of the Bay Adelaide Centre, measuring 218 metres. The onset of the 2010s building boom has since brought on a raft of new buildings with increasingly ambitious heights, and as a good indication of how the market for tall buildings has shifted, the 10th tallest building completed this decade is just 13 metres shy of the #1 tallest building of the previous decade. Similarly, the top seven buildings built this past decade all exceed the heights of buildings built during the previous decade.
The trend will continue ever higher in the 2020s with a new wave of 'supertall' towers set to complete in the next several years, but today we're looking back at the ten tallest buildings to be completed in Toronto in the 2010s.
In tenth place, the 208-metre, 682-foot tall project from Graywood Developments and Cadillac Fairview was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates working alongside (what was then) Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects (and is now simply IBI Group). The 53-storey luxury hotel and condominium tower completed construction at 183 Wellington Street in 2011. The tower is known for its angular massing—the south wall slopes gently outward to create larger floor-plates as the building rises—and its pitched roofline.
The 9th tallest Toronto building of the decade was another luxury hotel and condominium tower, this one from Westbank Corp and located at the corner of University and Adelaide. Designed by Vancouver-based James Cheng working with Toronti-based Hariri Pontarini Architects, the 66-storey building rises 215 metres or 704 feet, and completed construction in 2012. Crimped curtain wall facades and vertical accents give this tower its identity.
Built on a constricted traingular plot of land hemmed in by York Street, Harbour Street, and the Gardiner Expressway, this 65-storey condominium tower from Tridel features a wedge-shaped design from Wallman Architects that rises 224 metres, or 735 feet tall. Construction wrapped up in 2018 in the South Core neighbourhood. The similarly wedge-shaped podium and an illuminated crown are integral parts of the tower's design.
7. Harbour Plaza Residences (West Tower)
Both towers of this two-tower, architectsAlliance-designed condo complex from Menkes Development appear in the decade's tallest ten list. At #7, the complex's shorter west tower rises 63 storeys to a height of 228 metres, or 748 feet. The Harbour Plaza towers feature an eye-catching take on the wraparound balconies that define many Toronto buildings, with a series of randomized interruptions in horizontal pattern.
6. Eau du Soleil Condos (Sky Tower)
At #6, the 2019-built 66-storey Sky Tower tower at Eau du Soleil Condos stands as the only entry in this list located beyond Downtown Toronto. Also taking the title of the tallest building in Canada not located in a downtown area, this project from Empire Communities and Dream Unlimited features a unique design by Zeidler Partnership Architects and Richmond Architects, rising 228 metres, or 748 feet into Etobicoke's Humber Bay Shores neighbourhood skyline with a standout pitched roofline.
5. Ïce Condominiums (Tower II)
Toronto's 5th tallest building of the 2010s is the taller of the two towers in this architectsAlliance-designed condo complex from Lanterra Developments. Completed in 2015, the more prominent of Ïce's fraternal twin towers rises 67 storeys above the northwest corner of York Street and Lake Shore Boulevard, reaching a height of 234 metres, or 768 feet. The Ïce towers stand out from the crowd with rounded floor plates and their 'swiss cheese' style roof features dotted with round openings.
4. Harbour Plaza Residences (East Tower)
Right next to its sibling in our #7 entry, the tallest building in Toronto's South Core is the east tower of this two-tower, architectsAlliance-designed condo complex from Menkes Developments. It rises 67 storeys to a height of 237 metres, or 776 feet.
Moving into the top 3, a previous plan for a tower at 1 Bloor Street East was a casualty of 2008's recession before another plan was proposed by new owner Great Gulf. The resulting Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed tower is now a dominating presence at the southeast corner of Yonge and Bloor, rising 76 storeys to a height of 257 metres, or 844 feet. Undulating facades give the tower a sense of motion. Artist Ron Arad's stainless steel 'Safe Hands' makes for a prominent piece of public art springing from the Bloor Street sidewalk beside the tower's front door.
The placement of the final two entries on this list may stir some controversy, as different metrics are used to measure tower heights. While many consider the St Regis—originally built as the Trump Tower and since rebranded—to be the tallest building of the decade, its claimed height of 282 metres, or 925 feet, is measured to the tip of the building's spire. When measured to roof height, the building's height drops down to 237 metres, or 776 feet. Designed by Zeidler Partnership Architects, the 58-storey luxury hotel and condominium tower was completed in 2012, and at nighttime can be easily found on the skyline with for the flashing lights of its Michael Snow-designed public art feature.
With the St Regis's trick height claim at the top, we're prepared to name Aura as the tallest project built in the 2010s, as measured by roof height. Completed in 2014, the Graziani + Corazza Architects-designed project from Canderel Residential rises 78 storeys to a height of 272 metres, or 892 feet. Its skyline presence is also boosted during evening hours, when strips of white LED lighting in an icicle pattern illuminate the upper floors, catching eyes from miles around.
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