Toronto’s development industry has been sent into a frenzy with Pinnacle International's submission of revised plans for its Pinnacle One Yonge development that would increase the height to 92 and 105 storeys. Designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, the latest revisions see additional height and density requested for the phase 2 and 3 towers of the project, increasing the height by enough to position the development, if approved, as the tallest building in the country, a title that is also being sought by Mizrahi Developments at The One

Looking south at the updated design of Pinnacle One Yonge, image from submission to City of Toronto

The proposed changes are outlined in an application for Zoning By-law Amendment that seeks to permit the approval of height increases of 10 and 12 storeys for the approved 95- and 80-storey towers, respectively. As a result, the phase 2 tower would reach a staggering 105 storeys with a total height of 345m, and the phase 3 tower would be boosted to 92 storeys, reaching a height of 306m. Instead of just one 'supertall,' a building over 300 metres, there would be two at this site.

These height increases are being applied to the most recent designs for phases 2 and 3, which came forward in 2021. The designs offered an update to a previous design iteration which dated back to 2017, and made some notable alterations to the exterior massing, specifically on phase 2. Looking at the 2017 design below, phase 2's exterior was visually characterized by non-load-bearing diagonal frames that appeared on curtainwall sections, while in terms of massing, the inward tapering of both the base and the top of the tower, and the rounding of the corners worked towards creating a less orthogonal volume that was a distinct form in the skyline. 

Aerial view of the the previous design of phase 2, image from submission to City of Toronto

The 2021 design, below, reimagined the appearance of phase 2 in favour of a simpler design that allowed for a notable increase in balcony area. The diagonal framing was replaced by fewer but more sinuous lines that rise from the podium and climb the towering elevations, adding some visual articulation to the corners of the building. The tapering still occurs at the top of the tower, but rather than getting narrower at the base, the tower emerges more gradually from the podium, receding on a smooth curve. 

Looking north at the 2021 design of Pinnacle One Yonge, image from submission to City of Toronto

The proposed 2022 additions to the heights of the phase 2 and 3 buildings would bring 958 and 859 units respectively, or a total of 1,817 units to the site.

For several years now, both Pinnacle One Yonge and its fellow prospective supertall, The One, have generated an alternating flurry of headlines. Skyscraper fans of Toronto and beyond have followed closely as both projects rise, captivated by the promise of being witness to the completion of Canada’s first supertall building. With both projects delivering world class designs that bear the marks of globally renowned architects, the only thing more media-friendly than the towers themselves has been theatrics of a perceived competition between the two. 

Comparative diagram shows Pinnacle One Yonge and The One next to CN Tower, image by Steve Velasco of Future Model Toronto

Whether intentionally or not, the projects have been viewed as rivals not only in a race to be built first, but also in a contest of height, and as this most recent revelation demonstrates, there has been no shortage of surprises along the way. For those keeping score, in the wake of Pinnacle’s latest move, The One still has a head start in terms of construction progress, but as far as being the tallest building in Canada is concerned, the scales have been tipped.

UrbanToronto will continue to follow progress on this development, but in the meantime, you can learn more about it from our Database file, linked below. If you'd like, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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Related Companies:  BVGlazing Systems, Doka Canada Ltd./Ltee, Grounded Engineering Inc., Hariri Pontarini Architects, Jablonsky, Ast and Partners, McIntosh Perry, NAK Design Strategies, Peter McCann Architectural Models Inc., Terraprobe Inc, UCEL Inc.