Photo: The Devil Saint/Flickr
The flocks of construction cranes crowding Toronto’s skyline won’t be going away any time soon. In late August, City Council approved an incredible amount of development over the course of just one week – 755 storeys of space over 18 new buildings.
Largely concentrated in the downtown and the burgeoning South Core district along the lake, the approval of the new structures raised the spectre of the “Manhattanization” of Toronto as the building boom continues with no end in sight. The term is often thrown about when discussing big cities undergoing big increases in density and tower heights.
But how does Toronto measure up against its American counterpart when it comes to skyscrapers? Toronto is famous for its volume, but can it reach the dizzying heights of the new builds coming to Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen and Park Avenue?
We looked into the ten tallest new residential builds in both cities, looking into condos completed within the last five years, currently under construction, or in the pre-construction phase. And despite Toronto’s growth spurt, Manhattan still dwarfs us.
Toronto’s architectural ambitions reach up to 1,000 feet (or 305 metres) with the design for the much-discussed Mirvish+Gehry project, planned for King Street West and Simcoe. New York City’s tallest building, the Nordstrom Tower at 225 West 57th Street, will rise an astonishing 1,775 feet or 541 metres. Once finished, the skyscraper will be the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere and a symbolic one foot shorter than the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center.
If you were to transport Mirvish+Gehry into Manhattan, it would come in seventh place among the ten tallest New York City condos, taking the place alongside the 1,000-foot tall 35 Hudson Yards project.
The ten tallest New York City condos are all located in Manhattan, which is undergoing its own uniquely shaped building boom. Vanity Fair described the construction trend thusly: “These days, it is not just a woman who can never be too rich or too thin. You can say almost exactly the same thing about skyscrapers, or at least about the latest residential ones now going up in New York City, which are much taller, much thinner, and much, much more expensive than their predecessors.”
The third tallest new condo in New York, which goes by both 111 West 57th Street or 107 West 57th Street, is vying for the title of skinniest skyscraper in the world with a width of just 60 feet or 18 metres.
There are still plenty of towers that could reach up to similar heights in New York City in the years to come. For example, 125 Greenwich and 101 Tribeca are in the works, but permits have yet to be approved and their final height are yet to be confirmed.
Want to see how the two cities stack up? Check out our infographic below. We chose to go by total height as opposed to storeys since storey heights and podium sizes can differ greatly from building to building.
An earlier version of the infographic left out Harbour Plaza Residences. The two towers now take the sixth and seventh positions and the graphic has been updated to reflect the omission. We also swapped in 220 Central Park South in New York City in the eighth position.