toronto-architecture

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The quality of Toronto condo design would improve if the city’s real estate market got more expensive, suggests an architect with a leading local firm.

“Toronto is a city that’s going somewhere, and a lot of people think it’s further along that path than it really is,” said Richard Witt, a design principal at Quadrangle, on BuzzTV, BuzzBuzzNews’ weekly Facebook Live show.

“I don’t doubt its trajectory,” adds. “What’s really missing from the Toronto market is a huge injection of capital.”

Witt mentions Oxford Properties and Related’s ongoing redevelopment of New York’s Hudson Yards, which he says he’s watching closely, as an example of the level of investment reached in pricier markets.

Coach invested $750 million in 2013 for a new headquarters at Hudson Yards, reports Law360.

“If you can imagine that you have a handbag company — I mean, that’s a simplistic way [of putting it] — taking more than all of our biggest banks are going to take in the city in a single swoop, that’s going to have a huge effect on the economy,” Witt explains.

The high cost of properties in more expensive markets like New York “trickles down” to investments in architecture, Witt suggests, leading to better design and materials.

“You’ve got a great view from this office,” Witt observes from BuzzBuzzNews’ Toronto headquarters. “There’s very few that have any sort of really expensive building wrapping,” Witt says, motioning towards nearby high-rise buildings.

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