Photo: Hariri Pontarini Architects

Colossal skyscrapers aren’t just reserved for the Toronto skyline — in one of Canada’s busiest tourist destinations, a newly-approved, mixed-use tower is preparing to make its debut.

This month, Niagara Falls city council approved a 72-storey condominium and hotel tower overlooking the famed waterfalls. If completed, the gargantuan tower will consist of 275 residential units and 456 hotel suites, making it by far the tallest building in the city. Given that zoning bylaws for the area have capped new buildings at 30 storeys for some time, there isn’t even anything close. A compromise with council was reached to contribute $2.7 million in community benefits in exchange for the extended height. Set to rise at 6609 Stanley Avenue, the tower will occupy land that has sat unused for the last 15 years by a partially completed and failed hotel project.

Fresh renderings of the 253.45 metre-high “bottle-opener shaped” building were recently released, showcasing a 56th-floor sky lounge, outdoor infinity pool and aerial bridge. The architects responsible for the design, Toronto-based Hariri Pontarini Architects, are known for their work on similar high-rise residential buildings, including One Bloor, FIVE, and One Park Place.

Not only would the new tower drastically alter the Niagara Falls’ downtown area, it would make it one of the tallest buildings in any Canadian city. Here are the tallest buildings currently in rising from Canada’s largest metropolitan areas so you can see how the Niagara Falls tower stacks up:

Halifax

Photo: Coastal Elite / Flickr

Tallest building: The Vuze (Formerly Fenwick Place)
Height: 33 storeys / 320 feet / 97.5 metres
Purpose: Residential

Built in 1971, this apartment building on Fenwick Street has seen a lot in its years. Dalhousie University bought Fenwick Place from the original developer who declared bankruptcy in the 1970’s. Until 2009, the property was used as student housing, enduring parties, debauchery and Hurricane Juan, which hammered Atlantic Canada in September 2003.

Fenwick Place was later sold to Templeton Properties, who renamed the tower The Vuze and carried out major renovations on the property. In November 2017, a major fire broke out in a unit on the 26th floor, forcing over 200 tenants to evacuate.

Montreal

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Tallest building: 1250 René-Lévesque
Height: 47 storeys / 756 feet / 230 metres
Purpose: Office & retail

Designed by New York-based architecture firm, Kohn Pedersen Fox, 1250 René-Lévesque houses more than 1 million square feet of AAA office space. This postmodern mixed-use building was completed in 1992, and is neighbours with the Centre Bell sports arena and several downtown hotels.

Ottawa

Photo: Claridge Icon / Claridge Homes

Tallest building: Claridge Icon
Height: 45 storey / 469 feet / 143 metres
Purpose: Residential

Developed by Claridge Homes, the under-construction 320-unit condo building on Preston Street is set to be completed by Fall 2020. Since it has already been topped off, it holds the title as the tallest building in the city, for now. There are currently plans in the works for a taller series of towers by Trinity Development Group — a 1,300-unit master-planned community at 900 Albert Street, dubbed Trinity Centre at Bayview Station, which will top out at 65 storeys (763 feet).

Toronto

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Tallest building: First Canadian Place
Height: 72 storeys / 978 feet / 298 metres
Purpose: Office & retail

Large and in charge in downtown Toronto’s financial district, First Canadian Place has held the record for “Canada’s tallest business landmark since 1975.” It won’t hold onto the title for Toronto’s tallest building for much longer though, as Mizrahi Developments’ The One (1,013 feet) and Cresford Development Corporation’s YSL Residences (981 feet) will outrank it in height. Both condo towers will measure 85 storeys and are slated for completion in 2023. Since both towers’ completion dates are relatively distant we keep good ol’ FCP as our Toronto entry. Shout-out of course to the CN Tower which is also excluded since it’s a communications and observation tower.

Winnipeg

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Tallest building: 201 Portage
Height: 32 storeys / 420 feet / 128 metres
Purpose: Office & retail

This 506,000-square-foot office building at Main Street and Portage Avenue is just down the street from Winnipeg’s Exchange District. Completed in 1990, the exterior of 201 Portage is punctuated by a curved glass wall of windows that runs from the third to the 33rd floor. 300 Main, an apartment building in the business district, will eclipse 201 Portage at 40-storeys (465 feet) next year.

Calgary

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Tallest building: Brookfield Place Calgary
Height: 56 storeys / 810 feet / 247 metres
Purpose: Office & retail

Located in the downtown commercial district, Brookfield Place Calgary snatched the title for Calgary’s tallest building from The Bow in 2017 by less than 40 feet. Designed by Arney Fender Katsalidis, the tower features 1.4 million square feet of office space and quick access to the Plus 15 above-ground walkway system.

Edmonton

Photo: Stantec

Tallest building: Stantec Tower
Height: 69 storeys (66 functional floors) / 823 feet / 251 metres
Purpose: Office & residential

Edmonton’s tallest tower is a fairly recent edition to the ICE District. The joint Stantec and ICE District JV Inc. development will complete construction by the end of the year. The first 29 floors are reserved for Stantec offices and other companies, while the remaining storeys will house 483 condominiums — SKY Residences at ICE District.

Vancouver

Photo: Phillip Grondin / Flickr

Tallest building: Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver
Height: 62 stories / 659 feet / 201 metres
Purpose: Hotel & residential

One of many in the global chain of luxury hotels comes Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver, which opened on Alberni Street in 2009. Pinnacle International could soon topple the Shangri-La’s record with a recently proposed tower trio, the tallest of which would top out at 82 storeys (820 feet) if approved. In the next city over, Gilmore Place in Burnaby is waiting to break ground on their 64-storey mixed-use development.

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