A TOWER TRIO, 65-95 STOREYS TALL, HAS BEEN PROPOSED FOR TORONTO’S WATERFRONT

Three towers will form a portion of Pinnacle One Yonge, a project that includes five new buildings & the renovation of an existing block. The property being designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, will cover two city blocks.

The northern part of the site, currently a car park, will host the three residential towers, a hotel, community centre, affordable housing and retail. There’ll be an underground connection to Union Station.

To the south, two new office buildings reaching 35 and 22 storeys will join the current Toronto Star building completed in 1971, which will be refurbished & reclad.

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RELATIVELY EASY ACCESS TO WORK VISAS IS MAKING TORONTO ATTRACTIVE TO TECHNOLOGY EXPERTS

US President Donald Trump is delivering a gift to TORONTO by clamping down on the H-1B non-immigrant visa program. Under H-1B, 44% of foreign applicants have been denied entry to the United States in the last six months. Tech companies have often used this system to find potential employees internationally.

Eric Schmidt of Alphabet called this “the stupidest policy in the entire American political system.”

Under Canada’s non-immigrant program, TORONTO gained 22,500 new tech jobs in 2016, almost double that of SAN FRANCISCO.

The University of TORONTO, Canada’s largest, has become very much interested in technology and the students who go along with it. International applications there have increased by 25% this fall.

In the works at U of T – an increased emphasis on Artificial Intelligence.

RYERSON U’S CITY BUILDING INSTITUTE WONDERS IF TORONTO IS BUILDING THE RIGHT KIND OF CONDOS

  The Greater TORONTO Area (GTA) condo boom has been underway now for over a decade. In the middle of 2017, development reached its highest level yet. Most of the new GTA homes are in buildings taller than 5 storeys.

“Bedrooms in the Sky”, a report released yesterday, examines what’s coming down the pipeline in the GTA over the next five years. Are we on target to meet the shift in housing demand as millennials get older and seek larger spaces, and baby boomers downsize from detached houses?

The GTA will need more family-oriented housing units in mid-rise and low-rise buildings – unlike the stock built during the past several years.

To read the report by Ryerson’s City Building Institute & Urbanation “Bedrooms in the Sky” go to https://www.citybuildinginstitute.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/FINAL-BedroomsInTheSky.pdf

TORONTO’S GAY VILLAGE (CHURCH & WELLESLEY) IS STEADILY GOING SKY-HIGH

Upon approval, the famed intersection of Wellesley and Church Streets may soon have a 43-storey tower on it, with a balconied piazza on the corner.

This piazza will be of great interest to the LGBTQ community. It will be reminiscent of The Steps, where passersby informally gathered to chat over coffee. A two-storey atrium is planned leading to a wraparound mezzanine intended for events such as TORONTO’s annual Gay Pride Month.  During unpleasant weather the piazza will be closed off.

Best of all, this will be a much-needed new rental building.

GOOGLE & SIDEWALK LABS HAVE SIGNED ON TO CREATE A NEW KIND OF TORONTO NEIGHBOURHOOD

<WATERFRONT EAST as it looks today>

TORONTO’s eastern waterfront may soon be in revival mode.  SIDEWALK LABS, a sister company of GOOGLE and a division of ALPHABET INC., has become very interested in developing the city’s aquatic border lands. So much so, that upon final approval SIDEWALK will invest $50-million (US) in a year-long planning process for 12-acres (4.9 hectares) – the so-called Quayside Project.  Plans are to eventually expand that to a greater investment over a much larger area.

Should all this happen, the development would contain 3.3-million square feet of residential, office and commercial space – as well as new headquarters for Google Canada.

This could end up being North America’s largest ‘smart city’ built around information technology, using data about traffic, noise, air quality, and the performance of systems including trash disposal and the electrical grid.

Mayor JOHN TORY – “This is a moment for TORONTO. By having Sidewalk interested in coming here, we’re building up our credentials as the place to be in the world.”

<PHOTOS & IMAGES – Sidewalk Labs>

THE 6 TOWERS OF THE TORONTO-DOMINION BANK SYMBOLIZE THIS CITY’S BUSINESS LEADERSHIP

The first tower went up a half-century ago, transforming TORONTO’s skyline from low-rise to high-rise. Renowned architect MIES VAN DER ROHE’s design (‘less is more’) set a new standard for the financial district and introduced the modern workplace to Canada.

The TD Bank Tower & the TD North Tower in the early 1970s. <photo – Cadillac Fairview>

Today there are six towers (5 are black), owned by Cadillac Fairview and the Ontario Pension Board. Over 20,000 people work in the complex, which includes a public plaza, Joe Fafard’s cow sculptures, a living green roof atop the banking pavilion, and 70 tenants.  Since 2009, the buildings have been undergoing a $250-million revitalization.

The TD Centre meticulously maintains the appearance of the iconic complex. <photo above – Tom Arban>

Today, the financial district’s skyline has grown up around the TD Centre.

GREATER TORONTO TECH #’S – $52-BILLION ANNUAL REVENUE; 168,000 EMPLOYEES; 15,000 COMPANIES

<WORKPLACE1, Queen Street West>

<MaRS, College Street at University Avenue>

TORONTO is no slouch when it comes to the tech scene.  In fact this city is now #3 in North America, behind only Silicon Valley and New York City.  Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Kik, Shopify and HootSuite – all well-known – have offices in the GTA. Start-ups, Up-starts and Started-up firms have plenty of co-working spaces to choose from in TORONTO, including BrightLane, WorkPlaceOne, the MaRS Discovery District & Ryerson University’s DMZ.

A view of the Waterfront Innovation Centre looking southeast from Queens Quay Blvd. East <Menkes Developments Ltd.; CNW Group/Waterfront Toronto>

  A diverse population, multiple languages spoken, some of Canada’s top universities, a young educated workforce (57% under the age of 45), and schools such as BrainStation help prepare students for careers in development, design, digital marketing and other tech areas.

Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Innovation (CUI), under construction on Gerrard St. E., will be a research, incubation & commercialization hub focused on solutions to urban infrastructure issues. CUI will feature 40,000 square feet of space for faculty and students researching alternative energy, water management, food production and data analytics. Architects – Moriyama & Teshima

TORONTO is very much in the tech business.