Building up: 10 tall towers reshaping Canada’s skylines

These projects aren’t afraid of reaching new heights.

The One is tower planned for Toronto that aims to be the tallest in the country. – Mizrahi Developments

A city’s skyline – the shape, size, and arrangement of its towering buildings – is part of its character. And anytime a new significant tower goes up, those features change. They also represent one of the ways Canada’s growing cities can densify: going up. Here are ten examples of major tower projects under construction or in development that are transforming our urban centres.

The One

Mizrahi Developments

Currently under construction, The One is vying to be Canada’s tallest building. Situated at Yonge and Bloor Streets in Toronto, the 85-storey tower will combine seven levels of retail and restaurants, a 175-room hotel and a roughly 60-floor stack of condo apartments with multilevel penthouses. However, the team is asking the city to let them go to 94 storeys. The owner, Mizrahi Developments, explained that the design scheme pushes the structure to the edges of the building. On each of its four sides are two “mega-columns,” as the architects call them, with diagonal bracing that extends up the façades, suspending a series of rectangular blocks within. The project team includes architect Foster + Partners, Clark Construction Management, Walters Group and RJC Engineers.


Squamish Nation

Sen̓áḵw is a development project on 10.5-acres of Squamish Nation land located on Kits Point adjacent to Vanier Park in Vancouver. It is taking place on lands under the governance of the Squamish Nation.It includes 11 towers around the south end of the Burrard Street Bridge with the largest tower set to be 58 storeys. There will be around 6,000 rental units and Khelsilem said about 250 of those will be earmarked for Squamish Nation members, though that figure could change.


Great Gulf Group

Superstar architect Frank Gehry is returning to his roots with Forma, a mixed-use development, located at Downtown Toronto’s 266-284 King Street West. The project will feature two residential towers – one will be 73 stories and the other will be 84 stories with a total of 2034 condominiums – commercial and retail spaces and a new space for OCAD University. It will be Gehry’s most substantial work in his birthplace. 

Canada Earth Tower

Perkins & Will

Although there are no current plans to build, a team has been researching and testing how to build taller with mass timber. Using a mass timber hybrid technique, the team designed a concept for a 40-storey mixed-use tower that—if built—would be the tallest of its kind in the world. The concept employs Passive House principles and targets zero-emissions, refraining from consuming fossil fuels in its operation. Designed to improve livability in tall urban buildings, the team integrated generous social spaces and gardens that offer an immediate connection to nature.

Pinnacle One Yonge

Pinnacle One Yonge is a mixed-use development rising in Toronto. The plans call for six skyscrapers ranging in height. The building known as the SkyTower aims to be Canada’s tallest building once built at 95 storeys but the project team is asking the city to let them take it to 105 storeys. 

Union Park

Oxford Properties Group

At 4.3-million square feet, Oxford Properties’ Union Park will be one of the largest mixed-use developments in Toronto history. It includes two new office towers, 200,000 square feet of retail, 800 family-oriented rental units across two buildings, as well as a three-acre urban park built over the Union Station rail corridor. One of the office towers will be over 300 metres tall. 

Niagara 77

Chamberlain Architects

The name says it all: a 77-storey tower in Niagara Falls, Ont. The project is looking to claim the title of tallest condo building in Canada. Fudzi International Group’s plans for the tower were approved earlier this year. The design of the building comes from Chamberlain Architects. 


Lemay Architecture and Design

Maestria is bringing things together. It’s the largest mixed-use residential project in Quebec and includes the highest residential tower in Montreal. The project includes a 58 and 61-storey tower joined by the province’s highest ever skybridge. The team says the design was inspired by the architecture in the largest cathedrals of the Renaissance.

Jericho Lands

MST Development

The xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Indian Band, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Nation, and sə̓lílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nation (collectively the MST Partnership), who own the site in a joint venture partnership with Canada Lands Company (CLC), recently unveiled new plans for Vancouver’s Jericho Lands. The mega project concept features many towers over 20 storeys and three that are 49 storeys. The city and developers are currently gathering feedback on the plans from residents. 

Library Parcel

These two Ottawa towers – 31 and 36 storeys – will create a transit-oriented, mixed-income, mixed-use and sustainable community. The design is being led by Perkins&Will and KPMB Architects, and supported by Two Row Architect and Purpose Building. There will be a focus on making sure a significant portion of rental units are affordable. Construction is expected to begin this year.


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