This page provides an overview of data relating to high-rise buildings in Toronto. The first two groups lead to detailed building search results arranged from highest to lowest, for buildings with a known or estimated height of 100 m or more.
The bottom two groups show statistical data over time relating to the construction of all tall buildings in the city (12 storeys or more, and some buildings that are higher than 35 m even if not 12 storeys). The data is based on a floor count of high-rises throughout the city, and is intended to show historical trends of high-rise construction in the city, and the geographical dispersement of high-rises over time.
See the bottom of this page for some comments on the accuracy of this data. All data on this page relates to highrise buildings only, and therefore excludes towers and other tall structures such as the CN Tower.
Rankings of all high-rises (100 m or more)
The links below, show all high-rise buildings in the city, ranked by their height. The first link is for completed buildings only, while all other links show various sets of data based on the current status of the building.
Show all completed high-rises by rank
Show all high-rises in TOBuilt, including those that were never completed
Show all high-rises under construction
Show all high-rises that are "proposed" or "in sales"
Show all high-rises that are either "under construction", "in sales" or "proposed"
Rankings of residential high-rises (100 m or more)
The links below show all residential high-rises by rank.
Show completed residential high-rises (over 100 m) by rank
Show residential high-rises (over 100 m), including those that were never completed
Show residential high-rises (over 100 m) under construction
Show residential high-rises (over 100 m) that are "proposed" or "in sales"
Show residential high-rises (over 100 m) that are "under construction" or "sales"
High-rise construction over time
The links below lead to graphs (as jpg files) which show building trends over time, as a measure of the activity of high-rise construction in the city. The scale and scope of the graphs is the same for each, in order to provide a better graphic representation of the differences between each.
Graph of the number of floors of high-rises built per year in Toronto, 1900-2008
Former city of Toronto only - graph of number of floors of high-rises built per year, 1900-2008
Etobicoke only - graph of number of floors of high-rises built per year, 1900-2008
York only - graph of number of floors of high-rises built per year, 1900-2008
North York only - graph of number of floors of high-rises built per year, 1900-2008
East York only - graph of number of floors of high-rises built per year, 1900-2008
Scarborough only - graph of number of floors of high-rises built per year, 1900-2008
Geographical dispersement of high-rises over time
The two links below lead to a powerpoint map of Toronto divided into neighbourhoods, which contain a graphical representation of the geographic dispersal of completed high-rises over time. The first link leads to a graphic representation showing the cumulative total of floors of highrises by neighbourhood as a moving image, the second contains a graphic representation showing the number of floors of highrises built in any given neighbourhood in any five year period. The powerpoint shows are large and take a while to download.
Powerpoint slideshow of the cumulative spread of high-rises in Toronto, 1900-2008, in five year intervals
Powerpoint slideshow of the number of floors of high-rises built in five year periods Toronto, 1900-2008
The many links below contain two sets of maps (the same as those in the powerpoint slideshows, above). The period maps show the number of floors of high-rises built by neighbourhood in any given five year period, and the cumulative maps show all floors of all buildings by neighbourhood, cumulative to date. These maps can also be clicked on any neighbourhood to view the buildings in question (ie., by clicking on the neighbourhood "Downtown" on the 1984 Cumulative map, you will see all the high-rises built up until 1984 for that area). These lists of buildings will include those built but since destroyed, and will include some proposed buildings that were never completed as well.
How accurate is this data?
The data presented on these pages One is height data, for which accurate data is very difficult to acquire. The other is data on the year that high-rise buildings were completed, which is also very difficult. Though every effort has been made to ensure data that is as accurate as possible, below are a few notes on probably inaccuracies in the data.
Height: Height data is hard to come by, because one cannot normally measure the height of buildings, and this data is not commonly available. Height is often provided during the approval process for buildings, but changes to the building may reduce or heighten the building to some degree. It's often not clear when height is measured from the top of the mechanical structure, or from the top of the usable space of the building, or to the top of a spire on the building. Where a height has been estimated, it is indicated as such.
Dates: Research to find the date of completion of all high-rise buildings in Toronto took several years over time. A preferred source for a date was either by observation (for buildings since about 2001 or so), or from a printed source such as the Toronto Star or the Daily Commercial News which provided a date of completion. In some cases, printed sources were used even when a date of completion was merely implied by the appearance in the paper. City directories were used to identify the ages of many buildings.
Buildings built in stages: A small number of high-rises in Toronto were built in stages, with floors being added over time. In some cases, this means that buildings are counted as high-rises for some period of time in which they were actually low-rises. Originally, I planned to make manual adjustments for this circumstance in my graphs and charts, but I found that the amount of work involved was quite large, while the impact on the data was quite small. Therefore, below is a list of the buildings for which adjustments might have been made, but in general were not.
- King Edward Hotel (Downtown East): Opened 1903 as a eight storey building. 18 storey addition in 1920. All 18 storeys counted in 1920.
- Toronto Trust and Guarantee Building (Financial District): Built as seven storeys tall in 1917, an additional seven added in the 1930's.
- Gowans Kent Building (Financial District): Eight storeys built in 1923, and an additional four in 1986.
- Queens Quay Terminal (Harbourfront):
Seven storeys built in 1927, and an additional four in 1983.
- Campbell Family Building (Downtown): Eight storeys built in 1935, while an additional 10 were added in 1945.
- Seaway Hotel (Humber Bay): Opened 1955, 12 storey addition in 1963. All 12 storeys counted in 1963. (Demolished 1993).
- Park Hyatt North (Bloor-Yorkville): 12 storeys built in 1956, two added in 1997.
- 505 University (Downtown): Built 13 storeys high in 1958, with an additional 7 storeys added in 1966. Floors are counted in their respective years.
- Network Lofts / Bell Building (Islington): Built as an 8 storey structure in 1972. Four storeys added 1978. One more storey added 2008. Floors counted in their respective years.
Demolished buildings: I am aware of twelve buildings of more than 12 storeys that once existed in Toronto, but which were demolished. Demolished buildings are not reflected in the graph of the total number of floors built in any given year, nor in the period maps by neighbourhood (after all, even if the buildings no longer exist, they were indeed built at the time). However, they are accounted for in the cumulative maps, which means that the totals of demolished buildings are deducted from the cumulative totals in the period in which a building was demolished.
Buildings incorporated into other buildings: In some cases, a high-rise was built and subsequently incorporated into another high-rise. There are two different ways of dealing with these buildings - in the case of the National Buildings, for instance, I consider the original building to be demolished and the new building (the Bay-Adelaide Centre) to substantially incorporate the older structure. In the case of the Dominion Bank Building, joined to One King West, I consider that the building continues to exist.
Why measure floors of buildings, anyways?
The intent of this page is to provide some kind of overall of building activity for high-rises in the city. Floors are one measure of this activity, but others are possible. For residential buildings, the number of units would like be a more accurate assessment. For office buildings, the square footage would be a better measure. However, neither of these are commonly available, and therefore floors, as imperfect as they are, are intended to stand in and provide overall trends in building activity over time.
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