Architecture Lab

Toronto leads North American high-rise construction

Six Canadian cities are among the top 10 in North America for the number of high-rises and skyscrapers being built..
Toronto leads North American high-rise construction

Toronto now has 147 high-rises and skyscrapers under construction, compared to 72 in New York City, according to a study by German data-provider Emporis. // Kevin Van Paassen /The Globe and Mail

Toronto tops the list by a margin that has widened over the past year. Canada’s most populous city now has more than twice as many tall towers under construction as New York City, which takes the No. 2 spot, according to a study that will be released this week by German data-provider Emporis.

The ranking looks at construction of all towers, including offices and hotels, but the vast majority under construction are condominiums. While Toronto’s condo boom has been a well-known headache for policy makers in Ottawa, the study shows that Montreal has more towers under construction than Chicago, and that Calgary is tied with Miami.

A small but notable portion of Canada’s strong showing comes from a new wave of office construction. A soon-to-be-released study by real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle says the new office projects that have been announced or are under construction in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver represent the most significant uptick in new construction in a decade or more. Toronto, which had 69.7-million square feet of office space and a vacancy rate of 5.1 per cent at the end of the third quarter, is expected to add nine more buildings totalling 5.6-million square feet. Colliers International released a study Monday showing that the average asking rental rate for office space in the Greater Toronto Area jumped 13 per cent from last year, to $17.83 per square foot, bringing rents back to the levels they were at prior to the recession.

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