“What Toronto’s Skyline Will Look Like In 2020”

This article in Canadian Business has been emailed to me three times in the last two days, so I figured if you haven’t seen it yourself – you’ve got to!

“What Toronto’s Skyline Will Look Like In 2020”
By: Trevor Melanson
Canadian Business
September 24th, 2012

You may have heard that Toronto is putting up more skyscrapers than any other North American city—by a long shot, in fact.

There are currently 184 skyscrapers and highrises under construction, according to Emporis, a provider of building and construction data. And despite warnings of a Canadian real estate bubble (including our own), there are hundreds more planned.

So what sort of visual impact will all this new development have on the city? Well, there’s a lot of concept art floating around the Internet, but I found these less glamorous photos from a forum post the most interesting.

One of the forum regulars (who goes by the name Insertnamehere—yes, that’s actually his or her username, not an editor’s note I forgot to come back to) used Google Earth to generate a 3-D skyline that included all of the planned and partly-finished skyscrapers going up in Toronto.

Insertnamehere even went so far as to colour-code them:

  • WHITE = the project has had preliminary renders, but no application has been submitted.
  • RED = the project has submitted an application to the city
  • GREEN = the project has been approved, but has yet to start construction
  • YELLOW = the project is currently in sales
  • BLUE = the project is currently under construction

Check them out:



Okay, now compare those futuristic photos of Toronto in 2020 with an actual photo of Toronto in 1932:

I love these old photos!

Actually, I just love the city of Toronto!

I know we’re not some 2,000 year old town in Europe, but we have our own history, and downtown is chalk-full of buildings with historical significance.

Free coffee to whoever can name that brown building in the top left of the photo – about 2/3 of the way up.  Or is that too obvious?


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  1. George says:

    It would be nice if we could build more transportation infrastructure to support the skyscraper infrastructure. No new roads, tracks, or subways…just new buildings. When will we be at capacity?

  2. What, Queen’s Park?

  3. Cat says:

    Chock full

  4. MY says:

    I wish he had also found a way to demonstrate the use of the buildings – residential vs. commercial. Fascinating stuff though.

    Also, Queen’s Park?

  5. mpine says:

    Queeen’s Park – Ontario Legislative Building

    1. @ mpine (and Dan)

      I was pointing out Queen’s Park, although I probably should have circled it or something because I think people were looking all over the map!

      I owe you guys a cup-of-Joe. Coffee Time or Dunkin Donuts? 🙂

      1. Ian says:

        I’ll make myself a cup of coffee now, and just deem it as being from you. Thanks.

        1. @ Ian

          So sorry! I missed your post!

          Yes – you were the first!!

  6. Ian says:

    …unless you’re referring to the other building about an inch up and right to the Canada Life building, in which case it’s the provincial parliament building.

  7. Ian says:

    I do believe that’s the (currently-named) Canada Life building. According to Wikipedia, it was only about a year old when this photo was taken. As a little kid, for some reason I always looked forward to seeing what its weather beacon light had to say about the weather when I came downtown with my parents, and became very dejected when I saw white light running down.

  8. buk says:

    canada life building.