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Unlocking the Potential in Toronto's Suburban Highrises

The Tower Renewal project combines green retrofits with an ambitious rezoning plan. Will it be enough?
Suburban residential towers play a critical role in housing Toronto's low-income immigrants.
Suburban residential towers play a critical role in housing Toronto's low-income immigrants.ERA Architects

Between 1950 and 1980, the population of Toronto tripled, from 1 million people to 3 million. To house all those newcomers, hundreds of isolated, suburban residential towers were constructed.

Perhaps the urbanist Jane Jacobs, who moved to Toronto in 1968, found the proliferation of suburban highrises in her adopted home discouraging. But the inventor Buckminster Fuller was impressed, referring to them that same year as “a type of high-density suburban development far more progressive and able to deal with the future than the endless sprawl of the U.S.”