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The Quest to Make Vertical Living Family-Friendly

Toronto wants its high-rises to be better places to raise kids.
Families play in a splash park in Corktown Common.
Families play in a splash park in Corktown Common. Courtesy of the City of Toronto

From the 1950s through the ’70s, Toronto built up. High-rises appeared downtown as well as in suburban areas, and a good number of them featured spacious layouts and amenities such as playgrounds to attract and accommodate families.

In the past decade, the city has seen another surge in vertical housing, but of a different sort. Buildings of five or more stories, which comprise 80 percent of the city’s new housing, have been constructed primarily for singles and couples without children. Less than 10 percent of recently built downtown high-rises, for instance, have three or more bedrooms.