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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 3:03 PM
YannickTO YannickTO is offline
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Why no interest for supertall office buildings in this country?

Hi !!

Questions I have on my mind for quite some time now. Seeing all the extra super tall towers being built around the world, especially in Asia and in the Middle East, why isn't Canada interested to at least build 1 ? Just one. Or two?!

Is it too expensive? Height restrictions? Could we, at least, find a spot for it? Doesn't have to be downtown Toronto or Vancouver if they don't want it, but any city could show interest? Why are banks, or government, or any major company reluctant to do it?

Those office towers in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chongqing, Beijing, etc ... Could we at least have just one? A big fat tall super high skyscrapers like the Shanghai Tower? Is it really something we won't ever see in our lifetime?

What's holding us as a country to build such towers? Would people be against them? Is it because of job and population demographics? The US are 325 people, and they don't seem to care either. Are we in a North American state of mind regarding super tall towers?

I wonder what you guys think.

Last edited by YannickTO; Oct 10, 2017 at 3:05 PM. Reason: typos
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 3:12 PM
scryer scryer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YannickTO View Post
Hi !!

Is it too expensive? Height restrictions? Could we, at least, find a spot for it? Doesn't have to be downtown Toronto or Vancouver if they don't want it, but any city could show interest? Why are banks, or government, or any major company reluctant to do it?
I try not to say never but Vancouver would never consider a super-tall because of the ridiculous height restrictions (even though the city has one of the best business cases for building taller). Unless we get new politicians, it won't be happening or even considered in Vancouver.


Quote:
What's holding us as a country to build such towers? Would people be against them? Is it because of job and population demographics? The US are 325 people, and they don't seem to care either. Are we in a North American state of mind regarding super tall towers?

I wonder what you guys think.
Well now I don't know much about building super-talls but I think that the economy has a lot to do with it.

If I was to wager on bet on which city would do it first, it would definitely be Toronto, Calgary, or Montreal. I don't know much about Montreal's feelings towards taller towers but I feel that Montreal would be a contender.
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  #3  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 3:24 PM
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FrankieFlowerpot FrankieFlowerpot is offline
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Toronto has a 42-year old office tower that is 2m short of "supertall" status.

Quite frankly - there's no appetite for them right now in Toronto.
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 3:27 PM
wave46 wave46 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YannickTO View Post
Hi !!

Questions I have on my mind for quite some time now. Seeing all the extra super tall towers being built around the world, especially in Asia and in the Middle East, why isn't Canada interested to at least build 1 ? Just one. Or two?!

Is it too expensive? Height restrictions? Could we, at least, find a spot for it? Doesn't have to be downtown Toronto or Vancouver if they don't want it, but any city could show interest? Why are banks, or government, or any major company reluctant to do it?

Those office towers in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chongqing, Beijing, etc ... Could we at least have just one? A big fat tall super high skyscrapers like the Shanghai Tower? Is it really something we won't ever see in our lifetime?

What's holding us as a country to build such towers? Would people be against them? Is it because of job and population demographics? The US are 325 people, and they don't seem to care either. Are we in a North American state of mind regarding super tall towers?

I wonder what you guys think.
Economics, mostly. There's a point where the cost of each foot of vertical construction outweighs the benefits of the space. We have lots of space in this country, even in our most densely populated cities. Hong Kong, not so much.

Lack of hubris would be another reason. Unlike in Saudi Arabia or Dubai, there's no governmental push to build the tallest. Most Canadians are pragmatic enough that government spending on that sort of venture would be considered wasteful, so it would have to be privately financed, which brings me back to the first point.
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 3:27 PM
FFX-ME FFX-ME is offline
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Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Montreal all have height restrictions, so that leaves Calgary and Toronto.

Calgary already has too much office space.

Toronto is building very tall buildings, some of the newer condo towers are supertalls. In any case, 300m is a very arbitrary defining limit and supertall skyscraper building is seen as a sign of economic collapse so I guess it's good that we aren't building them.
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 3:29 PM
YannickTO YannickTO is offline
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Originally Posted by FrankieFlowerpot View Post
Toronto has a 42-year old office tower that is 2m short of "supertall" status.

Quite frankly - there's no appetite for them right now in Toronto.
I didn't mean 1000 ft. or 300 meters. I meant 1600-2000 ft. towers, the gigantic towers we've seen built since the last 10-15 years. That's why I said that the US wasn't really interested either (besides the awakening of NYC since 2010 or so).
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 3:31 PM
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Most of those towers are being built in oppressive regimes that want to be seem as modern. They are merely symbols of propaganda.
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 3:32 PM
YannickTO YannickTO is offline
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Originally Posted by wave46 View Post
Economics, mostly. There's a point where the cost of each foot of vertical construction outweighs the benefits of the space. We have lots of space in this country, even in our most densely populated cities. Hong Kong, not so much.

Lack of hubris would be another reason. Unlike in Saudi Arabia or Dubai, there's no governmental push to build the tallest. Most Canadians are pragmatic enough that government spending on that sort of venture would be considered wasteful, so it would have to be privately financed, which brings me back to the first point.
All good points. I just wish we could all collectively agree and at least build 1. Just 1. Not dozens and hundreds like China is doing. Only 1. I guess it won't be in my lifetime.
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 3:40 PM
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There's absolutely no market for them. Our companies are too small and our government has oversight. A 1600 to 2000 foot tower is far too visible a real estate venture.

Both Calgary and Toronto have guidelines in place that affect height in their traditional commercial cores. No way you could build that tall.
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 3:42 PM
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Originally Posted by YannickTO View Post
All good points. I just wish we could all collectively agree and at least build 1. Just 1. Not dozens and hundreds like China is doing. Only 1. I guess it won't be in my lifetime.
Can't you be proud of the CN tower?
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  #11  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 3:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YannickTO View Post
I didn't mean 1000 ft. or 300 meters. I meant 1600-2000 ft. towers, the gigantic towers we've seen built since the last 10-15 years. That's why I said that the US wasn't really interested either (besides the awakening of NYC since 2010 or so).
You said supertall tho
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  #12  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 4:00 PM
FFX-ME FFX-ME is offline
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This article explains this topic very nicely.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/wilshir...st-skyscraper/

Video Link
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  #13  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 4:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YannickTO View Post
I didn't mean 1000 ft. or 300 meters. I meant 1600-2000 ft. towers, the gigantic towers we've seen built since the last 10-15 years. That's why I said that the US wasn't really interested either (besides the awakening of NYC since 2010 or so).
If you mean towers that huge, then it's just cause we don't need them. They'd be really expensive to build and provide no benefit over a few shorter towers. Other places build them as symbols of wealth and modernity, without the expectation of making money on them as we would here. So for private business it would make no sense, and it would be extremely wasteful for the government to build something just to show off.
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 4:19 PM
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Originally Posted by FFX-ME View Post
Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Montreal all have height restrictions, so that leaves Calgary and Toronto.

Calgary already has too much office space.

Toronto is building very tall buildings, some of the newer condo towers are supertalls. In any case, 300m is a very arbitrary defining limit and supertall skyscraper building is seen as a sign of economic collapse so I guess it's good that we aren't building them.
Depending on where they are located, skyscrapers in Edmonton can go as high as they want currently, as long as city council approves their proposed heights. Tower heights are generally approved on a case-by-case basis with 'DC2' zones. But Edmonton used to have a height restrictions where buildings in the downtown area could only be 30 or 40 storeys, prior to the city closing the airport downtown. That's because planes required some space to take off and land at the airport safely. Now that the airport is closed, you're seeing the city's Stantec tower get built 250.5 meters (it'll be the tallest in Western Canada) and a bunch of other larger buildings including the purposed Alldritt tower at 280.0 meters.
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 4:34 PM
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Supertalls aren't very practical. No single company needs that much space. Floorplates too small, elevator ride too long. And how about trudging down 50 flights of stairs when someone pulls the fire alarm.

Supertalls are status symbols only.
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  #16  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 4:36 PM
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Depending on where they are located, skyscrapers in Edmonton can go as high as they want currently, as long as city council approves their proposed heights. Tower heights are generally approved on a case-by-case basis with 'DC2' zones. But Edmonton used to have a height restrictions where buildings in the downtown area could only be 30 or 40 storeys, prior to the city closing the airport downtown. That's because planes required some space to take off and land at the airport safely. Now that the airport is closed, you're seeing the city's Stantec tower get built 250.5 meters (it'll be the tallest in Western Canada) and a bunch of other larger buildings including the purposed Alldritt tower at 280.0 meters.
Oh my bad. I knew that the close proximity of an airport limited the building heights but I wasn't aware it had been closed. I stand corrected.
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 7:39 PM
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There are certainly a few exceptions but in most cases, super-talls are vanity projects and mega-talls always are.

They very rarely are built out of sound economics and mostly prestige. This is why, as noted earlier, most are in totalitarian countries that think they have something to prove......ie China, Dubai, Saudi Arabia.
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 8:04 PM
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Super-talls are generally a symbol of wretched excess, look at where they're built. There's no real economic justification for it in the office market, certainly not in Canada.
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 8:59 PM
YannickTO YannickTO is offline
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Originally Posted by whatnext View Post
Super-talls are generally a symbol of wretched excess, look at where they're built. There's no real economic justification for it in the office market, certainly not in Canada.
And what if we would just show off for just ONE building? Office market, residential market, hotel business, government offices, entertainment complexes, museums or galleries, etc etc.

Why don't they all join together in order to at least build ONE giant modern skyscraper? Toronto built the highest structure on Earth back 40 years ago (I know that the tower was useful in many ways back then), but don't you think it was a bit of a show off moment for Canada back then? We could still pull it off if we present the right project, at the right place.
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 9:00 PM
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Originally Posted by YannickTO View Post
And what if we would just show off for just ONE building? Office market, residential market, hotel business, government offices, entertainment complexes, museums or galleries, etc etc.

Why don't they all join together in order to at least build ONE giant modern skyscraper? Toronto built the highest structure on Earth back 40 years ago (I know that the tower was useful in many ways back then), but don't you think it was a bit of a show off moment for Canada back then? We could still pull it off if we present the right project, at the right place.
For what purpose?
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