Architects and engineers from an international team of researchers are hoping to build a building on a vacant site in downtown Toronto that they say will be the first skyscraper to be built in the city without the need for public funding.
The plan, titled “Sustainable Cities,” was unveiled Thursday as part of the Toronto Architecture Festival and was unveiled as part the city’s bid for $5.3 billion in federal and provincial funds to build an 800-storey, four-storeys tower.
The project will feature a $1.3-billion, mixed-use tower that would be located between the City Hall and a new condo tower.
“It will be a very high-rise tower,” said the team, led by the University of Toronto’s School of Architecture.
“It will stand at the centre of Toronto.”
They hope the building will be able to withstand a 10-foot fall on the ground, and they plan to be able build a new entrance and parking garage for the tower.
They also want to use a new kind of concrete called “microbracing” that will make the building stronger and more durable, the project says.
“The idea of building a skyscraper on a site that is already vacant is quite appealing to me,” said Mike Pyle, the university’s director of architecture and urban design.
“The building is designed for its height, so I’m confident it will withstand a significant amount of fall, and I think we’ll see it in the market a long time from now.”
Pyle said the design team was trying to use the “sustainability” theme of the bid to attract new investment to Toronto.
“They are really looking at sustainability,” he said.
“We’ve got a huge city.
We’re not going to lose a single building.”
The city is currently funding $4.9 billion in projects to rebuild the city, but the city has yet to commit to a full-scale project of that magnitude.
In January, the city announced it would phase out the building-by-building demolitions that had been taking place on the site.
Pyle said it’s the first time the city is committing to building a new tower on the vacant site.
“I think that it will be pretty hard for the city to not get behind this,” he told reporters.
The project is part of a push to revive downtown Toronto’s downtown core.
Last year, the province announced it had approved $4 billion for new affordable housing, but Toronto Mayor John Tory said he’s concerned about a lack of affordable housing.
“If the city doesn’t want to be a place where you can live in a condo, I don’t think that’s a good thing for Toronto,” he added.