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May 27, 2013
Updated design guidelines for tall buildings in Toronto
The updated Tall Building Design Guidelines that City Council recently adopted integrate and build upon previous City of Toronto tall building guidelines. The updated guidelines also establish a unified set of performance measures for the evaluation of tall building development applications city-wide.

"Council’s approval of the new Tall Building Guidelines confirms the City’s commitment to ensure that new tall buildings are built and designed to enhance the architectural qualities of our growing city and to minimize the social and environmental impacts on our communities," said Councillor Peter Milczyn (Ward 5 Etobicoke-Lakeshore), Chair of the Planning and Growth Management Committee.

“The updated Tall Building Design Guidelines provide greater clarity and certainty to some of the more common elements of tall building construction," said Jennifer Keesmaat, Toronto's Chief Planner. "The guidelines establish clear measurable objectives to help ensure tall buildings fit within their context, minimize their local impacts, and contribute to a safe and vibrant pedestrian realm."

Updates to the city-wide Tall Building Design Guidelines generally include:
• clear language, layout and graphic illustrations
• strengthened connections to Official Plan policy, and
• emphasis on design excellence, heritage conservation and sustainable design.

Additionally, the guidelines now include specific measures to ensure that, during the planning and design of tall buildings, greater consideration is given to contextual fit, quality of life, cumulative effects of tall buildings, sunlight/shadow impacts, and the pedestrian realm.

Toronto is experiencing an intense growth of tall buildings. The updated Tall Building Guidelines represent the most current best practice approach to guiding this form of development. The guidelines harness the vitality and energy of tall buildings, ensure they perform to the highest architectural design standards, protect existing neighbourhoods and enhance Toronto's livability.

City Council's adoption of the Tall Building Design Guidelines is an important validation of the document as an essential implementation tool of the Official Plan. The guidelines will be used by City Planning staff in the evaluation of all new and current tall building development applications throughout the city.

The updated city-wide Tall Buildings Design Guidelines are available online at

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Bruce Hawkins
Senior Communications Coordinator



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