Urban Density in Toronto

Dense living: Toronto struggles with the right formula

The grandiose triple tower Mirvish-Gehry downtown condo proposal brings up a pertinent question: How much urban density is right for Toronto?

Toronto’s chief planner, Jennifer Keesmaat, has expressed “serious concerns” over the triple-tower development proposal on King St. W. by theatre magnate David Mirvish and renowned architect Frank Gehry. She says it's too dense.

By: Alex Ballingall News, Published on Fri Oct 11 2013

How dense is too dense?

For city planners and urban designers, that question represents an essential predicament of the times: the challenge of building more compact, green living spaces that don’t swamp infrastructure or sully communities with untenable congestion.

It also reverberates in the debate over the grandiose triple-tower development proposal on King St. W. that’s being pushed by theatre magnate David Mirvish and renowned architect Frank Gehry. Toronto’s chief planner, Jennifer Keesmaat, has expressed “serious concerns” over how the already jam-packed downtown strip can handle an influx of people living in three new 80-storey towers.

“I don’t think we as a city have an obligation to absorb this much density,” she recently told the Star’s Christopher Hume.

And yet, many agree — including Keesmaat — the city must get denser; the question of how, and how much, is vital to shaping the Toronto of tomorrow.

“There are good ways to do density and there are bad ways to do density, and a big part of the difference is design,” said Keesmaat in an interview Monday, citing access to light, privacy and quality public space as important factors.ad More 

By: Alex Ballingall News, Published on Fri Oct 11 2013   The Star