Wider spaces between new towers: TOCore

Kimberly Spice–

The separation between condo and business development towers, if a new bylaw passes at council, will have a significant impact on how close future building will be in the Downtown core.

“We want to be able to continue to grow Downtown, to accommodate and shape the growth in a proper way and also be responsible to bring in a bunch of infrastructure strategies to support that growth,” Gregg Lintern, the director of community planning, told The Bulletin.  “So part of accommodating and shaping growth is to look at the way development actually happens.”

“We’ve been using guideline for the last ten years that give us a way of evaluating tall building development applications and specifically how far apart these buildings are spaced,” Lintern continues. “Those guidelines we now want to take and put in the zoning bylaw. We want to put them into the policy documents to the city. To give them more status and more weight, to make sure they are the benchmark against which we evaluate the merit of development applications.”

Currently bylaws state that building towers must be eleven metres apart but with the new regulation the standard would become 25 metres. This would be for towers only, not affecting the base of the building.

Lintern went on to say the current bylaw is decades old made by an old regime when buildings were much shorter and they could be closer together.

The benefits of building towers being further apart impacts pedestrians with less impact on wind, more access on sky view and more sun light.

Although many developers challenge the recommendation of 25 metres many come within the suggested guideline.

“They like to challenge that,” commented Lintern. “We appreciate that. Many do achieve that distance and I think it’s become the normative value and the expectation that people have.”

Changing the bylaw is part of the project TOcore, which is designed to look at several areas of downtown such as vehicle and bike traffic, public spaces, community services and utilities.

More information about the new by-law can be found at http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=222101f2e9745410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD.

Information about TOcore is located at toronto.ca/tocore.