Downtown Tall Buildings Study

Inviting Change in Downtown Toronto

Project Facts

  • Partner

    David Pontarini

  • JV

    Urban Strategies 

Toronto’s ever-changing downtown is characterized by tall buildings. The Tall Building Study brought together a group of highly specialized professionals, including Architects, Planners, Urban Designers, Engineers, Lawyers, and Politicians to create a vision for the development of these buildings. The purpose of the study was to provide measurable criteria, including performance standards, to be included in the City’s land-use planning development approval framework. The study developed location criteria for tall buildings, including their spacing, placement, and orientation and addressed the issue of pedestrian comfort in a tall built form environment. It also included the testing of these design criteria, specifically as they relate to tall building development in downtown Toronto.


Several of the guidelines and recommendations set out in the study have been incorporated into City by-laws and continue to inform the strategic development of the City’s tall buildings. In 2013, the study received the Ontario Professional Planners Institute Excellence in Planning Awards for Research/New Directions.

Project Facts

  • Partner

    David Pontarini

  • JV

    Urban Strategies 

Select Awards

  • 2013 – Ontario Professional Planners Institute Excellence in Planning Awards, Research/New Directions

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Select Awards

  • 2013 – Ontario Professional Planners Institute Excellence in Planning Awards, Research/New Directions