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					FRIDAY • JANUARY 11 • 2008                                                                                NRU • CITY OF TORONTO EDITION • 3



                                                                neighbourhoods—those neighbourhoods that are current-
  Tower Renewal Project Series                                  ly under serviced and that require targeted investment.
                                                                Rejected as failures of modernism, they largely exist out-
FORGOTTEN INHERITANCE                                           side the city’s planning, architectural and urban discourse.
                                                                   Yet are these tower-block communities, once considered
Apartment neighbourhoods                                        among the city’s most progressive, a key inheritance for a
revisited                                                       sustainable future? Today’s planning mantra of ‘smart
                                                                growth’ espouses high-density suburban growth as a cut-
By Michael McClelland and Graeme Stewart                        ting-edge solution. Forty years ago this was standard prac-

What makes Toronto
unique? One of the least
recognized answers to
that question is that
Toronto has more high-
rise buildings than any
other city in North
America, outside New                                             IMAGES CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT:
York.                                                            Bathurst and Steeles in the late 1960s
    Following the war,                                           Source – E.R.A. Architects

                                                                 1958 site plan for Flemingdon Park
when most North                                                  Source – E.R.A. Architects

America cities began                                             Contemporary photo of Weston and Finch
                                                                 Source - photographer Jesse Jackson
sprawling out of con-
trol, Toronto’s metro-
politan government
implemented a region-
al plan. Municipal and
Canada Mortgage and
Housing Corporation
housing policies over-
whelmingly favoured
the tower-in-the-park
model for much of the proposed new residential growth.          tice in Toronto and led to its high-rise housing stock, with
Subsequently, the suburban apartment became the most            some clusters as high as 350 people per hectare. How
popular form of housing for a period of twenty years, rep-      might this inheritance be re-engaged as a resource for the
resenting the overwhelming majority of housing starts.          challenges of the 21st Century city?
Unique to their European and American counterparts, these          In response to this question, Mayor David Miller will be
apartment neighbourhoods, which sprang up throughout            bringing to council this spring a report on the Tower
the GTA, were privately financed and marketed as modern         Renewal Project—an initiative that combines dramatic cuts
homes for a growing middle class.                               in greenhouse gases with community revitalization in
    The result is a hybrid suburban form, where ‘bunga-         Toronto’s apartment neighbourhoods.
lowscapes’ foreground rows of 1960’s high-rises, more              In the coming weeks, NRU will be providing brief seg-
reminiscent of peripheral Moscow or Belgrade than the           ments on the Tower Renewal Project—its research, its
suburbia on this side of the Atlantic.                          partnerships and its ambitions.
    Now, after four decades of service life, many of these
structures and their associated communities are in need of      Michael McClelland is a principal and Graeme Stewart is the project
significant attention. Aging envelopes and mechanical sys-      architect for Tower Renewal with E.R.A. Architects. The Tower
tems make these towers one of the most energy-inefficient       Renewal Project, spearheaded by the mayor, is being developed in collab-
housing types in the city. Their sheer number (some 1,000       oration with E.R.A. Architects and an interdepartmental municipal
throughout the Toronto area) contributes significantly to       staff working group with collaboration from Toronto Community
the region’s carbon footprint. Additionally, there is a grow-   Housing Corporation, the University of Toronto, CMHC, Toronto
ing association of tower clusters with the city’s priority      Atmospheric Fund and the Clinton Foundation, among others. NRU
FRIDAY • JANUARY 18 • 2008                                                                                                                              NRU • CITY OF TORONTO EDITION • 3



                                                                                                           apartment towers and their associated communities are a
  Tower Renewal Project Series                                                                             legacy worthy of further study and thoughtful reinvestment.

                                                                                                           Michael McClelland is a principal and Graeme Stewart is the project
REINVESTMENT REQUIRED
                                                                                                           architect for Tower Renewal with E.R.A. Architects. The Tower
A City of Towers                                                                                           Renewal Project, spearheaded by the mayor, is being developed in col-
                                                                                                           laboration with E.R.A. Architects and an interdepartmental munic-
Michael McClelland and Graeme Stewart                                                                      ipal staff working group with collaboration from Toronto Community
                                                                                                           Housing Corporation, the University of Toronto, CMHC, Toronto
While today’s condo boom is the largest in North America,                                                  Atmospheric Fund and the Clinton Foundation, among others. NRU
with 18,000 built last year across the GTA, it is dwarfed by
the 1960’s post-war apartment boom. In 1968 alone
                                                                                                               High-rise Metro Region comparison - the Toronto
30,000-apartment units came on the market.                                                                     Region in a global context
   Contrary to common wisdom, the most significant lega-
cy of modern suburbanization in Toronto is not the single-                                                     World                                           North America
family home, but multiple-unit high-density dwellings.
After the war, city planners and the Canada Mortgage and                                                       Hong Kong      7 494                            New York       5 568
Housing Corporation actively encouraged the develop-                                                           New York       5 568                            Toronto        2,047
ment of modern apartment towers in the expanding region                                                        Soa Paulo      4 615                            Chicago        1 076
based on the tower-in-the-park typology. By the mid 1960s,                                                     Singapore      3 523                            Vancouver        614
at the peak of Toronto’s first mass housing boom, nearly                                                       Seoul          2 839                            Miami            535
40 per cent of the city’s housing stock and 77 per cent of                                                     Tokyo          2 765                            Los Angeles      457
                                                                                                               Rio de Janeiro 2 234                            San Francisco    436
housing starts were apartments of this type. By the end of
                                                                                                               Istanbul       2 112                            Honolulu         425
this boom, new “multiples” outpaced new single-detached
                                                                                                               Toronto        2,047                            Montreal         413
and semi-detached housing by a ratio of 2:1.                                                                   Moscow         1 751                            Philadelphia     336
                                                                                                               Buenos Aires   1 560                            Houston          331
   The Post War housing boom by type
                                                                                                               Kyiv           1 473                            Ottawa           280
                                                                                                               London         1 301                            Washington D.C. 272
                                            28 195                                                             Madrid         1 170                            Boston           245
                                                                                              15 908           Caracas        1 118                            Dallas           241
 Single
  Semi
Multiple
                                                                                                               Chicago        1 076                            Edmonton         230
   Row
           1950         1960         1970            1980           1990            2000                       Shanghai         959
           Housing Starts in GTA 1950 -2005- CMHC
                                                                                                               Santiago         954
                                   CMHC data compiled by E.R.A. Architects and the University of Toronto
                                                                                                               Sydney           823
                                                                                                               Beijing          864
   As a consequence, Toronto currently contains the sec-                                                       Minsk            772
ond highest number of high rises in North America                                                              Mexico City      747
(defined as buildings of 12 storeys and higher, Emporis                                                        Osaka            740
2006), the majority of these residential towers of the post-                                                                       Data from (2006), compiled by E.R.A. Architects and the University of Toronto
war boom. Toronto has double the high rise stock than
third place Chicago. And while Chicago’s towers are over-
whelmingly along the water’s edge and for the most part                                                               CANADIAN MORTGAGE
deal with a specific high-end demographic, Toronto’s tow-                                                             CAPITAL CORPORATION
ers spread north, south, east and west, as far as 30 kilome-
tres from the city centre, housing a considerable portion of                                                       R e a l E s ta t e F i n a n c i n g S o l u t i o n s
Toronto’s varied population. Undeniably, Toronto is a
high-rise city, yet the distribution and age of the majority                                                          LAND FINANCING
of our high-rise buildings gives Toronto a distinct charac-                                                           CONSTRUCTION AND PERMANENT FINANCING
ter. We are fundamentally a different kind of city than our                                                           IN-HOUSE MEZZANINE & EQUITY FINANCING
North American cousins.
   We are much more than a city of quaint downtown                                                                   FINANCIAL BROKERAGE & ADVISORY SERVICES
neighbourhoods. Toronto is a city of towers, many of                                                                   20   ADELAIDE ST. EAST, SUITE 900 T ORONTO , ON M5C
                                                                                                                                 T EL : 416.867.1053 FAX : 416.867.1303
                                                                                                                                                                                        2T6

whom are approaching their fifth decade. This vast array of                                                                       RICHARD . MUNROE @ CMCAPITALCORP. COM
FRIDAY • JANUARY 25 • 2008                                                                                             NRU • CITY OF TORONTO EDITION • 5



                                                                               developed a unique architectural language that came to be
   Tower Renewal Project Series                                                recognized internationally for its innovative approach to
                                                                               residential planning and communal design.
FLEMINGDON PARK                                                                     As years passed, Flemingdon Park has evolved into one of
                                                                               Canada’s most diverse yet impoverished neighbourhoods.
Built resource guides                                                          While many aspects of Flemingdon Park’s master plan were
future plans                                                                   unrealized, a reconsideration of the intentions behind the
                                                                               community’s original design can provide insight into oppor-
By Michael McClelland and Graeme Stewart                                       tunities for its revitalization. Understanding our neighbour-
                                                                               hoods, understanding their differences and their unique his-
Toronto’s aging apartment neighbourhoods are not all the tories, will allow us to better appreciate what we have as a
same. While they are predominantly based on the idea of built urban resource and how we can plan for the future.
the tower-in-the-park and have large simple tower blocks                            The arrangement and location of apartment neighbour-
placed in abundant open space, there are plenty of differ- hoods throughout Toronto gives them a loose taxonomy.
ences that provide each of these neighbourhoods with their These include the subway nodal developments of Yonge and
own individual character. The                                                                                        Davisville, Crescent Town, High
                                          Arial view of Flemingdon Park under construction, early 1960s.
master planned community of                                                                                          Park and St. Jamestown; the arterial
Flemingdon Park, for example, is                                                                                   clusters along the length of Eglinton,
attempt at a completely functional                                                                                 Bathurst and Jane streets; the nearly
“new town” as a counterpoint to                                                                                    agrarian conditions found along
typical sprawl. It was highly influ-                                                                               ravine sites across the city from Mt.
enced by similar European efforts,                                                                                 Dennis, to north Etobicoke; the
particularly those found in                                                                                        planned communities found along
Sweden and the United Kingdom.                                                                                     the length of the DVP, including the
The result was the first privately                               Courtesy of Lockwood Survey Corporation Limited
                                                                                                                   Thorncliffe Park, the ‘Peanut’ and
developed apartment neighbour-            Flemingdon Park under construction, early 1960s.                         Warden and Finch. Each neighbour-
hood in North America, which                                                                                       hood has its own distinct history.
introduced tower living to
Toronto’s suburbs.                                                                                                 Michael McClelland is a principal and
    Planned in 1959 as a town of                                                                                   Graeme Stewart is the project architect for
14,000 people centred on apart-                                                                                    Tower Renewal with E.R.A. Architects.
ment towers, Flemingdon Park was                                                                                   The Tower Renewal Project, spearheaded by
to be one of the most ambitious                                                                                    the mayor, is being developed in collabora-
and inventive real estate projects in                               Courtesy of the archives of Canadian Architect tion with E.R.A. Architects and an inter-
Canada. Directly influenced by Don                                                                                 departmental municipal staff working
Mills’ designer Macklin Hancock, the master plan for group with collaboration from Toronto Community Housing
Flemingdon Park focused on residential development and a Corporation, the University of Toronto, CMHC, Toronto Atmospheric
lifestyle that would have the character and features of a viable Fund and the Clinton Foundation, among others.                                          NRU
small town. Coined a “complete community” by Hancock,
the Flemingdon Park plan included residential, commercial,
industrial and institutional uses and parklands, as well as a full                "Brad benefits from his
complement of community facilities. The original scheme                           architectural background,
                                                                                  bringing intelligence and
extended north of Eglinton and east to the Don Valley
                                                                                                                                BRAD GOLDEN + C o
                                                                                  creativity to directing the
Parkway and featured the new headquarters for CBC Radio                           public art process.

and Television, the area’s first motor hotel and integrated                       His experience and under-                     PUBLIC ART CONSULTING
community service centre.                                                         standing of the relation-
    Following the master plan and rezoning of the site,                           ship between art, site and
                                                                                  buildings create a strong
architect Irving Grossman drew up detailed plans for the                          environment for all
first of several residential neighbourhoods. He proposed a                        participants."

wide range of building types, from high-rise towers to                                                                          WWW.BGOLDENCO.COM
courtyard houses to accommodate a variety of residents.                           Andrew Bigauskas

                                                                                                                                416.516.8400
                                                                                  Principal

Through this exercise in location and design Grossman                             Rafael + Bigauskas Architects
FRIDAY • FEBRUARY 1 • 2008                                                                                                     NRU • CITY OF TORONTO EDITION • 3




  Tower Renewal Project Series
PLANNERS PONDER

Inherited densities
By Michael McClelland and Graeme Stewart
                                                                                                                                                            E.R.A. Architects
For Toronto the most significant planning question may not                              View from Yonge and Eglinton looking east towards Flemingdon Park
be the form and placement of new density, but how to turn
our enormous pockets of inherited high density into gen-                              College in Little Italy and Bloor in the Annex provide their
uinely sustainable and complete communities.                                          residential neighbourhoods with restaurants and shops and
    The density of Toronto’s apartment neighbourhoods                                 diverse employment opportunities. But many apartment
makes this city unique. In fact, surprisingly, Toronto has a                          neighbourhoods, with their very large resident populations,
denser metropolitan area than Chicago, Los Angeles, or                                lack the amenities and jobs common to these inner city
even Greater New York City. This is not the result of the                             neighbourhoods. Some could be characterized as employ-
city core but rather thanks to apartment neighbourhoods like                          ment deserts—all residents, no jobs. In other cases, such as
Bathurst and Steeles, Yonge and Eglinton or Thorncliffe                               Jane and Finch, a mix of uses was planned from the begin-
Park found throughout the city. The towers at Kipling and                             ning and does exist, but on the ground it is characterized by
Steeles give that community a residential density nearly three                        single-use zoning, large underutilized spaces and a depend-
times that of a traditional downtown neighbourhood like the                           ence on the car to get from place to place.
Annex. Understanding how density works in our city gives us                              As cities throughout North America grapple with the
an almost counter-intuitive sense of urbanism.                                        challenge of sprawl, density is repeatedly stated as the
    But there is more to density. The province’s growth plan pro-                     answer. In this regard, Toronto is ahead of the game. The
poses that density should be calculated as a combination of the                       future lies in its apartment neighbourhoods.
number of residents and the number of jobs and recommends
a target of 400 resident/jobs per hectare in urban growth centres                     Michael McClelland is a principal and Graeme Stewart is the proj-
like Toronto. The plan does not define an appropriate ratio, but                      ect architect for Tower Renewal with E.R.A. Architects. The Tower
with the aim of promoting complete communities it recognizes                          Renewal Project, spearheaded by the mayor, is being developed in col-
that neighbourhoods that work well have a mix of both a resi-                         laboration with E.R.A. Architects and an interdepartmental munic-
dent population and employment opportunities.                                         ipal staff working group with collaboration from Toronto Community
    In comparing neighbourhoods we can see marked differ-                             Housing Corporation, the University of Toronto, CMHC, Toronto
ences using this ratio. In the downtown core, streets like                            Atmospheric Fund and the Clinton Foundation, among others. NRU

 DENSITY -
 Toronto Neighbourhoods




  Comparing density in Toronto Neighbourhood: Residential density within larger neigbourhoods and the apartment clusters within them.
  Source: StatsCan, E.R.A. Architects and the University of Toronto
FRIDAY • FEBRUARY 8 • 2008                                                                              NRU • CITY OF TORONTO EDITION • 3



                                                                         The resulting understanding of best practice will be com-
  Tower Renewal Project Series                                        piled and published in a clear and easy-to-use set of guide-
                                                                      lines, as part of the Tower Renewal Project. The guide will
GAINING EFFICIENCIES                                                  provide detailed technical information on how to extend the
                                                                      service life of the building envelope and optimize thermal
The Green Slab                                                        performance of high-rise residential concrete towers, while
By Michael McClelland and Graeme Stewart                              taking into account economic pay-backs, minimal disruption
                                                                      to occupants, and opportunities to maintain, if not enhance,
The apartment slab buildings built during the 1960s and               the beauty and architectural character of the buildings.
‘70s are among the most energy inefficient housing types in              It’s time to turn our grey slabs green.
the city; however, they may also be the best candidates for
green retrofit. While their density aids other aspects of sus- Michael McClelland is a principal and Graeme Stewart is the project
tainability, this stock of apartment towers demands as architect for Tower Renewal with E.R.A. Architects. The Tower
much as 20 per cent more energy per square metre than a Renewal Project, spearheaded by the mayor of Toronto, is being devel-
contemporary single-detached home. Certain efficiencies oped in collaboration with E.R.A. Architects and an interdepartmental
are gained from reduced land coverage and transit use, but the municipal staff working, City of Toronto agencies, the University of
buildings themselves perform poorly.                            Toronto and CMHC and the Clinton Foundation, among others. NRU
    Though this building stock
enjoys the benefit of well-engi-
neered reinforced concrete struc-                                                Garden Roof
tural systems that will last for hun-
dreds of years, their exposed slab          New Thermal Over Cladding                                Solar Water Heating
edges (seen on walls and protrud-
ing balconies), minimal insulation,
single-glazed windows and aging
                                        Enclosed Balconies
mechanical systems have an
enormous environmental impact.                                                                          Storm Water Retention
A typical 200-unit building emits
a minimum of 1,000 tonnes of
greenhouse gases per year.               Mechanical Retrofit
Multiplied across the entire city,
these aging towers contribute
significantly to the region’s eco-
logical footprint.                                                                                  On Site Food Production
                                      On Site Waste Management
    The scale and critical mass of
these buildings provides poten-
tial for making a myriad of cut-
                                                                            Geothermal Heating
                                                                                                                         etc.
ting edge, new green technolo-                                                                                   Source: E.R.A. Architects
gies financially viable as well as
creating thousands of jobs in related sectors. Far less cum-
bersome than squeezing efficiencies out of 200,000 bunga-         "Brad benefits from his
lows, the comprehensive retrofits of our aging tower stock        architectural background,
                                                                  bringing intelligence and
across the city will significantly reduce regional energy use
                                                                                                      BRAD GOLDEN + C o
                                                                  creativity to directing the
and green house gas production.                                   public art process.

    Creative solutions need to be found that benefit tenants,     His experience and under-           PUBLIC ART CONSULTING
landowners and the city at large. Retrofit strategies for aging   standing of the relation-
high-rise buildings are being researched—state-of-the-art         ship between art, site and
                                                                  buildings create a strong
thermal over-cladding, geothermal heating and cooling, dis-       environment for all
trict energy fuelled by renewable energy sources, combined        participants."

heat and power systems, solar hot-water heating, improved
                                                                  Andrew Bigauskas
                                                                                                      WWW.BGOLDENCO.COM
storm water recycling, green roofs and even on-site waste
                                                                                                      416.516.8400
                                                                  Principal
                                                                  Rafael + Bigauskas Architects
management and local food production, for example.
FRIDAY • FEBRUARY 15 • 2008                                                                         NRU • CITY OF TORONTO EDITION • 3



                                                                 high quality. Strikingly at odds with the post-war homes and
  Tower Renewal Project Series                                   other developments that surround it, Crescent Town was an
                                                                 attempt to create a fully functional community, integrating
CRESCENT TOWN                                                    private and public interests in a complex spatial arrangement.
Responding to evolving needs                                        The result is an anomaly among apartment clusters in
                                                                 Toronto, as well as one of the most remarkable examples
By Michael McClelland and Graeme Stewart
                                                                 of large-scale housing in Canada. Consisting of high and
Change is the nature of cities. It is essential
that they evolve continually to address the
ever-changing needs of their citizens.
    In the 1960s, high-rise towers were
thought to be the best solution to meet
the growing need for rental units, while
efficiently organizing new housing with
services. The resulting apartment neigh-
bourhoods help us recognize how quickly
the city evolves, and how each generation
tries in different ways to address the chal-
lenges of growth, social and community
needs. One example is Crescent Town
near Dawes Road and the Danforth.
    Crescent Town was a progressive and
innovative response to suburban housing                                                                Crescent Town shops and landscaping
                                                                                                       Source: Courtesy E.R.A. Architects
needs and regional planning. But some                                                                  Crescent Town from Victoria Park
forty years since it was designed, the area                                                            Source: E.R.A. Architects

again faces new issues. While it is home to
an array of vibrant cultures it has suffered
from a lack of investment over a long peri-
od of time and a lack of service in keeping
with the area’s demographic changes. As a
result it has recently been identified as one
of the city’s priority neighbourhoods—and
it will require thoughtful solutions to
address these complex challenges.
    In 1900 this was the site of Walter
Massey’s experimental farm, which he
called Dentonia Park. The innovative
farm produced the first pasteurized milk
in Canada. Providing a supply of safe milk
to poor inner city children was a pressing social issue that     low-rise housing forms, half a dozen high-rise towers, a
Massey recognized and wanted to address.                         school, library, community facilities, shops, direct subway
    Sixty years later it was the need for housing that was the   access and open space, the entire project sits atop an
social issue. The completion of Victoria Park Avenue             immense parking garage. Located beside a ravine and a golf
across the Massey Creek Ravine in 1962 and the coming of         course, the development sits as a dense urban node in a
the Bloor/Danforth subway line placed pressure on the site       predominantly natural setting.
for intensification. To avoid piecemeal developments that
might encroach onto the ravine space, the planning staff         Michael McClelland is a principal and Graeme Stewart is the project
encouraged “a comprehensive development of the whole             architect for Tower Renewal with E.R.A. Architects. The Tower
of such lands.” In 1968, Howard Investments proposed             Renewal Project, spearheaded by the mayor of Toronto, is being developed
just such a development for the site.                            in collaboration with E.R.A. Architects and an interdepartmental
    Being associated with the Masseys aided in the develop-      municipal staff working, City of Toronto agencies, the University of
ment of Crescent Town’s innovation, public programme and         Toronto and CMHC and the Clinton Foundation, among others. NRU
FRIDAY • FEBRUARY 22 • 2008                                                                       NRU • CITY OF TORONTO EDITION • 6



                                                              encourage investment and increase social services in prior-
  Tower Renewal Project Series                                ity neighbourhoods, solutions must emerge from the inher-
                                                              ited high densities and underutilized open space found in
                                                              apartment neighbourhoods themselves.
A CITY DIVIDED
                                                                  With thoughtful incentives, apartment neighbourhoods
Poverty in aging towers                                       provide a great opportunity not only to make environmen-
                                                              tal improvements to the city’s carbon footprint through
By David Hulchanski, Michael McClelland and Graeme Stewart    building retrofits, but also to respond to growing socio-eco-
                                                              nomic challenges. With appropriate intervention relevant to
There is a striking correlation between aging tower neigh-    the needs and aspirations of residents and the community
bourhoods and areas of concentrated poverty in                at large, apartment neighbourhoods could become the locus
Toronto—areas identified as priority neighbourhoods by        for service delivery, mixed-use at-grade developments, new
the city. While Toronto’s mid-century
towers are located throughout the
city and represent a diversity of com-
                                                                                                                  Toronto’s post-war
munities, they are undeniably tied to                                                                             apartment towers and
the challenges of increased poverty                                                                               rapid transit, overlaid
                                                                                                                  with the wealthy ‘city
and inadequate services.                                                                                          #1’ (grey) and intensi-
   Toronto in the 1960s and 1970s                                                                                 fication zones (red).

was mainly a middle-income city, with                                                                             Source: E.R.A. Architects

only a few pockets of overt wealth
and poverty. Over the past twenty
years however, that middle income
group has fallen from two-thirds to
one-third of the city—creating a geo-
graphically divided, polarized city.
   Described as “three cities” within                                                                             Toronto’s post-war
Toronto in recent research by                                                                                     apartment towers and
University of Toronto’s Centre for                                                                                rapid transit, overlaid
                                                                                                                  with the impoverished
Urban and Community Studies, these                                                                                ‘city #3’ (grey) and pri-
areas can be loosely characterized as:                                                                            ority neighbourhoods
                                                                                                                  (dark grey).

City 1—areas of concentrated wealth                                                                               Source: E.R.A. Architects


and gentrification (about 20 per cent
of Toronto in 2001) generally located
in historic neighbourhoods near the
core, close to the best social, cultural
and physical infrastructure, including
rapid transit, is the target of significant new private and   housing markets, and even urban agriculture.
public investment.                                               Helped to evolve in response to new challenges, these
                                                              priority neighbourhoods could become the catalyst for cre-
City 2—average areas, likely in the process of transition
                                                              ating a more balanced and equitable Toronto.
(about 40 per cent of Toronto, 2001) reflects the shrinking
middle-income group predicted to further erode into either
                                                              David Hulchanski is the director of the Centre for Urban and
city 1 or city 3, creating further polarization.
                                                              Community Studies at the University of Toronto, and author of “Three
City 3—areas of concentrated poverty (about 40 per cent       Cities Within Toronto, Income Polarization 1970-2000” which can be
of Toronto) with a growing number of neighbourhoods           found at www.gtuo.ca. Michael McClelland is a principal and Graeme
located in the inner suburbs built in the post-war boom,      Stewart is the project architect for Tower Renewal with E.R.A. Architects.
which currently suffer from lack of rapid transit, fewer      The Tower Renewal Project, spearheaded by the mayor of Toronto, is being
social and community services, and little new investment.     developed in collaboration with E.R.A. Architects and an interdepartmen-
                                                              tal municipal staff working, City of Toronto agencies, the University of
   While the City of Toronto has created programs to          Toronto and CMHC and the Clinton Foundation, among others. NRU
FRIDAY • FEBRUARY 29 • 2008                                                                                     NRU • CITY OF TORONTO EDITION • 3



                                                                                Today District 10 is home to approximately 146,000
  Tower Renewal Project Series                                               people, just above the 144,000 planned for the district. So
                                                                             what about the future? The first generation of settlement
RE-EXAMINING JANE-FINCH                                                      was the farms and the small rural agricultural communities
                                                                             that dotted the countryside. The second generation was
What does the future hold?                                                   the implementation of the District 10 plan.
By Michael McClelland and Graeme Stewart

Each area of the city has evolved with its own history.
Take District 10 – the area we now know as Jane-
Finch. The 1962 master plan proposed to transform
the existing farm lots in the area into a vibrant com-
munity based on a set of principles that focused on
employment, servicing, and social equity.                        Aerial view of
    The basic form of the district plan was a residential        Jane and Finch
strip bisected by a ravine and bounded by indus-
trial employment zones. Commercial areas were
kept to major arterial intersections, with schools,                                                                                1962 District 10
community centres and park space at the interior                                                                                   Master Plan.
                                                                                                                                   Natural (Green),
of new communities. At the north edge of the                                                                                       Residential (Blue),
district would be York University. Within this                                                                                     Commercial (Red),
                                                                                                                                   Industrial (Grey),
framework, the development guidelines encour-                                                                                      Institutional
                                                                                                                                   (Yellow) Source:
aged flexibility and focused on:                                                                                                   Courtesy of E.R.A.
                                                            Courtesy of Lance Dutchak                                              Architects
• A minimum park space requirement of
  1.25 acres per 1000 residents to be achieved by using                          The area has changed remarkably little in terms of built form and
  ravine space or newly created parks;                                       while the underlying principles still remain relevant, the formal real-
• A balanced housing stock requiring a mix between                           ization of these principles reflects 1960’s notions of scale and single
  rental and ownership, and providing family housing in                      use zoning. They don’t necessarily reflect the needs of the evolving
  low, medium and high densities;                                            community. Re-evaluating the original guidelines in today’s context
                                                                             will aid in creating a sustainable community for future generations.
• Integrated high density into low density areas through
  diversified housing types;
                                                                             Michael McClelland is a principal and Graeme Stewart is the project
• High density if the development adjoined local parks                       architect for Tower Renewal with E.R.A. Architects. The Tower
  and was adjacent to a full range of community facilities                   Renewal Project, spearheaded by the mayor of Toronto, is being devel-
  within walking distance with access to transportation                      oped in collaboration with E.R.A. Architects and an interdepartmental
  and the site could deal with the traffic created;                          municipal staff working, City of Toronto agencies, the University of
• Ravines as park space that should have pedestrian                          Toronto and CMHC and the Clinton Foundation, among others. NRU
  access at regular and convenient distances with a mini-
  mum distance of 800m from a park to any dwelling.
    In the wake of the stark polarization emerging in contem-
porary American cities, Toronto proposed housing options
for varying income groups. District 10 in particular featured
a large social program, with a series of innovative affordable
housing communities with commendable designs by architect
Irving Grossman and others.
    High-rise housing became a particularly popular housing
type in meeting the goals of the district. As a result, 60 per
cent of households are rentals, and 45 per cent percent of
housing units are high-rise, making Jane-Finch one of the
areas in Toronto with the largest concentration of apart-
ment neighbourhoods.
FRIDAY • MARCH 7 • 2008                                                                                 NRU • CITY OF TORONTO EDITION • 3



                                                                     so good. They enjoy an incredibly mixed tenure and are
  Tower Renewal Project Series                                       home to a large percentage of the Russian middle class. Unit
                                                                     ownerships has resulted in the individualization of the bal-
LESSONS FROM AFAR                                                    conies, and relaxed zoning has allowed the transformation of
                                                                     units into small-scale shops and services.
Moscow model                                                            The dead zones traditionally associated with this typology
of tower renewal                                                     have been replaced with a carnival-like atmosphere of
                                                                     street life and commerce, home to new housing, shopping
By Michael McClelland and Graeme Stewart
                                                                     centers, and kiosks selling all manner of goods twenty-four
                                                                     hours a day. Toronto can learn from the experiences of
Next time you are in Chicago or Philadelphia try looking for
                                                                     these cities like Moscow in adapting these communities to
an apartment tower neighbourhood outside the city core –
                                                                     today’s context.
the kind we have throughout Toronto. They’re rare in North
American cities but common in other Commonwealth coun-                                                                 Commercial infill and new
tries, like Australia, and they are an even more significant force                                                     public space in Moscow's
                                                                                                                       Novi Arbat
in many European cities, such as Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin,
and especially Moscow. Aspects of Toronto suburbs display
a remarkable similarity of what can be witnessed elsewhere
across the globe.
    The earliest large scale proponent of suburban tower
communities was the UK, looking for the best housing
solutions in the face of the challenges of reconstruction
after the Second World War.
    These towers were the model that combined the best
                                                                                                                            Courtesy: E.R.A. Architects
housing standard possible with the responsible use of land.
Impressed with the typology’s cost effectiveness, rapid                                                                 Comparison of Tower
production, and ability to provide equitable housing with                                                               Districts in Moscow (left)
                                                                                                                        and Toronto (right)
modern conveniences, most major Western European and
Soviet cities adopted the tower in the park as one of the key
approaches to housing from the late 1950’s onwards. By the
1960’s, modern high-rise housing had been accepted as an
approach to urban growth the world over.                                                                                     Courtesy: E.R.A. Architects
    The form and strategy of tower neighbourhoods varied
from region to region. In Moscow for instance, housing               Michael McClelland is a principal and Graeme Stewart is the project
developments were arranged along the radiating metro and             architect for Tower Renewal with E.R.A. Architects. The Tower
arterial roadways in neighbourhood units occupying large             Renewal Project, spearheaded by the mayor of Toronto, is being developed
tracts of land. Consisting of clusters of dozens of towers,          in collaboration with E.R.A. Architects and an interdepartmental
neighbourhoods were generally designed with a generous               municipal staff working, City of Toronto agencies, the University of
kindergarten at the centre (an enclosed area of landscape            Toronto and CMHC and the Clinton Foundation, among others. NRU
containing school and day care buildings) and with commu-
nity stores, library and other services located in proximity to
Metro Stations.                                                         "Our projects are very
    Tied together with flowing open space and adjacent to               complex and involve many
                                                                        stakeholders.
large forest preserves, much of these residential areas were
supposed to offer an almost ex-urban condition of living,               Brad’s experience and
                                                                        integrity allow him to
                                                                                                               BRAD GOLDEN + C o
within the natural environment. Conceived as the ‘commons’,             drive projects forward                 PUBLIC ART CONSULTING
this space was to be left undeveloped and free for gathering            while respecting the
                                                                        interests of client,
and social activities.                                                  artists and public."

    Around the world, these apartment neighbourhoods
from the 60s are aging and different cities are taking differ-
ent approaches to their legacy. Today in Moscow, with the
                                                                        Mario Nalli
                                                                        Senior Project Engineer                WWW.BGOLDENCO.COM
                                                                        Toronto Transit Corporation
collapse of the controlled economy, these properties are                                                       416.516.8400
undergoing radical transformations, some good, some not
FRIDAY • MARCH 14 • 2008                                                                                    NRU • CITY OF TORONTO EDITION • 3



                                                                  furniture provides continuity within the sprawling district.
  Tower Renewal Project Series                                    New building arrangements frame boulevards, courts and
                                                                  plazas, creating a series of human scaled spaces.
VIBRANT, DIVERSE AND UNIQUE                                          New amenities and improved access to services has
                                                                  improved quality of life for current residents while attract-
Amsterdam success story                                           ing new ones, making the Bijlmermeer one of the most cul-
By Michael McClelland and Graeme Stewart                          turally diverse areas in Europe. Multiple uses, the natural set-
                                                                  ting and quality housing have made the area popular for all
Toronto can learn how its apartment neighbourhoods could          ages, household types and tenures.
evolve by looking at the successes of other cities. Take the         Overcoming its previous life as a poorly serviced and isolated
Bijlmermeer, for instance, a large tower block district outside   housing district, today the Bijlmermeer is one of the
of Amsterdam. It is reminiscent, in certain respects, to mod-     Netherlands’ more popular communities, as well as, a regional
ern communities in Toronto.                                       cultural and entertainment centre for greater Amsterdam.
    In 1966, the Bijlmermeer was an ambitious housing                While Toronto’s apartment neighbourhoods have oppor-
experiment built on vacant farmland south-east of the city. It    tunities and challenges specific to the Canadian context,
was envisioned as a secondary centre for the region and           international approaches such as Amsterdam’s Bijlmermeer
planned for 40,000 dwellings and 60,000 new jobs. It was          are models worth examining.
promoted as Western Europe’s
most completely functional satellite                                       Below: Bijlmermeer renewal, refurbished
                                                                           slab with new mid and low density housing
community.                                                                 Left: New market and housing near
    However the plan was never                                             Bijlmermeer Metro station.

fully realized. The jobs and ameni-                                        Source: E.R.A. Architects

ties never came and it remained in a
gradual process of decline for near-
ly 30 years. It was quickly dismissed
as a planning and social failure.
    In the 1990s the area garnered renewed
interest.The City of Amsterdam designat-
ed the Bijlmermeer as a priority invest-
ment zone and began a process of imple-
menting the original mixed-use intentions.
It began by providing rapid transit
and promoting a large commercial and entertainment district       Michael McClelland is a principal and Graeme Stewart is the project
adjacent to the housing. In just over a decade, the aging hous-   architect for Tower Renewal with E.R.A. Architects. The Tower Renewal
ing development itself has undergone rapid and remarkable         Project, spearheaded by the mayor of Toronto, is being developed in collab-
transformation.                                                   oration with E.R.A. Architects and an interdepartmental municipal staff
    A master plan, completed in 2002, set the framework for       working, City of Toronto agencies, the University of Toronto and
massive changes within the housing district. The master           CMHC and the Clinton Foundation, among others.                        NRU
plan conforms to these key principles:
  • establishing varied zones of uses
  • encouraging a differentiation of building types
  • maintaining a cohesive ‘district’
Once noted for its homogeneity, the Bijlmermeer has been
transformed into a series of neighbourhoods and commer-
cial areas of vibrancy, diverse use and unique character. Basic
zones include mixed-use commercial, market and housing
zones positioned near metro stops, as well as residential areas
of ‘historic zones’ of refurbished slabs, and new high-, mid-
and low-density housing.
   A cohesive public realm programme including way-find-
ing, pedestrian and cycling paths, paving patterns and street
THURSDAY • MARCH 20 • 2008                                                                              NRU • CITY OF TORONTO EDITION • 3



                                                                      with apartments located along the escarpment edge.
  Tower Renewal Project Series                                        Overlea Boulevard, which is Thorncliffe’s main commer-
                                                                      cial street, connects the neighbourhood to the rest of
THORNCLIFFE PARK                                                      Toronto via bridges to the north and south.
                                                                         Today the area is one of the city’s most prominent
Ripe for renewal                                                      immigrant reception zones. It is home to Canada’s largest
By Michael McClelland and Graeme Stewart                              Islamic community and is one of North America’s most
                                                                      diverse neighbourhoods, with a vibrancy and street life
Thorncliffe Park was a bold 1950s plan by the Town of                 usually found in the central city.
Leaside to redevelop a former racetrack overlook-
ing the Don River. Conceived in 1955 it was pro-
posed to be the first apartment neighbourhood in
Canada. Though breaking ground slightly after
neighbouring Flemingdon Park, it was recognized
internationally as an ambitious attempt to better
organize population growth in response to the sprawl
found in Toronto’s outer boroughs.
   While already containing many of the ingredients that
make great communities work, this culturally unique area
of some 15,000 people is not without its problems. Lack Image clockwise from bottom:the Leaside Bridge
                                                          Thorncliffe Park as seen from
of investment, a neglected and disconnected public Uses within Thorncliffe Park: natural space and park
realm and the need for further community-specific pro- (green), and commercial (yellow) (blue), religious
                                                          (orange)
                                                                    school and community

gramming require thoughtful solutions for it to become Thorncliffe Park under construction, early 1960s
a genuinely sustainable and complete community.           Images Courtesy: E.R.A. Architects

   Changes are on their way. Located along the pro-
posed Don Mills rapid transit line, it will benefit con-
siderably from the TTC’s Transit City Plan. Planned as
a self-sufficient new town, Thorncliffe Park may
indeed become the model of a high-density suburban
community in the 21st Century context.
   Part of the goal of Thorncliffe Park was to pro-
mote a European approach to apartment living, as
equally viable for the young, the elderly and families. To Michael McClelland is a principal and Graeme Stewart is the project
accomplish this, apartments were arranged with generous architect for Tower Renewal with E.R.A. Architects. The Tower
spaces and two, three and even four bedroom configura- Renewal Project, spearheaded by the mayor of Toronto, is being devel-
tions—seeking to provide genuine family-sized units and oped in collaboration with E.R.A. Architects and an interdepartmental
enticing tenants for the long term.                                   municipal staff working, City of Toronto agencies, the University of
   The apartment towers themselves were the peak of Toronto and CMHC and the Clinton Foundation, among others. NRU
modernity, for the first time offering panoramic views of
the city, underground parking, indoor pools and other
amenities unthinkable before World War II. In something
of a “Jetsons” aesthetic, Thorncliffe’s modern towers were                 "Brad is an exceptional
a symbol of a prosperous and confident nation after the                    facilitator and a great


                                                                                                            BRAD GOLDEN + C o
                                                                           resource to me as an
war. The luxury Leaside Towers of 1970, at 130-metres in                   artist.
height remained the tallest buildings north of Bloor Street                His insight and experience       PUBLIC ART CONSULTING
for 37 years. The neighbourhood was also remarkable for                    are important contributors
the efficiency in which it was constructed, resulting in pub-              to the necessary dialogue
                                                                           between artist, client and
lications in prominent construction journals worldwide.                    design professionals."

   The neighbourhood was based on a community master
plan. The low, mid and high-rise apartment buildings in the                Alexander Moyle, Artist
                                                                                                            WWW.BGOLDENCO.COM
neighbourhood were organized around a central park, ele-
mentary school, shopping centre and community facilities,
                                                                                                            416.516.8400
FRIDAY • MARCH 28 • 2008                                                                                     NRU • CITY OF TORONTO EDITION • 3




  Tower Renewal Project Series
URBAN FARMING

Redefiningthelandscape
By Michael McClelland and Graeme Stewart with Hélène St.Jacques


The idea of the tower in a genuine park or landscape
setting was a popular notion after the Second World
War. As a result, during the post-war boom in Toronto,
a minimum of 60 per cent open space around multiple
dwellings was promoted as a best practice. If develop-                                                                           Images from top
ers wanted larger buildings, they were to provide a                                                                              Allotment gardens
                                                                                                                                 near Thorncliffe Park
greater ratio of open space to building footprint. The                                                                           Open space around
results are the large towers surrounded by 90 per cent                                                                           apartments at Kipling
                                                                                                                                 and Steeles
open space found across Toronto’s suburbs.
    Today this land is not being used as planned. Shy of                                                                         Toronto high-rises
                                                                                                                                 under construction in
the recreation and amenity space envisioned, much of                                                                             former farmers fields,
                                                                                                                                 early 1960s
this open space is either surface parking or is simply                                                                           Courtesy: A.R.A. Architects

fenced-off. Rather than park-like communities, high-
rises generally sit as isolated islands. City-wide this rep-
resents an enormous and underutilized land resource.
    A good example is the area in north Etobicoke around
Kipling and Steeles where 19 towers accommodate over
13,000 people. While this tower district adjacent to the
Humber Valley appears more pastoral than urban, most
of its open space lays unused and inaccessible.
    While there are a number of options for site renew-
al, a key question concerns how the landscape itself might be      Informa Market Research president Hélène St.Jacques is a recognized social
used. In addition to providing much needed active and useable      marketing expert working with communities across Canada on health, food and
pedestrian space, a simple response is urban farming. If we        environmental issues. She is also a board member of Toronto’s FoodShare
look to other successful examples like London for instance,        (www.foodshare.net). Michael McClelland is a principal and Graeme Stewart
urban farming has had a strong presence since the 1970s. Many      is the project architect for Tower Renewal with E.R.A. Architects. The Tower
of the sites in the Farm Garden UK Network (www.farmgar-           Renewal Project, spearheaded by the mayor of Toronto, is being developed in col-
den.org.uk) are integrated into tower blocks and Council           laboration with E.R.A. Architects and an interdepartmental municipal staff
Housing—complete with livestock. These farms provide train-        working, City of Toronto agencies, the University of Toronto and CMHC
ing for children as part of local school curriculums, as well as   and the Clinton Foundation, among others.                                 NRU
community kitchens and seasonal markets. In China urban
agriculture now feeds one third of the population.
    In many ways, Toronto is already a leader in community                      CANADIAN MORTGAGE
gardening, yet our local food production still only accounts
for a small percentage of that consumed. The abundant fer-                      CAPITAL CORPORATION
tile lands found in many apartment neighbourhoods, only a                   R e a l E s ta t e F i n a n c i n g S o l u t i o n s
generation removed from agricultural use, are ideal sites for
food production. Linked to compost programs and farmers                         LAND FINANCING
markets, current no-man’s-land could be rendered produc-
                                                                                CONSTRUCTION AND PERMANENT FINANCING
tive, self sufficient and the focal points of diverse commu-
nities. Applied at a city scale, these initiatives could have a                 IN-HOUSE MEZZANINE & EQUITY FINANCING
significant impact on consumption patterns, resource man-
                                                                              FINANCIAL BROKERAGE & ADVISORY SERVICES
agement and greenhouse gas production, as well as provid-                        20   ADELAIDE ST. EAST, SUITE 900 T ORONTO , ON M5C   2T6
                                                                                           T EL : 416.867.1053 FAX : 416.867.1303
ing ready access to local food.                                                             RICHARD . MUNROE @ CMCAPITALCORP. COM
FRIDAY • APRIL 4 • 2008                                                                                                                  NRU • CITY OF TORONTO EDITION • 6



                                                                                       key strategy for carbon reduction, especially in the European
  Tower Renewal Project Series                                                         Union. A leader in the field has been Germany, where the
                                                                                       tower blocks of post-wall Berlin have been significantly
BUILDING TECHNOLOGIES                                                                  upgraded as part of both environmental policy and unifica-
                                                                                       tion. In Bratislava, the entire district of hundreds of tower
The science of over-cladding                                                           blocks is in the process of being over-clad as part of
By Michael McClelland and Graeme Stewart with Dr. Ted Kesik                            Slovakia’s environmental agreement in joining the EU. Paid
                                                                                       for in equal shares by the EU Commission of the
With much of the high-rise housing stock now passing some                              Environment, the municipality and private investors (who
40 years of service, deterioration of the building envelope is                         gain development rights on adjacent properties), the project
widely evident as is the buildings increasing environmental                            is not only making buildings more efficient, but also breath-
impact on the region. Leaky sieves that                          CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK OF BASIC HIGH-RISE OVER-CLADDING STRATEGY
pre-date building science; they require far                    ENCLOSED BALCONIES



more energy than necessary. It is time
                                                                                                                                                               NEW WINDOWS




building performance was upgraded to
                                                                                                                                                               S UN S HA DIN G




the expectations of the 21st Century.
                                                                                                                                                               ENCLOSED BALCONIES
                                                                                                                                                               WITH OPERABLE WINDOWS




    The single most effective strategy in                     SOLAR WATER HEATING/
                                                                    PHOTOVOLTAICS



reducing the ecological footprint of our                         INSULATED WEATHER
                                                                  SENSITIVE SERVICES


stock of aging concrete residential towers
                                                         (GEOTHERMAL HEATING LOOP)




is the application of thermal over-cladding.
    Research in the University of Toronto’s
architecture, landscape and design faculty                                                                Images from top
examined relationships between the skin                                                                   Conceptual over-cladding strategy,
                                                                                                          E.R.A. Architects and the University of Toronto
(building envelope) and armature (struc-
                                                                                         METAL OVER-CLADDING, REMOVABLE FOR REPAIRS,
                                                                                                                    SERVICE UPDATES

                                                                                                          Examples of metal over-cladding in Berlin
tural system) in the context of façade-
                                                                                                     NEW SERVICES (GAS, INTERNET, ETC)

                                                                                                          Source: E.R.A. Architects
                                                                                                                      NEW INSULATION


retrofit technologies with optimized envi-
ronmental performance. Essentially con-
crete filing cabinets, these buildings pro-
vide a surface to which new insulation,
rain screens and “skins” can be applied.
    The retrofit strategy holding the most
promise involves comprehensive over-
cladding, which incorporates a secondary
framing system that enables the updating
and integration of building services in a space between the ing new life into this aging district through new mixed use
exterior insulation and the existing façade, and the introduction and improved public space.
of features such as sun shading appropriate to each building’s         In Canada there is an opportunity to learn from the best
elevation. This strategy of integrating servicing channels in international examples, as well as develop innovative solu-
envelopes enables a “green” integration to district energy loops tions best suited to the Canadian urban context and cli-
fed by geothermal or co-generation systems.                        mate. It will make for better building stock, a greener econ-
    Key to the over-cladding strategy is minimizing tenant omy and more beautiful urban landscapes.
disruption during the process of retrofit through phased
upgrades applied from the outside rather than the inside. Dr. Ted Kesik is professor at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of
This process would also offer the opportunity to update Architecture, Landscape and Design, and is one of Canada’s premier
building appearance, creating unique and attractive neigh- building scientists. He is currently leading a team researching best practices
bourhood landmarks.                                                for the environmental upgrade of aging residential high-rise buildings.
    An analysis of a typical 20-storey apartment tower using Michael McClelland is a principal and Graeme Stewart is the project
this system, predicts several hundred thousand dollars of architect for Tower Renewal with E.R.A. Architects. The Tower Renewal
annual energy savings, the elimination of several hundred Project, spearheaded by the mayor of Toronto, is being developed in collab-
tonnes of annual greenhouse gases and the realization of rel- oration with E.R.A. Architects and an interdepartmental municipal staff
atively quick payback periods.                                     working, City of Toronto agencies, the University of Toronto and
    Internationally, over-cladding aging high-rises has been a CMHC and the Clinton Foundation, among others.                                             NRU

				
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