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Old Posted Feb 11, 2016, 6:51 PM
C. C. is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
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Originally Posted by Dale View Post
Short answer: by visiting them and concluding that what I've observed in Toronto I commonly observe in its peer cities.
I don't know how anyone could say Toronto and its skyscrapers are just like every other city and its skyscrapers in America at street level. It's simply not true and one must have a very lazy eye when looking at design of the buildings not to see the differences.

The design of skyscrapers are greatly influenced by zoning. I personally hate above ground parking garages. It kills the street level experience and feels sterile. I don't see them too often in Toronto. Developers will dig deep into the ground, at great cost, to build a parking garage whereas elsewhere they may just lay a slab foundation and put the garage above grade. I can only assume Toronto has zoning in place which forbids or discourages above grade parking garages.

Many years ago a typical zoning codes would regulate use, height, density, and setbacks. With that the city is at the mercy of a developer; they could end up delivering a landmark or a really shitty design and awkward site plan. Nowadays more is being done to require a minimum amount of building coverage to create a street wall or plaza, minimum and maximum setbacks, percent of frontage dedicated to retail, enclosing or wrapping of interior parking garages to hide them from the street, even down to building materials or glazing or masonry requirements.

Skyscrapers can be built better so they are more "human scaled" at street level and the vesicle already exists in zoning for those cities that are bold enough to care about design.
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