How many stairs does the CN tower have?

What is being built? Document the double-loaded corridor egress of larger midrise projects along Toronto’s main streets and the struggle for low-rise residential infill of neighbourhoods with missing middle typologies.

Urbanarium Micro-op

Toronto Fire Services Inventory

(Note: the Toronto Fire Services Fleet Inventory for 2016 included 34 Quint Aerials, with an aerial reach of 75ft, 22m)

“Stable Neighbourhoods”
History of Apartment Buildings in Toronto, supression thereof - See House Divided.

The Mid-rises of Metropolitan Toronto - Daniel Rotsztain

68 Kendall Avenue - eight apartments, one interior stair, one exterior,+Toronto,+ON+M5R+1L9

58 Emerald Crescent, Etobicoke - three modest apartment buildings,+Etobicoke,+ON+M8V+2B6/


By definition, a condominium, often shortened to condo, is a form of home ownership. It is not limited to high-rise towers, but to any building where the owner holds title to their own individual unit while sharing title to the land and other common areas of the building with other unit owners. Maintenance and operating costs are shared with other owners through a condominium corporation that jointly represent ownership of the land and entire building. Condominium ownership permits the marketing of individual units in multiple unit buildings, and Ontario was the first province to recognise this form of home ownership, passing the Ontario Condominium Act in 1967. Each condominium declaration has strict building boundaries and outlines owner and condominium corporation building portion responsibilities. For highrise condominium towers, owners typically own the inside of their unit up to the centre line of any shared walls with neighbours and external façade elements.

The High-rise Condofication of Toronto has an enormous influence upon the design of Mid-rise apartment buildings
- market expectations and norms of a concierge, ground floor amenity, package/mail room, controlled-access lobby
- unit standardization driven by market demand and highest rent per sf in studios, 1bd and 2bd’s.
- use of elevators and elevator redundancy (i.e. having at least two)
- rentals with high tenant turnover, investment properties, not owner-residents, hence little desire for habitation of shared circulation
- centralized mechanical systems, electrical closets and air shafts
- active firefighting measures, central standpipe, fire hose closets etc.
- garbage and recycling chute, note Germany ban on garbage chutes

Sidenote: Garbage Chutes forbidden -> recycling mentality -> code reacting to culture

“Typical Plan is an American invention. It is zero-degree architecture, architecture stripped of all traces of uniqueness and specificity. It belongs to the New World.”

Rem Koolhaas. (1993). “Typical Plan” in S,M,L,XL.

Form follows Finance - Tower design, 20m deep slabs, deep single orientation units:
Tower Floor Plates and Elevator Core From the Tall Building Design Guidelines, the size of a tower plate area should be 750 square metres (8,072 square feet) or less; this limit, together with exit stairs and elevator cores, are important factors in determining whether the tower plate is economically feasible to develop. The typical elevator core in a tower consists of two, three, or four elevators, the number required in a tower is dependent on the number of storeys and residential units to meet building code requirements and also to achieve an acceptable expected elevator waiting time of approximately forty-five seconds. In order for a tower plate to be economically attractive for development, the ratio of saleable area (area of the units) to gross floor area (area of the tower floor plate) should be around 85 percent.

Floor Plate Efficiencies, Typical Midrise Projects, double-loaded corridor, no cross-ventilation, deep plans:
383 Sorauren / architectsAlliance
Oben Flats / Superkul
Block 16 / KPMB
       35 Wabash Avenue

Recent Subversive Stair Projects in Toronto

        20 Niagara Lofts - architectsAlliance 
        exterior gallery, single-loaded corridor, cross-ventilated, light from both sides, luxury project where stairs not designed for use, elevator only

Harbord Towns - superkul
       counting the ground floor as basement to reach four storeys

Grange Triple Double / Williamson Williamson

BIG in Stockholm v. BIG in Toronto

Same architects, same design intent, very different egress.

79&PARK / Bjarke Ingels Group (2018)
Stockholm, Sweden

King Toronto / Bjarke Ingels Group (under construction)
Toronto, Canada


Lehrer, U. and Wieditz, T. (2009). Condofication in Toronto. York University, Faculty of Environmental Studies. Canadian Journal of Urban Research, Volume 18, Issue 1, Supplement, pg 140-161.

Picton, R. M. (2013). The Condofication of Downtown. WordPress, urbangeography.

Rosen, Gillad. (2017) Toronto’s condo-builders: development approaches and spatial preferences, Urban Geography, 38:4, 606-625, DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2016.1179426