Toronto Goes Back, and Forward, to the Future

Toronto is considered by many to be an international and world-class city. With plans unveiled at the second biennial Toronto of the Future event in June, local developers and real-estate figures show how the city will keep that status.

Back in June, Torontonians got a glimpse into the future. And what they witnessed has the potential of transforming the face of the city.

The Rotunda at Metro Hall and the Winter Garden Lobby of the Metrocentre King Tower in Toronto played host to the second biennial edition of Toronto of the Future, a captivating and comprehensive five-day showcase that provides spectators a glance at prospective urban development and infrastructure projects throughout the city.

The event ran from June 26 to June 30 and was open to the public, free of charge. The two venues were co-hosted by the City of Toronto and Oxford Properties Group.

A large 3D scale model of the city was presented at the event, displaying downtown Toronto buildings — most notably, the CN Tower and Rogers Centre — as well as towering bank headquarters, along with various skyscrapers currently being constructed.

“We have around one hundred projects presented in various forms at the showcase,” says Robert J. Vezina, founder and organizer of Toronto of the Future. “Some are under construction; some are planned and approved by the city. [Just] a few are only proposed or envisioned for a really more distant future — we could say a span of 50 years.” The 3D scale model not only displayed a present and future representation of the city, but it also identified the more antiquated structures of Toronto.

One of the main attractions at the event was a hulking 3D model of Mizrahi Developments’ “The One,” an 82-storey retail and condo building that will exceed a thousand feet and earn the title of the tallest building in Canada. “It is bragging rights for Toronto and for Canada,” Sam Mizrahi, president and founder of Mizrahi Developments, told Property Biz Canada in June. “It is the tallest building in Canada and we are quite proud of it.” The One had its own presentation display at Toronto of the Future, separate from the Metro Hall Rotunda. Construction of the building will take place at 1 Bloor St. West.

Toronto of the Future also had many other forms of design and architectural visualization models, such as panel illustrations, virtual presentations and renderings — all from the best of the best in the development sector of Toronto. “The event is also an opportunity for planners to compare their projects with others, and the more original proposals stand out,” says Venzina. “This is a good thing because it could, in fact, generate better development for the city in the long run.”

Photo Courtesy of mizrahi developments, Zeidler Partnership Architects

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Daniel Calabretta

Daniel Calabretta

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