‘Starchitects’ flocking to Toronto as condo developers look for big name cachet

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'Starchitects' flocking to Toronto as condo developers look for big name cachet
David Mirvish admires a model of the Mirvish+Gehry condo development headed to King and John streets.
'Starchitects' flocking to Toronto as condo developers look for big name cachet
David Mirvish admires a model of the Mirvish+Gehry condo development headed to King and John streets.

The Toronto construction boom is turning the city into a major market for internationally renowned architecture firms.

In the last five years, Toronto developers looking to add cachet to their projects have recently begun shelling out for work by firms such as Foster and Partners, Frank Gehry, and Wilkinson Eyre.
“There’s a certain discerning buyer that’s going to be more interested with some added value, and the big name starchitects definitely bring the added value,” said Craig White, managing editor of Urban Toronto, a website that tracks local development.

Developer Sam Mizrahi recently hired London-based Foster and Partners—famous for that city’s “Gherkin” building—to design a 318-metre super tall tower at 1 Bloor St. W.

If constructed as planned, it would become the second tallest structure in the country after the CN Tower.

BRL Realty Limited submitted plans for another Foster and Partners building at Bay and Scollard streets Nov. 5.

Elsewhere, Frank Gehry is working for David Mirvish on a pair of visually arresting towers at King and John streets, and though mired in delays Daniel Libeskind’s L Tower is nearing completion on Front Street.

Toon Dreessen, president of the Ontario Association of Architects, said the influx of foreign talent doesn’t have to hurt local business. […]

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