Tall Buildings: Who is Planning our City?

This panel discussion takes place on Wednesday, January 25 from 7:30pm 9:30pm at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts located at 27 Front Street East in Toronto.

Toronto has had not shortage of tall building controversies: the Minto towers, the ROM condo, the Sapphire tower, and the East Bayfront lands to name a few. While there is agreement that Toronto must grow upward, there appears to be little agreement on where tall buildings should go and how tall is too tall. Instead, decisions are being made in the wrestling ring of public opinion, with developers, planners, councilors and citizens duking it out building by building.

The Province has responded to this vacuum proposing changes to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and new powers for City Council to oversee development. Will these changes be enough to address the problems Toronto has been experiencing? How will City Council balance the interests of developers and residents? How do we ensure that tall buildings, when built, contribute to the making of a great neighbourhood? What is the appropriate role of Council, planning staff, developers, community groups and the OMB?

Participants in this discussion include: Kyle Rae, Toronto City Councillor; Tony Coombes, Principal, City Formation International; Mimi Fullerton, urban activist, Annex Residents’ Association; Steve Diamond, development lawyer and Partner, McCarthy Tetrault; and Ted Tyndorf: Chief Planner for the City of Toronto. Moderator for this panel is Ted Barris, freelance broadcaster and Professor of Journalism at Centennial College, and author, most recently of Behind the Glory: Canada’s Role in the Allied War.