Since 1980, Canada has seen a great transformation in its cities. The country’s skylines are extremely powerful with the ability to motivate and inspire its people. In the past decade especially, Canada has experienced a drastic change in its cities with major developments experienced in Toronto, Vancouver, and Edmonton. Architects, developers, and planners have aggressively pushed Canadian city councils to lift height bans on buildings to expand the extent over urban and suburban outlines.
1. Toronto, Ontario
Toronto has experienced a major transformation of its skyline since 1880. The transformation commenced with the rise of the Toronto Dominion Centre, Royal York Hotel, and the CN Tower. Toronto already boasts having one of the best skylines in Canada and is expected to have the best in North America by the year 2022. Various projects for mega skyscrapers are underway and will be completed in 2022, giving Toronto an outstanding skyline. Toronto’s skyline is best seen at sunrise when the sky is illuminated. The Polson Pier located across the Sound Academy gives the best view of the iconic view.
2. Calgary, Alberta
Fifty years ago, the Calgary tower put forward by the Canadian Pacific Railway changed the look of the city’s downtown. It also benchmarked the change of its skyline following rapid developments in the real estate market influenced by the energy industry. Today, the fabulous city skyline is filled with interesting office towers framed by a mix of historic inner-city neighborhoods and gleaming new condominium towers. The Crescent Road viewpoint offers the best view of the skyline as it has stupendous views from many spots along the lengthy alignment overlooking the Bow River and downtown.
3. Montreal, Quebec
Montreal, one of the oldest settlements of the country, has been marked as the fastest-growing city in Canada. For years, the city remained conservative as it protected its unique, historic architecture. There is a development boom in Montreal that has led to the upswing of new constructions and developments in the real estate industry. The boom in condo development is indicative of the changing habits of homebuyers. The skyline is best viewed from Mount Royal which gives the spectacular view of architectural works, natural spaces, and the almighty St. Lawrence River that circles the island city giving it a scenic and remarkable urban splendor.
4. Vancouver, British Columbia
For centuries, Vancouver’s skyline has widely been used in postcards to showcase the best of Canada’s skylines. Unlike other cities where height bans have been lifted, Vancouver continues to hold onto its restrictions. This has allowed the city to preserve its clear skyline stretching up to the mountains on the north.
5. Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax is experiencing a building boom fuelled by its densifying urban sprawl and propped-up real estate market. This Nova Scotian city has promptly overtaken Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Toronto in population growth, becoming the fifth-biggest technological hub in Canada. Since the city is synonymous with short commutes, affordable homes, fresh air, and pristine beaches, it has become a settlement destination for immigrants and middle-income people seeking cheaper accommodation in big cities beyond Toronto. Halifax’s skyline is best viewed at sunrise from the Macdonald Bridge and the Halifax harbor as the two views are unobstructed and stretch beyond the horizon.
6. Winnipeg, Manitoba
Winnipeg’s downtown skyline drastically changing with the sprouting of the 40-storey building located at the corner of 300 Main St. and Graham Avenue. Winnipeg’s high-rise construction is in response to a range of functions such as condominiums to meet demographic needs and retail stores. Downton Winnipeg is the economic and cultural heart of the city, and its strength is vital for the growth of Winnipeg as a whole. The city’s skyline is visible from Shaw Park, especially early in the morning and during sunset when the city is illuminated.
Edmonton was among Canada’s cities where height restrictions on buildings were tight to avoid interferences with the City Centre Airport. However, with the facility long gone, the height bans were lifted with the approval of the 80-storey Alldritt Tower along river valley land between Jasper Avenue and Grierson Hill Road. The tower gives the city the best view of Edmonton's short skyline. Although some height restrictions are still applied in the city, the short skyline is exceptional as it has an unobstructed view. The Cloverdale Bridge offers a clear view of Edmonton’s panoramic skyline.
8. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
For the better part of Saskatoon’s life, the law restricted the height of buildings to a maximum of 76 m, or 25 storeys. The abolition of the clause gave way to the uprise of skyscrapers in the city’s downtown and saw the rise of the Parcel Y tower that has changed the skyline. Members of Saskatoon’s city center further supported the rezoning of the 3rd Avenue South corner and the 22nd Street to accommodate skyscrapers. These new buildings will meet the increasing demand for new offices and residential units to cater for the growing middle-income population.
9. St. John's, Newfoundland
St. John’s Newfound Harbor offers a spectacular view of the city’s skyline during sunset. The city has grown drastically in the 21st century following intense economic development fueled by increased urbanization. Skyscrapers have risen to accommodate the demand for urban condos within the city and also create office space for the Fortune 500 companies investing in St. John's.
Mississauga is an overwhelming suburban city whose landscape has changed following the rapid development of condominiums in its city centre. Previously referred to as a barren city, Mississauga has become the bedroom community that no longer sleeps, hosting more than 750,000 residents and Fortune 500 companies. In the next two decades, the city is expected to host close to 1 million residents which means transforming the city’s skyline to accommodate the increasing population. The best view of the skyline is the Port Credit House as it offers a picturesque view of the city’s nightlife.