Canada has several buildings which are tall enough to be classified as skyscrapers. Despite many years of height restriction laws in the country, some of Canada’s buildings are among the tallest in North America. Many of the country's tallest buildings are located in the biggest city of Toronto.
The Tallest Buildings in Canada
10. The Bow - Calgary - 237.5 m
The Bow is a prominent office building in Calgary, Alberta. Completed in 2012, it houses the headquarters of oil and gas companies. Upon its completion it was the tallest building in Calgary - however, in 2017 it was surpassed by Brookfield Place East. The architectural design of The Bow has been lauded by experts. The front of the building is used as a venue for public art projects.
9. Commerce Court West - Toronto, Ontario - 239 m
Commerce Court West is a high-rise found in Toronto's financial district. Commerce Court refers to a complex of four different buildings, the tallest of which is the international-style Commerce Court West. It serves as the headquarters of the CIBC, one of the largest banks in Canada. The buildings were designed by I.M Pei, a famous architect known for his work in modernism.
8. Brookfield Place East - Calgary - 247 m
The newest construction on this list, Brookfield Place East in Calgary was completed in 2017. The building takes us an entire block in downtown Calgary, Alberta. The building has 56 floors and is the tallest building in Calgary as well as in western Canada. The majority of the office is home to offices, though there are also retail stores as well as restaurants.
7. The Stantec Tower - Edmonton - 250 m
The Stantec Tower is a mixed-use residential/office tower in Edmonton, Alberta. It topped out with a total height of 250 m, making it the seventh tallest building in the country and the tallest building outside of Toronto.
6. Number One Bloor - Toronto - 257.3 m
Number One Bloor is a mixed-used high-rise found in downtown Toronto near the intersection of Yonge and Bloor. The design of the building was initially proposed in 2005. The cost of a penthouse in the tower begins at around 4 million dollars. Number One Bloor is found in Toronto's prestigious Yorkville neigborhood, an area flooded with high-end retail stores and fine dining restaurants. Number One Bloor has its own retail stores in the first three levels of the building. The building is directly connected to a subway station.
5. TD Canada Trust Tower - Toronto - 260.9 m
The TD Canada Trust Tower, also called the Toronto-Dominion Centre, refers to a complex of buildings in the heart of Toronto's financial district. It is the headquarters of the prominent TD Canada Trust bank. Construction on the buildings began in 1964 and was completed five years later in 1969. The design of the buildings was advised by famous architect Mies van de Rohe, a fact that is apparent in the sleek modernist design of the complex.
4. Aura - Toronto - 271.9 m
The Aura is a tall mixed-use skyscraper located in the Downtown Yonge District of Toronto, Ontario. The Aura rises 892 feet, and is not only the fourth tallest building in Canada, but is also the sixth tallest residential building in the world outside of Asia. The 79 floors which make up the skyscraper have a combined floor area of over 1.331 million square feet. Construction of the Aura began in January, 2010, with Graziani and Corazza being the chief architects of the project. The Aura’s construction was completed in 2014 and the building was opened in the fall of 2014.
3. Scotia Plaza - Toronto - 275 m
Scotia Plaza is a tall commercial office complex situated in Toronto, Ontario. The Scotia Plaza has a height of 902 feet, making the skyscraper the 3rd tallest building in Canada and North America’s 22nd tallest building. Scotia Plaza is made up of 68 floors which give the building a combined total floor area of 1.6 million square feet and is served by 44 elevators. Construction of the Scotia Plaza began in 1985 and completed in 1988. The building was originally owned by the Scotiabank, one of Canada’s leading banks, but the bank sold the property in May, 2012 for $1.27 billion.
2. The Adelaide Hotel - Toronto - 276.9 m
The second tallest building in Canada is The St. Regis Hotel which has a height of 908 feet. The hotel, which is the tallest mixed-use building in Toronto, is made up of 57 floors and occupies a total floor area of 802,000 square feet. There are 109 condominiums and 260 luxury hotel rooms in the building.
1. First Canadian Place - Toronto - 355 m
The record of the tallest building in Canada is currently held by First Canadian Place, a skyscraper situated in Toronto, Ontario. First Canadian Place has a height of 978 feet with 72 floors, and has a total floor area covering 2.7 million square feet. The skyscraper is the third tallest structure in the country, with its height only surpassed by the CN Tower and the Inco Superstack Chimney. The CN Tower is the tallest free-standing structure in Canada, so it is not considered to be the tallest building.
Height Restriction Laws
For many years, many cities in Canada had laws which limited the heights of buildings. Several of these cities still have the height restriction laws in force. Saskatoon for instance, has a height restriction law which prohibits the construction of buildings over the height of 76 meters. Montreal prohibits the construction of buildings over 200 feet in height so as to not tower higher than the city's famous landmark of Mount Royal.