Toronto’s Skyline Transformation


For Brooklyn-born Ken Greenberg, this heady era in Toronto is akin to a certain New York moment. In New York City in the late 1920s, an explosion of people and skyscrapers, and especially the addition of iconic structures like the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building to the skyline, “drew people like magnets” from all over the world.

“People were exhilarated by the fact that we had the technology to build buildings like that, but then they came to symbolize a kind of excitement about the place,” said Mr. Greenberg, Toronto’s former director of design and architecture and the Toronto-based principal of Greenberg Consultants. “We love the iconic Manhattan skyline, because what we’re really doing is associating that with what we know happens on the streets.” ‘When you see the skyline on a clear night, especially from the air, you can believe this is the right time and the right place be alive’.

If Torontonians have stopped noticing the cranes that have similarly transformed their skyline — and downtown itself — since the turn of the millennium, a recent Reddit post likely stopped them in their tracks. It combined two Toronto skyline snapshots, in 2001 and 2014, and captured the quick change the city has undergone.

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