The Worlds Biggest Skyscraper Resource is in Canada

Canada, and the City of Toronto in particular, have been home to what were some of the Worlds’ tall structures when they were constructed.

For a long time, the CN Tower, located at 301 Front St. W. and completed in 1976, was the World’s tallest free standing tower (533.33 m.) however there are now many taller buildings and structures.

When it was first completed in 1975, First Canadian Place, located at 100 King Street W. in Toronto, was the tallest building outside United States and the eighth tallest building in the World. First Canadian Place is 355.m to the top of its antenna, 287.0 m to the main roof and while it may have slipped in Global rankings it remains the tallest building in Canada.

RENX source for this tall building information is SkyscraperPage.com an authoritative online website that contains illustrated diagrams and a database or every tall building in Canada and all skyscrapers from around the Globe.

According to Mike Kozkowski, business manager with Skyscraper Source Media, the parent company of SkyscraperPage.com, it is the World’s biggest skyscraper resource and like many other things ‘Canadian’ it is better known and more frequently accessed by people beyond our borders than within.

What is the difference between a hi-rise and a skyscraper? Mike Kozakowski explained that since the term skyscraper was first used in the late 19th century, a clearer definition has been put forward. To differentiate between a high-rise and a true skyscraper the term “skyscraper” typically refers to a building standing at or above 150 meters. Any building that below 150 meters and above 36 meters in height is a high-rise.

A 150 m. residential building is about 12 storeys while a commercial building of the same height has fewer storeys as floor heights are greater and they can vary from one building to the next.

Defining what determines the height of a building is an issue that haunts Skyscraper chasers. Is it the top of the antenna, the spire, the mechanical roof or the actual top of the building that defines the highest point? Consequently tall building descriptions tend to be accompanied by a list of height related stats.

In Canada, and North America, Toronto is still a hot bed of tall buildings with over 298 proposed or under construction of which 39 are Skyscrapers. By comparison New York City has 93 tall buildings proposed or under construction, 27 that are Skyscrapers.

A dramatic shift toward tall residential buildings making up the bulk of Canada’s skyscrapers has occurred over the past 10 years. The rising cost of real estate in cities, a consequence of urban intensification, has compelled housing developers and municipalities to go up instead of out.

Canada is no longer a leading builder of high structures. The tallest building in the World is Burj Khalifa in Dubai is 828 m. Asian cities, like Shanghai, have new buildings that are literally twice the height, at 600 m., of First Canadian Place. In China, there are currently 25 buildings under construction that are over 300 m

Tall building information is easily retrieved from SkyscraperPage.com by using its powerful search engine. It can sort by building height and other characteristics as well as by city, province and country. A new interactive map search feature on the website facilitates a visual search.

SkyscraperPage.com contains a World of knowledge about buildings beneath its humble first page. According to Kozakowski, it contains entries for over 83,000 structures from places around the Globe and over 40,000 to-scale illustrations of buildings. There are over 30,000 members registered with the website’s Forums about property development in various Canadian, U.S. cities and a selection of urban locations in other countries.

Dylan Leblanc, who opened SkyscraperPage.com in 1997, is the creative force behind the website’s unique perspective-less skyscraper diagram illustration system, the newly released interactive skyscraper maps and the buildings database. In the mid-2000’s Mike Kozakowski partnered with Leblanc to head up the company’s sales and business relations.

Leblanc’s perspective-less skyscraper diagram illustration system has led to the drawings becoming the building block of SkyscraperPage.com. The diagram like flat colored illustrations of buildings, which are drawn by referencing building plans and photographs, provide a visual and remarkably effective way of comparing the height and unique exterior features of buildings.

There are over 700 illustrators from around the World who provide drawings of buildings to SkyscraperPage.com. While it is the basic visual information unit for the website it is also an artistic endeavor that carries an illustrators signature.

SkyScraperPage.com sells its illustrations to commercial real estate companies and other business for a wide variety of purposes. Anita Spano with CB Richard Ellis in Pennsylvania in the U.S. explained that they use the illustrations to prepare vacancy analysis of buildings for the annual CBRE Symposium. The U.S. Steel Tower is an example of one of the images they have used.

A Toronto based company uses the illustrations to create puzzle products that show off buildings through out the last century in 4D format and Colliers International in Vancouver is another commercial real estate purchaser of the building diagrams.

There is a competitive website to SkyscraperPage.com, Emporis, which also opened in the late 1990’s. It is a resource about tall buildings under construction around the World that claims to have over 420,000 buildings in its database.

Emporis has less comprehensive and current information than SkyscraperPage.com and at least one error. It lists Canada’s tallest building as Scotia Plaza, at 68 stories and 275 m while First Canadian Place is the clear winner, however it is measured, at 287 m. and 72 stories

SkyscraperPage.com is undergoing a major web design overhaul that, when completed, will better exemplify its extra-ordinary collection of building images and data.
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How High & Why is going to be a regular column in Property Biz Canada. It is to cover height and density issues associated with new development as well as highlighting those buildings and circumstances in Canadian cities that are setting new precedents for urban intensification.

If you have an article, or story, you would like to submit to Property Biz Canada please contact Ann White – awhite@renx.ca – or call 613-569-6300. We look forward to hearing from you.


Ann launched RENX in 2001 as a part-time venture and has grown the publication to become a primary source of online news for the Canadian real estate industry. Prior to…

Read more

Ann launched RENX in 2001 as a part-time venture and has grown the publication to become a primary source of online news for the Canadian real estate industry. Prior to…

Read more





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