Bloomberg News | Oct 5, 2012 10:43 AM ET | Last Updated: Oct 5, 2012 10:59 AM ET
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Architect Frank Gehry is designing three condo towers in Toronto that would be North America’s tallest residences. His latest contribution to his home town comes as the Canadian government is trying to cool the market after home prices surged 85% in the past decade.
The three sculpture-like towers, funded by theater promoter David Mirvish, will rise as high as 85 floors beside a century-old theater and near the Gehry-designed Art Gallery of Ontario. The skyscrapers, with a combined 2,600 residential units, will compete with hundreds of other projects in a city with more residential buildings under construction than anywhere else in North America.
“Of course the condo bubble in Toronto is on my mind, but we’re in the early beginnings of it,” Gehry said on Oct. 1, at a press conference about the project at the Art Gallery of Ontario. “The culture of the city and the condo boom has nothing to do with me. That’s your problem.”
Even as the market is softening, a record 224 condo projects with 58,995 units are under construction in Toronto, according to the most recent data from RealNet Canada Inc., which tracks housing across the country. More than a quarter of these are in the same area as the planned Mirvish, Gehry project along King Street, west of the city’s financial core, according to RealNet.
Flaherty criticized “continuous building, without restriction” of condos as the central bank signaled record consumer debt and the chance of a sudden housing correction are major risks to the economy.