Proposed tower will become Canada's tallest building

A new 80-storey development in Toronto will become Canada’s tallest building with the owner promising it will put the junction of Yonge and Bloor Streets “on the international map.”

Sam Mizrahi, the Toronto businessman who purchased the iconic corner, unveiled his vision of "The One" to local residents on Wednesday. In addition to retail and residential units, the tower will also include a Hyatt hotel.

The model, designed by British architect Norman Foster, is set to breathe new life into the area with an “exoskeletal” structure. Rather than relying on columns or pillars to stand upright, the glass building will be encased by crisscrossing beams.

“This is one of the most unique engineering feats there is, where form and function come together,” Mizrahi said, adding, “It actually acts as jewelry on the building, as public art. But it’s actually holding the whole building up.”

Only about nine other buildings in the world use this type of structure.

Mizrahi’s goal for the corner is to create a shopping destination on par with Chicago’s Michigan Avenue and New York’s Fifth Avenue. The plan is to build and open the retail section first, which includes winter gardens and a public atrium, then construct the residential suites.

Despite plans for the building to already tower above the city, requests for even more floors as a means to expand the public realm have been requested.

“This is what this open forum is about. The city decides,” said Mizrahi, adding, “If this is what the community wants, and wants us to add floors, it’s a design in progress.”