In one of the city’s stranger ordinances, Toronto’s buildings were once decreed to have a “notional maximum altitude”. Owners of historic properties were not allowed to extend their buildings upwards, but they were permitted to sell the empty space between their roofs and the notional maximum to builders of new structures. Consequently, developers literally bought empty space and added it on to the maximum height they were already allowed for their buildings, thus creating the skyscrapers that the original ordinance seemed to forbid.

The arrangement enhanced neither the old nor the new, and was quickly followed up by an even stranger agreement. By the late 1980s, preservationists had convinced the city that no more of the city’s old buildings should be demolished. Yet developers still wanted to build new downtown buildings, and several deals emerged where a new complex would incorporate or literally engulf the old – the most notable example being the Victorian Commercial Bank building of 1845 which is now incorporated within the Brookfield Place mall at the corner of Yonge and Front streets.

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15 awesome images of Canada

15 awesome images of Canada

Canada is has vast and varied landscape, from beautiful beaches to glassy mountain lakes. It's difficult to capture the country's real beauty in a photograph, b…

09 Sep 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
8 reasons Vancouver is cooler than you think

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Vancouver sometimes gets knocked for being a bit dull – and while it’s true that its residents can be earlier to bed than in the rest of North America, thi…

05 Sep 2016 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
Lunenburg: Canada's most colourful town

Lunenburg: Canada's most colourful town

Twenty years ago the facades of the wood-built buildings in Lunenburg, a UNESCO-listed fishing town in Nova Scotia, were white with black trimming. The only exc…

29 Oct 2015 • Stuart Forster insert_drive_file Article
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