Sam Mizrahi on the evolution of the city

A builder shares how Toronto’s skyscraper boom is creating the world’s next great city.

Since he first moved in the late 1970s from Iran to Toronto at the age of six, promoter Sam Mizrahi says two major changes have defined the city. “We grew up first,” he says. “Now we are growing.”

The visionary behind Mizrahi Developments, Mizrahi says suburban development outside of central Toronto has paved the way for a vibrant city, attracting people from around the world with affordable homes and backyards close to attractions and amenities. exceptional resources of Toronto. “Over the past 40 years, we’ve seen the Greater Toronto Area grow in ways we haven’t seen anywhere else. It’s grown to include places like Richmond Hill, Oakville, and Mississauga, and it’s really changed homeownership and affordability, and brought people here.

While the “Growth” era saw the city expand to the outskirts of the GTA, the “Growth” phase establishes Toronto’s position as one of the most exciting urban centers in the world. Toronto is skyrocketing, and Mizrahi says those are the reasons Toronto is having a moment on the world stage.

Toronto optimizes downtown living

As evidenced by the sheer number of construction cranes on the city’s skyline – more than any other city in North America, according to the RLB Crane Index – downtown Toronto has become a hotbed of in height. These towering homes are no longer relegated to a specific subset of urban homeowners either – developers are building to meet the needs of all sorts of buyers looking for a downtown address. “We have more downtown living spaces that are suitable for singles, families, and first-time home buyers,” Mizrahi says.

While other major North American downtowns empty out on weekends and during the summer as people retreat to suburbs and rural vacation properties, Toronto retains its vibrancy through sheer numbers and variety residents who live there. “If you look at the Queen’s Quay or Yorkville area, they remain extremely busy. They are not liberated like you see in New York, when everyone who lives there is gone. Toronto remains incredibly activated.

World-Class Cultural Attractions Gaining Global Recognition

With year-round festivals, top museums and other attractions unique to Toronto, it’s no surprise that Toronto regularly features on lists of the world’s best cities to visit (most recently, Condé Nast Traveller’s 10 best places to live and Time magazine’s list of The best places in the world 2022). But according to Mizrahi, it’s the people who live and work here that make the city great; a strong tourism sector is just a by-product.

“People from all over come here,” he says. “They move to Toronto and bring different qualities and skills. You can see the results in every aspect of our city. I think everyone who enjoys Toronto has a desire and an obligation to make it better.

The news that the Michelin Guide, which honors some of the world’s best restaurants, will publish its inaugural edition in Toronto this year, is just the latest sign of the city’s sophistication moving up to par with major cities around the world. . But for a developer like Mizrahi, who has traveled the world in search of building inspiration, great architecture is also essential to achieving greatness. “Show anyone, anywhere in the world a picture of our skyline with the CN Tower and they’ll know it’s Toronto,” he says.

An iconic residential tower destined to change the skyline

Designed by Foster + Partners, The One is an innovative superstructure that will be the tallest building in Canada.

Mizrahi expects that when his 85-story skyscraper, The One, Canada’s tallest tower, is completed next year, it will become a second focal point for the city, both in the horizon and as a destination for residents and visitors.

“No one has done a project quite like this,” he says, pointing to the technical, technological and architectural features of the building, as well as its mixed-use offerings, which will include 416 luxury residences, the flagship location of the Hyatt’s ANDAZ hotel brand, a 900-event center, retail space and three restaurants (which Mizrahi hopes will be Michelin-worthy).

For Mizrahi, there is no symbol more fitting than The One for what Toronto is today and how it will continue to grow. “We couldn’t have done The One in any other city in Canada,” he says. “The One is designed for the evolution of this city. I hope people see the tower as representative of the optimism and spirit of this city.

To learn more about The One, visit

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