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Trump Tower’s Sorry History

The monument to ostentation at Bay and Adelaide has faced appropriately over-the-top problems in the past 13 years.

Photo by Flickr user ChrisTylerTO.

On March 7, glass dangled from Toronto’s Trump Tower, leading to the closure of Bay and Adelaide and creating a great deal of commuter frustration (but thankfully no injuries). That, though, was just the latest embarrassment for the Oz-like building, which in its brief history has seen three cases of falling or dangling glass, investor revolts, development delays, and even a failure to comply with its public art requirements. Trump Tower may have wanted to make its mark on Toronto real estate, and it has—but for all the wrong reasons.

In the interest of tracking all of these different developments—and because we know The Donald is always concerned about what he lends his name to—here’s a brief history of Toronto’s Trump Tower.


  • Tedhealey

    I don’t understand how we get boring, uninspired crap like the Trump Tower yet the Ghery condos are poo poo’d for being ugly?

    • Jacob

      Fear of success.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      The Gehry plan for King West is mostly being pooh-poohed for being the wrong scale for the neighbourhood and threatening to overwhelm transit and other infrastructure in the area.

      • Steveinto

        With that attitude we would still be stuck in the 70′s a grimy city full of parking lots, sub shops and porn shops.

        • estta

          That still describes a lot of the city.

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          There’s a huge range between parking lots and 80+ storey towers that could be explored. Gehry’s already come back with a modified proposal that chopped off a bunch of floors.

          • dsmithhfx

            What about the wind-blown trash?

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            Even that seems to have been rethought. The revised models appear to integrate the wind-blown stuff into the envelope of the podium/towers.

          • Steveinto

            Your first comment indicates we build nothing to move the city into the future until the future has arrived. Your second comment is to look into the future and build for that future.
            Which is it the 70′s a stagnant city that sees no future or the 21st century a city moving forward defining the future.

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            My first comment relays the most common (non-heritage) objection to the plan. It’s not my objection. (I’ve been decidedly agnostic about this project from the start, only arguing that a case could be made for heritage preservation of the relevant buildings.) My second comment merely points out the choices aren’t parking lots and 80+ storey towers. Gehry’s already come back with proposals 20-35 storeys shorter that the originals.

            If your counterpoint is that we must build for the future then you acknowledge we need future-ready transit and other infrastructure in that area in conjunction with developments such as these. No condo tower is an island, entire of itself.

    • OgtheDim

      As against NIMBY, its NOMBS


      The attitude is not quite as bad as NIMBY, as most people want better transit rather then nothing ever.

      But, the NOMBS types don’t want anything done along their line until the TTC makes it better. Which, given the glacial inertia of transit in this city, amounts to the same thing as never.

      • stopitman

        A chunk of them could make it better by hopping on the Lakeshore West GO
        line at Exhibition, but they’re too cheap (much like all of the
        Torontonians who live near a GO station and complain about the TTC being slow for getting downtown).

        RE: the article – I think trump is a dick, so this can add some tarnish to all of the bankruptcies he’s been involved in.

        • OgtheDim

          Its more then a TTC fare to go from the Ex to Union. Plus its not the easiest to get on during rush hour.

      • milanista1

        As someone who lives along and uses that busy streetcar daily (King), I must ask you, why is everything on or near King? We already have the tallest buildings in the country either on or very near King Street (FCP, Scotia Plaza, Commerce Court etc.), the tallest towers in the last, what, 20 years? are currently proposed (3 of them, Gehry), along with somewhere around 10-20 more towers proposed/under construction on or very near King between John and Dufferin in addition to the 10-20 that have been completed within the last 10 years and are now fully inhabited, Liberty Village has got to be one of the biggest highrise development projects in the history of the city, and it only continues to grow as it spills east of Strachan with another 5 more towers proposed…a large concentration of some of the city’s trendiest restaurants, busiest theatres, the film festival headquarters, one of Canada’s largest employment areas (financial district)…. and we still have the same style of transit we had before the country’s tallest towers arrived, before the restaurants, the theatres, the thousands of people, back when you could walk for a kilometre down King and not see more than 5 other people… I could go on and on.
        One really has to ask, what exactly will it take for transit to improve on King Street? Everything I just listed hasn’t been enough to initiate change, so seriously, what will it take?
        I want Toronto to continue to grow and thrive as much as the next person, but I already have to watch somewhere between 3 and 10 jam packed streetcars pass me by every single morning when I’m trying to get to work (and I’m west of Bathurst). Something needs to happen and it needs to happen now.

  • torontothegreat