Towers in the park

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Modernist towers in the park apartment towers of St. James Town in Toronto, based on Le Corbusier's "towers in the park" concept.

Towers in the park is a style of building modernist[1] high rise apartment buildings that was popular in cities like New York City and Toronto in the 1960s and into the 1970s.[1]


This style of building, invented by Le Corbusier, were built further from the sidewalk, leaving room on the property around the edifice for parking, lawns, trees, and other landscaping. They are typically simple, brick-clad high-rise buildings with rectangular footprints and little ornamentation other than repeating series of balconies for each apartment. However, some apartment buildings from this era use less conventional designs in the "tower in the park" format, such as the Prince Arthur Towers, Jane-Exbury Towers and 44 Walmer Road designed by Uno Prii.

By the early 1970s, opposition to this style of towers mounted, with many, including urban planners, now referring to them as "ghettos".[2] Neighbourhoods like St. James Town were originally designed to house young "swinging single" middle class residents, but the apartments lacked appeal; and the area quickly became much poorer.

By the mid 2000s and early 2010s, some of the unused ("wasted") green space of these towers, some of it shabbily kept, is being used as space to build new towers,[1] this time closer to the sidewalk.


  1. ^ a b c How to rejuvenate urban 'towers in the park', Globe and Mail, John Bentley Mays, May 12, 2011
  2. ^ Tall Buildings, Toronto Star, August 27, 1973, C3

See also[edit]