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 North American cities in the 1960s and into the 1970s.[1]


In this style of building, invented by Le Corbusier, buildings were constructed farther 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.

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, in certain instances, some of the unused ("wasted") green space of these towers, is being used as space to build new towers,[1] this time closer to the sidewalk.

See also[edit]


  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