Vancouver ranked 9th in the world for most number of highrises

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Stankey Park Vancouver skyline / Shutterstock

There is no question that Vancouver has built up a reputation of being a concrete and glass jungle city, but how does it compare with some of the world’s major cities?

In an updated ranking by B.C.-based Skyscraperpage.com, Vancouver has been ranked ninth in the list of cities with the most number of ‘highrises’ – a multi-storey building with at least 12 floors or a height of 35 metres (115 feet).

This puts Vancouver amongst the ranks of cities with much larger populations, including New York City, Toronto, Shanghai, Tokyo and even Hong Kong.

According to the list at Skyscraperpage.com:

1. New York City

  • Number of buildings: 6,359
  • Number of highrises: 5,894
  • Population: 8,175,133

2. Toronto

  • Number of buildings: 2,274
  • Number of highrises: 2,005
  • Population: 2,615,060

3. Shanghai

  • Number of buildings: 1,207
  • Number of highrises: 1,202
  • Population: 13,523,900

4. Tokyo

  • Number of buildings: 1,213
  • Number of highrises: 1,185
  • Population: 8,583,481

5. Chicago

  • Number of buildings: 1,163
  • Number of highrises: 1,150
  • Population: 2,833,321

6. Kiev

  • Number of buildings: 1,114
  • Number of highrises: 1,092
  • Population: 2,660,401

7. Hong Kong

  • Number of buildings: 980
  • Number of highrises: 970
  • Population: 6,994,500

8. Mexico City

  • Number of buildings: 781
  • Number of highrises: 762
  • Population: 8,694,753

9. Vancouver

  • Number of buildings: 838
  • Number of highrises: 664
  • Population: 616,537

10. Montreal

  • Number of buildings: 750
  • Number of highrises: 619
  • Population: 1,649,519

See the full list at Skyscraperpage.com.

Another list compiled by Emporis.com places Vancouver at 49th with 48 skyscrapers and Hong Kong at 1st with 1,268. Emporis defines ‘skyscrapers’ as multi-storey buildings that are at least 100 metres (328 feet) high.

The current tallest building in Vancouver is the Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver at a height of 201 metres. The second tallest is The Private Residences at the Hotel Georgia at 157 metres (515 feet), but in late-2015 the tower will be eclipsed by the Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver when construction tops out at 188 metres (617 feet).

The city’s third highest is currently the 150-metre One Wall Centre, although it appears to be much taller in the skyline as it is located on one of the highest elevations in the downtown Vancouver peninsula.

However, building heights are limited by restrictions that include 27 view corridors, from various positions across the city, that are designed to protect views of the North Shore mountains.

Some have argued against the view cones, given their arbitrary locations and effects that include limiting economic possibilities and the benefits that come with economies of scale, especially near high investments of public transit.

There is one site in Vancouver that could potentially accommodate a ‘super tall’ skyscraper by local standards. City view cone policies and the recently approved Vancouver West End Community Plan permit a 213 metre (700 foot) tower on the southwest corner of Burrard and West Georgia Streets, opposite from the Royal Bank office.

Areas along both Burrard Street, south of West Georgia to Pendrell Streets, and the Alberni Street retail strip are given an allowance of heights of up to 167 metres (550 feet).

What Vancouver’s future skyline could look like


Image: City of Vancouver

Featured Image: Vancouver skyline via Shutterstock

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Kenneth Chan Deputy Editor & Social Media Manager at Vancity Buzz. He covers stories pertaining to local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation, infrastructure, and anything else that makes a difference in the lives of Vancouverites. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]vancitybuzz.com
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