The Dubai Towers – Dubai is a 4 Tower complex currently being built in the UAE. Each tower will be between 57 to 94 stories and would be built to represent the movement of candle light.

Obviously we have nothing like this in Toronto, in terms of height and coolness. So the question is why?

I poised this question to Frank Margani, Associate Vice-President of Real Estate Finance for MCAP.

Frank explains the reason why you don’t see tall towers in Toronto is because capital markets in UAE and Canada are different.

Very few lenders are willing or capable of financing construction of towers past 60 stories in the Great White North. Lenders would much rather spread the risk over two 30 story towers.

In addition, developers need to pre-sell a substantial amount of units to qualified buyers before they would receive construction financing; therefore, if shorter towers are built, a developer can get in and out a lot quicker, lowering the market risk in a project..

But what about the coolness?

Well cool design also has added costs and may result in delays.

Also, In Dubai workers are treated very poorly and paid little (see the Dark Side of Dubai). In Toronto, we have quality trades that must get paid fairly…and there is only so much money to go around in Toronto.

Finally, the consumers in Canada are more balanced. We would rather spread our dollars on suites with quality finishes and nice interiors than totally on outside architecture.

image source: Andrey