Niagara Falls clears 72-story tower for construction, tallest Ontario building outside of Toronto

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Ontario Construction Report staff writer

A 72-storey mixed-use building with a hotel and residential units has been approved for land on Stanley Avenue in Niagara Falls.

When complete, it will be the tallest building in Ontario outside of Toronto.

As part of its advanced design, the structure features a negative space near its apex. On top are suspended floors that contain the building’s trademark “Sky Bridge” and “Sky Link”

The development will feature “Sky Lounge” on its 56th floor. On top of the Sky Lounge is an “Sky Garden.” This will contain an exterior rooftop lounge and pool.

Following a public meeting last Tuesday, city council approved the plan to transform an area that for many years has housed a partially built hotel that was never completed.

Niagara Council turns down proposed 384-unit apartment complex

The applicant, 6609 Stanley Nominee Inc. is planning to build one of the tallest buildings in Canada. Currently, the Hilton Hotel & Suites on Fallsview Boulevard is the tallest hotel in Niagara Falls at 56 storeys.

Amendments to the city’s zoning bylaw and official plan will permit the construction of the hotel and parking garage, on three parcels of land encompassing an area along Stanley Avenue between Dixon and Dunn streets and including Level and Cleveland avenues.

The official plan currently allows for mixed-use buildings up to 30 storeys tall on the land. A total of 456 hotel units and 275 dwelling units are proposed. A portion of the required parking will be provided in an underground parking structure.

While the city received a petition signed by about 20 people opposed to the size of the development, council was impressed with “the possibilities” of the new hotel complex.

Residents say they are concerned about the scale of the project including the off-site parking garage and the potential infiltration of tourist traffic onto residential streets and were concerned this project would exacerbate the situation. They were also concerned about the impact of construction on surrounding residents

Councillor Mike Strange congratulated Rudan and the development team for the current proposal, saying it will be “world renowned.”

The applicant requested site-specific policies to permit the 72-storey-tall (255 metres) building in exchange for the contribution of capital facilities to the city and streetscaping along the property’s frontages.

According to a staff report, “the development complies with Provincial and Regional Policies that encourage increased opportunities for tourism development within the Gateway Economic Zone and appropriate intensification of land uses.”

The city approved a plan on the site in April 2000 by Rudan Holdings Ltd. for a 30-storey Crowne Plaza hotel with 300 rooms along with a convention centre, restaurants, stores and underground parking.

However, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and subsequent drop in tourism impacted the company’s ability to get the financial backing it needed to finish the project, The Niagara Falls Review reported at the time. Construction stopped in 2004, leaving a two-level concrete foundation with a three-level underground parking garage.

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