Arts & CultureToronto’s Changing Skyline: Cranes in the City

Toronto’s Changing Skyline: Cranes in the City

In the last decade, Toronto has seen massive city growth and a condo boom that is unprecedented in North America. Cranes in the City is a photo exhibition by Tony Cicero that shines a light on Toronto’s newfound status as a hi-rise city. As a Toronto native, Tony felt this change first-hand after having trouble recognizing certain intersections and newly developed areas. A clear example would be in Toronto’s Entertainment District. In the 1990’s, every corner of Richmond & Peter street that once housed a night club has now been replaced by a tower. Unsurprisingly, each building rivalling the last in design, structure and height.

For this project, Tony’s intention was to capture the view of the city from a previously unattainable vantage point. With this in mind, he went up to the top of a crane to capture photos as opposed to simply shooting from the roofs of the newest skyscrapers.

“I felt that anyone can go the the roof or deck of their own condo now and take a great view of the city. I wanted to incorporate the story of the people who are constructing these magnificent towers. For me, they are the unsung heroes of the working city. So many of these workers are in our city at this moment doing monumental work, and I wanted to give them some credit.”

After chatting with the crane operators, Tony surprisingly learned just how long each shift was. With Toronto’s construction boom, crane operators are increasingly in demand. As a result of numbers being low, staff are experiencing longer work hours with a low turnover rate. The job is very difficult physically and mentally. Operators work through severe weather conditions and must be on high alert at all times for safety as objects can fall at any time. With these cranes operating over the busy streets of Toronto 24/7, the operators have very little time to rest.

In the next year, Toronto expects to see more “supertall” towers with heights surpassing 90 storeys. Currently, the city have at least three buildings within that range with more in approval stages. Speaking of totalitarian architecture, the former Trump tower (Adelaide Hotel) surpassed surrounding towers in height by design. This strategy placed a stamp on its social importance and created a symbol of power. Nowadays, it seems as though height is what matters most. With tall modern skyscrapers being built left and right, people are constantly trying to catch up with what is happening in the city. Tony sees designs taking a new approach to modern looks with the use of tech integration throughout designs and construction of buildings. In recent years, this was all that Tony saw…glass and steel. Interestingly, more concrete and bricks are now used in buildings to fuse the old with the new.

Here are selected works from Tony’s ‘Cranes in the City’ exhibition:

Gianluca Cagiliuri – Assitant Project Manager

Traffic and Safety – Khalil “Robocop” Mohamed

Richard Harris – Swamper

All photos are taken by Tony Cicero for the Cranes in the City exhibition.

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Wendy is a content creator at Glossi Mag.

She loves to read up on what’s new around the city and is a dessert fanatic. You will likely find her on Instagram scrolling through beauty & fashion inspirations or binge watching movie trailers at home.

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