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2005 08 22
Innovation and Building in Toronto

While the Trump Tower languishes unbuilt a block away One King West opened for visitors last week. The brainchild of local entrepreneur and developer Harry Stinson, One King represents a rare opportunity to see true innovation in the private development sector. From the unique hybrid of the existing Dominion Bank of Canada building with the slim profile tower, to the way Stinson built a hotel service to create a new investment market in downtown Toronto, every element of this project stretches normal developer practices. Stinson is one of those few individuals in the Canadian entrepreneurial landscape who has the vision and energy to see the revenue potential of innovation and carry it through to completion. We live in a local business culture where entrepreneurship is not a preferred career path. Did you know that in a recent survey of Toronto's practicing lawyers 92% said they would not open their own office even if they had enough capital to do so? This is up from the 70% range in the 1980's. Statistics like that hint that we live in a local economic culture that tends to avoid innovation and risk while embracing the relative safety of institutional or organizational affiliation. That explains why so much of our built environment reflects a decision by committee approach to design. In Stinson's case he was able to partner with local impresario David Mirvish to literally build his vision of a 21st Century condominium hotel tower. If for nothing else Stinson deserves the city's respect.
[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 08/22 at 01:46 PM

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