The Magic of the Walk-up – It’s good for you, good for the city.

At Circa we celebrate the concept and benefits of the walk-up. Walk-ups are three and four storey buildings that could have both elevators and stairwells.

The walk-up is something of an anomaly in Toronto, and we are not sure why– because walk-ups are good for you and good for the city. After the sixties there was a shift from low-rise to high-rise with little focus on any type of structure in between.

Most European cities and even Boston and New York all take advantage of the walk-up and the clear benefits they have to offer. It is said that the walk-up offers a more interesting and variable living experience, one that enriches your life and connects you more to the community you live in.

Toronto has encouraged walk-ups or mid-rises along what is called the Avenues or the city’s main thoroughfares, but they just haven’t taken off. Most developers are driven to capitalize on the footprint of a building to yield as much occupancy as it can, rather than to create the ideal lifestyle.

There is research that indicates if people live higher than five storeys they start to feel small. It makes some individuals experience an anxiousness that they can’t seem to rationalize. Christopher Alexander wrote in Pattern Language that evidence shows high-rise buildings could actually drive people insane. Plain and simply, living at lower elevations is better for us. We should be able to walk easily and comfortably down to street level, or look out our windows and feel like we are a part of the community. Seeing other people, green trees, and places we can go to visit is healthy for us and makes us more optimistic.

Living in a tall tower is isolating and puts us far from the community below. Most people don’t consider the vertical distance they have to travel and live from the community they love. They completely miss what is going on without them far below.

Some Circa buildings have elevators, but you are never far from the street you live on. We make sure you can see, breathe, and rest easily right in the community you are a part of. We build happier places for you to live, and if you want a little extra exercise one day to work off your lunch, our walk-ups are perfect for you.