Whilst cycling along Lisgar the other day, I noticed the back of the Charlesfort building The Hudson. All the balconies are on the exterior of the building shell. It is marked contrast to the front facade of the building shown below, where all the balconies are recessed into the exterior. I gather from comments I have over time that the city regulates the balcony location, requiring the fronts to have recessed balconies (although maybe only in certain areas of the city). It does improve the exterior appearance to have recessed balconies, but in my opinion the back of the building is just as visible as the front when the building is 18 stories tall, and all sides should be treated similarly.
These two pictures are of a Charlesfort building going up on Cleary Avenue and Richmond Road, near Woodroofe. The building has a prominent profile, visible from Richmond, the Ottawa River Commuter Expressway, and other directions too. Might the city regulate the Richmond balconies and not the river view balconies? The balcony treatment is the same on all four sides: balconies are about 1/3 recessed into the skin of the building, and two thirds hung outside.
Among my favorite balconies are those on 151 Bay Street, an older Teron-built building designed by Ian Johns, with very long and wide usable balconies that are outside the bedroom areas and living areas have no balcony in front of them to obstruct the view. Another set I loved are in Vancouver. Each balcony and living room shared a double-sided fireplace so that residents could sit outside in a greater variety of weathers than normal. Pacific evenings are often cool, or damp,and this fireplace idea made a lot of sense to me. Mind you, I’m part of the minority that actually likes sitting outside a lot, and therefore value the balcony as a usable amenity. Most balconies are used like more and more centretown porches: storage zones for the proliferating bins devoted to the resurrection of trash to treasure through the magic of the sacrements of the recycling religion.