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A couple of years before I moved to Chicago I visited its cinematic alter ego, Toronto, and like many another visitor rode a ferry from downtown to the Toronto Islands a few hundred yards offshore. The view of the city from the islands is much like the one of Chicago from the tip of Navy Pier, except that between myself and Toronto’s skyline there was nothing but open water. Two tall buildings unlike any others that rose from the city’s center quickly held my gaze—they were slender ebony towers that reminded me of the monoliths in 2001: A Space Odyssey. I hadn’t seen buildings quite like this before, and I was stirred.