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Apartment-dwellers in Toronto are increasingly seeking outdoor spaces, but the balcony poses a complicated riddle for builders.

In a city that's growing up, literally, the (typically) small matter of the apartment balcony has become – perhaps unsurprisingly – a polarizing obsession, and not just among those who live at the north end of an elevator ride home.

An unscientific Facebook survey reveals the full gamut of opinions: condo dwellers for whom the balcony represents a psychological bulwark against claustrophobia; those who revel in the views of the horizon and the street life below; and still others for whom the marketing sizzle gave way to disappointment as wind and noise rendered these outcroppings into little more than storage space.

'The higher up balconies are situated,' observes Ted Kesik, a building-science expert at the University of Toronto, 'the less they are used, since high-wind speeds combined with large heights can be unsettling for many people.'

Read the rest at the Globe and Mail, including what Prof. Kesik says about Lumon retractable glass enclosures