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Old 02-10-2013, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,699 posts, read 8,513,984 times
Reputation: 4898

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Lennox 70 View Post
One thing I've always wondered about Canada is if Canadian cities and metro areas are denser than American metro areas. Does the government in Canada force more "smart growth" and high-density development?

Also I'm sure Canada has much fewer illegal aliens than the US. I wonder if the Canadian government takes any measure to prevent illegals from accesssing that free health care.
Illegal immigrants can not access Canadian health care, you need a medicare card to get health care and they don't have them, so I guess if they get any it's out of pocket, as far as I understand things.

As for the compactness, it's due to less subsidization of suburban development. There is roundabout government subsidization of suburban development in Canada to be sure, but not like in the US where all tax incentive structures, federal transport spending, politics regarding zoning etc very strongly promote this form of development over urban models. In Canada there was a bit less sprawl because:

Gasoline is more heavily taxed here.
Cars were and are more expensive, previously because of the low dollar, now because of gouging.
Car insurance is more expensive.
Until very recently Canada was a significantly poorer country. This meant automobile centric development as a phenomenon started 25 years later than it did in the US.
Less highways are built because there's less funding for that.
Transit is more culturally acceptable here.
The cities didn't suffer as badly during suburbanization due to the lack of a White Flight phenomenon, so never got that bad.
Less income inequality and crime meant less of a strong incentive to separate people physically. The trend existed, but wasn't as pronounced because of those social factors. Also a factor in public transit.
Canada's three main cities, that had the most extensive sprawl, all also had some geographical limitations to sprawl.

There are urban growth boundaries now and the government is encouraging smart growth, usually transit oriented development, but these are very recent developments and aren't the forces that shaped Canada prior to ten years ago. These recent policies have done alot to change the faces of some Canadian cities despite how recent they are because we've been in a strong, sustained real estate boom that's mostly manifested as the construction of urban condominiums. Perhaps our banks and other institutions are more familiar with and friendly towards this type of development and thus it is easier to finance and build them.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,968 posts, read 27,443,294 times
Reputation: 8626
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
Illegal immigrants can not access Canadian health care, you need a medicare card to get health care and they don't have them, so I guess if they get any it's out of pocket, as far as I understand things.

As for the compactness, it's due to less subsidization of suburban development. There is roundabout government subsidization of suburban development in Canada to be sure, but not like in the US where all tax incentive structures, federal transport spending, politics regarding zoning etc very strongly promote this form of development over urban models. In Canada there was a bit less sprawl because:

Gasoline is more heavily taxed here.
Cars were and are more expensive, previously because of the low dollar, now because of gouging.
Car insurance is more expensive.
Until very recently Canada was a significantly poorer country. This meant automobile centric development as a phenomenon started 25 years later than it did in the US.
Less highways are built because there's less funding for that.
Transit is more culturally acceptable here.
The cities didn't suffer as badly during suburbanization due to the lack of a White Flight phenomenon, so never got that bad.
Less income inequality and crime meant less of a strong incentive to separate people physically. The trend existed, but wasn't as pronounced because of those social factors. Also a factor in public transit.
Canada's three main cities, that had the most extensive sprawl, all also had some geographical limitations to sprawl.

There are urban growth boundaries now and the government is encouraging smart growth, usually transit oriented development, but these are very recent developments and aren't the forces that shaped Canada prior to ten years ago. These recent policies have done alot to change the faces of some Canadian cities despite how recent they are because we've been in a strong, sustained real estate boom that's mostly manifested as the construction of urban condominiums. Perhaps our banks and other institutions are more familiar with and friendly towards this type of development and thus it is easier to finance and build them.
Another reason that Canadian cities appear slightly less sprawly is that the municipal level of government is often organized quite differently. As a general rule, Canadian municipalities tend to be larger, even suburban ones, and cover a larger area. Though they do exist in some parts of Canada, patchworks of very small independent municipalities in large metropolitan areas are much rarer in Canada. And where they do exist to some degree like the Vancouver area (and to a lesser degree Montreal) there is always a regional governing body on top of it all that oversees stuff like planning.

In Canada, municipalities exist constitutionally at the whim of provincial governments. The provinces can rearrange them and impose upon them what they see fit.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Canada
4,699 posts, read 8,513,984 times
Reputation: 4898
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Another reason that Canadian cities appear slightly less sprawly is that the municipal level of government is often organized quite differently. As a general rule, Canadian municipalities tend to be larger, even suburban ones, and cover a larger area. Though they do exist in some parts of Canada, patchworks of very small independent municipalities in large metropolitan areas are much rarer in Canada. And where they do exist to some degree like the Vancouver area (and to a lesser degree Montreal) there is always a regional governing body on top of it all that oversees stuff like planning.

In Canada, municipalities exist constitutionally at the whim of provincial governments. The provinces can rearrange them and impose upon them what they see fit.
Oh, one other MAJOR issue is that we don't have school districts, the province just funds public schools the same way. That completely changes the urban dynamics, both lowering the need to have exclusively wealthy enclaves and making urban living a much more attractive prospect, as it doesn't mean your children are doomed to a terrible education.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Vancouver
12,724 posts, read 8,803,839 times
Reputation: 7331
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
Illegal immigrants can not access Canadian health care, you need a medicare card to get health care and they don't have them, so I guess if they get any it's out of pocket, as far as I understand things.

As for the compactness, it's due to less subsidization of suburban development. There is roundabout government subsidization of suburban development in Canada to be sure, but not like in the US where all tax incentive structures, federal transport spending, politics regarding zoning etc very strongly promote this form of development over urban models. In Canada there was a bit less sprawl because:

Gasoline is more heavily taxed here.
Cars were and are more expensive, previously because of the low dollar, now because of gouging.
Car insurance is more expensive.
Until very recently Canada was a significantly poorer country. This meant automobile centric development as a phenomenon started 25 years later than it did in the US.
Less highways are built because there's less funding for that.
Transit is more culturally acceptable here.
The cities didn't suffer as badly during suburbanization due to the lack of a White Flight phenomenon, so never got that bad.
Less income inequality and crime meant less of a strong incentive to separate people physically. The trend existed, but wasn't as pronounced because of those social factors. Also a factor in public transit.
Canada's three main cities, that had the most extensive sprawl, all also had some geographical limitations to sprawl.

There are urban growth boundaries now and the government is encouraging smart growth, usually transit oriented development, but these are very recent developments and aren't the forces that shaped Canada prior to ten years ago. These recent policies have done alot to change the faces of some Canadian cities despite how recent they are because we've been in a strong, sustained real estate boom that's mostly manifested as the construction of urban condominiums. Perhaps our banks and other institutions are more familiar with and friendly towards this type of development and thus it is easier to finance and build them.
It is a fact that illegals don't get " free " healthcare. I actually know of one, who is now legal, but when he wasn't was presented with a bill for medical treatment. It was in the thousands. He is paying it off. That doesn't mean there are illegals that don't pay their bills, but I'm assuming once treated their illegal status becomes apparent?? We also have issues with non-insured tourists getting care and not paying their bill but, at least in B.C. the gov't does go after them more aggressively by using collection agencies. etc. This bit I don't have personal experience, just from what I read in the news.

School districts. We have 60 school districts in B.C. but all funded provincially. Looking at the States it seems to vary from state to state, so I looked at Washington State, the closes to me and found this.
"Public schools in Washington rely primarily on money from the state of Washington, federal funds for specific needs, and local levy and bond collections."
So it is different from B.C.

Car Insurance, is tricky since car insurance rates vary from town to town, at least here in B.C. It costs more to insure a car in Vancouver, than it does in Prince Rupert for instance. I also know that a friend in L.A. pays more for car insurance that I do here in Vancouver for a similar vehicle. So I don't think one can simply state car insurance is cheaper in the States.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,968 posts, read 27,443,294 times
Reputation: 8626
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post

School districts. We have 60 school districts in B.C. but all funded provincially. Looking at the States it seems to vary from state to state, so I looked at Washington State, the closes to me and found this.
"Public schools in Washington rely primarily on money from the state of Washington, federal funds for specific needs, and local levy and bond collections."
So it is different from B.C.

.
Yeah, there are local school administrative units (generally called school boards) in Canada's provinces but the funding level does not vary between them like it does in the U.S. where the local tax base (usually municipal) is a significant factor in how rich or poor your schools are.

Per pupil funding is not really that different in Vancouver vs. Maple Ridge vs. Prince George vs. Kamloops.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:54 PM
 
9,548 posts, read 13,497,984 times
Reputation: 5738
Quote:
Originally Posted by callmemaybe View Post
The traffic lights are painted yellow. Though that's the case in much of the eastern 3/4 of the US, and isn't the case in the Maritimes and Quebec.

Oh yeah and Tim Hortons everywhere, the streets tend to have less potholes too I've noticed.
I think the US used to have a lot yellow ones but now they are a dark green colour. Very few yellow ones left- maybe we sold 'em to Canada. I'm in NY FYI, not a ton of yellows left.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Central Maine
2,867 posts, read 2,995,752 times
Reputation: 3983
I always have enjoyed going up into eastern Canada (Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax). I have found the countryside to be pretty and well kept and the people relatively friendly.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:35 PM
 
25,059 posts, read 23,235,104 times
Reputation: 11628
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdawg8181 View Post
I think the US used to have a lot yellow ones but now they are a dark green colour. Very few yellow ones left- maybe we sold 'em to Canada. I'm in NY FYI, not a ton of yellows left.
I'm in PA and all of our traffic lights are yellow, even the new ones. In Missouri, all of their traffic lights are dark green, hard to tell sometimes

Well, one difference I've noticed in Canada are the French signs (I was only at Pearson Airport and Niagara Falls, though) and the people, when they talk, tend to enunciate their words more
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:45 PM
 
9,334 posts, read 19,490,015 times
Reputation: 4445
1. Things are more expensive.
2. Seeing provincial and federal tax on purchases. In the US you only see a state tax. But you don't mind as you know its going towards important things like health cover.
3. Things are a little more orderly.
4. Canadians aren't as polite as the stereotype (driving around Toronto during rush hour can be as madenning as anywhere in North America.
5. Smog alert days (in Toronto).
6. Bilingual highway signs in Toronto (French only highway signs in Quebec)
7. The one time I had a health issue and needed a doctor, I went to my local clinic on a Sunday, was seen by the doctor in 15 minutes and was referred to a specialist who had an opening the next day. I did not have any co-pays and just showed the first doctor my OHIP (provincial health cover) card. The care I got was as good as in the state.
8. The main thing I noticed, personally, is you start to adapt thinking "Canadian". For example I was in upstate new york and saw a man with a growth on the side of the neck and I remember thinking, "that would never happen in Canada". That same day as I was driving back towards Toronto, I crossed into a bridge towards Hamilton, Ont. and I remember seeing a giant maple leaf flag on the bridge and I remember thinking "I'm so happy to be home". I was not a big fan of Toronto, but a big fan of the country. 2 months later a job moved me back to the US .
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:40 PM
 
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
4 posts, read 5,958 times
Reputation: 15
I have lived in Ontario and MI. My family is spread out between the two, and I love both countries. The US is far more intense (good and bad) and Canada is more bland.
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