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Old 09-17-2015, 03:13 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,800 posts, read 17,772,920 times
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If i did want an urban lifestyle, Canadian cities would be more attractive than American cities. shoot probably the most attractive in the world.

Most American cities can't even be called cities.

but that's fine, i'm a boring vanilla suburbanite who has low expectations in life and i like driving my car
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Old 09-17-2015, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
12,729 posts, read 8,817,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
yes, rent in Washington DC is through the roof now. I went there a few years ago, and the street life can't even compare to Toronto. Much of their downtown is either sterile like Ottawa's CBD, or downright scary. Georgetown reminds me of Toronto though.

And you are exactly right about Philly and Chicago being the only cheaper options and no, I can't walk at 11pm in their downtown without feeling scared.
I don't think I've ever heard you be so positive about Toronto LOL
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Old 09-17-2015, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Seattle-WA-USA
678 posts, read 667,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
I don't think I've ever heard you be so positive about Toronto LOL
I think he just tries to be un-biased as possible , stating both negatives and positives about the 6 side.
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:24 PM
 
3,751 posts, read 3,737,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I never really thought that material wealth being generally higher in the U.S. than in Canada would be something that could be so hotly debated. Seems pretty obvious to me what the answer is.
America is better if you make a high income, but a lot more miserable if you don't.
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Old 09-18-2015, 12:09 AM
 
625 posts, read 1,190,753 times
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Quote:
Payroll taxes are a major hindrance in the USA for the middle class (between $50,000 and $120,000 in income per household) and in Canada they are 0% in that bracket compared to 6-7% in the USA.
While true, keep in mind the Canada's CPP and OAS combined are far less generous than U.S. social security, and Canadians are expected to save more for retirement.

Quote:
The national deficit and debt is much, much better in Canada.
But you need to consider that our Provinces are quite indebted, and some (like Ontario) also have very high future public sector pension liabilities. 37 states in the US have firm balanced budget requirements in contrast.

Quote:
Despite the overall tax burden being roughly equal or slightly less, and the national deficit being eliminated, Canada does offer free healthcare to its citizens. The USA famously does not. Where does the money come from in Canada? A smaller military budget.
True (as in free after taxes and BC's premium). Keep in mind that our health systems don't cover everything (BC's doesn't cover most physiotherapy, mental health, or prescriptions), but these are not huge out-of-pocket expenses.

Regarding the military, its very true that at 1% of GDP we spend less than the OECD average and well less that the US which is 3.5% (plus debt service on past military spending). I have mixed feeling about this. Mostly positive, as I do not support most war, but also I realize that we can spend this little because we are allied with the U.S.

And, one positive you overlooked - in Canada new parents have access to one year maternity/parental leave partially paid by the government; the US still has 12 weeks unpaid. We'll see if the next U.S. President can accomplish this!
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:02 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,313,266 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedonwind View Post
Botti strikes back!

I keep repeating this too, but you are right. Day to day items in Canada are slightly more expensive (I just came back from vacation in Montreal), yes it's true (food, restaurants, gas, clothes, cigs, etc.) But rent in most desirable cities in the USA are way too expensive now more so than Van or TO.

I just visited my brother who lives in SF and seriously there are mattresses lined up on the sidewalks with homeless people and people sticking heroin needles in their arms in broad daylight. The city is so damn expensive it's not even funny.
SF, Boston and NYC are the only American cities that may potentially offer the lifestyle I described above, but unfortunately, at least for my own cases, none of them can provide the quality of life I have in Toronto.

SF IMO is grossly overrated. Other than the weather and its natural location, I don't see anything particularly attractive about that city. 70% of San Francisco (which is similar in size as the old city of Toronto) is not that urban according to my criteria - Sunset, Richmond, Bayview, Hunter's view are more like suburbs than a city. Many parts of central SF is filled with homelessness and smell or urine. If you think Moss Park is bad, you won't tolerate that kind of urban blight in SF. The buildings are not attractive barring some areas, the NIMBYsm is out of control, causing manmade skyrocketing rent and housing price due to shortage. People say SF is becoming a niche city for the rich - but I am sorry, if I am a rich person, there are 20 more attractive cities to be than SF. If it is so attractive to other rich people, good for them. I would have much higher standard if I could afford that price tag. Of course outside SF the so called "bay area" is nothing but a huge suburb, not unlike Mississauga. There is zero advantage in living in them other than for the weather.

Boston has some very appealing areas in the city, but sorry, if I need to move somewhere for a better life, I won't choose a city with even worse weather than Toronto. Boston is also a lot more provincially minded in my opinion when in fact it is just a regional centre of New England. Yes, it is a center of education or this and that, but it is still a smallish city with an one of the worse sprawling suburbs in North America, and by now everyone should know how much I despise the mindless suburbs where even a sidewalk is rarity.

NYC's all attractiveness lies in the borough of Manhattan. Honestly if I can't live in Manhattan, I don't see the point of living in NYC, not to mention nearby New Jersey, which is essentially a dump yet claiming to be part of New York area just to feel good. But the truth is Manhattan is way too expensive, not to mention too congested. Spending 10 minutes taking the NYC subway makes me miss Toronto already. The thought of doing that every day, even for 20-30 minutes, is unbearable. If I could make $150k a year, NYC might be an option, but that also means 100% more work hours, which isn't exactly an improvement of quality of life. So what's the point of living somewhere just to work twice the hours?

Outside these cities, I fail to see anywhere more attractive than Toronto. As I said, Philly and Chicago are scary and declining every year. LA's car dependence is a non starter. Seattle/Denver/Portland etc, no matter what good things people can say about them, are too small to my liking. Seattle's downtown is almost empty on the weekends with nobody but tourists. Miami is a dump not to say ugly (I have zero interest lying on the beaches getting tanned like an idiot). and you can't pay me to live in Atlanta, Houston etc - I'd rather live a second tier city in China.

No one denies one's dollar stretches farther in the US than in Canada overall, because America is one of the cheapest countries in live in among rich countries, but you have to realize what you get in return for the cheap price. If your goal is have a large 5 bedroom house in the suburb, to shop at strip malls or Costco every weekend, and doing work in the yard, taking kids to their soccer practice, then some cheap places in the US are perfect, but for a person who expects a more city like life and cares about stuff like public spaces and building aesthetics, that kind of life is unbearable. I myself wouldn't live in places where I can't walk to watch a movie.

There was once someone proudly told me she lives in big house in a gated community in Florida. I was like: if a city needs gated communities, that constitutes great urban failure already.
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:17 AM
 
Location: New York, NY
430 posts, read 678,745 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docwatson View Post
But you need to consider that our Provinces are quite indebted, and some (like Ontario) also have very high future public sector pension liabilities. 37 states in the US have firm balanced budget requirements in contrast.
Agree with all you've said but this. The U.S. states, also with unfunded pension liabilities, are often as bad or usually worse off than each of the provinces. Even if you take one of our best states, Texas, and compare with the worst province, Quebec, the total debt per person between federal and provincial or state levels is not comparable.

Canada federal debt: C$600 billion / 35.8 million people = C$16,750 per person
Quebec provincial debt: C$197 billion / 8.2 million people = C$24,000 per person

U.S. federal debt: US$18.7 trillion / 321.6 million people = C$77,500 per person
Texas state debt: US$362.4 billion / 27.7 million people = C$17,500 per person

Total debt for a Quebecer: C$122,000 per household
Total debt for a Texan: C$285,000 per household

And bear in mind that this is one of the least indebted (per capita) states, Texas, and the worst indebted (per capita) province, Quebec. The ratio is 2.4 times more debt for the Texan than the Quebecer.

The difference in accrued governmental debt between an Alaskan (C$375,000 per household) and an Albertan (C$45,000 per household) expands to an 8.3 to 1 ratio.

Last edited by Blimp; 09-18-2015 at 08:50 AM.. Reason: Math changed for Alberta, which has very low debt
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Seattle-WA-USA
678 posts, read 667,033 times
Reputation: 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
SF, Boston and NYC are the only American cities that may potentially offer the lifestyle I described above, but unfortunately, at least for my own cases, none of them can provide the quality of life I have in Toronto.

SF IMO is grossly overrated. Other than the weather and its natural location, I don't see anything particularly attractive about that city. 70% of San Francisco (which is similar in size as the old city of Toronto) is not that urban according to my criteria - Sunset, Richmond, Bayview, Hunter's view are more like suburbs than a city. Many parts of central SF is filled with homelessness and smell or urine. If you think Moss Park is bad, you won't tolerate that kind of urban blight in SF. The buildings are not attractive barring some areas, the NIMBYsm is out of control, causing manmade skyrocketing rent and housing price due to shortage. People say SF is becoming a niche city for the rich - but I am sorry, if I am a rich person, there are 20 more attractive cities to be than SF. If it is so attractive to other rich people, good for them. I would have much higher standard if I could afford that price tag. Of course outside SF the so called "bay area" is nothing but a huge suburb, not unlike Mississauga. There is zero advantage in living in them other than for the weather.

Boston has some very appealing areas in the city, but sorry, if I need to move somewhere for a better life, I won't choose a city with even worse weather than Toronto. Boston is also a lot more provincially minded in my opinion when in fact it is just a regional centre of New England. Yes, it is a center of education or this and that, but it is still a smallish city with an one of the worse sprawling suburbs in North America, and by now everyone should know how much I despise the mindless suburbs where even a sidewalk is rarity.

NYC's all attractiveness lies in the borough of Manhattan. Honestly if I can't live in Manhattan, I don't see the point of living in NYC, not to mention nearby New Jersey, which is essentially a dump yet claiming to be part of New York area just to feel good. But the truth is Manhattan is way too expensive, not to mention too congested. Spending 10 minutes taking the NYC subway makes me miss Toronto already. The thought of doing that every day, even for 20-30 minutes, is unbearable. If I could make $150k a year, NYC might be an option, but that also means 100% more work hours, which isn't exactly an improvement of quality of life. So what's the point of living somewhere just to work twice the hours?

Outside these cities, I fail to see anywhere more attractive than Toronto. As I said, Philly and Chicago are scary and declining every year. LA's car dependence is a non starter. Seattle/Denver/Portland etc, no matter what good things people can say about them, are too small to my liking. Seattle's downtown is almost empty on the weekends with nobody but tourists. Miami is a dump not to say ugly (I have zero interest lying on the beaches getting tanned like an idiot). and you can't pay me to live in Atlanta, Houston etc - I'd rather live a second tier city in China.

No one denies one's dollar stretches farther in the US than in Canada overall, because America is one of the cheapest countries in live in among rich countries, but you have to realize what you get in return for the cheap price. If your goal is have a large 5 bedroom house in the suburb, to shop at strip malls or Costco every weekend, and doing work in the yard, taking kids to their soccer practice, then some cheap places in the US are perfect, but for a person who expects a more city like life and cares about stuff like public spaces and building aesthetics, that kind of life is unbearable. I myself wouldn't live in places where I can't walk to watch a movie.

There was once someone proudly told me she lives in big house in a gated community in Florida. I was like: if a city needs gated communities, that constitutes great urban failure already.
Great points. It depends on people's preference as well. What Canada does great is its urban cities, (as well as other first world nations that are not America)..

I believe people think America is so great is because what it says in the brochure (having a car, having a house in the suburbs, having a backyard, having a front yard, etc...) and yes that is cool and all, but what I've experienced and witnessed is that kind of life usually leads to a universal demise (regardless of country, but mostly in the USA) which is basically developing an obscene level of materialism that starts off with mortgaging a house, leasing cars, spitting out a bunch of kids, getting divorced, paying off leased cars, paying child support, commuting out of the burbs to the city, still paying off said house in the burbs, and then just dying early.

Either that, or live a city life that you described. It's up to the person at the end of the day *shrug*
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Seattle-WA-USA
678 posts, read 667,033 times
Reputation: 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blimp View Post
Agree with all you've said but this. The U.S. states, also with unfunded pension liabilities, are often as bad or usually worse off than each of the provinces. Even if you take one of our best states, Texas, and compare with the worst province, Quebec, the total debt per person between federal and provincial or state levels is not comparable.

Canada federal debt: C$600 billion / 35.8 million people = C$16,750 per person
Quebec provincial debt: C$197 billion / 8.2 million people = C$24,000 per person

U.S. federal debt: US$18.7 trillion / 321.6 million people = C$77,500 per person
Texas state debt: US$362.4 billion / 27.7 million people = C$17,500 per person

Total debt for a Quebecer: C$122,000 per household
Total debt for a Texan: C$285,000 per household

And bear in mind that this is one of the least indebted (per capita) states, Texas, and the worst indebted (per capita) province, Quebec. The ratio is 2.4 times more debt for the Texan than the Quebecer.

The difference in accrued governmental debt between an Alaskan (C$375,000 per household) and an Albertan (C$45,000 per household) expands to an 8.3 to 1 ratio.
Let's also not forget that the average American college student is VERY likely to have at least 40,000 in college debt after graduating.. double that for people going out of state... that they normally pay off for the rest of their lives, on top of what they pay for the "American dream" (leasing cars they can't afford and the 500k house in Saint. nowheresville Suburbia-land).

I believe Univ. of British Columbia (which is an equally fine public institution) costs like 4k a year or something...
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:27 AM
 
Location: London, UK
3,458 posts, read 4,024,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedonwind View Post
Great points. It depends on people's preference as well. What Canada does great is its urban cities, (as well as other first world nations that are not America)..

I believe people think America is so great is because what it says in the brochure (having a car, having a house in the suburbs, having a backyard, having a front yard, etc...) and yes that is cool and all, but what I've experienced and witnessed is that kind of life usually leads to a universal demise (regardless of country, but mostly in the USA) which is basically developing an obscene level of materialism that starts off with mortgaging a house, leasing cars, spitting out a bunch of kids, getting divorced, paying off leased cars, paying child support, commuting out of the burbs to the city, still paying off said house in the burbs, and then just dying early.

Either that, or live a city life that you described. It's up to the person at the end of the day *shrug*
I'm not sure I would say Canada is a shining example of urban cities (Neither is America as you said) but there are exceptions in both. I dont agree with everything Botti said (for example Brooklyn is a very good option to live in NYC, not only Manhattan) but I agree that the three cities he mentioned have strong urban features and relative safety mixed into one nice package. In Canada? Toronto is obviously a very urban city, Montreal of course as well. I havent spent any time in Calgary so cant comment. So what is left? Vancouver? That is a city that is gorgeous, has good density but does absolutely nothing for me from an Urban perspective. I do understand why people would live there though.

Toronto is probably the only city I could see myself living in if I moved back to Canada. Montreal is another one, but the language issue would make it a non starter professionally.

If someone wants to live a suburban lifestyle it should not be criticized though. These cities are surrounded by suburbs for a reason as they are obviously in demand.
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