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View Poll Results: Which city is best when you equally weight 5 factors: public libraries, parks, transport, housing co
Calgary 0 0%
Edmonton 1 5.00%
Halifax 2 10.00%
Montreal 8 40.00%
Quebec City 0 0%
Toronto 5 25.00%
Vancouver 4 20.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-10-2016, 02:10 AM
 
Location: Alberta, Canada
2,166 posts, read 1,749,261 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12thman View Post
Among Halifax, Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver, how would these cities be ranked if the following five factors were equally weighted (20% each): 1. public park quality, 2. library system, 3. public transportation, 4. health care services and 5. housing affordability (property and property taxes). Are there huge gaps among these cities in terms of overall score or specific factors? Your input is appreciated.
I've lived in Toronto, Calgary, and Edmonton, and visited all the rest.

Public park quality: Toronto, by far. Toronto parks are not just parks; they are ravines. Oh, sure, Allen Gardens and Edwards Gardens and Alexander Muir Gardens are nicely kept, with flowers and so on (the Alexander Muir rose gardens are something to see), and things to be proud of. But some are just left to nature, and it is here that Torontonians reconnect with that nature: Sunnybrook Park, Ernest Thompson Seton Park, even High Park--those are treasures to Torontonians.

Second place would go to Edmonton, with its river valley.

Library system: Toronto again. Unlike Alberta cities, Toronto does not charge residents for public library access--you live in Toronto, you get a free public library card. Here in Alberta, if I want to borrow books or other materials from the public library, even if I live in the municipality, I have to pay for the privilege. It's $12 to $15 a year just to be a member of the local public library.

Second place: anywhere in Canada that does not charge for the privilege of borrowing books and other materials from the local public library.

Public transportation: Toronto by far. The longest I've had to wait for a Toronto subway on a Sunday is five minutes. The longest I've had to wait for an Edmonton LRT on Sunday is 29 minutes. That's unacceptable to this former Torontonian. Edmonton, you fail at public transport.

Health care services: Pretty much anywhere. If you're covered by your province's health plan, you're covered.

Housing affordability: Toronto and Calgary are expensive, Edmonton less so.
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Toronto
12,581 posts, read 11,130,951 times
Reputation: 3738
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevySpoons View Post
I've lived in Toronto, Calgary, and Edmonton, and visited all the rest.

Public park quality: Toronto, by far. Toronto parks are not just parks; they are ravines. Oh, sure, Allen Gardens and Edwards Gardens and Alexander Muir Gardens are nicely kept, with flowers and so on (the Alexander Muir rose gardens are something to see), and things to be proud of. But some are just left to nature, and it is here that Torontonians reconnect with that nature: Sunnybrook Park, Ernest Thompson Seton Park, even High Park--those are treasures to Torontonians.

Second place would go to Edmonton, with its river valley.

Library system: Toronto again. Unlike Alberta cities, Toronto does not charge residents for public library access--you live in Toronto, you get a free public library card. Here in Alberta, if I want to borrow books or other materials from the public library, even if I live in the municipality, I have to pay for the privilege. It's $12 to $15 a year just to be a member of the local public library.

Second place: anywhere in Canada that does not charge for the privilege of borrowing books and other materials from the local public library.

Public transportation: Toronto by far. The longest I've had to wait for a Toronto subway on a Sunday is five minutes. The longest I've had to wait for an Edmonton LRT on Sunday is 29 minutes. That's unacceptable to this former Torontonian. Edmonton, you fail at public transport.

Health care services: Pretty much anywhere. If you're covered by your province's health plan, you're covered.

Housing affordability: Toronto and Calgary are expensive, Edmonton less so.
Good post Chevy.. 29 minutes wait for the LRT - WHAT.... From time of arrival at Islington Station in T.O - which is in the second westernmost station I can be DT in less than 29 mins. Generally speaking I agree - never have to wait any more than 5 minutes for a Subway.

Regarding Ravines I agree - if you really want to escape ditch the park and go to a park that is part of the Ravine system like David Balfour or the lower Don parklands. High Park is nice but it gets super busy in the summer on weekends to the point you almost feel like your in a green Eaton Centre - though Shakespeare in High Park is awesome. To get away though, one of the tucked away Ravine parks - its just you, nature, trails and streams right in the city.

Last edited by fusion2; 07-10-2016 at 05:52 PM..
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Old 07-11-2016, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
12,673 posts, read 8,740,385 times
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LOL I protest.

Vancouver's park system is unrivalled I tell ya, unrivalled !!

Ravines? We've got whole valleys that are parks, and thousands of hectares of natural forests. For more groomed parks we have an amazing sunken garden in and old volcano in Queen Elizabeth park plus others.

Also whole mountains that are parks for skiing and hiking.

We also have many mini parks interspersed throughout downtown, including one across the street from me.


Seriously though, all those cities have great parks and Calgary has some huge ones like Nose Hill Park, but that is very different park than High Park in Toronto or Stanley Park.

The ravines are nice enough, but I don't find them " better " than Pacific Spirit Park at 874 hectares, or Stanley Park at 405 hectares, compared to Montreal's Mt Royal at 190 hectares, or High Park in Toronto's small 161 hectares.
Now I now the size of a park isn't everything, but really large parks, give a different experience.

The other factor that for me makes Vancouver's park system so wonderful, is that the whole downtown cores waterfront, from Canada Place all the way around Stanley Park out to UBC (with a few blocks of bike path on Pt Grey Rd the exception, although it is interspersed with small parks with view of the ocean and mountains ) is parkland. What other Canadian city can say that?

( defending poor little Vancouver to the end ) LOL
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Old 07-11-2016, 01:53 PM
 
2,557 posts, read 2,176,886 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
LOL I protest.

Vancouver's park system is unrivalled I tell ya, unrivalled !!

Ravines? We've got whole valleys that are parks, and thousands of hectares of natural forests. For more groomed parks we have an amazing sunken garden in and old volcano in Queen Elizabeth park plus others.

Also whole mountains that are parks for skiing and hiking.

We also have many mini parks interspersed throughout downtown, including one across the street from me.


Seriously though, all those cities have great parks and Calgary has some huge ones like Nose Hill Park, but that is very different park than High Park in Toronto or Stanley Park.

The ravines are nice enough, but I don't find them " better " than Pacific Spirit Park at 874 hectares, or Stanley Park at 405 hectares, compared to Montreal's Mt Royal at 190 hectares, or High Park in Toronto's small 161 hectares.
Now I now the size of a park isn't everything, but really large parks, give a different experience.

The other factor that for me makes Vancouver's park system so wonderful, is that the whole downtown cores waterfront, from Canada Place all the way around Stanley Park out to UBC (with a few blocks of bike path on Pt Grey Rd the exception, although it is interspersed with small parks with view of the ocean and mountains ) is parkland. What other Canadian city can say that?

( defending poor little Vancouver to the end ) LOL
A valiant effort, but as fusion would argue, Toronto's legendary, world-famous ravines still dominate all. End of discussion.
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
12,673 posts, read 8,740,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostonkid123 View Post
a valiant effort, but as fusion would argue, toronto's legendary, world-famous ravines still dominate all. End of discussion.


It's not over yet. Bwahaha !!
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Old 07-12-2016, 10:32 PM
 
873 posts, read 813,931 times
Reputation: 554
I think Montreal has the whole package.
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Old 07-12-2016, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Toronto
6,754 posts, read 3,776,432 times
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Toronto ...

1. Excellent library system
2. Public transit it getting better by the second
3. We got fabulous parks all over the city
4. Housing is not cheap .... But why would it be in an areas which such great stuff !
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:59 AM
 
2,557 posts, read 2,176,886 times
Reputation: 1810
Quote:
Originally Posted by klmrocks View Post
Toronto ...

1. Excellent library system
2. Public transit it getting better by the second
3. We got fabulous parks all over the city
4. Housing is not cheap .... But why would it be in an areas which such great stuff !
Having lived in all three cities - Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal - Montreal has a slight edge:

1. Excellent library system
2. Public transit - it already has fabulous rapid transit coverage that serves the city well, and is undergoing a large-scale expansion as we speak with the Réseau électrique métropolitain project (essentially a copycat of Vancouver's Skytrain system using the same technology, elevated rail, automated trains, and is actually being managed by the same investor and builder as Vancouver's successful Canada Line)
3. Fabulous parks, museums, lots and lots of public squares (both historic and modern), pedestrian-friendly streets. Nuff said.
4. Housing is cheap.
5. Large areas of historic neighborhoods and architecture that are well-preserved
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,811 posts, read 4,433,356 times
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Mont Royal park in MTL is an awesome urban park. Great location, right in the middle of the city. I don't know if any other city has such a big park in such a central area. The park definitely gives the city an interesting landscape. And there are many parks varying in size all over the place.

Libraries in MTL are great. Transportation is great, possibly the best out of the big three cities in Canada. Montreal also has great bike path coverage, even downtown.


Health is probably not much better than other places, but it is definitely more affordable when it comes to housing than other big cities.
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Old 07-14-2016, 11:16 PM
 
4,249 posts, read 8,136,825 times
Reputation: 5085
Amazing quantity of affordable housing in Montreal, without (almost) the stigma. Three programs exist for low-income households. This is one of them, where the rent is set at 25% of one's income: Http://www.omhm.qc.ca/en/low-rent-housing-hlm. Imagine a rent of $250 for a 2-bedroom. People are also not shy to assert their right to low-rent housing. Full rents are also twice+ lower than in Toronto or Vancouver.

Having lived in the heart of Vancouver by Kitsilano beach, having hiked the Grind, having shopped on Granville Island, having skied in Whistler.... It is a beautiful city! But the beauty goes bleak due to the rental prices, IMHO.
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