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View Poll Results: Toronto is more similar to
Montreal 13 54.17%
Vancouver 11 45.83%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-06-2016, 10:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
Friends from Montreal say the same and they know all three cities well.

When I was working and we had people in meetings from Toronto, they were shocked we'd sometimes wrap up a bit early " because it's really nice outside " and people wanted to head to the beach, or go for a run, bike ride or even take their boat out. Seemed reasonable to us
In Toronto people "head out early" as well, usually because they want to avoid the crush load of traffic on 401 especially if you work downtown and live in the suburbs or have to commute by car. In this regard Toronto is a lot more similar to the work-life culture found in major Northeastern U.S. cities like Boston, Philly, or NYC, with a highly visible and overbearing corporate culture in the old financial district downtown core that's absent in other Canadian cities (maybe with the exception of Calgary). When you walk around the city on a weekday, you can easily run into large crowds dressed up in suits, white office dress shirts, brief cases, etc. etc. You could still find similar scenes in centre-ville Montreal and parts of downtown Vancouver, but in a much smaller scale.
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Old 12-06-2016, 10:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcenal352 View Post
Montreal is... Montreal. Hard to compare it to any other city really... I find Toronto to be more in line with Vancouver, with all of the high-rise condos and stuff.

That said, if there's any city in NA I think Toronto is similar to, I'd say Miami. Both suffer from endless suburban sprawl, both have tons of high-rise condos, neither one is particularly pedestrian-friendly, both are roughly 50% "minority."
Toronto is one of the least "sprawly" of big North American cities.
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Old 12-06-2016, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
Friends from Montreal say the same and they know all three cities well.

When I was working and we had people in meetings from Toronto, they were shocked we'd sometimes wrap up a bit early " because it's really nice outside " and people wanted to head to the beach, or go for a run, bike ride or even take their boat out. Seemed reasonable to us
Indeed.


I'd say that what is sacrosanct in Montreal vs. Vancouver differs quite a bit, but there's no doubt they share this kind of "fussiness". Even if it's for entirely different reasons.
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Old 12-06-2016, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostonkid123 View Post
In Toronto people "head out early" as well, usually because they want to avoid the crush load of traffic on 401 especially if you work downtown and live in the suburbs or have to commute by car. In this regard Toronto is a lot more similar to the work-life culture found in major Northeastern U.S. cities like Boston, Philly, or NYC, with a highly visible and overbearing corporate culture in the old financial district downtown core that's absent in other Canadian cities (maybe with the exception of Calgary). When you walk around the city on a weekday, you can easily run into large crowds dressed up in suits, white office dress shirts, brief cases, etc. etc. You could still find similar scenes in centre-ville Montreal and parts of downtown Vancouver, but in a much smaller scale.
No doubt, but heading out to beat traffic, is not the same as heading to the beach etc. Different mindset

This of course is generalizations, it depends on career, etc. Also things have probably tightened up in Vancouver since " the good old days " .
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Old 12-07-2016, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Seminole County, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King of Kensington View Post
Toronto is one of the least "sprawly" of big North American cities.
What cities are you comparing it to? Toronto's metro area just seems to go on and on and on with no end in sight, similar to Miami, Houston, LA and Atlanta. I don't really get that vibe when visiting other large NA cities like Montreal, Boston, NYC, DC, Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, etc. I find Toronto to be VERY "sprawly," and it's getting even moreso as they keep building to the North and SW.
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Old 12-07-2016, 09:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Arcenal352 View Post
What cities are you comparing it to? Toronto's metro area just seems to go on and on and on with no end in sight, similar to Miami, Houston, LA and Atlanta. I don't really get that vibe when visiting other large NA cities like Montreal, Boston, NYC, DC, Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, etc. I find Toronto to be VERY "sprawly," and it's getting even moreso as they keep building to the North and SW.
City of Toronto proper. Which has some of the highest continuous population densities in North America. I live 9 km north of downtown financial district in Toronto, and have frequently biked to work from my home to downtown. Nowhere do I see excessive sprawl because for it's usually 9 km of continuous urban density, from midrise neighorhoods to high rise clusters at all major intersections. I just can't see any parallel between what I see everyday and the urban form that you'd find in Houston or Atlanta.

However, even for giant suburbs like Mississauga, it's quite a unique setup in the context of North America. It has a highly dense core (a mini downtown) with condo high rises, 2 lines of Regional Express Rail with all day train service, very frequent bus rapid transit corridors, and a new LRT line currently under construction. I simply don't find that kind of large scale urban/suburban hybrid in cities like Houston, Miami, or Atlanta.

Having lived in Baltimore, Boston, and Montreal extensively over the past 15 years, I'm a bit confused by your observations: how are Detroit, Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, and Montreal any less sprawly than Toronto the moment you get out of their respective downtown cores? I mean, let's not kid ourselves, they aren't exactly modeled after London or Berlin.

Last edited by bostonkid123; 12-07-2016 at 09:46 AM..
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Old 12-07-2016, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Seminole County, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostonkid123 View Post
City of Toronto proper. Which has some of the highest continuous population densities in North America. I live 9 km north of downtown financial district in Toronto, and have frequently biked to work from my home to downtown. Nowhere do I see excessive sprawl because for it's usually 9 km of continuous urban density, from midrise neighorhoods to high rise clusters at all major intersections. I just can't see any parallel between what I see everyday and the urban form that you'd find in Houston or Atlanta.

However, even for giant suburbs like Mississauga, it's quite a unique setup in the context of North America. It has a highly dense core (a mini downtown) with condo high rises, 2 lines of Regional Express Rail with all day train service, very frequent bus rapid transit corridors, and a new LRT line currently under construction. I simply don't find that kind of large scale urban/suburban hybrid in cities like Houston, Miami, or Atlanta.

Having lived in Baltimore, Boston, and Montreal extensively over the past 15 years, I'm a bit confused by your observations: how are Detroit, Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, and Montreal any less sprawly than Toronto the moment you get out of their respective downtown cores? I mean, let's not kid ourselves, they aren't exactly modeled after London or Berlin.
Look at how far out suburbia extends from Toronto's core; to the North, the SW, East, etc. Montreal only recently started to build out in an extensive manner, with massive developments occurring in towns like Repentigny, Terrebonne, and now (again) Brossard. It's starting to become sprawly, yes, but not anywhere close to Toronto's, in my opinion. Same with Boston; they are beginning to build out to the West, but not to Toronto's extent.

It's just that feeling I get when visiting Toronto: The suburbia seems to go on and on and on and on with no end in sight. Same feeling I get when I go down to Miami. Seems like most "newer" cities, Toronto included, are built around that model.
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Old 12-07-2016, 12:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcenal352 View Post
Look at how far out suburbia extends from Toronto's core; to the North, the SW, East, etc. Montreal only recently started to build out in an extensive manner, with massive developments occurring in towns like Repentigny, Terrebonne, and now (again) Brossard. It's starting to become sprawly, yes, but not anywhere close to Toronto's, in my opinion. Same with Boston; they are beginning to build out to the West, but not to Toronto's extent.

It's just that feeling I get when visiting Toronto: The suburbia seems to go on and on and on and on with no end in sight. Same feeling I get when I go down to Miami. Seems like most "newer" cities, Toronto included, are built around that model.
Firstly, it may be due to landscape: Toronto is overall very flat so you get the feeling that there's no separation between city and suburb. Same impression applies to places like Chicago, Houston, Dallas, etc.

Secondly, many of the places or "suburbia" that you refer to tend to be outside the city limits of Toronto and Old Toronto. The City of Toronto may be one of the most densely populated municipalities in North America, but it is also surrounded by giant suburban municipalities on all 3 sides that encompass 4 million residents including Toronto:

- Mississauga to the West (which grew from a population of 80,000 in the 1980s to today's nearly 1 million)
- City of Vaughan to the Northwest (which grew by 82% in the last 10 years to a population of 300,000)
- City of Markham to the Northeast (which grew by 38% in the last 10 years to a population of 400,000+)

So when you refer to Toronto as a "sprawly", you are probably referring to the Greater Toronto Area because it encompasses an area that consists of more than 28 independent municipalities, many of which are massive, post-war suburban developments undergoing ultra-high population growth and recent immigration:

Ajax
Clarington
Brock
Oshawa
Pickering
Scugog
Uxbridge
Whitby
Burlington
Halton Hills
Milton
Oakville
Brampton
Caledon
Mississauga
Aurora
East Gwillimbury
Georgina
King
Markham
Newmarket
Richmond Hill
Vaughan
Whitchurch–Stouffville
Mono
Orangeville
Bradford West Gwillimbury
New Tecumseth

That's why there is that feeling of "endless suburbia" when you drive on the high ways, because Toronto is literally surrounded by 28 independent suburban municipalities on all 3 sides.

Thirdly, as seen by the above population growth figures, the sprawl is basically the result of explosive population growth over the last two decades due to record high immigration and internal migration, coupled with record high housing prices in the City of Toronto (some areas along the major corridors are simply so dense that there is no more room to build). Therefore, for those who want to have large detached homes, the only option is to move far out north, west, and east to the suburban cities.

Lastly, if you ever were to visit Toronto again, I highly recommend finding a short-term rental within the City of Toronto proper and leaving the car behind so as to have more time to explore the city neighborhoods. I tend to find that driving on Gardner or the 401 highway yield very little in the way of seeing what the city proper is like, because all major highways in the GTA are actually located outside the city limits of Toronto with the exception of Gardner Expressway.
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Old 12-07-2016, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,938 posts, read 27,338,144 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcenal352 View Post
Look at how far out suburbia extends from Toronto's core; to the North, the SW, East, etc. Montreal only recently started to build out in an extensive manner, with massive developments occurring in towns like Repentigny, Terrebonne, and now (again) Brossard. It's starting to become sprawly, yes, but not anywhere close to Toronto's, in my opinion. Same with Boston; they are beginning to build out to the West, but not to Toronto's extent.

It's just that feeling I get when visiting Toronto: The suburbia seems to go on and on and on and on with no end in sight. Same feeling I get when I go down to Miami. Seems like most "newer" cities, Toronto included, are built around that model.
I think this impression may be due to a kind of "optical illusion".


Toronto's suburbs tend to be denser and so it gives the impression of an endless urban/suburban concrete jungle of sorts.


Cities like Montreal and Boston tend to be less dense in their suburban areas, and in fact are probably more sprawly in the sense of the actual footprint of X people living over X km2.


Even though you might not get that impression because much of their suburbia is "airy" with more spacious lots as opposed to being packed in tight (with little space between houses) as is much of the GTA.
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Old 12-08-2016, 12:28 PM
 
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honestly Vancouver is just a small version of Toronto. No matter how you exaggerate the cultural difference, they are very similar.
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