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Old 01-07-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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Default Are US-Canada "borderlands" more similar to each other than other parts of the countries?

What I mean by this, is that in terms of cultural similarities, layout of cities, landscapes, etc.

What I mean is that do think for example:

the American Pacific NW (Washington and Oregon) (Seattle and Portland) have more in common with Vancouver, etc. than the respective regions have in common with the rest of their countries?

Or Calgary being where the high plains meets the rockies as the regional center for mining have in common with Denver, Colorado.

Or Chicago having much in common with Toronto, both having the industrial-Great Lakes history to them. layout is similar.

Quebec however is like its country. No comparison there.

What do you think?
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:20 PM
 
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Maybe in terms of landscapes, but people are definitely very different.
In terms of culture, Canada (excl Quebec) and the US have almost identical culture: American culture.
Toronto's layout is quite different from Chicago if you compare them closely. Chicago has amazing skylines along Lake Michigan while Toronto's skyline more surrounds Yonge street. IMO Toronto's architecture lacks the density and diverse beauty found in Chicago. You can easily find many big parking lots even in the downtown core in Toronto (Yonge and College/Gerrard for instance). You don't find those in Chicago.
Seattle is the headquarter of quite a few multinational corporations while Vancouver is more of a tourist city. I don't think deep down these are quite similar cities.
In terms of demographics, Chicago is 40% black; Vancouver is like half white half Chinese. These make them distinct from Toronto and Seattle as well.
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Niagara Falls NY and Niagara Falls ON and surrounding areas look completely different.
Take "Western NY" (Buffalo area) and compare it with Ontario's "Niagara Peninsula" for example.

In Western NY developed areas,
there's partial street lighting, relatively large-sized lots and many open, undeveloped areas in between. You the sense of mild "abandonment" of the land, but it's also easy to get a brilliant view of the night sky.

In the Niagara Peninsula,
anywhere there's development there's virtually nowhere that isn't lit up by street lighting. There generally is no undeveloped land in between homes and businesses; it's either "very-urban" or it's "very-agricultural" with almost nothing in between. Lot sizes are typically smaller. Developed areas are remarkably more densely populated as soon as you cross over into Canada. This also means that it's difficult to get a good view of the night sky unless you go way out into the agricultural areas... and even then it's still not as pretty as in Western NY.

Western NY has some Canadian chain restaurants like Swiss Chalet and Tim Hortons, but only within 30-50 miles of the Canadian border, at most. The Niagara Peninsula has either "few" or "no" US chain restaurants that you couldn't find 100 miles from the U.S. Border.

Culturally, the border seems to do a great job at separating us, imho.
Niagara Falls, Ontario feels 90+% similar to anywhere else in southern Ontario.
Niagara Falls, NY feels 85+% similar to anywhere else in Western New York.
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Old 01-07-2010, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdCanadian View Post
Niagara Falls NY and Niagara Falls ON and surrounding areas look completely different.
Take "Western NY" (Buffalo area) and compare it with Ontario's "Niagara Peninsula" for example.

In Western NY developed areas,
there's partial street lighting, relatively large-sized lots and many open, undeveloped areas in between. You the sense of mild "abandonment" of the land, but it's also easy to get a brilliant view of the night sky.

In the Niagara Peninsula,
anywhere there's development there's virtually nowhere that isn't lit up by street lighting. There generally is no undeveloped land in between homes and businesses; it's either "very-urban" or it's "very-agricultural" with almost nothing in between. Lot sizes are typically smaller. Developed areas are remarkably more densely populated as soon as you cross over into Canada. This also means that it's difficult to get a good view of the night sky unless you go way out into the agricultural areas... and even then it's still not as pretty as in Western NY.

Western NY has some Canadian chain restaurants like Swiss Chalet and Tim Hortons, but only within 30-50 miles of the Canadian border, at most. The Niagara Peninsula has either "few" or "no" US chain restaurants that you couldn't find 100 miles from the U.S. Border.

Culturally, the border seems to do a great job at separating us, imho.
Niagara Falls, Ontario feels 90+% similar to anywhere else in southern Ontario.
Niagara Falls, NY feels 85+% similar to anywhere else in Western New York.
One of the main differences between southern Ontario and the neighbouring states is that southern Ontario is pretty much an attractive "banana belt" region in the Canadian context that people from other regions of the country actually move TO.

Upstate New York in the American context is the boonies and people tend to move FROM there to (generally warmer) other parts of the States.

Also, up until very recently, the auto pact and other pro-Ontario economic policies put in place by Canada to protect what is its biggest industrial heartland effectively prevented southern Ontario from the grave rust belt decline that befell U.S. regions just across the border. Western New York, Michigan and Ohio were left to fend for themselves, whereas southern Ontario was thrived through the 70s, 80s and 90s. Ontario also carries much more weight politically in Canada than the Great Lake states do in the U.S.
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Old 01-07-2010, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Originally Posted by Tex?Il? View Post

Quebec however is like its country. No comparison there.
Interestingly enough, many places in the Eastern Townships of Quebec near the border with Vermont and New Hampshire have similar place names and architecture (typical old Protestant churches, town commons, charming inns) to what you would find in New England.

150 years ago, when English speakers were still the majority of the population in the Eastern Townships, it would have been strikingly similar to places across the border.

Today, the Townships are about 95% French-speaking, but the architecture, scenery and place names remain, and the whole region has what one might call a "French New England" feel.
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Old 01-07-2010, 05:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Interestingly enough, many places in the Eastern Townships of Quebec near the border with Vermont and New Hampshire have similar place names and architecture (typical old Protestant churches, town commons, charming inns) to what you would find in New England.

150 years ago, when English speakers were still the majority of the population in the Eastern Townships, it would have been strikingly similar to places across the border.

Today, the Townships are about 95% French-speaking, but the architecture, scenery and place names remain, and the whole region has what one might call a "French New England" feel.
Good point. I believe Maine has the greatest numbers of percentage of people who speak French at home. More so than Louisiana I think.
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
One of the main differences between southern Ontario and the neighbouring states is that southern Ontario is pretty much an attractive "banana belt" region in the Canadian context that people from other regions of the country actually move TO.

Upstate New York in the American context is the boonies and people tend to move FROM there to (generally warmer) other parts of the States.

Also, up until very recently, the auto pact and other pro-Ontario economic policies put in place by Canada to protect what is its biggest industrial heartland effectively prevented southern Ontario from the grave rust belt decline that befell U.S. regions just across the border. Western New York, Michigan and Ohio were left to fend for themselves, whereas southern Ontario was thrived through the 70s, 80s and 90s. Ontario also carries much more weight politically in Canada than the Great Lake states do in the U.S.
I don't know, as Ohio is a huge "swing" state in the US and Michigan and NY are still relevant in terms of politics.

Also, in character, they seem to be similar to me. I think the difference is in terms of build up of the main streets between the 2 Niagara Falls cities. It is obvious that the Ontario side is more developed than the NY side.

I think the only people that think of Upstate NY as the boonies are those from NYC and Downstate NY. Those that know better, know that Upstate NY has a variety of landscapes to it and is known for it's natural beauty too.
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
southern Ontario is pretty much an attractive "banana belt".
Banana belt LOL - I love it!!!
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:26 PM
 
Location: The Woods
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Interestingly enough, many places in the Eastern Townships of Quebec near the border with Vermont and New Hampshire have similar place names and architecture (typical old Protestant churches, town commons, charming inns) to what you would find in New England.

150 years ago, when English speakers were still the majority of the population in the Eastern Townships, it would have been strikingly similar to places across the border.

Today, the Townships are about 95% French-speaking, but the architecture, scenery and place names remain, and the whole region has what one might call a "French New England" feel.
Quite true. There's some close ties in some border towns. Derby Line in VT had wide open borders with Stanstead until the feds recently put a gate up. Derby Line, Vermont - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Note on that article an interesting tidbit: a VT town meeting (in conjunction with Stanstead) was held in a foreign country following VT state rules. Kind of funny...the border literally goes through some homes there.

I grew up near the border with Canada myself, I'd definately say we had more in common with the Canadian neighbors than with a person from New York City or such...
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
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I'd definitely say Detroit and Windsor have more in common with each other than either has to Hilo, Hawaii or Alert, Nunavut. So yes.
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