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View Poll Results: Which Canadian city do you prefer?
Calgary 11 37.93%
Ottawa 8 27.59%
Quebec City 10 34.48%
Voters: 29. You may not vote on this poll

Old 08-11-2013, 11:24 AM
Location: New Mexico --> Vermont in 2019
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OK since every American city has been compared to one another into oblivion on City vs. City and this thread (Montreal vs Toronto vs Vancouver (American perspective)) has garnered some interest I decided to take three more very different Canadian cities to compare. Which one do you prefer? And if you haven't been which Canadian city would interest you the most in visiting?

Some criteria.....

- Interesting Attractions
- Architecture
- Urban layout
- Diversity
- Food
- People
- Scenery
- Nightlife
- Infrastructure/freeways/mass transit

Last edited by Desert_SW_77; 08-11-2013 at 12:34 PM..
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Old 08-11-2013, 12:08 PM
Location: Atlanta
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Ottawa is the only city of the three I've visited. There is some stunning architecture (the Parliament building) and the river adds significant scenic appeal. The downtown area is nice, with plenty of museums, stores, restaurants.

I would imagine that for Americans, Calgary would be the toughest sell. People might be attracted to Ottawa because it's the nation's capital, and to Quebec City for its reputation as a charming, old, European-style city. I'm not quite sure what Calgary as a city has to offer, aside from being the key business center between Toronto and Vancouver. It's probably not a city that I would seek out as a destination in itself, but might pass through for a short visit while en route to the nearby Canadian Rocky Mountains. I'd like to hear what some Calgary residents/visitors have to say about that city. It might have a lot more to offer than I realize.

The more I think about it, the more intrigued I am about Calgary. I know it consistently places high in livability rankings. I have also heard it called Canada's Denver, and to me that city is a bit underrated.

I've heard great things about Quebec City, but I wonder if it might be too touristy for my tastes. Montreal is a major tourist destination too, but it's a far bigger city, so the tourists are more spread out among the workers/residents of the city. If/when I make it back to Quebec, Montreal would still be #1 on my itinerary.

As for Ottawa - it's a nice town, but I'd rather spend more time in Toronto.

Last edited by stillinthesouth; 08-11-2013 at 01:13 PM.. Reason: added content
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Old 08-11-2013, 12:24 PM
Location: Minneapolis
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I have a very favorable view of all three.

Quebec City is the most francophone major city in North America as far as I know and has a ton of architectural and cultural appeal from a tourism perspective.

Ottawa is in a unique situation as it is the capital of Canada also sits at the confluence of English and French Canada. It's also beautiful and has a really nice location between Toronto and Montreal and not unreasonably far from New England.

Calgary seems to go hand in hand (in hand) with Denver and Salt Lake City. Very high quality of life, amazing natural setting, and the hub (along with Edmonton) of an otherwise isolated area.

For me, I would pick Ottawa > Calgary > Quebec City to live and Quebec City > Calgary > Ottawa to visit. Overall, I like Ottawa best.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:28 PM
Location: New Mexico --> Vermont in 2019
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- Interesting Attractions: Ottawa if you're a museum buff and all the attractions that come with being a national capital (though a fairly modest one). I've always wanted to ice skate down the Rideau Canal

- Architecture: Quebec City, no where else in North America comes close to the unique style of French colonial architecture found there.

- Urban layout: They are all medium sized cities though I think Old Quebec is definitely the most interesting downtown core out of the three.

- Diversity: I had a difficult time finding data for visible minority populations on all three of these cities. If I had to take a wild guess it would be a toss up between Ottawa being the national capital and the international relations that come with that or Calgary as it's a strong center for business and industry and likely draws international employers and employees. Quebec City though very different culturally for the everyday North American gives me the impression of being rather monocultural.

- Scenery: They all have very beautiful surroundings with the bluffs and hills St. Lawrence river, Mt St Anne, nearby waterfalls at Montmorency, and bucolic Île d'Orléans near Quebec, the scenic Ottawa River and Parliament Hill, but this category undoubtedly goes to Calgary for the win as it's prairie setting amongst the big skies and being at the edge of the Canadian Rockies which are some of the most impressive in all North America with nearby Banff and Jasper is hard to match.

- Infrastructure/freeways/mass transit: This one goes to Calgary. All three have a good freeway network, but Calgary is the most modern and well kept and it also has the most expansive light rail/mass transit network. Ottawa just has one short rail line, and Québec City has no urban intracity rail lines.

- Food: Quebec City for the win. The Quebecoise have a passion for all thing culinary with a very inviting restaurant food and incredibly hearty food.

- Nightlife: Quebec City once again. The French Canadians just do it better.

Overall Quebec City is my favorite, especially to visit.

Last edited by Desert_SW_77; 08-11-2013 at 06:38 PM..
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:07 PM
Location: Aurora, Colorado
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Denver's brother to the north, Calgary.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:29 PM
Location: New Mexico --> Vermont in 2019
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Originally Posted by Mezter View Post
Denver's brother to the north, Calgary.
Yeah, they do seem to have quite a bit in common, especially in terms of topographical setting. Calgary appears to have a bigger skyline even though the metro area is about 1/2 the size of Denver. The energy industry must be booming like crazy up there.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:25 AM
Location: USA (dying to live in Canada)
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Quebec City hands down
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:41 PM
Location: New Mexico --> Vermont in 2019
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Originally Posted by Jews for Jesus View Post
Quebec City hands down
What do you like about Quebec City?
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