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View Poll Results: Best city by design?
Toronto 25 19.38%
Chicago 44 34.11%
San Francisco 24 18.60%
Washington DC 36 27.91%
Voters: 129. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-18-2014, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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^ Why don't you take a trip to Chicago and Toronto when the weather is nicer and explore the city? That would be easier than relying on boring business trips.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
^ Why don't you take a trip to Chicago and Toronto when the weather is nicer and explore the city? That would be easier than relying on boring business trips.
Lol agreed... I wouldn't even rank a city if I haven't gone around and done a few things to get a real flavour of the overall city instead of what I see in a CBD. Toronto and Chicago are similar in that the most interesting places are not in the CBD's for restaurants and nightlife.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
Lol agreed... I wouldn't even rank a city if I haven't gone around and done a few things to get a real flavour of the overall city instead of what I see in a CBD. Toronto and Chicago are similar in that the most interesting places are not in the CBD's for restaurants and nightlife.
Yeah, it's always funny when people visit a city via a business trip or just stay in the CBD for whatever reason. Then they complain that the city is this and that without getting out into other areas. It's kind of like "Do you understand what most CBDs are? Offices and white collar businesses, not many residents."
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:56 PM
 
Location: London, UK
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Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
Yeah, it's always funny when people visit a city via a business trip or just stay in the CBD for whatever reason. Then they complain that the city is this and that without getting out into other areas. It's kind of like "Do you understand what most CBDs are? Offices and white collar businesses, not many residents."
Would the West Loop be considered part of the CBD? I have visited Chicago (My sister used to live there) but the different parts of the Loop kind of run together for me because of my unfamiliarity.

If it does include the West Loop then I would say Chicago stands out more than any other CBD for me when it comes to quality restaurants. Girl and the Goat, Aviary, ING, Next, Au Cheval, Publican. Just those alone are damn impressive.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
I recently posted this vid in the Toronto section of CD and it gives a good perspective of T.O's built form and vertical residential densification in and around the Downtown core. video taken with a really cool mini drone.


DJI Phantom flying to the CN Tower - Toronto - YouTube
Yeah Toronto in general has my favorite design, in general is my favorite city of the four (Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington).

It has a pretty monstrous cityscape. From certain angles will look very prolonged and very dense. The expressways/highways/freeways are also built to the most modern and efficient scale of these cities.

The streetscape is very crowded and busy, the city is centralized yet decentralized (North York in the foreground, Downtown in the background), the city has a large and efficient streetcar network, the city is built for pedestrian ease, roadways are developed around immensely, subways are kept clean and sleek, special events are integrated into the streetlife, nature and recreation rests closely to the urban core, squares like Nathan Philips and YD are integrated near commercial lifelines, the lakefront is enormous and usable for several boating, jet skiing, wake boarding like activities. The city is not a stranger to live street entertainment.

Crocher woods. Urban canyons. Chinatown. Autumn embroidery. Rain on King and Spadina. Day time rush. The integration of a diverse culinary scene. The urban grit and character. Bloor Station. Downtown Toronto's day aerial. The urban culture of a skyscraper city. Yonge Street. Up close of the Scarborough Bluffs. The urban chaos of traffic in the big city. Queen West. The everyday transit crowd. Wallace Avenue. The East Side. Don Valley near Todmorden Mills. Long weekend on the lakes. Frank Gehry designed stairway.

Toronto as seen from the Toronto islands at night.

Toronto integrates sculptures and every facet of urban life very well, it has a decent amount of natural recreating abound, and the urban area is the densest urban area between United States and Canada.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:06 PM
 
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Toronto is definitely the worst city on this list in terms of layout. Since it was traditionally a much smaller city, the freeway network, and subway system is entirely inadequate for a city of its size.

And, Toronto doesn't really have a grid; it has mostly short dead-end streets so you have to use the major arterials only.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,304 posts, read 17,969,615 times
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Originally Posted by edwardsyzzurphands View Post
Would the West Loop be considered part of the CBD? I have visited Chicago (My sister used to live there) but the different parts of the Loop kind of run together for me because of my unfamiliarity.

If it does include the West Loop then I would say Chicago stands out more than any other CBD for me when it comes to quality restaurants. Girl and the Goat, Aviary, Au Cheval, Publican. Just those alone are damn impressive.
Part of the West Loop does belong to the CBD, but only the part of it just west of the river for a few blocks (east of the Expressway). The area you're talking about is west of the Expressway and not part of the CBD though it's close.

That whole area is kind of new when it comes to the establishments there compared to some other areas like River North which experienced all the initial movement sometime in the 90s and early 2000s. A lot of restaurants, bars, and lounges are still opening up there all the time and investors from other areas like NYC and Atlanta seem to think that it will be America's next Meatpacking District ala the one in Manhattan.

It should be interesting because Google is currently building a new HQ just a few blocks north of those restaurants and there's some big residential projects going on there now or that should start soon. Also some boutique hotels such as a Soho House and Nobu Hotel. The good news to me at least is that the area is not sports crazed. I can only name a few sports bars - in fact one of the sports bars was bought not long ago and the owners turned it into an upscale lounge.

The area you named is basically like a less mature River North which also has many impressive restaurants. Restaurant Row definitely has some amazing stuff. BTW you forgot Next, Moto, Avec, Blackbird, Grace, and Sepia in that general area
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Toronto
12,581 posts, read 10,467,689 times
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Originally Posted by Red John View Post
Yeah Toronto in general has my favorite design, in general is my favorite city of the four (Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington).

It has a pretty monstrous cityscape. From certain angles will look very prolonged and very dense. The expressways/highways/freeways are also built to the most modern and efficient scale of these cities.

The streetscape is very crowded and busy, the city is centralized yet decentralized (North York in the foreground, Downtown in the background), the city has a large and efficient streetcar network, the city is built for pedestrian ease, roadways are developed around immensely, subways are kept clean and sleek, special events are integrated into the streetlife, nature and recreation rests closely to the urban core, people are actively engaged in street vendoring, squares like Nathan Philips and YD are integrated near commercial lifelines, the lakefront is enormous and usable for several boating, jet skiing, wake boarding like activities. The city is not a stranger to live street entertainment.

Crocher woods. Urban canyons. Chinatown. Autumn embroidery. Rain on King and Spadina. Day time rush. The integration of a diverse culinary scene. The urban grit and character. Bloor Station. Downtown Toronto's day aerial. The urban culture of a skyscraper city. Yonge Street. Up close of the Scarborough Bluffs. The urban chaos of traffic in the big city. Queen West. The everyday transit crowd. Wallace Avenue. The East Side. Don Valley near Todmorden Mills. Long weekend on the lakes. Frank Gehry designed stairway.

Toronto as seen from the Toronto islands at night.

Toronto integrates sculptures and every facet of urban life very well, it has a decent amount of natural recreating abound, and the urban area is the densest urban area between United States and Canada.
Wow - nice collection of pics and commentary! Generally speaking you don't see a monkey with a Big Banana on the Subway though haha but often you do see some weirdo's lol.

Toronto has some pretty busy highways.. The 1st and 3rd busiest highways in N.A are in Toronto but I actually don't think this is a great thing! The city started out with a fantastic subway system but as the suburbs grew and densified, instead of building the subways outward we created super highways and strip malls/power centres. Old Toronto is a very compelling case for design but places like North York, Etobicoke and Scarborough not so much imo and these are the parts of the city with the biggest freeways and the least urbanity. They are dense but not exactly models of urban design.

You see a lot of this for example
http://livehigh.com/scarborough/l&#3...ven_apartments - there are literally over 1500 of buildings like this in the Greater Toronto area.

Regardless your post gives a good overall flavour for the city.. good job

Last edited by fusion2; 04-18-2014 at 02:19 PM..
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,484 posts, read 7,738,491 times
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Originally Posted by Standard111 View Post
Toronto is definitely the worst city on this list in terms of layout. Since it was traditionally a much smaller city, the freeway network, and subway system is entirely inadequate for a city of its size.

And, Toronto doesn't really have a grid; it has mostly short dead-end streets so you have to use the major arterials only.
The city probably does have the most holes and gaps in it's urbanity at the moment, it destroyed a lot of it's historical stock. There are pretty obvious cuts and breaks from that, particularly seen near the Gardiner Expressway along the lakefront.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,484 posts, read 7,738,491 times
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Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
Wow - nice collection of pics and commentary! Generally speaking you don't see a monkey with a Big Banana on the Subway though.

Toronto has some pretty busy highways.. The 1st and 3rd busiest highways in N.A are in Toronto but I actually don't think this is a great thing actually! The city started out with a fantastic subway system but as the suburbs grew and densified, instead of building the subways outward we created super highways and strip malls/power centres. Old Toronto is a very compelling case for design but places like North York and Scarborough not so much imo. They are dense but not exactly models of urbanity. Regardless your post gives a good overall flavour for the city.. good job
North York was it's own area before annexed into Toronto, I would imagine it's role as a business center is greatly diminished by Downtown, especially as Downtown is where the bulk of the activity is being concentrated more and more by the day and bulk of the development is. North York is a less urban novelty, like a Century City sort of place probably.

Well yeah, ignoring the guy in the money/banana suit, I would say the rest is the average crowd of the city. The amount of sculptures and public art (especially metallic) in the city is staggering compared to the other three.
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