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Old 04-26-2014, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Toronto
12,581 posts, read 10,430,934 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homeinatx View Post

In the last decade Toronto has experienced a spectacular construction boom, but compared to NYC and DF, it still feels a little sleepy at street level, particularly outside the boundaries of Old Toronto. I think it is getting to Chicago levels of urbanity, though the north side of Chicago, the most contiguously urban part of the city is still denser and more hopping than the densest and most hopping part of Toronto. All the new high-rise construction between downtown and the lakefront is very similiar to what has happened in the south loop of Chicago in the last decade or so, but as long as that horrible elevated Gardiner expressway stands that part of Toronto is going to feel patchy, fragmented and pedestrian unfriendly in its urban infrastructure.

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Great post you had overall but just a few little things... in terms of density and in particular population density, Chicago and Toronto (urbanized areas that is) have pretty similar numbers - remarkably similar actually. Toronto is densifying a lot more in and around the core and would probably outstrip even the densest patches of Chicago if not now, when the current phase of the building boom is completed. What you have to take into account is that even before the latest building boom of the last decade - Toronto was still very dense in the American/Canadian context so the boom has only added to this. Additionally, Toronto's core has never really developed its density along the waterfront like Chicago, it has been perpendicular to the waterfront. It is only in the latest boom that the waterfront is being majorly developed but there are still TONS of projects that are going up in traditional areas of density north of the lakeshore along Bay, Spadina, Wellesley, Jarvis and in particular Yonge.

The Gardner is a blight but it is an essential transportation link. There are things that can be done however to improve the link between the waterfront and the city, but remember as I said most density in Toronto's DT core is north of the Gardner and Toronto has never been as horny about its waterfront as Chicagoans.. we just don't take the same pride in it. Heck we have an active airport with scheduled passenger traffic on the waterfront to put it in perspective lol - that would never fly in Chicago. There are improvements being made in advance of the Pan Am games and you might wanna look at what they are doing - a lot of impressive projects but yeah Toronto and waterfront never really connected the way Chicago and waterfront did. Even our Museum district is far more inland.... As a Torontonian living and breathing in the DT core, aside from an occasional ferry to our Islands in the summer, I rarely spend time on the waterfront because I know this is not even close to the best Toronto has to offer..

As for hippest or most hopping - who knows that is a more subjective argument. The hippest most hopping parts of Toronto aren't in the DT core and west of it in the King Street West entertainment district and along Queens Street West (a part of that Kensington market is definitely unique and hip lol) and College all west of the core..

Last edited by fusion2; 04-26-2014 at 08:38 AM..
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Toronto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardsyzzurphands View Post
Where would people rank Panama City? Personally I think it deserves to be mentioned in the mix with many of the other cities after NYC and MC.

Of course you have modern urban areas like Punta Paitilla, San Francisco and La Cresta (Along with all the other highrise areas) but there is also low rise historic areas like Casco Viejo and San Felipe. Mix that with the rough around the edges Urban areas like Calidonia and El Chorillo and you have quite the urban mix of neighborhoods.

I recall looking out from my balcony where I was staying and looking out to Cinta Costera Park and people filling it until all hours of the night. Plus the amount of Taxi's running day and night must rival NYC. I think PC is an underrated place when people are rating Urban areas in N. America.
I think most people define N.A in this section as meaning Canada/United States because there are a lot more general similarities to one another than the latin countries in N.A and there's practically nobody who posts in these parts of the forums outside of Canada/U.S. If you include Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean obviously it'll change the vibrancy equation. Technically you are absolutely right, but essentially the thread should probably have just been titled is Toronto the 2nd most urban city in Canada/U.S outside of NYC. Not a lot of posters in here advocating for Casco Viejo, Centro Havana and San Felipe

Last edited by fusion2; 04-26-2014 at 08:28 AM..
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:48 AM
 
Location: London, UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
I think most people define N.A in this section as meaning Canada/United States because there are a lot more general similarities to one another than the latin countries in N.A and there's practically nobody who posts in these parts of the forums outside of Canada/U.S. If you include Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean obviously it'll change the vibrancy equation. Technically you are absolutely right, but essentially the thread should probably have just been titled is Toronto the 2nd most urban city in Canada/U.S outside of NYC. Not a lot of posters in here advocating for Casco Viejo, Centro Havana and San Felipe
I am starting to realize that

The thing is, we shouldn't need residents of these places to act as advocates. We just need some folks who can read a map correctly. In my mind N. America will always include the entire continent, not sections of it. I really think that it is unnecessary to dumb down the conversation because some folks refuse to broaden their horizons.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Toronto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardsyzzurphands View Post
I am starting to realize that

The thing is, we shouldn't need residents of these places to act as advocates. We just need some folks who can read a map correctly. In my mind N. America will always include the entire continent, not sections of it. I really think that it is unnecessary to dumb down the conversation because some folks refuse to broaden their horizons.
Fair enough and while again technically correct, for the next few decades anyway, Canada and the U.S and the cities within are going to be subject to more naturally a comparative debate than the Latin American countries on the continent. Even within those Latin American countries on the continent, they would be more apt to be comparative to one another than to Canada or the U.S.. They share more in terms of language, culture, infrastructure and values. We are kidding ourselves if we think that Toronto or Chicago for instance are going to have a vibe like Havana or Santo Domingo lol... c'mon Edward..It is a comparison of peers really and I don't think that is all that dumb - its kind of human and natural... I don't think there is anything dumb about that observation or inclination to make like comparisons.. Or are you really and honestly going to say that Canada is more similar to the Dominican Republic or Panama than to the United States.

Test my theory - put a vs in here pitting Philly vs Santo Domingo or San Francisco vs Tegucigalpa and test it out I think you know the answer...

Last edited by fusion2; 04-26-2014 at 09:26 AM..
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:24 AM
 
Location: London, UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
Fair enough and while again technically correct, for the next few decades anyway, Canada and the U.S and the cities within are going to be subject to more naturally a comparative debate than the Latin American countries on the continent. Even within those Latin American countries on the continent, they would be more apt to be comparative to one another than to Canada or the U.S.. They share more in terms of language, culture, infrastructure and values. We are kidding ourselves if we think that Toronto or Chicago for instance are going to have a vibe like Havana or Santo Domingo lol... c'mon Edward..It is a comparison of peers really and I don't think that is all that dumb really - its kind of human and natural... I don't think there is anything dumb about that observation or inclination to make like comparisons.. Or are you really and honestly going to say that Canada is more similar to the Dominican Republic or Panama than to the United States
I am just not sure why cultural similarities need to be the deciding factor when comparing cities. There are many cities around the world that view themselves as peers, but are completely different culturally. Should we stop comparing NYC to Tokyo; Paris to London; Rio to Mexico City, etc....? The US and Canada are arguably the two countries with the closest cultural ties on the planet, but to limit the conversation because of that just seems strange to me.

I get what you are saying though and not saying that you are wrong, I just think people are missing out on some fascinating places and comparisons if you limit the conversation to the US and Canada. And to be honest the US and Canada are two places that have some amazing cities, but overall do not do vibrant cities all that well to be honest. Look at the thread comparing NYC to DF a couple threads down, seriously there is nothing culturally similar between the two, but it may be the toughest vote in a while.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Toronto
12,581 posts, read 10,430,934 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardsyzzurphands View Post

I get what you are saying though and not saying that you are wrong, I just think people are missing out on some fascinating places and comparisons if you limit the conversation to the US and Canada. And to be honest the US and Canada are two places that have some amazing cities, but overall do not do vibrant cities all that well to be honest. Look at the thread comparing NYC to DF a couple threads down, seriously there is nothing culturally similar between the two, but it may be the toughest vote in a while.
In red - that is why people compare general American and Canadian cities.. There isn't anything wrong with making general comparisons within peer groups and people recognize that general U.S/Canadian cities are just not that vibrant compared to others and ultimately I think that is where most people are coming from in here in drawing the like comparisons. I wouldn't equate that to dumbing down the comparisons, its keeping it more real. I also don't think it was to omit fascinating comparisons but at the same time I think we are kidding ourselves that a comparison between Philadelphia and Santo Domingo is going to garner as much detailed debate than a comparison between Philadelphia and Toronto for example. The former would be like comparing an Anaconda to a Jaguar than the latter which is a more like comparison of say a Jaguar to a Lion. It may be fascinating to compare an Anaconda to a Jaguar but probably more relevant to compare animals that are more peers.

To your point about comparing heavily populated global cities, while yes there are valid comparisons but at the end of the day, a comparison between Mumbai and Delhi or Mumbai and Dhaka will garner more detailed comparisons than say Mumbai and NYC.... much more different animals..
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:48 AM
 
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Toronto isn't even that urban outside of it's main core...I did streetview of the city a little while back. It will have urban corridors that go for miles, but then turn off the street 2 blocks and you're in streetcar suburbia.

In SF, Philly, Boston, DC, Montreal, D.F., that's not the case...
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Toronto
12,581 posts, read 10,430,934 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ant131531 View Post
Toronto isn't even that urban outside of it's main core...I did streetview of the city a little while back. It will have urban corridors that go for miles, but then turn off the street 2 blocks and you're in streetcar suburbia.

In SF, Philly, Boston, DC, Montreal, D.F., that's not the case...
Do streetview up College Street, Queen Street West, King Street West and Bloor west of Yonge. Also, go east of Yonge on Bloor to the Danforth through Greektown. Toronto is a bigger city than the one's you mentioned minus D.F so its main core is larger in comparison, so you should at the very least know where you're looking and the size of your comparisons.. Due to the geography of Toronto, there's actually a valley to the east of the city so there are some geographic considerations that can impact its urbanity to the immediate east of the core. Plus at the end of the day you are using Google Street maps for a conclusion lol, I mean people do that?...

I think it would also help if you, in your own estimation define what is urban? Toronto doesn't do endless brownstones and rowhouses like Philly and Boston for instance - it does do endless Victorian and Bay and Gable's (pre WWII as well) more than Philly and Boston though, so I think appreciating differing aspects of urbanity would do some well. There isn't anything wrong with having long mixed use urban arterials like the streets I've mentioned above with endless grids of low rise Victorian housing bisecting them along with occasional nodes of hyper dense highrise clusters.. That is valid urbanity to me!

Last edited by fusion2; 04-26-2014 at 10:53 AM..
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:35 PM
 
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Also, the number 2 most urban city in N.A. is without a doubt Mexico City. It's not even close.
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Old 04-26-2014, 02:29 PM
 
Location: London, UK
3,384 posts, read 3,773,189 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
In red - that is why people compare general American and Canadian cities.. There isn't anything wrong with making general comparisons within peer groups and people recognize that general U.S/Canadian cities are just not that vibrant compared to others and ultimately I think that is where most people are coming from in here in drawing the like comparisons. I wouldn't equate that to dumbing down the comparisons, its keeping it more real. I also don't think it was to omit fascinating comparisons but at the same time I think we are kidding ourselves that a comparison between Philadelphia and Santo Domingo is going to garner as much detailed debate than a comparison between Philadelphia and Toronto for example. The former would be like comparing an Anaconda to a Jaguar than the latter which is a more like comparison of say a Jaguar to a Lion. It may be fascinating to compare an Anaconda to a Jaguar but probably more relevant to compare animals that are more peers.

To your point about comparing heavily populated global cities, while yes there are valid comparisons but at the end of the day, a comparison between Mumbai and Delhi or Mumbai and Dhaka will garner more detailed comparisons than say Mumbai and NYC.... much more different animals..
Its not that I dont understand what you are saying Fusion, its that I just dont agree with it. This thread was asking about the most urban city in N. America. How a city arrives at that level of urbanity is really irrelevant to the discussion.

Plus its alot more interesting to widen the pool when having these discussions. In reality there are maybe a handful of cities that deserve to be in this particular discussion if we are focusing solely on the US and Canada. LA, Toronto, Chicago, Boston, Philly, SF, Montreal, DC? Opening up the rest of the continent is so much more interesting. Plus I don't know if you noticed but quite a few posters jumped all over this and included Mexico City immediately, so it shows it is definitely viewed as an integral part of N. America.
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