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Old 04-24-2014, 09:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spicymeatball View Post
Even though Chicago's skyline is much larger than Toronto's, I didn't get the impression that Chicago was extremely urban, more just that it has a lot of tall buildings. I get the same feeling about Seattle.

Toronto just feels very big and important being there, because of its vibrancy, relatively high density throughout the metro and the fact there are high rises throughout much of the city and not just downtown. Also it's the largest city in a huge country which makes it seem more important than it ought to.
No way. Toronto would be after Chicago and San Francisco. It's not really very close either. Frankly, Toronto does not feel very big; I would put its downtown vibrancy in the same basic range as Philadelphia.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:12 AM
 
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^ Oy vey. Toronto easily surpasses Philly and is most certainly at the very least on the same level as SF and Chicago. Many people would say it has surpassed those two cities as well.
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:23 PM
 
Location: London, UK
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It is incredible to me that Canada comes to people's minds when speaking about N. America before Mexico. I lived in Canada for many years and Mexico still comes to my mind first when speaking about great cities around the continent.

This is not a slight against Canada, as they are a prosperous, well run country which houses some very nice cities (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver namely) But a country like Mexico with its history, culture, culinary scene, architecture and music seems like a much more culturally significant country in the grand scheme of things.

Canada does not have anything that can match Mexico City. The ONLY city in N. America that should be mentioned in the same sentence is NYC. The rest of the cities around the continent can fight it out for 3 and below. Mexico also has quite a few cities that deserve to be in the discussion in that group below as well. Toronto is very urban, but so are many other cities and where you rank it depends on your own view of what constitutes "urban". But in no way is it number 2 in any way, shape or form.
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
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I would say no because Chicago and Philly give Toronto a run for its money when it comes to urbanity.
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardsyzzurphands View Post
It is incredible to me that Canada comes to people's minds when speaking about N. America before Mexico. I lived in Canada for many years and Mexico still comes to my mind first when speaking about great cities around the continent.

This is not a slight against Canada, as they are a prosperous, well run country which houses some very nice cities (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver namely) But a country like Mexico with its history, culture, culinary scene, architecture and music seems like a much more culturally significant country in the grand scheme of things.

Canada does not have anything that can match Mexico City. The ONLY city in N. America that should be mentioned in the same sentence is NYC. The rest of the cities around the continent can fight it out for 3 and below. Mexico also has quite a few cities that deserve to be in the discussion in that group below as well. Toronto is very urban, but so are many other cities and where you rank it depends on your own view of what constitutes "urban". But in no way is it number 2 in any way, shape or form.
I've traveled to Mexico on many occasions, including Guadalajara and Mexico City. They cannot compare to the quality of life, cleanliness, safety, amenities, job market, etc, that are offered in Toronto/American big cities. Poverty and crime is entrenched in Mexico's 2 biggest cities. Where in America do you see children scavenging the streets begging for money or selling chewing gum? Because that's what you see on every major street in Mexico. And architecture? Mexican cities do have some nice buildings in the center of the city, but the vast majority of buildings are stucco single story boxes that are not built to the "habitable standards" that US/Canada requires.

Now Mexico is an important country, but the quality of life is severely lower in every capacity when rivaled with the US and Canada. You would have to be in denial to walk the streets of Mexico City and not sense the difference from it and SF/Toronto. For these reasons, people generally don't discuss Mexico's large cities when it comes to major "world class" cities. These cities are important to the world economy, but they are not exactly places US or Canadian residents would prefer to live in.
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atticman View Post
^ Oy vey. Toronto easily surpasses Philly and is most certainly at the very least on the same level as SF and Chicago. Many people would say it has surpassed those two cities as well.
On no. Toronto blinders.
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:32 PM
 
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Urban is somewhat subjective. If we are talking about "old school, tightly built urbanism" then no. SF, Bos, Philly, Montreal all beat it in that department. Can't think of any neighborhoods that match Beacon Hill, North End, Rittenhouse, Old City, Union Square, Tenderloin, Nobb Hill type urbanism.

But, if we are definining it as "dense, vibrant, big city feel" then yeah Chicago and Toronto are probably neck in neck. These two are clearly above the others in size and scale. Not sure between these two though: Chicago has more of the old school Wrighly building, Mag Mile grandness, but Toronto is filling in it parking lots with new housing at a much faster pace.

NYC is such a unique city in that it combines grand urban skyscrapers with the dense old school low rise urbanism.
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpdivola View Post
Urban is somewhat subjective. If we are talking about "old school, tightly built urbanism" then no. SF, Bos, Philly, Montreal all beat it in that department. Can't think of any neighborhoods that match Beacon Hill, North End, Rittenhouse, Old City, Union Square, Tenderloin, Nobb Hill type urbanism.

But, if we are definining it as "dense, vibrant, big city feel" then yeah Chicago and Toronto are probably neck in neck. These two are clearly above the others in size and scale. Not sure between these two though: Chicago has more of the old school Wrighly building, Mag Mile grandness, but Toronto is filling in it parking lots with new housing at a much faster pace.

NYC is such a unique city in that it combines grand urban skyscrapers with the dense old school low rise urbanism.
Someone finally gets it and can explain it well.

Personally, the old school tightly built cities will always feel more urban to me but I can understand why someone would think Toronto or Chicago is more "urban". NYC is obviously the most urban because it combines the grand skyscrapers with old school urbanism.

Toronto and Chicago feel very similar to me.
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Old 04-24-2014, 04:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatsbyGatz View Post
Where in America do you see children scavenging the streets begging for money or selling chewing gum? Because that's what you see on every major street in Mexico.
And yet I've been asked many more times for "change" by bums on the streets of LA, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver than I ever did in the month I spent in Mexico City...
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Old 04-24-2014, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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Don't sleep on Monterrey, it's identically sized to Guadalajara. The two are easily 2A and 2B of Mexico overall after Mexico City.

Beautiful cities and very cultured too.
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