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View Poll Results: Best Urban Core?
Boston 25 15.63%
San Francisco 44 27.50%
Toronto 70 43.75%
DC 15 9.38%
Minneapolis 6 3.75%
Voters: 160. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-10-2017, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
11,375 posts, read 7,830,861 times
Reputation: 6442

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Quote:
Originally Posted by manitopiaaa View Post
I think sightseeing/tourism/recreation are being vastly ignored on this thread. Urbanity is not based on the number of cookie-cutter condos or kebab shops in a city, regardless of what some may say. Urbanity is the confluence of many, many people which creates talent-based economies of scale and allows for creating truly unique attractions and urban landscapes. Having tons of people is nice, sure. But Chongqing, China has tons of people too. I've been there. The entire cityscape is hills full of 60-story residentials. The city is massive. It's surely urban based on density. But it's lacking everything that a city should thrive on: arts, retail, museums, nightlife. What's the point of having 10 million people if it doesn't translate to a vibrant, unique, and interesting city?

Here are the number of popular sights in the urban core of each city. Popular is defined as having 1,000 or more TripAdvisor reviews. Urban core is defined as being within 5 miles of the city's downtown.

WASHINGTON (42)
#1 Sight: Lincoln Memorial 22,875 reviews
  1. American Art Museum
  2. Arlington National Cemetery
  3. Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
  4. Capitol Hill
  5. Ford's Theatre
  6. Georgetown
  7. International Spy Museum
  8. Jefferson Memorial
  9. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
  10. King Memorial
  11. Korean War Veterans Memorial
  12. Library of Congress
  13. Lincoln Memorial
  14. National Air and Space Museum
  15. National Archives Museum
  16. National Gallery of Art
  17. National Mall
  18. National Museum of African American History and Culture
  19. National Museum of American History
  20. National Museum of the American Indian
  21. National Museum of Natural History
  22. National Portrait Gallery
  23. National World War II Memorial
  24. National Zoological Park
  25. Nationals Park
  26. Newseum
  27. Pentagon Memorial
  28. The Phillips Collection
  29. Roosevelt Memorial
  30. Smithsonian Castle
  31. Tidal Basin
  32. Tomb of the Unknowns
  33. Union Station
  34. United States Botanic Garden
  35. United States Capitol Building
  36. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  37. United States Marine Corps War Memorial
  38. United States Supreme Court Building
  39. Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  40. Washington Monument
  41. Washington National Cathedral
  42. The White House

SAN FRANCISCO (34)
#1 Sight: Alcatraz Island 41,248 reviews
  1. Alamo Square
  2. Alcatraz Island
  3. Aquarium of the Bay
  4. Asian Art Museum
  5. AT&T Park
  6. Cable Cars
  7. Cable Car Museum
  8. California Academy of Sciences
  9. Chinatown
  10. Coit Tower
  11. Crissy Field
  12. de Young Museum
  13. Exploratorium
  14. Ferry Building Marketplace
  15. Fisherman's Wharf
  16. Ghirardelli Square
  17. Golden Gate Bridge
  18. Golden Gate Park
  19. Haight-Ashbury
  20. Japanese Tea Garden
  21. Lands End
  22. Legion of Honor
  23. Lombard Street
  24. Musee Mecanique
  25. Painted Ladies
  26. Palace of Fine Arts
  27. Pier 39
  28. Presidio of San Francisco
  29. San Francisco Bay
  30. San Francisco Bay Bridge
  31. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
  32. Twin Peaks
  33. Union Square
  34. Walt Disney Family Museum

BOSTON (27)
#1 Sight: Freedom Trail 12,575 reviews
  1. Beacon Hill
  2. Boston Common
  3. Boston Public Garden
  4. Boston Public Library
  5. Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
  6. Bunker Hill Monument
  7. Faneuil Hall Marketplace
  8. Fenway Park
  9. Freedom Trail
  10. Granary Burying Ground
  11. Harvard Square
  12. Harvard University
  13. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
  14. Kennedy Presidential Museum & Library
  15. Museum of Fine Arts
  16. Museum of Science
  17. New England Aquarium
  18. New England Holocaust Memorial
  19. Newbury Street
  20. North End
  21. Old North Church
  22. Prudential Center
  23. Quincy Market
  24. Samuel Adams Brewery
  25. USS Constitution
  26. USS Constitution Museum
  27. Waterfront

TORONTO (20)
#1 Sight: CN Tower 17,066 reviews
  1. Air Canada Centre
  2. Aquarium Of Canada
  3. Art Gallery of Ontario
  4. Casa Loma
  5. Centre Island
  6. CN Tower
  7. Distillery Historic District
  8. Eaton Centre
  9. High Park
  10. Hockey Hall of Fame
  11. Kensington Market and Spadina Avenue
  12. Ontario Science Centre
  13. Rogers Centre
  14. Royal Ontario Museum
  15. Saint Lawrence Market
  16. Steam Whistle Brewery
  17. Toronto Islands
  18. Toronto Zoo
  19. University of Toronto
  20. Yonge-Dundas Square

MINNEAPOLIS (5)
#1 Sight: Target Field 2,355 reviews
  1. Mill City Museum
  2. Minneapolis Institute of Art
  3. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
  4. Minnehaha Park
  5. Target Field
Not the way I'd judge urbanity. Even if it were a true measure, using TripAdvisor is pretty unscientific. The list for Toronto is missing a lot of attractions. Where's Cabbage Town? Chinatown, was included in SF why not Toronto? Why not the Bata Shoe Museum ( a world's first and fascinating ) and very popular.
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:34 PM
_OT
 
Location: Miami
2,051 posts, read 1,293,387 times
Reputation: 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atticman View Post
Those are great pics of DC and Boston, but Toronto also has loads of historic buildings and charming vistas of 19th century streetscapes quite similar in appearance to many of those you posted. You act as if Toronto has nothing of the sort and is just modern condos everywhere you look, which couldn't be further from the truth.
Exactly.

Toronto has a unique combination of Historic Buildings/Streets and Modern/Futuristic Architecture.
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, Commonwealth of Virginia
1,463 posts, read 907,696 times
Reputation: 1607
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Burns View Post
Toronto has both the historic buildings of DC and Boston, and the modern soaring skyscrapers that DC and Boston don't have.
Toronto doesn't have any historic districts that are to the scale and beauty of those in the U.S. What is Toronto's Georgetown? What is Toronto's North End? What is Toronto's Back Bay? What is Toronto's Old Town? Toronto doesn't even have the Gothic and Art Deco stunners that Chicago and New York have.

There are a few gems (Royal York, Ontario Legislative Building, Osgoode Hall, etc.), but they can't compare to what most Northeastern U.S. cities offer.

And we all know Toronto's modern architecture is underwhelming, to say the least.

Last edited by JMT; 07-12-2017 at 07:01 AM.. Reason: violation of rules for posting images
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, Commonwealth of Virginia
1,463 posts, read 907,696 times
Reputation: 1607
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
Not the way I'd judge urbanity. Even if it were a true measure, using TripAdvisor is pretty unscientific. The list for Toronto is missing a lot of attractions. Where's Cabbage Town? Chinatown, was included in SF why not Toronto? Why not the Bata Shoe Museum ( a world's first and fascinating ) and very popular.
All cities are missing major attractions. It purposefully omits places with less than 1,000 reviews in all cities. Bata Shoe is at 900 or so reviews, so should pass the 1,000 mark in the next few months.

In terms of tourist attractions though, I think the order is very representative of the number of sights to see.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, Commonwealth of Virginia
1,463 posts, read 907,696 times
Reputation: 1607
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atticman View Post
Those are great pics of DC and Boston, but Toronto also has loads of historic buildings and charming vistas of 19th century streetscapes quite similar in appearance to many of those you posted. You act as if Toronto has nothing of the sort and is just modern condos everywhere you look, which couldn't be further from the truth.
I noticed you used the words 'vistas' and 'buildings.' This was a very cautious wording because Toronto lacks what Boston, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, San Francisco and a whole host of other major American cities have: cohesive historic districts where you can go back in time.

Toronto's heritage buildings today are increasingly isolated from each other and often peppered between modern-style condos and parking lots.

There are no places like North End or Georgetown or Old Town where you can feel as if you've stepped back in time. Those places don't exist in Toronto. You can't experience a slice of Montreal or Quebec City in Toronto. The history's not there and the architecture's not there. And those very small pieces that remain are being torn down for more cookie cutter condos. It's quite sad.
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Old 07-10-2017, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,479 posts, read 7,711,641 times
Reputation: 7295
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzrovian View Post
On top of that of course Boston has (arguably) the most beautiful historic streetscape in North America.
There is also Montreal.
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Old 07-10-2017, 07:29 PM
 
1,590 posts, read 3,449,407 times
Reputation: 833
Quote:
Originally Posted by manitopiaaa View Post
I noticed you used the words 'vistas' and 'buildings.' This was a very cautious wording because Toronto lacks what Boston, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, San Francisco and a whole host of other major American cities have: cohesive historic districts where you can go back in time.

Toronto's heritage buildings today are increasingly isolated from each other and often peppered between modern-style condos and parking lots.

There are no places like North End or Georgetown or Old Town where you can feel as if you've stepped back in time. Those places don't exist in Toronto. You can't experience a slice of Montreal or Quebec City in Toronto. The history's not there and the architecture's not there. And those very small pieces that remain are being torn down for more cookie cutter condos. It's quite sad.
I guess you've never heard of Cabbagetown, the Distillery District, St. Lawrence, the Annex or Old Town?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabbagetown,_Toronto
"is recognized as "the largest continuous area of preserved Victorian housing in all of North America"
Many great pics of Cabbagetown: https://www.google.com/search?q=cabb...w=1280&bih=619

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distillery_District
"The 13 acres (5.3 ha) district comprises more than forty heritage buildings and ten streets, and is the largest collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture in North America."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Lawrence,_Toronto

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Annex

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Town,_Toronto

Last edited by Atticman; 07-10-2017 at 08:14 PM..
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
5,256 posts, read 12,560,790 times
Reputation: 5094
Quote:
Originally Posted by manitopiaaa View Post
Toronto doesn't have any historic districts that are to the scale and beauty of those in the U.S. What is Toronto's Georgetown? What is Toronto's North End? What is Toronto's Back Bay? What is Toronto's Old Town? Toronto doesn't even have the Gothic and Art Deco stunners that Chicago and New York have.

There are a few gems (Royal York, Ontario Legislative Building, Osgoode Hall, etc.), but they can't compare to what most Northeastern U.S. cities offer.

And we all know Toronto's modern architecture is underwhelming, to say the least.
You can talk negative about Toronto's architecture but it's urban core blows DC's away. And when you look at DC's urban core post modern architecture, it is hardly anything to write home about. Probably the worst of this group. Boxy, flat tops, low and stuck together. Even the convention center was so horrible, it was torn down after only twenty years in existence. And as far as urban cores I can't think of one category where the DC core outshines Toronto's. Its urban core residential population alone is a third of the entire population of the entire DC. Shopping, dining, international dining, nightlife, coffee houses, markets, corner stores, flower stands, bookstores, theaters, international feel, Toronto wins this.
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, Commonwealth of Virginia
1,463 posts, read 907,696 times
Reputation: 1607
Quote:
Originally Posted by pwright1 View Post
You can talk negative about Toronto's architecture but it's urban core blows DC's away. And when you look at DC's urban core post modern architecture, it is hardly anything to write home about. Probably the worst of this group. Boxy, flat tops, low and stuck together. Even the convention center was so horrible, it was torn down after only twenty years in existence. And as far as urban cores I can't think of one category where the DC core outshines Toronto's. Its urban core residential population alone is a third of the entire population of the entire DC. Shopping, dining, international dining, nightlife, coffee houses, markets, corner stores, flower stands, bookstores, theaters, international feel, Toronto wins this.
Washington is the most powerful in the world and has an aesthetic befitting of such stature. Have you been to the Library of Congress or the Capitol Building? How many world-class buildings does Toronto have that rival the ubiquity and fame of the White House, the Pentagon, the Supreme Court, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the Jefferson Memorial, Mount Vernon, etc.

Look at what Architects named as the best architectural structures in the U.S.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americ...e_Architecture

60% of the Top 5 are in Washington
60% of the Top 10 are in Washington
60% of the Top 15 are in Washington

DC has monuments that Toronto could never dream of. It also has a history far more glorious than that of Toronto. You walk around Washington and you feel like you are in a powerful city.

Get over your B-list city Princess. Toronto does win on ugly cookie cutter condos and 1 star kebab shops. I'll give you that. You also win on credit card debt, low wages and unsustainable housing bubbles too. Congratulations.

And lol on Toronto's food scene. Someone's clearly delirious. Call me when Toronto gets a Michelin guide (like DC already has).
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, Commonwealth of Virginia
1,463 posts, read 907,696 times
Reputation: 1607
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Burns View Post
Cityplace (your picture) is one development by one developer, intended as a planned urban community. It is not purely representative of Toronto's modern architecture.





These are Toronto's best?

The first has white paint on the balconies
The second doesn't exist
The third is a design that's been done in every city
The fourth doesn't exist (and is immensely ugly)
The firth doesn't exist
The sixth is a bridge with stripes

Thank God Washington was built when beauty and grandeur were still valued. Now all you have is glass squares with stripes and we're told that's 'cutting edge'
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