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Old 02-04-2014, 04:51 AM
 
Location: Hamilton, ON
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I guess this would be from people who live in or who have lived in Toronto who visted or visit NYC on a regular basis...

I am absolutely obsessed with NYC. Moved from WInnipeg to Niagara Falls to be closer to NYC. Niagara Falls sucks and could probably be a contender for most boring place in Canada but it does allow me to be within walking distance to Rainbow Bridge and New York state.

I have visted Toronto 3 times and did not like the place because I only had time to get from point A to B then B to A, was in a hurry and kept getting lost and even one night walking back to Union Station the lights on the CN Tower were actually TURNED OFF. Picture included.

But to actually **MOVE TO, LIVE, GET SETTLED AND LEARN YOUR WAY AROUND** in Toronto where theres a more fast paced lifestyle, taller buildings, more action ect than Niagara Falls and WITHOUT turning this into a Toronto vs New York population, land area size arguement thread the main point of my question is:

Would Toronto be a good place to live to have/get/keep a NYC type **feel/vibe** in between actual trips to NYC? Obviously it won't be exactly the same there is no Empire State Building, WOrld Trade Center, Central Park, Grand Central, Upper West Side, Brooklyn Bridge ect ect but this is about getting/having a NYC feel/vibe in TO in-between NYC visits.
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Does Toronto have any kind of NYC feel/vibe?-cn.jpg  
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:16 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 10,568,838 times
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No, it hardly does.

Locals will say Toronto is like a mini-NYC, but it is not.
Locals will say Toronto is the Canadian version of NYC, but it is not.
Locals will say Toronto is a smaller but cleaner NYC, but it is not.

There is very little in Toronto which will remind you of Manhattan. Queens, Brooklyn, maybe, but not Manhattan. In reality, Toronto is more like somewhere between Chicago and Philadelphia, than resembling NYC.

NYC is its own league on this continent. It is larger than the sum of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and a bunch of mid sized Canadians cities. Keep in mind that metro NYC has 22M people, while the entire Canada has 35M. The New York metropolitan area has a GDP of $1.4 trillion, compared with $1.6 trillion for entire Canada at nominal and $1.4 trillion at PPP. NYC can only be compared with cities like London and Tokyo. No New Yorker in his right mind would ever compare NYC with Toronto, no matter how many times Torontonians want to put Toronto and New York in the same sentence pretending there is a "vibe" here.

I hope that clarifies things.

Last edited by botticelli; 02-04-2014 at 07:44 AM..
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:24 AM
 
1,218 posts, read 2,021,907 times
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Having lived in both cities, I can tell you they don't have the same vibe for the following reasons:

-NYC is just way bigger and has more 'stuff'. NYC is the type of city where its impossible to do and see everything. They have the best restaurants, bars, art museums, architecture, theatres, parks, events, etc. Toronto has done a good job of having a little of everything but NYC just has too much of everything. Compare the Met to the ROM and you will see a massive difference for eg.

-NYC is a world center of arts, culture, food, fashion, media, business, etc. The best of the best in the world live there. You have to live in NYC and go to parties and meet people to understand this. Lots of very successful Canadians live there too btw. But attracting such a worldly collection of smart, ambitious, accomplished, innovative population is what gives NYC that vibe that's hard to replicate. People are there for a purpose and have a dream, not to forgot the rich and famous who flock there. Toronto is more a regional city in comparison that attracts the best of the best from its region but not the world. Very few cities do.

-NYC is much more dynamic and ever changing. It sets trends and other cities follow years later when it's no longer cool. I would not describe Toronto as very trendsetting in comparison. NYC is also very nightlife driven. People go out all the time and you can feel the energy on the streets. I barely had a functional kitchen when I lived there because people are always out, eating, drinking, networking, social events, etc. I remember going to lounges on a Tues night and it was packed or routinely sitting down for dinner past 10pm in popular restaurants. Work hard, Play hard is taken to another level. Toronto has some good nightlife too but doesn't have that 24-7 energy. No one really compares on this continent.

I think its a bit unfair to compare Toronto to New York in this regard because you are setting up Toronto to fail. Very few cities have a NYC vibe. London for sure. Perhaps HK or Tokyo in Asia. Paris perhaps. I find SF has a touch of it, not in the energy department, but in terms of attracting talent. Living in Toronto will be a huge upgrade from Niagara Falls in terms of a city experience. Toronto offers a lot of things to keep one busy in an urban setting (subways, buildings, different cultures, sporting venues, restaurants/bars) and is definitely more comfortable for the average joe. But it is still a very different animal compared to NYC.

Last edited by johnathanc; 02-04-2014 at 08:52 AM..
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:26 AM
 
Location: London, UK
3,384 posts, read 3,773,189 times
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I have lived in both cities and no Toronto is not a good substitute for NYC. Personally I do not see the resemblance at all, outside of a diverse population and tall buildings.

So to answer your question, if you want to have a taste of city life, then Toronto is absolutely a place you should look into. If you want to really experience mega city life then you will need to go to NYC or a handful of other places around the globe.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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I haven't been to Toronto, but I've been to London and Hong Kong, but NYC just feels incomparable in it's sheer scale.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnathanc View Post

I think its a bit unfair to compare Toronto to New York in this regard because you are setting up Toronto to fail.
It is unfair because people keep doing it. If we put every single Canadian in Ontario, BC, and Alberta, the three most populous Anglophone Canadian province to the single region of GTA, then we have a chance to have a Canadian NYC.

This is probably the 1001st Toronto vs NYC thread when in fact these two shouldn't be compared at all from day one. NYC is one of the world elite cities, while Toronto is a regional city.

Downtown Toronto may be vibrant in North America standard, and people construe it as being similar to NYC and forgot North American standard is quite low in this aspect. Tons of Asian and European cities much smaller than Toronto show much more interesting urban life where streets are packed with people dining out and having fun at 10pm on Tuesday nights. In Toronto, 90% of our population are back to their suburban homes watching TV by 7. Many are afraid of missing their 6:15pm Go train back to whatever suburbs they are from on a daily basis.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:16 AM
 
1,218 posts, read 2,021,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
It is unfair because people keep doing it. If we put every single Canadian in Ontario, BC, and Alberta, the three most populous Anglophone Canadian province to the single region of GTA, then we have a chance to have a Canadian NYC.
I don't think population alone takes a city up to the next level. There are plenty of cities that are comparable or bigger than NYC in size but no where close in stature or vibe. You need to be a world center in business, politics, innovation, and arts & culture - not just have lots of people.

Last edited by johnathanc; 02-04-2014 at 08:53 AM..
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:48 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 10,568,838 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnathanc View Post
I don't think population alone takes a city up to the next level. There are plenty of cities that are comparable or bigger than NYC in size but no where close in stature or vibe. You need to be a world center in business, politics, innovation, and arts & culture - not just have lots of people.
True, but those are mostly developing countries with much lower wealth per capita (Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Mexico city etc).

Among developed countries, size seems to determine the status of a city pretty well. New York, London, Paris, Tokyo are important largely due to their sheer size.

I firmly believe that population matters more than we usually think. It is the large population that creates all the opportunities in terms of business, art, technology. It is not surprising that financial and technological centres are almost all major urban centres (NYC, Hong Kong, SF Bay, London etc), barring a few exceptions (Zurich for example. Swiss cities are good at punching way above their weights). All the "stuff" you talked about as well as the trend-setting power are from the large population base - New York will be hardly powerful enough if it had only half of its current size, even though per capita wealth might end up higher.

Most might not like it, but I am sure if Toronto/GTA can double its size by bringing the right people, it will not only become a much powerful city, it will be more interesting as well. Too many days I stare at the largely empty downtown streets and wish there were more people. A GTA with 12 million people will be quite different from one with 6M, which gives a regional urban centre at best and north america doesn't lack 5-6M metropolis.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
True, but those are mostly developing countries with much lower wealth per capita (Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Mexico city etc).

Among developed countries, size seems to determine the status of a city pretty well. New York, London, Paris, Tokyo are important largely due to their sheer size.

I firmly believe that population matters more than we usually think. It is the large population that creates all the opportunities in terms of business, art, technology. It is not surprising that financial and technological centres are almost all major urban centres (NYC, Hong Kong, SF Bay, London etc), barring a few exceptions (Zurich for example. Swiss cities are good at punching way above their weights). All the "stuff" you talked about as well as the trend-setting power are from the large population base - New York will be hardly powerful enough if it had only half of its current size, even though per capita wealth might end up higher.

Most might not like it, but I am sure if Toronto/GTA can double its size by bringing the right people, it will not only become a much powerful city, it will be more interesting as well. Too many days I stare at the largely empty downtown streets and wish there were more people. A GTA with 12 million people will be quite different from one with 6M, which gives a regional urban centre at best and north america doesn't lack 5-6M metropolis.
Conversely, cities become large because they are important too, although cities like Karachi or something are not globally important. I would not underestimate Shanghai, SP or MC, especially Shanghai, which could overtake Tokyo and even New York.

For me though, what sets NY apart is probably more qualitative than quantitative. No other city has been a 'concrete jungle' for so long with so many old skyscrapers. In the 1940s NY already had a skyline that would be impressive today. Plus it has that vibe which a Toronto it's size could never match.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:17 PM
 
10,847 posts, read 10,568,838 times
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Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Conversely, cities become large because they are important too, although cities like Karachi or something are not globally important. I would not underestimate Shanghai, SP or MC, especially Shanghai, which could overtake Tokyo and even New York.

For me though, what sets NY apart is probably more qualitative than quantitative. No other city has been a 'concrete jungle' for so long with so many old skyscrapers. In the 1940s NY already had a skyline that would be impressive today. Plus it has that vibe which a Toronto it's size could never match.
You have some good points. It probably works both ways creating a virtuous circle.

I agree with you about Shanghai - it is fast catching up to become a global city. I won't be surprised if it passes Tokyo in a matter of 10 years, and not just in terms of size - Shanghai already has a GDP per capita comparable to Portugal. It is becoming increasingly powerful because talented people keep moving to it, and everything good gravitate towards it.

Qualitative alone doesn't make a global city. Geneva and Oslo, no matter how many good things that have, they will never be at par with New York or Paris, because of their tiny size. Speaking of vibe, I don't know why you said Toronto its size won't match. Toronto can't match exactly because there are far fewer people. Large population creates the "vibe" in the proper context. A city like Shanghai although much less developed, already has a lot of the New York vibe (well, it was once called Paris in the east and Shanghainese looked down upon Hong Kong), on the other hand, a city like Vancouver will never have the vibe no matter how high it ranks on the quality of life list. It is not a coincidence that America's most vibrant city is the most populous one by far - the population is the key here. Only with the solid population base does a city start to have the chance to have the NYC vibe.
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