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Old 02-22-2014, 05:00 PM
 
2,971 posts, read 2,753,570 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adi from the Brunswicks View Post
Comparing the population densities on both sides of lake Ontario, I come to notice that there is literally very little population living on the NY side in comparison to the Canadian side. I wonder why that is. What factors were involved in making the canadian side of lake Ontario more populated than the New York side. Its an interesting question to ponder at the least, and involves several socio-economic, geographic, and historical factors as well as urban development plans. I would like to start a thread to discuss all the possible reasons.

Also, imagine how Upstate NY would be perceived if it were as densely populated as the 401 corridor. Would it have a positive or negative impact on NY state as a whole. Would NY have been a viable candidate for statewide public transit if density was reasonably high across all regions. How would the job market look.

Here's my analysis.
1) Once a national boundary was established (Canada / USA) with a large natural topographical obstacle (Great Lakes) the development patterns will be most influenced by ease of commerce, transport and markets.
2) When you compare the opposite sides of Lake Ontario you are comparing two different national economies and the commercial trade patterns within the rest of the respective nations
3) Basically, what you are observing is a variation of a basic gravity model used in real estate. What happens is, places where commerce naturally aggregates gain exponential growth versus those areas with no inherent commerce/ transport links.
4) Think of it on one scale as: Toronto / Golden horseshoe is to Canada - what NYC is to the USA, hence the development density of lower Ontario province by Lake Ontario.
5) Note while it may appear "Lake specific" it is more Nation specific.


For example, do the same with Lakes Superior, Huron and Erie which straddle international borders. In these cases, there is negligible difference. So what you observe with Lake Ontario has more to do with a metropolitan area that was determined best to grow commerce with rest of nation as well as being on the natural landmass route to connect the two countries (Toronto 401 - golden horseshoe - Detroit).

This is what influences what you observed (Lake Ontario specific) between Toronto CMSA, versus the northern and western tier of New York state (Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse - Tri cities: Albany -Schenectady - Troy) all of which, as someone else mentioned, were driven by canal (Erie) development in early 19th century. Note, the commerce (with regions south / east / west) flows toward more major markets will cause the aggregation to larger metropolis and trade with other areas within the USA along the Great Lakes waterways and 'industrial' basin; Cleveland, Toledo, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee.

As for statewide transit. NY does lend itself well to it as New York Central RR connected all these metro areas and led to most post canal development from 1840s up to auto prevalence of early / mid 20th century. The obstacle to doing Statewide transit is most of the development post automobile and the accompanying social conditioning to freedom of movement in a broader geography has led to dispersion patterns of traffic and development which means reintroducing mass transit such as rail would require a reorientation toward more dense contained growth and planning to make it more economically viable.

Here's an interesting thing to consider regarding gravity model just for comparison. NYState is about as large as France. Paris is to France as NYC is to NYS. Job market is often fickle depending on where a company sets up roots. Let's use Xerox (long associated with Rochester) as an example. The technology was developed at Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus Ohio. The proponent to capitalize on it Chester Carlson set up in Rochester. Eastman Kodak was already in Rochester and had many technical STEM type employees due to its advances and research into photography and film. Hence, the company blossoms there but the Corp HQ is moved to Stamford CT to be near NYC for proximity to other major corporations.
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,391 posts, read 59,880,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
Lake effect snow
If that were a reason, the south shore of Lake Erie wouldn't be more populated than the north shore.

Lake-effect snow doesn't stop too many people from living their lives ...
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Northville, MI
11,882 posts, read 11,176,832 times
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The odd thing is though, both locations were discovered simultaneously. However, there had to be some specific advantage that the Canadian side of lake Ontario provided which NYS failed to appeal towards. If its an issue with international boundaries, then What made Toronto a more viable place for metropolitan growth than, say, coastal new brunswick near Maine.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:22 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,957,397 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adi from the Brunswicks View Post
If its an issue with international boundaries, then What made Toronto a more viable place for metropolitan growth than, say, coastal new brunswick near Maine.
In a word - farming.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,764,345 times
Reputation: 1616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adi from the Brunswicks View Post
The odd thing is though, both locations were discovered simultaneously. However, there had to be some specific advantage that the Canadian side of lake Ontario provided which NYS failed to appeal towards. If its an issue with international boundaries, then What made Toronto a more viable place for metropolitan growth than, say, coastal new brunswick near Maine.
Coastal New Brunswick is pretty isolated... I don't think the Maritimes were ever viable for a large metropolis. The Northeast functioned as the port of the Midwest in a way... but why would you send goods over land from Quebec or Ontario to New Brunswick to put them on a ship when you could just put them on a ship in Montreal or Quebec City (or Portland, ME in the winter)?

Also, while the US was continually expanding West across the Midwest and Great Plains, building cities as it expanded, Westward expansion in Canada was less gradual. Once Southern Ontario was settled, you had a huge expanse of Canadian shield to cross before getting to Winnipeg, which gave Toronto more time to establish itself as English Canada's primary city before Winnipeg could compete.

Upstate New York had to compete with Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, St Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburg, Minneapolis, Kansas City...

Last edited by memph; 02-22-2014 at 07:57 PM..
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:54 PM
 
6,227 posts, read 6,382,352 times
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Can Lake Ontario be used as a marker, a commonality from which to draw a comparison? And why only the shoreline of the lakes

What about the bordering province of Ontario vs the State of New York. NY is smaller in area but has more people.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:57 PM
 
56,687 posts, read 80,995,527 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Rochester grew around the Erie canal and railroads too technically. The Genesee river is not navigable between downtown and Lake Ontario. There's just a small harbour which is more of a recreational marina than an industrial/commercial harbour.

Oswego is the only town that initially functioned as a Lake Ontario port. Outside the Golden Horseshoe, the Canadian side still had Kingston, Trenton, Belleville, Port Hope, Cobourg and maybe Napanee. It's more than the New York side though still not very much. Much of the Great Lakes don't have that many towns though. The Northern shore of Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Superior are all sparsely populated.
The port of Oswego is still a big port city, which is one of its nicknames. There's also the Oswego Canal, which connects with the Erie Canal(the current version) just north of Syracuse. On the NY side, Niagara Falls, Lockport and Watertown are other cities close to Lake Ontario.

Great points by ciceropolo in regards to the national differences and how the Golden Horseshoe is to Canada the way the NYC metro is to NYS, the Northeast and even the US. With this said, you would think that cities in Upstate NY would be more appealing given the proximity to natural, human, economic and educational resources in the US and Canada.

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 02-22-2014 at 08:10 PM..
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,336,704 times
Reputation: 3562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
If that were a reason, the south shore of Lake Erie wouldn't be more populated than the north shore.

Lake-effect snow doesn't stop too many people from living their lives ...
While that's mostly true, the cities on the southern side of the Lake Ontario get quite a bit more snow than Lake Erie cities. It has been somewhat of a contributing factor to people wanting to leave the area (in addition to other reasons); although others prefer the snowy climate.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,336,704 times
Reputation: 3562
Quote:
Originally Posted by ciceropolo View Post
Here's my analysis.
1) Once a national boundary was established (Canada / USA) with a large natural topographical obstacle (Great Lakes) the development patterns will be most influenced by ease of commerce, transport and markets.
2) When you compare the opposite sides of Lake Ontario you are comparing two different national economies and the commercial trade patterns within the rest of the respective nations
3) Basically, what you are observing is a variation of a basic gravity model used in real estate. What happens is, places where commerce naturally aggregates gain exponential growth versus those areas with no inherent commerce/ transport links.
4) Think of it on one scale as: Toronto / Golden horseshoe is to Canada - what NYC is to the USA, hence the development density of lower Ontario province by Lake Ontario.
5) Note while it may appear "Lake specific" it is more Nation specific.


For example, do the same with Lakes Superior, Huron and Erie which straddle international borders. In these cases, there is negligible difference. So what you observe with Lake Ontario has more to do with a metropolitan area that was determined best to grow commerce with rest of nation as well as being on the natural landmass route to connect the two countries (Toronto 401 - golden horseshoe - Detroit).

This is what influences what you observed (Lake Ontario specific) between Toronto CMSA, versus the northern and western tier of New York state (Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse - Tri cities: Albany -Schenectady - Troy) all of which, as someone else mentioned, were driven by canal (Erie) development in early 19th century. Note, the commerce (with regions south / east / west) flows toward more major markets will cause the aggregation to larger metropolis and trade with other areas within the USA along the Great Lakes waterways and 'industrial' basin; Cleveland, Toledo, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee.

As for statewide transit. NY does lend itself well to it as New York Central RR connected all these metro areas and led to most post canal development from 1840s up to auto prevalence of early / mid 20th century. The obstacle to doing Statewide transit is most of the development post automobile and the accompanying social conditioning to freedom of movement in a broader geography has led to dispersion patterns of traffic and development which means reintroducing mass transit such as rail would require a reorientation toward more dense contained growth and planning to make it more economically viable.

Here's an interesting thing to consider regarding gravity model just for comparison. NYState is about as large as France. Paris is to France as NYC is to NYS. Job market is often fickle depending on where a company sets up roots. Let's use Xerox (long associated with Rochester) as an example. The technology was developed at Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus Ohio. The proponent to capitalize on it Chester Carlson set up in Rochester. Eastman Kodak was already in Rochester and had many technical STEM type employees due to its advances and research into photography and film. Hence, the company blossoms there but the Corp HQ is moved to Stamford CT to be near NYC for proximity to other major corporations.
Nice post. Rochester weathered de-industrialization better than some of its western/upstate NY counterparts because of it having a history as a research center. Xerox, Kodak, Bausch and Lomb, U of R, etc. helped by turning the corner a little more gracefully.

Having been boomtowns in their own times, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse were in a position to make Western NY a very affluent and wealthy part of the country...until things changed. It's still a great place to live (and they certainly still have wealth), but it does not have the economic future that it once had and metro populations have been fairly stagnant because of that.

It's very much a national dynamic, in that country-level factors drive where growth is concentrated. To your point, Western NY has long lost its relevance in transportation on a national level. Other places with cheaper taxes (and better weather) have lured jobs away from these places by attracting employers and creating strong economies of their own, resulting in a fairly sparsely populated region south of the lake.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:12 PM
 
Location: Poshawa, Ontario
2,986 posts, read 3,324,026 times
Reputation: 5622
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adi from the Brunswicks View Post
What factors were involved in making the canadian side of lake Ontario more populated than the New York side.
Southern Ontario is the most southern part of Canada, which makes it more ideal climate-wise for a lot of Canadians. Combine that with the close proximity to Toronto's markets, shipping routes via the Great Lakes and fertile farmland (something in short supply in central and northern Ontario), and it is not hard to see why 10% of Canada's population lives here.
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