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Old 02-22-2014, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Northville, MI
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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.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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I think the two were pretty equal in 1950. The NY side had an economy largely tied to the erie canal at first, and hydroelectric power was important to Buffalo. Railways, the St Lawrence Seaway and highways made the Erie Canal redundant. Nuclear and coal power reduced the advantage Buffalo had of being next to Niagara Falls. At that point, upstate New York's cities didn't have an advantage over other American cities.

However, Toronto was still the most important city in English Canada, so as long as Canada would grow, Toronto was almost guaranteed to grow too. And lets face it, most of the growth in Southern Ontario is derived from growth in Toronto.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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Toronto is bigger than Rochester and Watertown put together?

Psst ... Buffalo is on Lake Erie.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post

Psst ... Buffalo is on Lake Erie.
I wasn't sure if he was referring literally to just the shore of Lake Ontario or the general region. Lake Erie, Huron and Michigan are all connected and have a fair bit of population and farmland around them. Lake Ontario was kind of cut off by Niagara Falls and the Lachine Rapids initially. Early on, the Erie Canal connected Lake Erie to New York City, and the Lachine Canal connected Lake Ontario to the Gulf of St Lawrence leading to a boom in Montreal. Still I would say at that point the NYC-Erie Canal-Lake Erie-Lake Michigan waterway was more important than Lake Ontario-St Lawrence.

Montreal was the natural hub of the Lake Ontario-St Lawrence trade network. With the Erie canal passing so close to the Southern shore of Lake Ontario, it probably make more sense to build cities on the canal than the lake.

Ontario still had a lot of agriculture though, and probably needed some sort of hub that was not in the United States, and Montreal was rather far. If it wasn't for the fact that Toronto was made Ontario's capital, I wouldn't be surprised if Hamilton would have become the main regional hub. Although Toronto has a harbour too, Hamilton well located at the end of Lake Ontario with a good harbour (maybe better than Toronto's), and closer to the heart of Ontario's agricultural region. Putting the capital in Toronto probably influenced the decision to make it a regional rail hub instead of Hamilton.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Northville, MI
11,882 posts, read 11,169,552 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Toronto is bigger than Rochester and Watertown put together?
Seriously, this is an obvious yes. Look at the total populations. And this is excluding the greater Toronto area, which causes the total population to triple towards 6 million people. That would make it one of the largest cities in North America:

Toronto - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rochester, New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Watertown (city), New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adi from the Brunswicks View Post
Seriously, this is an obvious yes.
Your sarcasm detector needs a tune-up.

Why is the south shore of Lake Erie more populated than the north shore?

Why is the sky blue?
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:06 PM
 
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There are different dynamics involved like the creation of the Erie Canal, in which many communities grew up in that corridor. Syracuse is only a 40 minute drive from Lake Ontario and Buffalo isn't too far away as well. Rochester is on the lake, with Oswego as the only other city on the lake.

Also, outside if the Golden Horseshoe of Ontario, the Lake Ontario shore isn't highly populated in Ontario either. Golden Horseshoe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 02-22-2014 at 02:25 PM..
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:21 PM
 
Location: The City
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Lake effect snow

Southern and eastern portions of the great lakes get hammered way more than do Northern and western portions
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:28 PM
 
56,637 posts, read 80,952,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
Lake effect snow

Southern and eastern portions of the great lakes get hammered way more than do Northern and western portions
Not necessarily true, as in the Buffalo area, north of the city towards Lake Ontario gets less snow than the Southtowns closer than Lake Erie. Niagara County gets about 50 inches on average. With that said, many areas east/southeast can get hit hard with snow, but that helps in terms of freshwater supply.
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,762,451 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
There are different dynamics involved like the creation of the Erie Canal, in which many communities grew up in that corridor. Syracuse is only a 40 minute drive from Lake Ontario and Buffalo isn't too far away as well. Rochester is on the lake, with Oswego as the only other city on the lake.

Also, outside if the Golden Horseshoe of Ontario, the Lake Ontario shore isn't highly populated in Ontario either. Golden Horseshoe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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.
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