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View Poll Results: Where would you rather vacation?
Madrid 40 51.28%
Milan 9 11.54%
Toronto 9 11.54%
Sydney 20 25.64%
Voters: 78. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-28-2018, 05:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deneb78 View Post
I have only been to Toronto and Sydney but here is how I would rank them based on what I know/have read:

1. Sydney - The beaches and weather can't be beat and that's really important to me. The food options are great too and it's quite a safe city.
2. Madrid - I haven't been but everything I have seen and read looks awesome. The architecture and food seem on a whole other level.
3. Milan - Looks really great for food and architecture as well but it seems a notch below Madrid on this.
4. Toronto - I actually think Toronto beats the other 3 on food and is one of the best foodie cities in the world for the sheer variety and quality but in most other ways it's a bit of a letdown for me. The climate is poor in my opinion and there doesn't seem to be a lot of really interesting architecture/interesting geographic features. Yes, there is Lake Ontario which is ok and a couple of interesting buildings but can't hold a candle to Madrid/Milan and is about on the level of Sydney being a new world city.


As someone else mentioned, time of visit really can play significantly into how well your visit goes. Certainly, Toronto has cold winters, but April spring blooms and October fall colors are very, very beautiful, and in between that, you have five months where one would have a hard time classifying Toronto's weather as undesirable (in fact, it is very much so).


Toronto is also right on the coast (even though it's a lake), and it has pretty bluffs, and islands right near by (not even day trip distance). If I'm comparing Toronto to Sydney on nature, Sydney of course wins but it's not as much of a blowout as some might perceive. Both do have coast of course (Sydney's is more stunning, but still), and Toronto has significantly more forest and is perhaps overall more green than Sydney (Rouge Park, at 12,000 acres within city limits. That's impressive). And you can day trip to some pretty decent topography, quiet lakeshore, or Niagara Falls (Hamilton, the waterfall capital of the world, too) from Toronto. Architecture and history wise, I think Toronto might edge out Sydney (I did check out UToronto's campus in pictures, looks stunning I will have to get there). And of course, while it wouldn't hold a candle to Madrid or Milan on historic architecture, it also has one of the more impressive urban vistas in terms of modern architecture, in the world I think. With the revolutionary CN Tower, a view from the islands, and it seems to almost look like a smaller version of Shanghai's skyline. Then in between, you do have Cabbagetown and Distillery District which have a bit of a unique bent compared to even many European cities with the Victorian Residential and Industrial architecture, respectively. I think things have to be taken into a holistic perspective, and Toronto's modern aspects shine for a visitor too (in some ways, just as distinctively as European cities shine for their older aspects), and there's that diversity/cosmopolitanism you mention.


Toronto feels like a very organized, convenient city, even if not the most exciting, and there's a certain peace about the city given the size. I say for day to day stuff because Toronto would seem to get at least as many if not more major events and such as any of these other cities, and the outstanding theatre scene, and I must say, sports, at least for me (MLB, MLS, NHL, NBA).
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavsfan137 View Post
and Toronto has significantly more forest and is perhaps overall more green than Sydney (Rouge Park, at 12,000 acres within city limits. That's impressive).
I'm not saying that one is better than the other but I find that pretty hard to believe. If you go on Google maps and look at the satellite imagery you'll see the region around Sydney is in fact completely encircled by a very thick ring of forest and vegetation. Within Sydney itself there's a dense network of national parks and hiking tracks (just look up "national parks in Sydney" on Google).

Sydney's also surrounded by quite a large amount of natural landmarks within day trip distance. There's the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains, various waterfalls such as Fitzroy or Wentworth Falls (though they're not nearly the scale of Niagara of course), the various cliffs and escarpments along the waterline such as this or this, the Kiama blowhole, Jenolan Caves, or maybe the Hunter Valley wine region.


The example's you gave for Sydney's historic architecture are good, here's a few more.

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33....7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33....7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33....7i13312!8i6656 (though I suppose early 20th century won't be considered as old in this thread!)

https://www.broadsheet.com.au/media/...53550c6b94.jpg (State Theatre)

Last edited by ciTydude123; 05-28-2018 at 07:19 AM..
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Old 05-28-2018, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, BC
9,654 posts, read 10,927,819 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavsfan137 View Post
As someone else mentioned, time of visit really can play significantly into how well your visit goes. Certainly, Toronto has cold winters, but April spring blooms and October fall colors are very, very beautiful, and in between that, you have five months where one would have a hard time classifying Toronto's weather as undesirable (in fact, it is very much so).


Toronto is also right on the coast (even though it's a lake), and it has pretty bluffs, and islands right near by (not even day trip distance). If I'm comparing Toronto to Sydney on nature, Sydney of course wins but it's not as much of a blowout as some might perceive. Both do have coast of course (Sydney's is more stunning, but still), and Toronto has significantly more forest and is perhaps overall more green than Sydney (Rouge Park, at 12,000 acres within city limits. That's impressive). And you can day trip to some pretty decent topography, quiet lakeshore, or Niagara Falls (Hamilton, the waterfall capital of the world, too) from Toronto. Architecture and history wise, I think Toronto might edge out Sydney (I did check out UToronto's campus in pictures, looks stunning I will have to get there). And of course, while it wouldn't hold a candle to Madrid or Milan on historic architecture, it also has one of the more impressive urban vistas in terms of modern architecture, in the world I think. With the revolutionary CN Tower, a view from the islands, and it seems to almost look like a smaller version of Shanghai's skyline. Then in between, you do have Cabbagetown and Distillery District which have a bit of a unique bent compared to even many European cities with the Victorian Residential and Industrial architecture, respectively. I think things have to be taken into a holistic perspective, and Toronto's modern aspects shine for a visitor too (in some ways, just as distinctively as European cities shine for their older aspects), and there's that diversity/cosmopolitanism you mention.


Toronto feels like a very organized, convenient city, even if not the most exciting, and there's a certain peace about the city given the size. I say for day to day stuff because Toronto would seem to get at least as many if not more major events and such as any of these other cities, and the outstanding theatre scene, and I must say, sports, at least for me (MLB, MLS, NHL, NBA).
Nothing wrong with Toronto at all. I used to live in Ottawa and have visited several times. I think for regular day to day living it's fine but for me personally as a vacation destination, I think it is a bit lower than the other 3 on the list. Sure it has some attractions like the other cities and I have seen several of them including the Toronto Islands, CN Tower, Niagara Falls, and Casa Loma among others but they didn't really wow me the way overall Sydney did or I imagine Madrid or Milan would. I would not hesitate to visit again and actually may be going later this fall but to be honest, it's not the highest on my list of cities to must visit. As far as the weather, the other 3 cities listed, particularly Sydney and Madrid don't really have severe weather. You can visit almost any time of year and mostly not feel uncomfortable. In Toronto in winter, not really the case and I don't like cold weather at all.

Last edited by deneb78; 05-28-2018 at 11:44 AM..
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Old 05-28-2018, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, BC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ciTydude123 View Post
I'm not saying that one is better than the other but I find that pretty hard to believe. If you go on Google maps and look at the satellite imagery you'll see the region around Sydney is in fact completely encircled by a very thick ring of forest and vegetation. Within Sydney itself there's a dense network of national parks and hiking tracks (just look up "national parks in Sydney" on Google).

Sydney's also surrounded by quite a large amount of natural landmarks within day trip distance. There's the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains, various waterfalls such as Fitzroy or Wentworth Falls (though they're not nearly the scale of Niagara of course), the various cliffs and escarpments along the waterline such as this or this, the Kiama blowhole, Jenolan Caves, or maybe the Hunter Valley wine region.


The example's you gave for Sydney's historic architecture are good, here's a few more.

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33....7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33....7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33....7i13312!8i6656 (though I suppose early 20th century won't be considered as old in this thread!)

https://www.broadsheet.com.au/media/...53550c6b94.jpg (State Theatre)
Yeah Sydney is basically mostly surrounded by national parks. The idea that there is no green space in the Sydney area seems silly. I very much enjoyed the Blue Mountains personally
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Old 05-28-2018, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deneb78 View Post
Yeah Sydney is basically mostly surrounded by national parks. The idea that there is no green space in the Sydney area seems silly. I very much enjoyed the Blue Mountains personally
I've been to all four cities, and in terms of Sydney vs. Toronto and greenery, I do find that overall Toronto is more consistently green over a greater part of the city. Due to a more consistent thicker tree canopy.


When you look at the city from the CN Tower outside of the CBD much of Toronto looks like a forest with the odd building here and there popping out in between the trees.


I've found that CFA climates like Sydney's often are not as lush as their "humid subtropical" name seems to suggest.


Whereas in DFA-DFB climates fields lying fallow usually turn into fairly dense forests within about 20 years or so. That's a lot of growth for just five or six months of every year where the vegetation isn't dormant.
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Old 05-28-2018, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, BC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I've been to all four cities, and in terms of Sydney vs. Toronto and greenery, I do find that overall Toronto is more consistently green over a greater part of the city. Due to a more consistent thicker tree canopy.


When you look at the city from the CN Tower outside of the CBD much of Toronto looks like a forest with the odd building here and there popping out in between the trees.


I've found that CFA climates like Sydney's often are not as lush as their "humid subtropical" name seems to suggest.


Whereas in DFA-DFB climates fields lying fallow usually turn into fairly dense forests within about 20 years or so. That's a lot of growth for just five or six months of every year where the vegetation isn't dormant.
I agree that Toronto may be greener for the warmer part of the year as the vegetation is denser but because the vegetation is mostly deciduous trees, it looks lifeless and barren for a good part of the year. Most of Sydney's native vegetation is sparser evergreen Eucalyptus forests which to me are a lot more attractive than deciduous forests that go dormant in winter.
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Old 05-28-2018, 02:09 PM
 
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^ That's what I was meaning to say : )


Obviously Sydney has green spaces, and PLENTY of very pretty natural areas nearby. But my two claims really are that


1) Sydney Metro is less forested as a whole than Toronto Metro
-The Blue Mountains are very pretty, definitely more dramatic mountains than any found within a couple hours of Toronto and even though they are of a similar height, they look more dramatic than anything in Eastern North America if I'm being fair. But, this is what I saw in the picture: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bl...!4d150.4559073


Green, yes, but perhaps more like the type of green one might find in Sacramento or Albuquerque?


Dundas Peak, near Toronto in turn (along the trail though, not the summit):


https://www.google.com/maps/place/Du...!4d-79.9690533


I realize these are two places quite separate from the city, but those are the general impression I reach about a comparison of lushness between the two. Sydney's mountain scenery is still more dynamic, but the fact that Toronto's is SO green I think helps it make up some of the deficit.


Second, there certainly is plenty of green space surrounding Sydney. But, Toronto has more that is close in and surrounding the city.


Rouge Park is 12,356 acres contiguous alone, and it is the world's 6th largest urban park (likely closer in distance/connection to city than others in front of it, too. It is only 15 miles from Yonge-Dundas Square. In addition, I think I'd echo what others have said about forest being more intermixed within the city, though the RBG along the waterfront in Sydney is of course outstanding as well. Toronto is a city of ravines. They are so ubiquitous and present, even within a couple miles of downtown, like so:
https://www.google.com/maps/@43.6706...7i13312!8i6656


Now, Sydney I'm sure has forested spaces, and perhaps even ones that close (1.5 miles) from the city center, but that wasn't my impression on a large scale though.
And generally, I honestly just like waterfalls, even smaller ones than Niagara, and the placid nature of a Great Lake, so while Sydney may have more wow factor for nature overall, Toronto, for my tastes, competes, close to even.
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Old 05-28-2018, 02:15 PM
 
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Nice pictures of Sydney's architecture, and nature BTW! Very enjoyable to look at. Wentworth Falls looks like it's surrounded by the type of lush forest I think of in Toronto. the other pictures too were just incredible. People that live there really are very fortunate.
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Old 05-28-2018, 03:09 PM
 
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Here's something which claims to measure the tree canopy coverage of cities around the world. Sydney, Toronto and other cities are included. Not sure about the accuracy.

Treepedia :: MIT Senseable City Lab

I agree though that most Australian trees aren't the most lush-looking. Regardless the vegetation is still there

Quote:
Originally Posted by cavsfan137 View Post
People that live there really are very fortunate.
It might seem that way, until you see those house prices! (or maybe the worsening traffic congestiont too)

Last edited by ciTydude123; 05-28-2018 at 03:30 PM..
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Old 05-28-2018, 03:32 PM
 
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Coming personally from Tampa, I guess it seems to focus more on there being green at all, than on urban park spaces, height of trees, etc. which Tampa comes out good on simply by not being as urban as the other cities. So it is an indicator, though perhaps not an absolute one. London for example, strikes me as outstanding in terms of its park system, all percentages aside. Several parks in Central London are bigger I think than any in Tampa city limits.
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