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View Poll Results: Which city is more urban?
Toronto 15 71.43%
Sydney 6 28.57%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-26-2017, 03:05 PM
 
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Which city is more urban, walkable, feels denser and more vibrant?
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Old 10-26-2017, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Tough question.


Toronto is quite a bit bigger than Sydney, has a bigger skyscraper cluster in the central core - and a good chunk of those towers are residential.


Toronto also has towers (in the park) scattered throughout the city and metro area, and while they not particularly well done from an urbanism perspective, they do contribute to population density.


Overall, Toronto does seem denser residentially over a wider area than Sydney does. In Sydney the urban density drops faster as you radiate outwards from the core.


Toronto has more mid-rise apartment buildings, rowhouses and various forms of attached housing than Sydney does.


On the other hand, I do find that Sydney doesn't give anything up to Toronto in the walkability department.


I find the public transport system more extensive and more cohesive in Sydney. (Though this is not to say that Toronto's is bad.)


I also found that the amount of space taken up by road and highway infrastructure is less in Sydney, and less oppressive for pedestrians. This is also a plus for walkability.
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Old 10-26-2017, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
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If one were to judge density, of high-rise buildings at least, Toronto looks denser. Even though these two videos aren't exactly from the same in perspective. They do seem to suggest what Acajack said about less density the further out you go in Sydney.
Amazing how many high-rises exist outside of Toronto's downtown core. Plus it's 3 years old, more buildings have been built. Sydney's video is 1 year old, not sure how much Sydney has changed.

For the Sydney video, the city comes into view at 3:00 minutes.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iouu63QL-k8


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBBotr3owHU
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Old 10-26-2017, 04:32 PM
 
2,367 posts, read 1,434,615 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Tough question.


Toronto is quite a bit bigger than Sydney, has a bigger skyscraper cluster in the central core - and a good chunk of those towers are residential.


Population wise, Greater Sydney is 5 mil, Greater Toronto is 6.4 mil (Census Metropolitan Area population is 5.9 mil)

Greater Sydney area is 12,367 sq/km, Greater Toronto is 7,124 sq/km...quite smaller.

Sydney Urban area covers 1788 sq/km, Toronto Urban is 1751 sq/km.

Sydney proper Postal Code area is probably smaller than the City of Toronto.
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Toronto also has towers (in the park) scattered throughout the city and metro area, and while they not particularly well done from an urbanism perspective, they do contribute to population density.

Overall, Toronto does seem denser residentially over a wider area than Sydney does. In Sydney the urban density drops faster as you radiate outwards from the core.
Toronto will continue to have a larger core than Sydney because Sydney's is hampered with oppressive planning controls and its CBD is almost built out and hemmed in on 3 sides. But if you haven't visited Sydney for more than 4 years the amount of change that's happened is staggering. There's a construction boom going on around the metro area and apartments are springing up everywhere like wildfire.

There's 350 cranes in operation now around the metro to give an idea. That's more than everywhere else in Australia, combined:
http://assets.rlb.com/production/201...ia-Q4-2017.pdf

Also Sydney's main street is in the process of becoming completely pedestrianised, for what it's worth.

Back on topic, Toronto definitely has a noticeably larger core than Sydney's which comparably is very tight and compact. It's also more continuous where you have streets lined with retail stretching for kilometres away from the downtown area which I think further contributes to Toronto's feeling of size, whereas Sydney's is arranged more into tight clusters here and there. Perhaps that's due to the fact that Toronto is gridded whereas Sydney's streets are windy and doesn't really have a structure. Sydney feels rather tight at street level however.

But further out, in Sydney you'll generally find there's much less of a reliance on "strip malls" and surface parking lots than in North America and much of its retail and commercial areas are instead arranged into these clusters around transport nodes, and they're usually very tight and walkable. These areas are also where most of the new apartment developments are concentrated around.

For example there's dozens of these spread across the metro, regardless of how far it is from the core:





Perhaps in this regard Sydney's a bit like London, but smaller and sprawlier.

Last edited by ciTydude123; 10-26-2017 at 10:32 PM..
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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You are right about those suburban commercial strips. They are on average way nicer than most any commercial outside of the inner core of Toronto, or most any Canadian city really.
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Old 10-27-2017, 04:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
You are right about those suburban commercial strips. They are on average way nicer than most any commercial outside of the inner core of Toronto, or most any Canadian city really.
Even the commercial inside the inner core of Toronto is not that nice... downtown Yonge st north of Dundas? Queen st? Dundas West? They look embarrassingly shabby. Even Indian and Chinese immigrants are shocked by how run down they are.
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Even the commercial inside the inner core of Toronto is not that nice... downtown Yonge st north of Dundas? Queen st? Dundas West? They look embarrassingly shabby. Even Indian and Chinese immigrants are shocked by how run down they are.
Yes even in many nicer parts of Toronto the commercial arteries are surprisingly shabby for a city that is as affluent as it is.

But this is not the same as vibrancy. Much of Rome and Athens is quite shabby but they are stil very vibrant.
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Old 10-27-2017, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Clifton, Cincinnati
62 posts, read 22,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
If one were to judge density, of high-rise buildings at least, Toronto looks denser. Even though these two videos aren't exactly from the same in perspective. They do seem to suggest what Acajack said about less density the further out you go in Sydney.
Amazing how many high-rises exist outside of Toronto's downtown core. Plus it's 3 years old, more buildings have been built. Sydney's video is 1 year old, not sure how much Sydney has changed.

For the Sydney video, the city comes into view at 3:00 minutes.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iouu63QL-k8


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBBotr3owHU
In your first video, if the flight continued north instead of east, you would see more of North Sydney and Chatswood. Both have dense clusters of highrises and are along Sydney Trains rail routes. Personally, walking through both Sydney and Toronto's CBD, Sydney's feels more dense and compact, and that has to do with Sydney and Darling Harbours being on the west, north and east sides. Plus Sydney doesn't have the height that Toronto does, so I think the height differential makes Toronto not seem as dense in the CBD. But overall, I think Toronto has Sydney beat. The density that exists on Younge is impressive, and getting better every year. Plus the residential highrises that exist throughout GTA beat Sydney.
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Old 10-27-2017, 02:52 PM
 
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Toronto-Sydney is an interesting comparison, because the latter's geography and history of development have given it a distinct character. I suspect Melbourne might be a better direct comparison, though, even if it is a smaller city than its more northern twin. In terms of building height, it beats Sydney fairly comprehensively in both the number and height of skyscrapers, while its geography has encouraged development of a single CBD rather than the fragmentation you see in Sydney. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...s_in_Australia
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