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Old 10-17-2016, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Canton, MI
439 posts, read 671,429 times
Reputation: 357

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
So, what is the Character of Canton? Please tell us. How is it more than just a collection of subdivisions and big box stores/strip malls? Where in Canton can this character be found? Is it on Michigan Avenue? At Ikea perhaps? Is there some fabulous architecture or a town center I have overlooked? If I were to go hang out in the midst of Canton and experience its culture, architecture, history, and character, where would I go? I have been to the parking lot of Black rock and it was not there. What is the reason someone from elsewhere would want to come visit Canton? What is there that cannot be found elsewhere? If I am wrong and it is a community of great character, what is this character and where can it be found? I would like to go see/experience it as I am in Canton about once or twice and month and have not found it. Perhaps it is simply hidden away.

If it would make everyone feel better we could perhaps be more factual and describe Canton as a collection of subdivisions and big box stores/strip malls with no center, no history, no architecture, no local culture, a traffic problem; but clean and safe with lots of modern subdivisions, and good schools in part of the township. That could be more factual I suppose, but I do not see how it is more pleasing.
I actually like living in Canton and would recommend it to anyone. Yeah, traffic sucks but it sucks in a lot of places. You just learn how to avoid it. IKEA is wonderful on a Monday night. It has great schools, lot of parks, a very nice library, and easy access to most highways. If I ever feel the need to go "downtown", Plymouth is only 10 blocks away. Quite frankly, one could make the argument that the only community outside Detroit with a real downtown (made up of more than one street) and real character is Ann Arbor. Anything else is a wannabe or wishful thinking.
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Old 10-18-2016, 06:26 AM
 
132 posts, read 117,115 times
Reputation: 143
I don't consider any downtown in a suburb to be a real downtown. The only real downtown in the area is Downtown Detroit. Major cities have downtowns, not suburbs. I suppose Ann Arbor can claim one cause they're kinda separate from the Detroit area in my opinion.
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Old 10-18-2016, 06:36 AM
 
2,173 posts, read 2,817,432 times
Reputation: 2104
Quote:
Originally Posted by leroythelion View Post
I actually like living in Canton and would recommend it to anyone. Yeah, traffic sucks but it sucks in a lot of places. You just learn how to avoid it. IKEA is wonderful on a Monday night. It has great schools, lot of parks, a very nice library, and easy access to most highways. If I ever feel the need to go "downtown", Plymouth is only 10 blocks away. Quite frankly, one could make the argument that the only community outside Detroit with a real downtown (made up of more than one street) and real character is Ann Arbor. Anything else is a wannabe or wishful thinking.
Sorry Leroy. Canton fails the all-important "character" assessment as defined by some guy on the internet who lives on an island downriver. Expect your property values to drop accordingly.
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Old 10-18-2016, 06:38 AM
 
2,173 posts, read 2,817,432 times
Reputation: 2104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
So, what is the Character of Canton? Please tell us. How is it more than just a collection of subdivisions and big box stores/strip malls? Where in Canton can this character be found? Is it on Michigan Avenue? At Ikea perhaps? Is there some fabulous architecture or a town center I have overlooked? If I were to go hang out in the midst of Canton and experience its culture, architecture, history, and character, where would I go? I have been to the parking lot of Black rock and it was not there. What is the reason someone from elsewhere would want to come visit Canton? What is there that cannot be found elsewhere? If I am wrong and it is a community of great character, what is this character and where can it be found? I would like to go see/experience it as I am in Canton about once or twice and month and have not found it. Perhaps it is simply hidden away.

If it would make everyone feel better we could perhaps be more factual and describe Canton as a collection of subdivisions and big box stores/strip malls with no center, no history, no architecture, no local culture, a traffic problem; but clean and safe with lots of modern subdivisions, and good schools in part of the township. That could be more factual I suppose, but I do not see how it is more pleasing.
I don't know. I don't live there. But instead of bashing it you could, you know, ask someone who lives there.

I'm merely pointing out that just because YOU believe some place doesn't have character doesn't make it accurate. You do a lot of armchair quarterbacking with very little evidence to back it up. Most of your posts rely on conventional wisdom about an area that is lacking in any insight whatsoever.
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,759 posts, read 65,597,364 times
Reputation: 32943
Quote:
Originally Posted by leroythelion View Post
I actually like living in Canton and would recommend it to anyone. Yeah, traffic sucks but it sucks in a lot of places. You just learn how to avoid it. IKEA is wonderful on a Monday night. It has great schools, lot of parks, a very nice library, and easy access to most highways. If I ever feel the need to go "downtown", Plymouth is only 10 blocks away. Quite frankly, one could make the argument that the only community outside Detroit with a real downtown (made up of more than one street) and real character is Ann Arbor. Anything else is a wannabe or wishful thinking.
I am not and have never said Canton is not nice. In fact, I have repeatedly said it is nice for cluster of subdivision living. However, it would be a mistake to recommend it to anyone. Me for example, I would not like living there at all, and I would not appreciate such a recommendation. What I wold appreciate is someone describing accurately what it is and what it is not so I can move on and put other areas on my list. The point of Cit Data is not to simply recommend every community to everyone so you can avoid hurting someone's feelings if they mis-read what is said. The point is to let people know about places so they can make a choice about what best fits them.

two people were complaining when I said it is basically a nice bunch of subdivision and big box stores/strip malls. They said it is incorrect to say it is a place with not center, no sense of place, no character. Not whether it is nice or not. what what is its character? and where can it be found? If you believe I described it inaccurately, then please show me where I am wrong, and I will describe it differently in the future.

You are correct, Plymouth is a town with character. And there are quite a few others (Northville, Wyandotte, Detroit, Farmington (some), Milford, Romeo, Grosse Pointe, Birmingham, South Lyon (a little bit is left), Trenton (some), Royal Oak, Ferndale, Hamtramck, Tecumseh, Ann Arbor, Saline, Franklin (maybe not certain there), even tiny Salem somewhat, Brighton, Rochester, Monroe, Dexter). However many towns or townships are just a cluster of subdivisions and do not have charter or a specific identity (Canton, Rochester Hills, West Bloomfiled, Lyon Township (although there is still a bit of a rural identity/vibe in some areas), Livonia . . .) Some kind of have their own definition. While they may have a uniqueness, it is not steeped in history, culture, community centeredness, architecture, etc, or at least not a balance of all of those things. Novi and Grosse Ile fall into that category. Bloomfield Hills possibly too.


That does not make any place bad or better than others. They are what they are, and it is unhelpful to fail to disclose what they are because it might be taken negatively. To some people Character is most important, to others, it is unimportant. I like to visit and hang out in places with character, but I chose to live in a place that does not have typical city or small town character. It has its other unique advantages, but character? Not really. Canton is perfect for certain people, but not for those for whom character is important, or who want to avoid stereotypical "soulless suburbia." While those places are not for me, it is obviously ideal for 90,000 people - a lot more than find my home town ideal (thank goodness). If someone is familiar with the concept of soulless suburbia and looking to avoid it, they should not look in those cities. They should look elsewhere. If subdivisions and strip malls is what they want in a hometown, then they should know those places are the places for them to look.

I said Canton is a very nice cluster of subdivisions, but if you are looking for character (e.g. a center, a downtown, architecture, history, culture, any specific identity, something unique), it is not there. If people want to call me out as being wrong, fine, please tell me where this character is. If it is found in Plymouth, then it is not wrong to say Canton is a nice cluster of subdivisions with no real character.


Some say "you should let them go find out for themselves" In which case there is no purpose for CityData. People come here to find out from others what the nature of various areas are so they can assimilate information and decide where to look. When we moved here, Citydata was quite helpful in selecting a location. We learned the place where we were considering a house is basically a place for people who simply have no other choices. We learned about different cities to consider, and cities that did not fit us. We knew nothing about downriver at first and were able to narrow our search by discovering which places are basically "souless suburbia" which is not for us. Not what we were looking for. It was quite helpful for people to let us know. Sometimes, we did further checking, but it allowed us to prioritize and to spend at most time for a quick confirmation. Sometimes we made a determination about an area from our observations and talking to people who live there, and then confirmed it through Citydata. We said Rochester Hills appears to be basically Irvine with snow, and a lot of people said "Why yes, that is what it is." That enabled us to move on to look at other locations that better fit our preferences. (Sadly because some of our best friends at the time live there).

We spent two years considering various cities and trying to find out about them. Without Citydata and people being frank and complete in their discussions of various places, we might still be looking.

An yes, the concept of "character" and "soulless suburbia," both have meaning to many people. They describe concepts that are difficult to define, but a great many people understand exactly what they describe. If the use of such descriptions hurt someones feeling, I am sorry for that, but they are accurate descriptions of the concepts they are used to describe for me and for at least hundreds of thousands of other people. Sorry but I am not going to write that a city has no downtown, no center, no culture, no history, no architecture of merit, no "walkability (meaning in the town; not meaning there is no place to go for a nice walk in a park or on a trail - another term that is commonly used and understood, but which may cause angst for some people who do not understand the common meaning and usage of the term) each time I want to convey a place has no real character. Likewise I am not going to write out the meaning of soulless suburbia, every time I want to describe a place that is basically a cluster of modern subdivisions, strip malls and or big box stores. I am comfortable that most people are sufficiently familiar with those terms that they know what i am referring to. If not, they can ask.

Last edited by Coldjensens; 10-18-2016 at 07:53 AM..
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Old 10-18-2016, 08:02 AM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,294,359 times
Reputation: 1864
Quote:
Originally Posted by leroythelion View Post
I actually like living in Canton and would recommend it to anyone. Yeah, traffic sucks but it sucks in a lot of places. You just learn how to avoid it. IKEA is wonderful on a Monday night. It has great schools, lot of parks, a very nice library, and easy access to most highways. If I ever feel the need to go "downtown", Plymouth is only 10 blocks away. Quite frankly, one could make the argument that the only community outside Detroit with a real downtown (made up of more than one street) and real character is Ann Arbor. Anything else is a wannabe or wishful thinking.
No, the downtowns of Royal Oak, Birmingham, Pontiac, and Mount Clemens are made up of multiple square blocks, not just one Main Street.

When people around the area refer to a "downtown" they are referring to a business district established in the 1800's or early 1900's consisting of connected storefronts built right up to the sidewalk.
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Old 10-18-2016, 08:05 AM
 
2,173 posts, read 2,817,432 times
Reputation: 2104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
I am not and have never said Canton is not nice. In fact, I have repeatedly said it is nice for cluster of subdivision living. However, it would be a mistake to recommend it to anyone. Me for example, I would not like living there at all, and I would not appreciate such a recommendation. What I wold appreciate is someone describing accurately what it is and what it is not so I can move on and put other areas on my list. The point of Cit Data is not to simply recommend every community to everyone so you can avoid hurting someone's feelings if they mis-read what is said. The point is to let people know about places so they can make a choice about what best fits them.

two people were complaining when I said it is basically a nice bunch of subdivision and big box stores/strip malls. They said it is incorrect to say it is a place with not center, no sense of place, no character. Not whether it is nice or not. what what is its character? and where can it be found? If you believe I described it inaccurately, then please show me where I am wrong, and I will describe it differently in the future.

You are correct, Plymouth is a town with character. And there are quite a few others (Northville, Wyandotte, Detroit, Farmington (some), Milford, Romeo, Grosse Pointe, Birmingham, South Lyon (a little bit is left), Trenton (some), Royal Oak, Ferndale, Hamtramck, Tecumseh, Ann Arbor, Saline, Franklin (maybe not certain there), even tiny Salem somewhat, Brighton, Rochester, Monroe, Dexter). However many towns or townships are just a cluster of subdivisions and do not have charter or a specific identity (Canton, Rochester Hills, West Bloomfiled, Lyon Township (although there is still a bit of a rural identity/vibe in some areas), Livonia . . .) Some kind of have their own definition. While they may have a uniqueness, it is not steeped in history, culture, community centeredness, architecture, etc, or at least not a balance of all of those things. Novi and Grosse Ile fall into that category. Bloomfield Hills possibly too.


That does not make any place bad or better than others. They are what they are, and it is unhelpful to fail to disclose what they are because it might be taken negatively. To some people Character is most important, to others, it is unimportant. I like to visit and hang out in places with character, but I chose to live in a place that does not have typical city or small town character. It has its other unique advantages, but character? Not really. Canton is perfect for certain people, but not for those for whom character is important, or who want to avoid stereotypical "soulless suburbia." While those places are not for me, it is obviously ideal for 90,000 people - a lot more than find my home town ideal (thank goodness). If someone is familiar with the concept of soulless suburbia and looking to avoid it, they should not look in those cities. They should look elsewhere. If subdivisions and strip malls is what they want in a hometown, then they should know those places are the places for them to look.

I said Canton is a very nice cluster of subdivisions, but if you are looking for character (e.g. a center, a downtown, architecture, history, culture, any specific identity, something unique), it is not there. If people want to call me out as being wrong, fine, please tell me where this character is. If it is found in Plymouth, then it is not wrong to say Canton is a nice cluster of subdivisions with no real character.


Some say "you should let them go find out for themselves" In which case there is no purpose for CityData. People come here to find out from others what the nature of various areas are so they can assimilate information and decide where to look. When we moved here, Citydata was quite helpful in selecting a location. We learned the place where we were considering a house is basically a place for people who simply have no other choices. We learned about different cities to consider, and cities that did not fit us. We knew nothing about downriver at first and were able to narrow our search by discovering which places are basically "souless suburbia" which is not for us. Not what we were looking for. It was quite helpful for people to let us know. Sometimes, we did further checking, but it allowed us to prioritize and to spend at most time for a quick confirmation. Sometimes we made a determination about an area from our observations and talking to people who live there, and then confirmed it through Citydata. We said Rochester Hills appears to be basically Irvine with snow, and a lot of people said "Why yes, that is what it is." That enabled us to move on to look at other locations that better fit our preferences. (Sadly because some of our best friends at the time live there).

We spent two years considering various cities and trying to find out about them. Without Citydata and people being frank and complete in their discussions of various places, we might still be looking.

An yes, the concept of "character" and "soulless suburbia," both have meaning to many people. They describe concepts that are difficult to define, but a great many people understand exactly what they describe. If the use of such descriptions hurt someones feeling, I am sorry for that, but they are accurate descriptions of the concepts they are used to describe for me and for at least hundreds of thousands of other people. Sorry but I am not going to write that a city has no downtown, no center, no culture, no history, no architecture of merit, no "walkability (meaning in the town; not meaning there is no place to go for a nice walk in a park or on a trail - another term that is commonly used and understood, but which may cause angst for some people who do not understand the common meaning and usage of the term) each time I want to convey a place has no real character. Likewise I am not going to write out the meaning of soulless suburbia, every time I want to describe a place that is basically a cluster of modern subdivisions, strip malls and or big box stores. I am comfortable that most people are sufficiently familiar with those terms that they know what i am referring to. If not, they can ask.
"Character"

"Soulless suburbia"

Qualitative descriptions that reflect nothing other than your personal opinion.

That is my point.
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Old 10-18-2016, 09:09 AM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,294,359 times
Reputation: 1864
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
That does not make any place bad or better than others. They are what they are, and it is unhelpful to fail to disclose what they are because it might be taken negatively. To some people Character is most important, to others, it is unimportant. I like to visit and hang out in places with character, but I chose to live in a place that does not have typical city or small town character. It has its other unique advantages, but character? Not really. Canton is perfect for certain people, but not for those for whom character is important, or who want to avoid stereotypical "soulless suburbia." While those places are not for me, it is obviously ideal for 90,000 people - a lot more than find my home town ideal (thank goodness). If someone is familiar with the concept of soulless suburbia and looking to avoid it, they should not look in those cities. They should look elsewhere. If subdivisions and strip malls is what they want in a hometown, then they should know those places are the places for them to look.

I said Canton is a very nice cluster of subdivisions, but if you are looking for character (e.g. a center, a downtown, architecture, history, culture, any specific identity, something unique), it is not there. If people want to call me out as being wrong, fine, please tell me where this character is. If it is found in Plymouth, then it is not wrong to say Canton is a nice cluster of subdivisions with no real character.
The vast majority of people just want to live in clean, safe environments in which to live and raise their children, and want newer housing that doesn't have the problems of older housing, and have access to newer shopping with plentiful parking in which to get in and get out of with ease. And a place with good schools that have minimal number of undesirable racial minorities (blacks and Hispanics) I might add. Places like Canton fit the bill.

Too often, places with character have issues of crime, mediocre schools, older building and housing stock, blight, higher property taxes, a large number of racial minorities, inconvenient parking, etc. that people don't want to deal with.

The # of people that like character are significantly outnumbered by those who favor "soulless" places, or else places like Highland Park, which is bursting at the seams with character and history, would not have become the sorry, forgotten, and left for dead city that it has become.
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Old 10-18-2016, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Chicago
939 posts, read 843,762 times
Reputation: 1102
Quote:
Originally Posted by leroythelion View Post
I actually like living in Canton and would recommend it to anyone. Yeah, traffic sucks but it sucks in a lot of places. You just learn how to avoid it. IKEA is wonderful on a Monday night. It has great schools, lot of parks, a very nice library, and easy access to most highways. If I ever feel the need to go "downtown", Plymouth is only 10 blocks away. Quite frankly, one could make the argument that the only community outside Detroit with a real downtown (made up of more than one street) and real character is Ann Arbor. Anything else is a wannabe or wishful thinking.
Canton is nice. It's a nice slice of suburbia. It has nice houses and schools and shops. There is nothing in any way objectionable about Canton. I lived in Canton in the past and grew up in Livonia, which was Canton before Canton was Canton. Canton is great.

I object to the idea that Canton is anything other than what it is, though. It does not have a "country feel" except in it's farthest western reaches. It does not have what most people would recognize as character... and if you don't personally care about character, that is great for you! But stop trying to redefine the word so that it can cover nice but otherwise nondescript suburbs.

I would strongly agree with your assessment of downtowns in the region and would submit as evidence the fact that when one says "I'm going downtown for dinner" in Wayne, Macomb and Oakland Counties, nobody would ask if they meant downtown Birmingham. In Washtenaw, people would assume Ann Arbor.
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Old 10-18-2016, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Canton, MI
439 posts, read 671,429 times
Reputation: 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Digby Sellers View Post
Sorry Leroy. Canton fails the all-important "character" assessment as defined by some guy on the internet who lives on an island downriver. Expect your property values to drop accordingly.
I was running errands this evening and noticed how soul-less the people were. Everybody seemed to be missing something...I couldn't quite put my finger on it.
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