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Old 11-19-2011, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,708 posts, read 4,059,600 times
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Weather: Grand Rapids
Geography: Cleveland
Inner city architecture: Pittsburgh
Ethnic makeup: San Francisco... although as far as I know, no American city has a percentage of South Asians anywhere close to Toronto
Culture: cross of Seattle and Minneapolis
Economy: NYC (lots of finance with some manufacturing and stuff associated with being the biggest city in the country)
Downtown architecture: A cross between Miami and Houston, but with more parking underground and densities closer to Chicago
Transit: Like a mini NYC with streetcars
Suburban density distribution: Los Angeles
Suburban main street/small downtowns: Chicago

In terms of its South Asian population and suburban residential high rises, I would say Toronto is pretty unique. I've been having a hard time finding cities where the contemporary suburban architecture is similar too. Suburban Toronto is dominated by 2 storey brick clad homes like these:
Brampton, ON, Canada - Google Maps

I'm also not sure how many American cities have a significant amount of semi-detached housing like in Toronto. Throughout it's history Toronto has been building a fair bit

You've got Victorian semi-detached homes
Vaughan, ON, Canada - Google Maps

Then Craftsman style semi-detached homes
Vaughan, ON, Canada - Google Maps

Then early post-WWII semi-detached homes
Vaughan, ON, Canada - Google Maps

And 21st century semi-detached homes
Brampton, ON, Canada - Google Maps
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Poshawa, Ontario
2,985 posts, read 3,593,714 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minibrings View Post
On 30 Rock Steve Martin said, Toronto is like New York.. without all the stuff!
Agreed. Comparing Toronto to New York is the equivalent of comparing a Chrysler 300 to a Rolls Royce. New York is by every definition a World Class City. Toronto, not so much.

Toronto has several museums and attractions, but seriously... Can one compare the AGO to the MET? Or the ROM to the Museum of Natural History? Does Toronto have anything that compares to the MoMA, Guggenheim or Brooklyn Bridge? While one could compare the distinctiveness of the CN Tower and Empire State and Chysler Buildings, these kinds of comparisons come few and far between. Both cities have their own distictive vibe, but in my experience, New York's vibe has it's intensity set to 10 instead of 6.

I took my GF to New York two years ago. Having grown up in Toronto's subburbs, she rolled her eyes when I explained to her how much better NYC was before we left. After four days in New York, she wholeheartedly agreed that Toronto simply doesn't measure up. She was so impressed with NYC that we plan to wed there this spring.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:09 PM
 
1,674 posts, read 3,843,537 times
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That joke is funny but on a certain level it has always bugged me, Toronto has it's own stuff - some of which is very interesting and unique and cannot be found in New York.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:40 PM
 
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I don't care about art galleries or museums. I like Toronto more than NYC because it has a huge amount of ethnic diversity, and it's a city of neighbourhoods. NYC is too commercialized in Manhattan and the other boroughs have many dicey areas. NYC doesn't have as many nice parks and bike trails. The major ice rink in NYC is expensive and crowded. Toronto has free ice skating. Toronto is far more livable. You can always visit NYC to see the Brooklyn Bridge. It would suck to commute across it every day.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:06 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA/London, UK
3,643 posts, read 4,408,382 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atticman View Post
That joke is funny but on a certain level it has always bugged me, Toronto has it's own stuff - some of which is very interesting and unique and cannot be found in New York.
Just out of curiosity, what might a few of those be?
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:54 AM
 
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Toronto has a completely different vibe from NYC. Anyway, all of these are unique and different from their counterparts in NYC but I am putting an asterisk next to the ones that NYC has no counterpart to

Lake Ontario (vs. Hudson River)
High Park (vs. Central Park)
* Scarborough Bluffs
* Numerous free public ice skating rinks
* Kensington Market (NYC has nothing comparable)
* Toronto Islands (Ellis Island is not comparable, it is not a peaceful/quiet place)
* Greektown
The Beaches (You can have Coney Island)
* CN Tower
Several Chinatowns

Other things I've noticed:
Ability to drive into the suburbs without crossing a bridge or paying a high toll
Good public schools within city limits
Not as much of a police state as NYC
People who say excuse me if they bump into you
No annoying "New Yawka" accent
Better selection of ethnic restaurants and stores
Better winter weather (NYC is too rainy and has too many freeze/thaw cycles. Toronto stays colder and for me, that is a plus)
More single family homes within city limits
Better suburbs without paying over $1,000,000 for a home
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
24,357 posts, read 30,691,075 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarp View Post
Toronto has a completely different vibe from NYC. Anyway, all of these are unique and different from their counterparts in NYC but I am putting an asterisk next to the ones that NYC has no counterpart to

Lake Ontario (vs. Hudson River)
High Park (vs. Central Park)
* Scarborough Bluffs
* Numerous free public ice skating rinks
* Kensington Market (NYC has nothing comparable)
* Toronto Islands (Ellis Island is not comparable, it is not a peaceful/quiet place)
* Greektown
The Beaches (You can have Coney Island)
* CN Tower
Several Chinatowns

Other things I've noticed:
Ability to drive into the suburbs without crossing a bridge or paying a high toll
Good public schools within city limits
Not as much of a police state as NYC
People who say excuse me if they bump into you
No annoying "New Yawka" accent
Better selection of ethnic restaurants and stores
Better winter weather (NYC is too rainy and has too many freeze/thaw cycles. Toronto stays colder and for me, that is a plus)
More single family homes within city limits
Better suburbs without paying over $1,000,000 for a home
Excellent list but I am not sure most people would agree with the one I highlighted.
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA/London, UK
3,643 posts, read 4,408,382 times
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Tarp, alot of your list is not even worth addressing, like accents and politeness. Who really cares at the end of the day. So I will just address the asterisk points.

* Scarborough Bluffs - Good example, you would have to travel to upstate NY to get to somewhere comparable.
* Numerous free public ice skating rinks - I will take your word for it, I skate maybe once a year.
* Kensington Market (NYC has nothing comparable) - Essex St Market is KM equal. I do love Kensington though, it blows St. Lawrence out of the water.
* Toronto Islands (Ellis Island is not comparable, it is not a peaceful/quiet place) - There are quite a few City Islands other than Ellis: Governors, City Island, and my personal favorite because of the soccer fields Randall's Island.
* Greektown - Astoria Queens.

As Acajack noted, the ethnic restaurants and markets in NYC are on another level than Toronto. Name one nationality that is represented in Toronto that you cannot find a restaurant in NYC. I will name a few not represented in Toronto:

- Dominican
- Cape Verdean
- Puerto Rican
- Haitian
- Basque
- Australian and Kiwi

Sure I can name a few, but the only type of food Toronto does better than NYC is Cantonese, nothing else.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:03 PM
 
1,723 posts, read 5,393,270 times
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Accents and politeness mean a lot to me at the end of the day. I don't know about you, but I like being able to understand the people around me. The NYC accent is ugly, almost as ugly as the southern accent and certainly more abrasive.

Astoria Queens has nothing on Greektown. It is a dump. Greektown is far nicer. Most of Astoria is lebanese/egyptian these days anyway.

Name one NYC Persian restaurant superior to what you will find in Toronto. Brampton probably has more (and better) Indian restaurants than the entire city of New York. Toronto has far more Asian (both South Asian and East Asian), Middle Eastern, and European population than NYC. Toronto has amazing Thai restaurants. They have Tibetan restaurants. Toronto is more diverse than NYC with a higher immigrant population. Blame it on U.S. immigration policy.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA/London, UK
3,643 posts, read 4,408,382 times
Reputation: 3010
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarp View Post
Accents and politeness mean a lot to me at the end of the day. I don't know about you, but I like being able to understand the people around me. The NYC accent is ugly, almost as ugly as the southern accent and certainly more abrasive.

Astoria Queens has nothing on Greektown. It is a dump. Greektown is far nicer. Most of Astoria is lebanese/egyptian these days anyway.

Name one NYC Persian restaurant superior to what you will find in Toronto. Brampton probably has more (and better) Indian restaurants than the entire city of New York. Toronto has far more Asian (both South Asian and East Asian), Middle Eastern, and European population than NYC. Toronto has amazing Thai restaurants. They have Tibetan restaurants. Toronto is more diverse than NYC with a higher immigrant population. Blame it on U.S. immigration policy.
Considering most people that live in NYC are not even from the city, the accent is not something I consider important. Plus I never insult anyones accent, considering I am an immigrant myself with a noticeable Jamaican accent.

Astoria is hardly a dump and The Danforth in Toronto isnt exactly the most ascetically appealing neighborhood either. At the end of the day though I care about the food, and while Astoria is very multicultural (150 languages spoken in Astoria alone) There is a large Greek presence, with food and markets that can can go head to head with anything in Greektown. Plus my favorite restaurant on the Danforth (Mezes) is equal with my favorite in Astoria (Philoxenia)

Middle Eastern and Persian cuisine in NYC is superior to what you will eat in Toronto. As someone who spent the past year living in the Middle East for work (Turkey and Lebanon) nothing in Toronto can match my personal favorites in NYC. Beirut has some interesting Persian enclaves dating back centuries and I enjoyed some excellent traditional Persian food from my time there and I can say without a doubt outside of London and Los Angeles, NYC has the best Persian food I have tasted in my life. Also in Turkey, especially along the Iranian border I tried 2 Persian meals (Istanbul has quite a few as well), once again only LA, London and NYC can match up IMO.

Next time you are in NYC, try Pars (Pars Grill House and Bar - Persian Cuisine and Caterer) It is better than anything I have found in Toronto.

Also dont get me started on Turkish cuisine as well, I miss Istanbul dearly and the only places I have found acceptable Turkish food is in Boston and NYC, not Toronto.

There are also many Tibetian, Himalayan and Nepali restaurants in NYC as well and simple Google search could have uncovered that for you.

As far a sheer numbers are concerned, there are more Immigrants in NYC and Languages spoken than Toronto. Yes Toronto has a larger "percentage" of foreign born, but languages and groups represented paint a better picture of diversity in my opinion. If Foreign born percentage was the only measure then Miami would be more diverse than London, do you think that is the case?
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