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Old 04-14-2012, 10:54 AM
 
625 posts, read 1,278,772 times
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Folks, who really cares about all the comparisons people are making here. Toronto is a nice city, decent architecture, nice parks, great beaches (yes, I think so and I grew up on a subtropical coast), a diverse and well-educated population, good cuisine, relatively progressive politics. An economy that has performed well for decades. Public transit is improving. And, one thing that distinguishes it for me is the extreme safety of the city - with a murder rate comparable to smaller college cities I've lived in the U.S. Plus you get to live in a country that is not embroiled in two wars and in dire public debt. On the other hand, Toronto does suffer from a lot of post-war sprawl due to the era in which it grew (good or bad in different people's books) and it is cold and we don't know if the current warming trend is short-term or reflects longer-term climate change.

As for is it "better" than other cities, that's a pretty meaningless comparison to make. What really impacts your quality of life in place? Does having 9 million vs. 5 million? Will you really hang out with those other 4 million? Bigger museums? I suppose if that's really important to you. A faster pace of life? Or slower? Sounds like personal preference, or maybe simply perception. Skyline? Really, does anyone care about that? None of these things really matter to my quality of life as its far more important what I do everyday, what the quality of my environment is, what job I have and who my friends are. There are certainly some cultural aspects that may appeal or not to one - for example I love cosmopolitanism and don't particularly feel at home in New York or the southern U.S., and prefer the close-to-nature urbanism of San Francisco, Portland or Seattle to the hyper-urbanism of say New York city itself, but in the end it all depends on a lot of factors and its hard to stereotype a place.

The question was what U.S. city might Toronto resemble, if any.
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:22 PM
 
Location: The Present
2,017 posts, read 4,003,961 times
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I think there are some things about Toronto and Chicago that are very similar (i.e both being on great lakes) but still I find them to be two very different animals.

If you grew up in a very multicultural city or metro you'll find lots of similarities.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:19 PM
 
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Are you kidding? Toronto is like Philadelphia. Lively and fun during the summer and boring as hell during the winter.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:45 PM
 
14,743 posts, read 31,048,085 times
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The ONLY American city like Toronto is Chicago. Lakefront downtown skyline, grid-system streets that fan out from the CBD, financial hub, northern latitudes, humid summer/cold winter, ho-hum topography, and lots of people from all over the globe. Other big Great Lakes cities in the US (Milwaukee, Detroit and Cleveland) cannot compare to Toronto . Only Chicago has the same "look." However, I still think Toronto is more multi-ethnic and cosmopolitan. It is Canada's largest metro area. Chicago is America's third largest.
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:55 PM
 
Location: CHicago, United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
However, I still think Toronto is more multi-ethnic and cosmopolitan.
I know both cities well. Have lived in both. And I belive Chicago is the more cosmopolitan - ethnically diverse - of the two. Both are great places to live/work, though.
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:19 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 12,824,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
The ONLY American city like Toronto is Chicago. Lakefront downtown skyline, grid-system streets that fan out from the CBD, financial hub, northern latitudes, humid summer/cold winter, ho-hum topography, and lots of people from all over the globe. Other big Great Lakes cities in the US (Milwaukee, Detroit and Cleveland) cannot compare to Toronto . Only Chicago has the same "look." However, I still think Toronto is more multi-ethnic and cosmopolitan. It is Canada's largest metro area. Chicago is America's third largest.
Toronto is more diverse than Chicago for sure, but more cosmopolitan? I am not so sure. Toronto still needs some work to catch up with Chi-town in many aspects. Chicago is established for decades, Toronto is still in the making, just judging from all the empty undeveloped lots in the downtown core.
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:49 PM
 
Location: The heart of Cascadia
1,328 posts, read 2,906,193 times
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I find Toronto actually feels most like the West Coast cities of the US, like San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and especially Vancouver BC. IMO it doesn't feel anything like a Midwestern or Northeastern city, maybe the weather and plant/animal life is similar but the society is just way different compared to a city like Chicago, Cleveland, or Buffalo. It lacks the tension you find in eastern states, it feels very laid back.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:18 PM
 
1,218 posts, read 2,351,864 times
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Toronto is definitely closer to Chicago and should not be mentioned in the same sentence as NYC...Please just stop it, it's embarassing...it really is. NYC, Paris, London, Tokyo, etc. are in another class and warrant a separate discussion. Toronto has a vibe that similar to Chicago in that they are both regional centres with a large financial services, manufacturing, and other diversified economies. They have developed cores and vast suburbs. Chicago is definitely bigger and more beautifully designed as a city but Toronto has more international immigration than Chicago and is more liberal attitude in a quiet, Seattle-ish kind of way. So I'd say Toronto is like a smaller Chicago (Regional Mid-western financial centre) with a touch of Seattle (Asian influence & Liberal) with even a sprinkle of Detroit (gritty side) in there.
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:03 PM
 
10,847 posts, read 12,824,073 times
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Originally Posted by johnathanc View Post
Toronto is definitely closer to Chicago and should not be mentioned in the same sentence as NYC...Please just stop it, it's embarassing...it really is. NYC, Paris, London, Tokyo, etc. are in another class and warrant a separate discussion. Toronto has a vibe that similar to Chicago in that they are both regional centres with a large financial services, manufacturing, and other diversified economies. They have developed cores and vast suburbs. Chicago is definitely bigger and more beautifully designed as a city but Toronto has more international immigration than Chicago and is more liberal attitude in a quiet, Seattle-ish kind of way. So I'd say Toronto is like a smaller Chicago (Regional Mid-western financial centre) with a touch of Seattle (Asian influence & Liberal) with even a sprinkle of Detroit (gritty side) in there.
I quite agree with you. I also don't understand the frequent comparison between Toronto and New York and feel embarrassed every time someone does it too. Can we pls stop doing it?? Just take a look at the NYC forum, nobody ever mentions Toronto, and Toronto-NYC never appears in the City vs City forum either. hard evidence they are not comparables! LA vs NYC, often, Chicago vs NYC, sometimes, but Toronto, no way.

The only city that is really comparable with NYC is London. Paris is much smaller, and it is a niche city. Tokyo is much less diverse and international. Hong Kong is too small and regional too.

It is not embarrassing that Toronto is not the same league as NYC. But it IS embarrassing that people often pretend it is, or something close.

The present Toronto is between Philadelphia and Chicago in the sense that we are larger and more lively than Philly and still haven't reached where Chicago is now, or even 10 years ago. Don't underestimate Philly - it is the only city except NYC that has remained one of America's top 10 cities all the time since 1776, with with similar metro population (5.6M), metro Philadelphia's economy (388bn) is still larger than GTA (323bn).

I also agree with the Seattle part. Has anyone noticed our waterfront share much in common with Seattle's? Each has a downtown core kind of segregated from the waterfront. Our core area is only slightly larger Seattle's. When I walked in downtown Seattle last time, I couldn't believe this is a city a quarter of Toronto's size!

Last edited by botticelli; 05-28-2012 at 05:19 PM..
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:23 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,037 times
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Toronto is a city of posers and wannabes. It is not New York or Chicago, those two cities have their own identity. Those two cities don't pretend to be anyone else.

The identity of Toronto is "we're Canada's NYC". I've talked to Europeans, Africans and Asians and they make fun of Torontonians's obsession with being regarded as something else
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