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Old 11-19-2009, 06:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atticman View Post
Toronto doesn't have a small downtown core, it has a HUGE downtown core, just as big as Chicago's only with fewer extremely tall buildings.
small and huge are all relative, isn't it? My definition of downtown is between Javis and Bathurst, the lake and Bloor. It is about 3km on each side. Yes, it is kind of small.

Being small is not a bad thing. San Francisco has a super tiny downtown, which doesn't prevent it to be a great city. I think Toronto has the ideal size for a city.
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:45 PM
rah
 
Location: Oakland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkgg7 View Post
small and huge are all relative, isn't it? My definition of downtown is between Javis and Bathurst, the lake and Bloor. It is about 3km on each side. Yes, it is kind of small.

Being small is not a bad thing. San Francisco has a super tiny downtown, which doesn't prevent it to be a great city. I think Toronto has the ideal size for a city.
San Francisco's downtown is not super tiny by any definition if you ask me, despite SF's small size...it's probably about two square miles in area, and certianly bigger and busier than downtown LA, Philadelphia, Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, Providence, or San Diego, to name a few other downtowns I've been to. I've never been to Canada, but as far as pictures that i've seen, and I've definitely seen a lot, downtown SF is not small compared to Canadian downtowns, except for Toronto, obviously. Overall Canadian cities do seem to have much larger skylines relative to their population than their US counterparts though...take Calgary for example. Anyways, the only other place i've felt as enveloped by a downtown as SF is in NYC...and NYC is coincidentally the only city I've been to that can give SF's street level activity a run for it's money too.

I think some people get confused and equate the Financial District alone to downtown, when in reality that's just part of Downtown SF. And i find that funny too, because SF's financial district is one of the densest and largest skyscraper clusters in North America anyways. Maybe it's the lack of supertall towers that fools people? I don't know.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkgg7 View Post
My definition of downtown is between Javis and Bathurst, the lake and Bloor. It is about 3km on each side. Yes, it is kind of small.
Even with those dimensions it's bigger than all but a few downtowns on the continent.
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rah View Post
San Francisco's downtown is not super tiny by any definition if you ask me, despite SF's small size...it's probably about two square miles in area, and certianly bigger and busier than downtown LA, Philadelphia, Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, Providence, or San Diego, to name a few other downtowns I've been to. I've never been to Canada, but as far as pictures that i've seen, and I've definitely seen a lot, downtown SF is not small compared to Canadian downtowns, except for Toronto, obviously. Overall Canadian cities do seem to have much larger skylines relative to their population than their US counterparts though...take Calgary for example. Anyways, the only other place i've felt as enveloped by a downtown as SF is in NYC...and NYC is coincidentally the only city I've been to that can give SF's street level activity a run for it's money too.

I think some people get confused and equate the Financial District alone to downtown, when in reality that's just part of Downtown SF. And i find that funny too, because SF's financial district is one of the densest and largest skyscraper clusters in North America anyways. Maybe it's the lack of supertall towers that fools people? I don't know.
I don't know how to say it, but IMO if you drive for 10 minutes away from the very city center and all you see are single family homes with a few convenience stores, I would call it a tiny downtown.

IMO, Calgary is hardly a real city, and Los Angeles is simply a melange of 50+ small cities, which doesn't make it a big one. Remember, it is the density that defines a downtown. Downtown and detached houses don't come together. A real downtown like Manhatten, simply can't afford to have detached houses, which screams "you are in the surburb".
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atticman View Post
Even with those dimensions it's bigger than all but a few downtowns on the continent.
Agree. On the other hand, a place needs at least half a million residents to deserve a district called downtown, and there are not many such places on the continent.
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:03 AM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkgg7 View Post
I hear you! A friend of mine from Seattle also mentions that Toronto bears a striking resemblance with Seattle, much to my surprise, the layout of the city, a small and compact downtown core, the waterfront area, a skyline dominated by one tall structure.

IMO, Toronto and Chicago's resemblance stops at weather, population and geographical location. Chicago has a MUCH bigger downtown, a much more extensive subway system, a much more impressive skyline, a lot more beautiful architecture, and most likely more and better clubs and retail stores (neiman marcus, bloomingdales, fifth saks ave, barney's, you name it). On the other hand it also exhibits a vast difference in wealth, large and probably the most appaling slums and way more crime. My friend warns me NEVER take the subway south beyond a certain stop. Take the express bus directly to University of Chicago if you ever need to.
I grew up on the South side and I always take offense to this. "Oh the Southside is just a bunch of slums and poor blacks and mexicans!" Bull. Some of the most peaceful neighborhoods are south. What your friend is referring to are the slums which do exist, but you know most of the Southside is peaceful. You just gotta know which ones to avoid.

Speaking of the subway going south, he or she is talking about the Red line. I've never had any problems on this line, ever, and I've ridden it from end to end before (LONG ride!).
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:07 AM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiremann View Post
seattle..toronto are both similar because seattle is libaral elitist toytown like Toronto, and the people are similar, the cost of living is same and they both are colonized by asians.
LOL. Someone doesn't know how to read. It's a fact that Seattle is one of the white-est major cities in the Union. Yeah it has a significant Asian population, but guess what? It's close to ... ASIA!

And wtf is a "toytown" ... someone has obviously never been to Seattle. I think it's great and a friendly, safe city to live in.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:22 PM
rah
 
Location: Oakland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkgg7 View Post
I don't know how to say it, but IMO if you drive for 10 minutes away from the very city center and all you see are single family homes with a few convenience stores, I would call it a tiny downtown.

IMO, Calgary is hardly a real city, and Los Angeles is simply a melange of 50+ small cities, which doesn't make it a big one. Remember, it is the density that defines a downtown. Downtown and detached houses don't come together. A real downtown like Manhatten, simply can't afford to have detached houses, which screams "you are in the surburb".
and guess what? SF does not have detached houses within it's downtown, or anywhere close to within 10 minutes of it...not sure where you got that idea...and as far as density goes, Downtown SF has two neighborhoods with densities of over 40,000 people per square mile (Chinatown and the Tenderloin), and both those hoods have individual census tracts with population densities of 100,000 or so people per sq. mile, and i'd guess at least 70,000 people or so live in downtown SF its self, mostly in prewar brick/masonry apartment buildings, much like what you would find in parts of NYC (with a small but increasing number of newer condos, similar to say, Vancouver). Pretty dense right? As for size, let's say you start at the embarcadero, at the eastern edge of downtown SF. it's easily 20 blocks until you get to Van Ness, which is the western end of downtown SF. It's probably a 10-30 minute ride on public transportation on average, about the same in a car, all depending on how bad traffic is of course. But if your definition of a tiny downtown is when it takes 10 minutes to drive out of the downtown, than nearly all downtowns are going to be pretty small to you aren't they? What downtowns in North America would qualify as large enough to not drive out in 10 minutes? Downtown NYC, Chicago, and Toronto alone? No other cities come close in downtown size of course...but it doesn't mean they're all tiny, especially not SF (which is very dense of course too, as it's only 7 by 7 miles, something else you have to take into account). Maybe this picture will make my case:



Nearly everything you see in this picture is part of downtown SF, plus a little bit more off of the right side, and a tiny bit off of the left side of the frame as well. I fail to see how that's a "tiny downtown."

You know what's a 10 minute drive out of Downtown SF? Residential neighborhoods with densities of 20,000 to 40,000 people per square mile. And you know what's a 10 minute train ride outside of downtown SF? Downtown Oakland . Case in point:



And here's another pic of SF's skyline, which is pretty substantial:



As far as Calgary, i was just stating that for a metro of barely over 1 million, it has a huge skyline compared to your average American metro of similar size, and many metros that are much larger even.

Last edited by rah; 11-23-2009 at 06:33 PM..
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KerrTown View Post
Population wise: Houston.
Actually, Toronto doesn't look like Houston. Indeed, their populations are about the same now because of Toronto's amalgamation. I'd say the city looks more like Dallas - Fort Worth. Each area has numerous spread out business districts while each is a vast distribution center with about 700,000,000 square feet of warehouse space. Houston is mainly three business districts in closer proximity to each other while Toronto recently took in huge distant suburbs that had legitimate downtown business centers in their own right. As this is true in Toronto, the same is true in Dallas - Fort Worth where downtown Dallas and Fort Worth exist 30 miles distant from each other while the suburbs of Richardson, Addison, and Irving all have their own burgeoning business districts.

Last edited by Mister Nifty; 08-19-2010 at 05:35 PM.. Reason: tweaking
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:42 PM
 
912 posts, read 1,718,034 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rah View Post
and guess what? SF does not have detached houses within it's downtown, or anywhere close to within 10 minutes of it...not sure where you got that idea...and as far as density goes, Downtown SF has two neighborhoods with densities of over 40,000 people per square mile (Chinatown and the Tenderloin), and both those hoods have individual census tracts with population densities of 100,000 or so people per sq. mile, and i'd guess at least 70,000 people or so live in downtown SF its self, mostly in prewar brick/masonry apartment buildings, much like what you would find in parts of NYC (with a small but increasing number of newer condos, similar to say, Vancouver). Pretty dense right? As for size, let's say you start at the embarcadero, at the eastern edge of downtown SF. it's easily 20 blocks until you get to Van Ness, which is the western end of downtown SF. It's probably a 10-30 minute ride on public transportation on average, about the same in a car, all depending on how bad traffic is of course. But if your definition of a tiny downtown is when it takes 10 minutes to drive out of the downtown, than nearly all downtowns are going to be pretty small to you aren't they? What downtowns in North America would qualify as large enough to not drive out in 10 minutes? Downtown NYC, Chicago, and Toronto alone? No other cities come close in downtown size of course...but it doesn't mean they're all tiny, especially not SF (which is very dense of course too, as it's only 7 by 7 miles, something else you have to take into account). Maybe this picture will make my case:



Nearly everything you see in this picture is part of downtown SF, plus a little bit more off of the right side, and a tiny bit off of the left side of the frame as well. I fail to see how that's a "tiny downtown."

You know what's a 10 minute drive out of Downtown SF? Residential neighborhoods with densities of 20,000 to 40,000 people per square mile. And you know what's a 10 minute train ride outside of downtown SF? Downtown Oakland . Case in point:



And here's another pic of SF's skyline, which is pretty substantial:



As far as Calgary, i was just stating that for a metro of barely over 1 million, it has a huge skyline compared to your average American metro of similar size, and many metros that are much larger even.
\
I would like to point out that both downtown San Franscico and Vancouver are built on hills which enhance their appearance. Subtle point worth pointing out to the less informed out there.
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