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View Poll Results: Fundamentally, Toronto is more like ...
Chicago 43 61.43%
Vancouver 27 38.57%
Voters: 70. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-31-2015, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Toronto
12,892 posts, read 12,759,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
I stand by my conclusion. If cities are categorized into big, mid sized an small, then Toronto is unquestionably a mid sized one.
It appears small in comparison with Tokyo, New York, London, shanghai,Beijing, Seoul, istanbul, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Palau, Paris, Moscow, Wuhan, Guangzhoy, Mumbai, Osaka, Mexico City etc. it is about the worlds 50th largest.

In terms of feel, it feels smaller than Rome, Madrid, buenos aires, or hangzhou, although with similar population. It hardly feels bigger than Barcelona actually.

I am not trying to put down Toronto because being big doesn't necessarily mean better. I would not want to live most of the big cities I mentioned above (maybe except Paris). But the truth is Toronto is not such a big city.
So is it a big city or not such a big city lol... Botti how many cities are there in the world? Even if we count all the cities over 1 million people Toronto is STILL a large city.. Being the 53rd largest urban area in a world with thousand of cities qualifies as a LARGE city.. You're getting all into 'feel' again and losing objectivity here. We're not talking about ped vibrancy vs Barcelona (might I add Barcelona's mid-rise density can get a little repetitive in style - same octagonal buildings mile after mile after mile - I like the city too but it can get a little overdone always the feeling like i've been to this building before - oh no I haven't its the same as the other one as the other one as the other one blah blah blah).. Anyway we are talking about urban areas and being number 53 is large.. Megacity large no - but large yes.. This is all semantics but I doubt there is anyone anywhere that would consider Toronto a mid sized city unless you're a person who has only travelled to and lived in Megacities.. Man you are such a MEGA sized SIZE QUEEN at times lol.. Anyway its silly to dismiss more suburban parts of any city or urban area simply because they aren't as urban as the core or meet with your rather unique specs as to what constitutes the size of city/urban area.

Last edited by fusion2; 03-31-2015 at 07:26 PM..
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Toronto
12,892 posts, read 12,759,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
I am biased.

If I can't walk comfortably with plenty of retail and pedestrians in sight, those areas simply don't exist to me because they are not part of the "city". For example Lawrence/Bayview doesn't count, nor does dufferin/Eglinton.

Nothing in Markham or Mississauga adds to the bigness of Toronto, or 90% of North York for that matter.

And yes you are right. I spend 95% of my time south of Bloor, 75% south of college/Carlton. I absolutely hate to walk 200 meters From one building to the next!
LOL - ok well than what happens to Chicago then.. You are the one going on about how it is this big city but the same argument you are using against Toronto can be levelled against Chicago if not more so.. So is Chicago a mid sized city using your qualifier than?
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:31 PM
 
10,847 posts, read 12,817,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
So is it a big city or not such a big city lol... Botti how many cities are there in the world? Even if we count all the cities over 1 million people Toronto is STILL a large city.. Being the 53rd largest urban area in a world with thousand of cities qualifies as a LARGE city.. You're getting all into 'feel' again and losing objectivity here. We're not talking about ped vibrancy vs Barcelona (might I add Barcelona's mid-rise density can get a little repetitive in style - same octagonal buildings mile after mile after mile - I like the city too but it can get a little overdone always the feeling like i've been to this building before - oh no I haven't its the same as the other one as the other one as the other one blah blah blah)..

Anyway we are talking about urban areas and being number 53 is large.. Megacity large no - but large yes.. This is all semantics but I doubt there is anyone anywhere that would consider Toronto a mid sized city unless you're a person who has only travelled to Megacities.. Man you are such a MEGA sized SIZE QUEEN at times lol..
As I stated earlier, I don't think big is better. By saying Toronto is not that big, there is no negative connotation to it. I have lived in mega cities, and life quality is horrible - yes, the stats look fantastic, but for a regular resident, the commute, stress, congestion is simply not worth it.

Have you been to restaurants where you get a number and there is 60 people and 1.5 hours waiting in front of you? Have you been to the bank where you were told about 129 people are before you? Have you been to the hospital where it is so crowded and noisy that you want to just run your head into the wall? Have you living in a city where subways are so packed (not TTC packed, that's really nothing) that you have to wait for 5 trains to pass by in order to get in and you are physically attached to about 5 strangers? I have.

I think a city with more than 15 million people is simply putting too much stress on the infrastructure and in terms hurts the quality of life. On the other, anything fewer than 5/6 million is simply too small and not enough to create a vibrant urban feel with enough density. I think the optimal is about 10-15 million assuming it is not very spreadout. Toronto will get there, but right now, it is a bit too quiet for my taste. For example, right now, at 9:30 pm, if I walk out to Queen and Bay, or College and Spadina, I am not gonna see a lot of people enjoying their night life. That's really not a "big city" should be like.

Last year when I was visiting Tokyo, there are about 200 small restaurants like this within walking distance from where I live, and people stay outside until past 11pm every night. That's a BIG city


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Old 03-31-2015, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Toronto
12,892 posts, read 12,759,098 times
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^^^

Naturally Tokyo is a BIG city.. It does BIG city pretty much more than any other city.. I dunno maybe a handful of other cities can pull off Tokyo Big and I don't think anyone in here would argue that Toronto doesn't feel small compared to Tokyo...I think its a matter of perspective here - if you are only considering the top 100 urban areas in the world - yeah Toronto is middle of the pack but if you are considering the full scope of 'cities' globally than Toronto qualifies as large and I think it is a rather fair conclusion that the vast majority of individuals would also conclude objectively and even in 'feel' that Toronto is a large city. I mean we can change the goal posts here and say that NYC is a small city if we are only considering the top 10 largest urban areas in the world and also conclude based on top 10 that Seoul is mid-sized.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._by_population

I agree with you - size isn't everything and I can also agree that in certain ways Chicago 'feels' bigger than Toronto or as Johnathan puts it - 'does' big city better than Toronto but to say that it is a mid sized city or feels like a mid sized city just has most people scratching their heads - even the one's who aren't necessarily enthusiastic about Toronto.

Nice pics btw!! I've only connected in Tokyo NRT but do want to go there!! A little intimidated by it actually.

Last edited by fusion2; 03-31-2015 at 08:44 PM..
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
365 posts, read 309,150 times
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I just got back this weekend from Chicago. Fabulous city! Beautiful architecture. And the layout of the city...so orderly. Everything converges on the loop.

Anyways I met a large group of students at my hostel who are from Calgary and another student from Vancouver.

And both the Calgarians and the Vancouverite did not have good remarks about Toronto when I asked them about the city at separate occasions. :/

The vancouverite said the city is clean but the architecture is very bland. He told me that because TO has been trying to pack in a bunch of people into the downtown area in the span of only a few years he said that the quality of design is poor - just one glass box after another. He said Chicago has a lot more variation in the form and geometries of it's skyline.

The calgarians made a similar remark about the skyline. One young lady said that the center of the city was clean and pretty but "that's what the city wants you to see when you visit." And she said that the outlying areas were not as nice as the city center. I'm not sure why because she didn't elaborate.

I was more interested in how they thought Toronto compared to Chicago since I haven't been to Toronto yet.

I don't think the calgarians really got out to see a lot Toronto though - just judging by their vague remarks.

However, I think that the vancouverite's comment resembles some posts I have read a few times already here on city data about the architecture. And I think he has a point after looking through the photos of TO's skyline posted on skyscrapercity myself.
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Old 03-31-2015, 10:39 PM
 
2,831 posts, read 2,664,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sf_arkitect View Post
I just got back this weekend from Chicago. Fabulous city! Beautiful architecture. And the layout of the city...so orderly. Everything converges on the loop.

Anyways I met a large group of students at my hostel who are from Calgary and another student from Vancouver.

And both the Calgarians and the Vancouverite did not have good remarks about Toronto when I asked them about the city at separate occasions. :/

The vancouverite said the city is clean but the architecture is very bland. He told me that because TO has been trying to pack in a bunch of people into the downtown area in the span of only a few years he said that the quality of design is poor - just one glass box after another. He said Chicago has a lot more variation in the form and geometries of it's skyline.

The calgarians made a similar remark about the skyline. One young lady said that the center of the city was clean and pretty but "that's what the city wants you to see when you visit." And she said that the outlying areas were not as nice as the city center. I'm not sure why because she didn't elaborate.

I was more interested in how they thought Toronto compared to Chicago since I haven't been to Toronto yet.

I don't think the calgarians really got out to see a lot Toronto though - just judging by their vague remarks.

However, I think that the vancouverite's comment resembles some posts I have read a few times already here on city data about the architecture. And I think he has a point after looking through the photos of TO's skyline posted on skyscrapercity myself.
"TO's architecture is bland... full of glass boxes" - this coming from a Vancouverite. Talk about double standards.

Looks like both people you talked to have only token knowledge of the city confined to downtown CBD - and yes, that area is full of bland glass boxes and corporate offices. But they've pretty much missed the other 90% of the city.
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Old 03-31-2015, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Toronto
12,892 posts, read 12,759,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sf_arkitect View Post
I just got back this weekend from Chicago. Fabulous city! Beautiful architecture. And the layout of the city...so orderly. Everything converges on the loop.

Anyways I met a large group of students at my hostel who are from Calgary and another student from Vancouver.

And both the Calgarians and the Vancouverite did not have good remarks about Toronto when I asked them about the city at separate occasions. :/

The vancouverite said the city is clean but the architecture is very bland. He told me that because TO has been trying to pack in a bunch of people into the downtown area in the span of only a few years he said that the quality of design is poor - just one glass box after another. He said Chicago has a lot more variation in the form and geometries of it's skyline.

The calgarians made a similar remark about the skyline. One young lady said that the center of the city was clean and pretty but "that's what the city wants you to see when you visit." And she said that the outlying areas were not as nice as the city center. I'm not sure why because she didn't elaborate.

I was more interested in how they thought Toronto compared to Chicago since I haven't been to Toronto yet.

I don't think the calgarians really got out to see a lot Toronto though - just judging by their vague remarks.

However, I think that the vancouverite's comment resembles some posts I have read a few times already here on city data about the architecture. And I think he has a point after looking through the photos of TO's skyline posted on skyscrapercity myself.
I don't think any Torontonian would make the claim that Toronto has the highrise architectural cred of Chicago.. Fortunately for the city, its more than just a skyline.. So it really depends on what you are looking for.. Toronto is simply growing and densifying at a greater clip than most cities in N.A.. Chicago in terms of highrise dev is lacking in relation. I think Toronto is making progress in terms of the quality of the buildings going up but matching the legacy of Chicago in terms of highrise form is a tall order that will not likely be matched. Now someone who is in the industry of designing buildings and constructing them- well even condo's need architects - even so called bland one's so really you can draw your own conclusions to that.. Certainly in the last decade there's been a whole lot more buildings going up in the GTA than in the Chicago metro and that doesn't look to be changing soon.

I think honestly Sf_architect you need to determine what it is about a city that makes it appealing to you as a place to live.. Certainly Chicago has the aesthetic and architectural legacy that Toronto doesn't match - certainly an edge whereas Toronto has the edge in terms of 21 century development by a long shot.. With those things said, there is soooo much more to a city than this stuff.. Any city really - That is why, regardless of what some people from Vancouver or Calgary say about Toronto (take into account the objectivity of these people - are they going to be completely obective? - think about it that is for you to decide and conclude).. You've visited Chicago and you like it/ hey loved it well i've been there to and I say it enthusiastically I love Chicago..Now, what is fair is to make a trip up to Toronto and experience it yourself.. Will the architecture of the city blow you away like Chicago - no it won't but will the cranes in the sky and sheer development impress - probably but expand your horizons beyond these things (and account for more than just scraper architecture, there's plenty of quirky low/mid-rise stuff in Old T.O) but experience any place you go to with an open mind.. Whatever interests you in terms of art/culture/bars/clubs/theatre/festivals and just its vibe and energy - you name it engage in those activities and than come to your own final conclusion regarding which city meshes the most with Sf_arkitect..

btw I looked at your post in the Chicago thread and it seems your mind is already made up so congrats and good luck in Chicago dude!! You'll certainly be closer to Toronto than living in S.F so you could always come for a side visit.. Its worth checking out.

Last edited by fusion2; 03-31-2015 at 11:48 PM..
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Old 03-31-2015, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostonkid123 View Post
"TO's architecture is bland... full of glass boxes" - this coming from a Vancouverite. Talk about double standards.

Looks like both people you talked to have only token knowledge of the city confined to downtown CBD - and yes, that area is full of bland glass boxes and corporate offices. But they've pretty much missed the other 90% of the city.
Some of those bland boxes and corporate offices were designed by Mies Van Der Rohe, IM PEI, Stone, Rivell, Libeskind and structures to be found including Gehry with a lobby designed by Calavatra (to be found in one of my pics in the T.O pics thread).. Point being - lets not just throw the baby out with the bath water.. Otherwise I can't agree with you more about them probably missing the best parts of the city. Also don't mean to stir the pot but Calgarians/Vancouverites saying less than stellar things about big bad Toronto - shocking lol..
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Old 03-31-2015, 11:18 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
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I've just skimmed the thread, so here's my 2¢ on a few of the posts that caught my eye.

Quote:
Originally Posted by valsteele View Post
Chicago is VERY black (nearly half in the city proper), that alone is a huge difference from Toronto which is only about 8-9% black, and largely of Caribbean origin.
This isn't correct. Chicago is roughly 33% black, 29% Hispanic (of any race), and 32% white alone. Chicago's black population is also the group that is falling the fastest. Chicago is also roughly 21% foreign born.

From my visit to Toronto last year, Toronto certainly felt more white than Chicago, but, judging by Toronto's high percentage of foreign residents, clearly not all of those white people are Canadians. Chicago therefore can look more diverse from a racial standpoint, but not from an actual foreign standpoint.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WayneCounty View Post
Toronto is a huge city!!! I'm pretty sure it's similar in size to Chicago now and is the 4th largest metro in North America.
From the last estimations I saw, metro Toronto is similar in size to Houston and Philadelphia (I think wedged between the two), but smaller than Dallas. Mexico City is also larger than NYC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
^^

Take away some of the height advantage Botticelli and are you absolutely sure in terms of highrise built form that DT Chicago's core is that much more dense than Toronto's DT core? A highrise building isn't just over 200m... Why don't 130 and 140 m buildings count?.. I'd think you'd actually be surprised how dense Toronto's DT core is vs Chicago's if you include ALL buildings greater than 125m.. You like stats/data - get crunching, you might objectively surprise yourself.. I think you're allowing 'feelings' to get in the way of objectivity because Chicago's tallest skew taller and architecturally there is more pinache. What are you going to do if in about a decade when it can be demonstrated through real figures that Toronto's core is as if not more dense and skews about as high in the greater than 200 m class? T.O is building 5 greater than 200 m scrapers in one city block right now!

I also think T.O's Ped vibrancy is better given the number of people who actually live in DT Toronto's core and immediate nabe's around it.. Once all those office workers leave Chicago's core what happens?p. I even think our major arterials immediately in and around the core are more alive.. I agree re Michigan Ave - Toronto doesn't have an artery like that but after that what? Where is a Queen St West/St Lawrence Market/Kensington Market/Distillery District equivalent in Chicago.. Even Dundas Sq to me has more interesting characters and activity going on than anything I saw in Chicago and i'm being dead serious.. Give me that over manicured parks, beaches and some stately arterials any day!

Antoher thing where Chicago lacks is outside the core in terms of highrise density - in that regard the city of T.O kills the City of Chicago.. Where in Chicago's urban area would you have a Mississauga or NYCC type highrise density equivalent..?? This has zero to do with how anything feels it has to do with how it is..

Btw - I prefer High Park to the park in your photo of Chicago there lol... Toronto's green areas/ravine's seem more raw and natural though i'm not a huge waterfront manicured landscaping/beaches kind of guy...
Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
I'm of the same opinion as you.. In additionn, T.O's core and immediate nabe's feel more active and vibrant/alive with people actually living in these areas and doing things instead of just working.. Chicago's core is busy and vibrant but coming off more in terms of day worker vibrancy.. Chicago has vibrant nabe's but you do have to travel to them.. I'm not talking about Chinatown/Kensington/Distillery distance in Toronto either..

Anyway it all depends on what one appreciates but you're right about our messy urbanism and I would even say our interesting build form juxtopositions and quirkiness that other more 'Stately' cities would dare touch gives us our own character.. There's just something very organic about the way Toronto fuses its core and surrounding areas that a city like Chicago for example doesn't do as well at.
What exactly is your definition of Chicago's "core," because your opinions seem off. Chicago had the fastest growing downtown in the entire United States from 2000-2010, even though the city lost population overall. The central business district in the Loop clears out after hours, but not even all of the Loop proper dies off in this day and age. Not with the theatre district, shopping on State, hotels, museums, and restaurants. Granted the Loop proper couldn't compete with downtown Toronto, but the Loop is only a small part of downtown Chicago. Neighborhoods like River North, Streeterville, and Gold Coast are also apart of downtown Chicago, and they're full of hotels, luxury high rise apartment buildings and condos, shopping, restaurants, and clubs. A neighborhood like River North doesn't die off like the Loop proper. Same with the bars in Gold Coast.

Also Chicago's North Side neighborhoods are lined with highrise apartment buildings. They don't extend far inland due to zoning, but Chicago has miles worth of high rises extending from downtown.
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Old 03-31-2015, 11:25 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
2,614 posts, read 2,662,102 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
The truth is, no city in the US is largely similar to Toronto. I don't know why people keep saying Chicago looks like Toronto, it really doesn't, and even on the appearance they are very different.
A lot of cities don't look similar to one another, not even the ever favorite of comparing Chicago and NYC in the US forums. Chicago and Toronto do have a fairly similar vibe though, or at least it did from my visit. I'd even say that Toronto and Chicago felt more similar than Chicago and NYC.

It's hard to explain though, as I'm no buff when it comes to architecture and I'm talking about a feeling rather than just aesthetics alone.
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