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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

 
 
Old 03-13-2015, 10:35 PM
 
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Which do you think Toronto has more in common with - its Great Lakes American cousin, or its Canadian sister far to the West?
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Old 03-14-2015, 08:47 AM
 
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Chicago in terms of:
-Set up - big city core cities anchored by lots of skyscrapers on the Great Lakes connected to vast suburbs via subways and trains.
-Economy - industrial root cities that have grown quite diversified with strong financial and manufacturing cores.
-Lifestyle - similar transit or car based lifestyle choices depending where you live; both well rounded cities in terms of amenities.
-Size - similar population wise. Chicago spreads out more and is likely a bigger metro but city proper populations are almost the same, actually slightly bigger in Toronto due to the huge condo building boom
-Culture - both feel more functional and down to earth places; not as new age as the West Coast but also not as neurotic/aggressive as the East Coast
-Weather - quite similar patterns. Cold for 5-6 months but some hot spell summers and nice transitional seasons.

Vancouver in terms of:
-Demographics - Population compositions are more similar. Both cities have huge Asian contingents that are quite evident. Chicago has larger black and latino contingents.
-Property - prices are uber expensive in both places.
-Being Canadian - however you want to spin this, Vancouver and Toronto are part of a different country so there are some inherent structural differences in terms of government policies that trickle through how society is organized (higher taxes, more
public services, less poverty/less upper class)

Overall, no cities are exactly the same if you think about it. But I'd say living in Toronto / Chicago is a more similar lifestyle than moving out West so I'm going with Chi-town

Last edited by johnathanc; 03-14-2015 at 09:22 AM..
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Old 03-14-2015, 02:02 PM
 
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Yeah, Toronto is demographically more similar to Vancouver, though far more diverse. Vancouver is much more East Asian than Toronto, Toronto is more South Asian, and Vancouver doesn't really have the European ethnic communities or a large Caribbean presence.
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:46 PM
 
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The objective answer is neither. I don't get why people keep pairing up Toronto and Chicago - just because they are both big cities beside a lake doesn't make them comparable.

As for Vancouver, like King of K said earlier, demographically Vancouver has some similarities with Toronto due to similar immigration patterns, but that's where the similarities end.

Built form, city layout - vastly different between Vancouver and Toronto
Culture - again vastly different between Vancouver and Toronto
Property prices - Vancouver is a lot more expensive, especially for a city of its economic size

Lastly, there is already another running thread with pages of posts comparing Toronto to every imaginable city in North America. Don't see the point of having another repetitive thread with the exact same old comparisons.
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Old 03-14-2015, 11:15 PM
 
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Toronto = Queens, NY + Chicago

Vancouver = Seattle + San Gabriel Valley, CA

The end.

Last edited by King of Kensington; 03-14-2015 at 11:26 PM..
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Old 03-15-2015, 08:47 AM
 
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I thought the same subject has been discussed 12 times since I learned about this forum.

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. The buildings (including CBD) are quite different. The streets look different, the people are different, and the waterfront definitely have not much in common. So beside weather, population, and location of being close to a large lake, what the hell is similar? The third point is meaningless. There are dozens of cities sitting by the great lakes. There are definitely areas they are similar (for example, Georgetown in DC looks very much like the Queen west area in Toronto), but it is a big stretch to say, these two cities look alike.

I don't even think Seattle and Vancouver are that similar either. I mean, similar in terms of what? Climate? Who cares, they are 3 hours apart, of course climates are similar. Seattle's downtown looks a lot older with grander buildings and very business oriented, Vancouver's more residential (like other Canadian cities) with completely different building form. Vancouver is also a lot more dense than Seattle - with the 8% more population, Seattle sprawls 3.5 times the land size. Seattle has 14% Asian, while Vancouver has 30% Chinese alone, plus 6% South Asian, 6% Philipino, 3% Japanese/Korea, how can they be similar? And can I say the economy can't be more different? I don't buy this "laid back" cultural similarity. Mississippi is laid back too. So is Seville, Spain or Chengdu, China. That doesn't make two cities similar.

Honestly, besides population, climate and geographic location, what exactly makes these cities worth comparing all the time?

And the silly question of Vancouver being like Toronto, of course, all larger Canadian cities look like Toronto simply because they are part of the same country.
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Old 03-15-2015, 12:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostonkid123 View Post
Lastly, there is already another running thread with pages of posts comparing Toronto to every imaginable city in North America. Don't see the point of having another repetitive thread with the exact same old comparisons.
Is Toronto more like Victoria BC or Providence RI?
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Old 03-15-2015, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
I thought the same subject has been discussed 12 times since I learned about this forum.

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. The buildings (including CBD) are quite different. The streets look different, the people are different, and the waterfront definitely have not much in common. So beside weather, population, and location of being close to a large lake, what the hell is similar? The third point is meaningless. There are dozens of cities sitting by the great lakes. There are definitely areas they are similar (for example, Georgetown in DC looks very much like the Queen west area in Toronto), but it is a big stretch to say, these two cities look alike.

I don't even think Seattle and Vancouver are that similar either. I mean, similar in terms of what? Climate? Who cares, they are 3 hours apart, of course climates are similar. Seattle's downtown looks a lot older with grander buildings and very business oriented, Vancouver's more residential (like other Canadian cities) with completely different building form. Vancouver is also a lot more dense than Seattle - with the 8% more population, Seattle sprawls 3.5 times the land size. Seattle has 14% Asian, while Vancouver has 30% Chinese alone, plus 6% South Asian, 6% Philipino, 3% Japanese/Korea, how can they be similar? And can I say the economy can't be more different? I don't buy this "laid back" cultural similarity. Mississippi is laid back too. So is Seville, Spain or Chengdu, China. That doesn't make two cities similar.

Honestly, besides population, climate and geographic location, what exactly makes these cities worth comparing all the time?

And the silly question of Vancouver being like Toronto, of course, all larger Canadian cities look like Toronto simply because they are part of the same country.
Agreed! Its always a stretch to find the similarities we are looking for.. Other than generalities or little bits and pieces being similar to some other places most are very different.. This is why it is silly when people say Toronto is 'just another American city'
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
Agreed! Its always a stretch to find the similarities we are looking for.. Other than generalities or little bits and pieces being similar to some other places most are very different.. This is why it is silly when people say Toronto is 'just another American city'
I used to claim Toronto is just another American city, but during the past years I realize it is very different. Of course the suburbs are highly similar like anywhere else in north America (although Toronto suburbs tend to have a lot more highrise apartment buildings and less poverty), but the city center of Toronto in reality is quite different from cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, or Los Angeles. Maybe on some pockets they could remind me of Toronto, but if I go over the entire central city, I just don't see one single American city that is highly similar to Toronto. Toronto's height exceed anything except NYC/CHI, but the buildings and streets in NYC/CHI are vastly different from Toronto's - we tend to have much newer buildings which look vastly different from the typical skyscrapers you see in NYC/CHI where are mostly from a different period.

Yesterday I was walking on queen's quay looking at our new ever evolving skyline and felt a little excited. the L tower, Ice towers, the rising Backstage (1 Esplanade), Aura in the far behind, plus the 1 York/10 York under construction at interesting locations, are all telling a completely different story from that in American cities. One Bloor East, One Bloor west, Genry Towers, and 1 Yonge in the coming decade will also make downtown skyline so much different. Of course Manhattan and to a less extent Chicago are also growing, but at different speed and in different ways, and in the end will give different impression.

I think the image of New York and Chicago has been largely set for good. But that for Toronto is still changing and far from being "set". Can you imagine just within 5 minutes walking distance from where I live, at least 5-6 skyscrapers (40-60s - residential and office) are/will be under construction? if you expand it to 10 minutes, there are probably more than 10. How can we say Toronto is like X and Y when we don't know what Toronto will look like?

And not just the buildings. People in Toronto is different as well. Asian population, especially the Chinese have a much large presence in downtown Toronto than in all those American cities except San Francisco (which in other aspect is a very different city) to the extent that you hear their language spoken everywhere you go (way more frequent than you do in American cities where you are more likely to hear Spanish). A lot of south Asians as well, and a much lower percentage of black/Hispanic population. For Christ sake, I bought some Korean noodles from Metro supermarket yesterday, and from I know the Loblaws store at Carlton has an entire aisle dedicated to "Asian food and spices" - from my limited experience in the US, I don't know any city where typical mainstream non-Asian grocery stores carry so much Asian food. On the other hand, I don't find many Mexican restaurants, although large American cities have plenty.

I am not saying neither is better, but Toronto is very different and it is definitely putting on a new look every few years, and that's a good thing.
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:27 PM
 
2,837 posts, read 2,547,310 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
I used to claim Toronto is just another American city, but during the past years I realize it is very different. Of course the suburbs are highly similar like anywhere else in north America (although Toronto suburbs tend to have a lot more highrise apartment buildings and less poverty), but the city center of Toronto in reality is quite different from cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, or Los Angeles. Maybe on some pockets they could remind me of Toronto, but if I go over the entire central city, I just don't see one single American city that is highly similar to Toronto. Toronto's height exceed anything except NYC/CHI, but the buildings and streets in NYC/CHI are vastly different from Toronto's - we tend to have much newer buildings which look vastly different from the typical skyscrapers you see in NYC/CHI where are mostly from a different period.

Yesterday I was walking on queen's quay looking at our new ever evolving skyline and felt a little excited. the L tower, Ice towers, the rising Backstage (1 Esplanade), Aura in the far behind, plus the 1 York/10 York under construction at interesting locations, are all telling a completely different story from that in American cities. One Bloor East, One Bloor west, Genry Towers, and 1 Yonge in the coming decade will also make downtown skyline so much different. Of course Manhattan and to a less extent Chicago are also growing, but at different speed and in different ways, and in the end will give different impression.

I think the image of New York and Chicago has been largely set for good. But that for Toronto is still changing and far from being "set". Can you imagine just within 5 minutes walking distance from where I live, at least 5-6 skyscrapers (40-60s - residential and office) are/will be under construction? if you expand it to 10 minutes, there are probably more than 10. How can we say Toronto is like X and Y when we don't know what Toronto will look like?

And not just the buildings. People in Toronto is different as well. Asian population, especially the Chinese have a much large presence in downtown Toronto than in all those American cities except San Francisco (which in other aspect is a very different city) to the extent that you hear their language spoken everywhere you go (way more frequent than you do in American cities where you are more likely to hear Spanish). A lot of south Asians as well, and a much lower percentage of black/Hispanic population. For Christ sake, I bought some Korean noodles from Metro supermarket yesterday, and from I know the Loblaws store at Carlton has an entire aisle dedicated to "Asian food and spices" - from my limited experience in the US, I don't know any city where typical mainstream non-Asian grocery stores carry so much Asian food. On the other hand, I don't find many Mexican restaurants, although large American cities have plenty.

I am not saying neither is better, but Toronto is very different and it is definitely putting on a new look every few years, and that's a good thing.
Good post, very balanced and insightful, and as a relatively new resident of Toronto, I think you paint a pretty accurate picture of what's going on right now in Toronto.

And on a personal note Botti, I'm finding you a lot more agreeable lately as the weather improves
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