Originally Posted by lrt's friend
The fact that Ontario imposed first regional government and then amalgamation has allowed for a regional transit authority, Quebec excepted. We just have to look south of the border to see the mess that was created by allowing every suburb to be incorporated separately.
OTOH, you have had, until recently, unamalgamated Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto, Gatineau, Montreal, Quebec, and Halifax; all of which have had problems both due to the lack of amalgamation (and despite amalgamation, for that matter), but nothing like the wholesale rot that has happened in too many major US metropolitan areas.
And OTOOH, you have very much unamalgamated Vancouver and Victoria, which are among the most vibrant, attractive, and best-governed urban areas in the country.
And OTOOOH, there's the progressively-amalgamated Calgary, vs. the somewhat, but not entirely, amalgamated Edmonton.
All of which is to say: amalgamation, agglomeration, loose confederation; none of these political structures seem to explain the very different Canadian and American urban experience; other cultural and economic factors are at play.