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View Poll Results: Which of the following cities do you think could join the Big Canadian Cities Ranking
Barrie (ON) 10 7.30%
Kelowna (BC) 38 27.74%
Sudbury (ON) 2 1.46%
Kingston (ON) 9 6.57%
Saguenay (QC) 1 0.73%
Trois Rivieres (QC) 2 1.46%
Guelph (ON) 13 9.49%
Abbotsford-Mission (BC) 8 5.84%
Moncton (NB) 13 9.49%
Brantford (ON) 0 0%
Saint John (NB) 4 2.92%
Peterborough (ON) 1 0.73%
Thunder Bay (ON) 3 2.19%
Lethbridge (AB) 4 2.92%
Nanaimo (BC) 2 1.46%
Kamloops (BC) 1 0.73%
Belleville (ON) 1 0.73%
Chatham-Kent (ON) 1 0.73%
Fredericton (NB) 1 0.73%
Chilliwack (BC) 1 0.73%
Red Deer (AB) 12 8.76%
Cape Breton (NS) 0 0%
Sarnia (ON) 1 0.73%
Drummondville (QC) 2 1.46%
None of the Above (write in your candidate) 7 5.11%
Voters: 137. You may not vote on this poll

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  #161  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2017, 10:06 PM
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Did Freeway 2 use the old Edmonton Trail alignment? Which would mean the section of straight north-south road aligned with the 2 in the bottom pic (where Freeway 2 leaves its axis to slightly curve to the east then back on track... presumably to allow an exit for the center of Airdrie, or else because that zone of the Edmonton Trail - closest to Airdrie's core - was built up already at the time while the rest wasn't) would be the original Edmonton Trail?

Just curious - I love digging in the past like that via maps (more interesting when I'm around the area, obviously... but it's a hobby of mine; among other things I've done many sections of old Route 66 in the U.S.)
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  #162  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2017, 11:34 PM
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In the case of Airdrie, clearly bigger has not meant better.
Yes and no. Not having to go to calgary for anything anymore, certainly better. Infrastructure not having kept up to growth, shitty. More affordability while remaining a quick easy commute, better. Not meeting everyone's desired style, subjective. No historic main street because it was too small back in the day both a positive and a negative. Don't have to worry about old buildings getting in the way and maybe, just maybe they can get future dt development right.

I leave the house before morning peak and return before afternoon peak so I miss most of the congestion thankfully. Most days you can still get from a-b with 7-10 minutes so that is nice.
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  #163  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2017, 12:08 AM
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That's neat.

Airdrie's Ontario equalivalent would have to be Milton which grew from 2000 in the 50s to 110,000 currently.

I was curious to see how Miltons downtown looked, I've only ever passed Milton on the 401. You know what it's pretty nice actually!

https://goo.gl/maps/QR8e37Gh9uS2

It's really telling how far our standards have dropped when stretch of downtown built when a place had a few hundred people far eclipses anything built after it.
Wow! Great sidewalks!

Milton is attempting to make the area near the GO Station "a thing" I am not sure how much development has taken off but at my last look on a map not much has been biting. Their GO Station is on the wrong end of Main Street, surrounded by suburban trash big box format. It would be interesting to see what Milton's "downtown" would look like now if the GO Station was more central to its older historic main strip.
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  #164  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2017, 11:47 AM
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No historic main street because it was too small back in the day both a positive and a negative. Don't have to worry about old buildings getting in the way and maybe, just maybe they can get future dt development right.
To play devil's advocate, most often old buildings aren't "in the way" of getting downtown development right, but form the basic foundation of mixed-use and walkability that it requires.
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  #165  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2017, 1:01 PM
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Indeed, as long as the old buildings have good bones and a part of an intact streetscape, this is often what gives a downtown it's character (rather than an interminable assortment of generic condo/office buildings).
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  #166  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2017, 2:22 PM
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Milton's downtown is small and it looks like the downtown of a city of 10,000 people, not 100,000 people. On the other hand, the stores in the old buildings look like they're a cut above what you might find in some random city of 10,000 in another part of Southern Ontario. Obviously downtown Milton is attracting some of the people who live there as a bit of a niche entertainment/shopping destination. Infill developers could probably capitalize on that a bit more; there probably is some demand for "inner city" condo living in downtown Milton, although the units would have to be larger and there would have to be more generous parking guarantees.
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  #167  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2017, 12:46 AM
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Really interesting thread.

The discussions on Airdrie and Milton have been great. I could see Airdrie essentially becoming like Mississauga for Calgary. Huge, prosperous, middle class, near the airport, etc. One major problem I see with Airdrie is how it's roads are laid out. Yeah, the loops-and-lollipops vernacular is bad enough for residential and side streets, but arterials like Main St and Lake Blvd are incredibly inefficient for the fast-growing city and will produce problems as it continues to grow. 1 Ave NW should also connect to the east side and add another east-west link. Then again, maybe I'm thinking of Downtown Airdrie as becoming a centre of sorts. If it stays as just old sprawl, then I guess increased connectivity is less of an issue. Airdrie, for all we known, could build a new downtown at Twp Rd 264 and Range Rd 11 or the like.

As for real cities...

I know it's above the threshold, but Kitchener-Waterloo and Halifax have a real shot at becoming larger, more nationally relevant (in the case of K-W) cities, of closer to a million or more.

Regina and Saskatoon are the obvious smaller metros that will likely becoming large, major cities in excess of 500,000, perhaps even inching closer to a million.

For the <250,000... I'd say Red Deer and Lethbridge have the best chances, due to ample space and good economy. As others said, Kelowna would be another obvious choice, but its growth is seriously hampered by geographic constraints. Of course, the city could just densify, but I'm having trouble seeing it.

Ontario cities like Barrie, Peterborough, Orangeville, and such will likely grow to become much larger, but probably just as outgrowths of the GTA, rather than their own major cities. Close to Toronto, only Hamilton and Kitchener-Waterloo really stand a chance at remaining distinct centres in their own right, and that's only because they were already sizable places before becoming within striking distance of GTA sprawl, but even then, I see both increasingly orientating towards Toronto.

Moncton is the obvious East Coast example, but I doubt it'll ever be "very big". Only Halifax seems to have a shot at that out there.
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  #168  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2017, 1:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ue View Post
Really interesting thread.

The discussions on Airdrie and Milton have been great. I could see Airdrie essentially becoming like Mississauga for Calgary. Huge, prosperous, middle class, near the airport, etc. One major problem I see with Airdrie is how it's roads are laid out. Yeah, the loops-and-lollipops vernacular is bad enough for residential and side streets, but arterials like Main St and Lake Blvd are incredibly inefficient for the fast-growing city and will produce problems as it continues to grow. 1 Ave NW should also connect to the east side and add another east-west link. Then again, maybe I'm thinking of Downtown Airdrie as becoming a centre of sorts. If it stays as just old sprawl, then I guess increased connectivity is less of an issue. Airdrie, for all we known, could build a new downtown at Twp Rd 264 and Range Rd 11 or the like.
Twp Rd 264 and RR11 are 8th street and future 56th ave. There will be a full interchange over QE2 at future 56th ave. 40th ave will also be getting an interchange but only a 1/2 interchange.

https://www.airdrie.ca/getDocument.cfm?ID=2929

See that by 110,000 people they would like a mid city flyover slightly south of your recommended location.
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  #169  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2017, 1:40 AM
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Only Halifax seems to have a shot at that out there.
Halifax will have to annex all of Nova Scotia just to keep up.
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  #170  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2017, 1:45 AM
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To play devil's advocate, most often old buildings aren't "in the way" of getting downtown development right, but form the basic foundation of mixed-use and walkability that it requires.
Well the old buildings we have are shit, not worth working around.
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  #171  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2017, 1:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ue View Post
Moncton is the obvious East Coast example, but I doubt it'll ever be "very big". Only Halifax seems to have a shot at that out there.
News item today (CBC)

Moncton becomes No. 1 commercial, industrial development hub in Atlantic Canada
Moncton occupies top spot for 3 quarters in a row, including first 6 months of 2017
By Robert Jones, CBC News Posted: Jul 18, 2017 7:00 AM AT Last Updated: Jul 18, 2017 7:48 AM AT
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-br...ader-1.4209451

Quote:
Having long dispatched its provincial rival in Saint John, figures show Moncton has now chased down the region's two largest cities to command the most commercial and industrial development money in Atlantic Canada.

"To think that in recent quarters we've been challenging or surpassing Halifax, I think that's pretty impressive company to be keeping," said Kevin Silliker, Moncton's director of economic development.

On Monday, Statistics Canada reported there had been $163.9 million spent on "non-residential building construction" in the Greater Moncton area during the first six months of 2017 — the area including Moncton, Dieppe, Riverview and other smaller nearby communities.

That's a record for New Brunswick.

It swamps figures for Greater Saint John ($62.8 million) for the same period, but more significantly it exceeds similar development spending in the much larger metropolitan communities of St. John's ($97.1 million) and Halifax ($137.6 million).
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  #172  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2017, 2:15 PM
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Halifax will have to annex all of Nova Scotia just to keep up.
Isn't it already halfway there?
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  #173  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2017, 3:41 PM
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Isn't it already halfway there?
That annexation hasn't been very effective at inflating the population of the city so far. The easternmost 50% (or more) of the municipality has about 20,000 people in it. There used to be one councillor district for the eastern 2/3 of the land, out of 23 in total.

I think it was included mostly because it was unincorporated land that would not be viable as its own municipality. In the other directions there are towns that are all successful on their own and where the local populations generally probably wouldn't want to amalgamate. Then again there are suburbs like Enfield, Elmsdale, and Lantz that probably should be part of the city but aren't.
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  #174  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2017, 3:55 PM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
Did Freeway 2 use the old Edmonton Trail alignment? Which would mean the section of straight north-south road aligned with the 2 in the bottom pic (where Freeway 2 leaves its axis to slightly curve to the east then back on track... presumably to allow an exit for the center of Airdrie, or else because that zone of the Edmonton Trail - closest to Airdrie's core - was built up already at the time while the rest wasn't) would be the original Edmonton Trail?

Just curious - I love digging in the past like that via maps (more interesting when I'm around the area, obviously... but it's a hobby of mine; among other things I've done many sections of old Route 66 in the U.S.)
That's right, the section marked Edmonton Trail would have been the original highway alignment, I assume as volume increased it was no longer appropriate to have it slow down to 50 km/hr past businesses and it curved to the East to by-pass the old road.
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  #175  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2017, 4:07 PM
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Originally Posted by GreaterMontréal View Post
Halifax will have to annex all of Nova Scotia just to keep up.
It's already growing faster than Montreal.

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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
News item today (CBC)

Moncton becomes No. 1 commercial, industrial development hub in Atlantic Canada
Moncton occupies top spot for 3 quarters in a row, including first 6 months of 2017
By Robert Jones, CBC News Posted: Jul 18, 2017 7:00 AM AT Last Updated: Jul 18, 2017 7:48 AM AT
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-br...ader-1.4209451



Is this supposed to disprove Halifax's chief status within Atlantic Canada? I think it's obvious Moncton will continue to prosper and will probably move ahead of Saint John, with further distance in population, but I can't see it unseating Halifax. I mean, anything's possible, 50, 100 years out, but given current conditions, I can't see it. The most I could see is Moncton challenge St John's position as #2 in Atlantic Canada.
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  #176  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2017, 6:03 PM
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It is a strange article, and surprisingly poor for something published by the CBC.

I think they are talking about non-residential building permits. These values are highly volatile because big projects tend to be reported once and go on for many years (though some do have multiple permits).

It's not a "hub" ranking and the wording about "dispatching" Saint John and so on is bizarre. They should have stuck to reporting about the facts.
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  #177  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2017, 6:28 PM
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It is a strange article, and surprisingly poor for something published by the CBC.

I think they are talking about non-residential building permits. These values are highly volatile because big projects tend to be reported once and go on for many years (though some do have multiple permits).

It's not a "hub" ranking and the wording about "dispatching" Saint John and so on is bizarre. They should have stuck to reporting about the facts.
I have no comment regarding the reporting style or quality of the correspondent. Curiously, Robert Jones is a CBC reporter based in Saint John, not in Moncton.

This tweet (below) probably indicates what Mr. Jones means about "dispatching" Saint John. He may be trying to poke the bear in the eye with his recent articles. Curiously, the comment section for this CBC article is open, showing a lot of outrage emanating from the port city. There's a lot of bitterness and envy in Saint John regarding Moncton and a deep seated suspicion in the port city that Moncton has been receiving preferential treatment from the provincial government. This anger in Saint John is often self destructive.



Non residential construction in Moncton has bested that in Saint John for the last 29 quarters in a row. That's over seven years!!! Since I have lived in Moncton (28 years), the population of the metro area has increased to over 150,000 from around 100,000. Meanwhile in Saint John, the population has barely budged during the same time frame and languishes between 125-130,000. Even worse, the province's third city (Fredericton) is also growing fast and is now nearing 110,000. There is a real danger than in the next 15-20 years, Saint John might end up being NB's third largest city........
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Last edited by MonctonRad; Jul 18, 2017 at 6:52 PM.
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  #178  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2017, 6:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ue View Post
Is this supposed to disprove Halifax's chief status within Atlantic Canada? I think it's obvious Moncton will continue to prosper and will probably move ahead of Saint John, with further distance in population, but I can't see it unseating Halifax. I mean, anything's possible, 50, 100 years out, but given current conditions, I can't see it. The most I could see is Moncton challenge St John's position as #2 in Atlantic Canada.
Halifax is, and likely always will be, Atlantic Canada's largest and most important city. Halifax has a lot of advantages (historical gravitas, political capital of NS, major port, military infrastructure, universities, hospitals etc). Halifax has momentum, similar to a supertanker travelling at top speed in the middle of the ocean. It's difficult to stop or even slow down.

The article however is interesting as further proof that Moncton also has momentum, based on it's own advantages, and will become increasingly a force to reckon with in Atlantic Canada. Moncton has traditionally been ignored (by the rest of Canada), dismissed (by Haligonians) and underestimated by everyone. These attitudes are beginning to change (except by the Haligonians).

The nadir for Moncton was in the late 1980s with the closure of the CN shops, CFB Moncton and the Eaton's catalogue warehouse throwing literally 4,000 or so people out of work (in a city at the time with a population between 90-100,000). It was a near death experience for the community and we came within a whisker of being another Industrial Cape Breton (economic basket case). Fortunately we had a supportive premier at the time (Frank McKenna) and visionary civic leadership who were capable to find a way out of the economic catastrophe. Positive energy and a can-do attitude count for a lot. The city has been growing for the last 25 years, and our economic strength continues to accelerate - including in all sectors, even in areas you might not expect (insurance, finance, biomedical research, IT start-ups, light manufacturing, heavy industry (rail car manufacturing), etc).

Moncton should not be underestimated or dismissed. No, we will not supplant Halifax as the east coast metropolis, but we will continue to challenge Halifax in certain sectors and become a force to reckon with. To look west for an analogy, Moncton may not become a new Calgary, but we will damned sure become a Saskatoon.......
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  #179  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2017, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
Halifax is, and likely always will be, Atlantic Canada's largest and most important city. Halifax has a lot of advantages (historical gravitas, political capital of NS, major port, military infrastructure, universities, hospitals etc). Halifax has momentum, similar to a supertanker travelling at top speed in the middle of the ocean. It's difficult to stop or even slow down.

The article however is interesting as further proof that Moncton also has momentum, based on it's own advantages, and will become increasingly a force to reckon with in Atlantic Canada. Moncton has traditionally been ignored (by the rest of Canada), dismissed (by Haligonians) and underestimated by everyone. These attitudes are beginning to change (except by the Haligonians).

The nadir for Moncton was in the late 1980s with the closure of the CN shops, CFB Moncton and the Eaton's catalogue warehouse throwing literally 4,000 or so people out of work (in a city at the time with a population between 90-100,000). It was a near death experience for the community and we came within a whisker of being another Industrial Cape Breton (economic basket case). Fortunately we had a supportive premier at the time (Frank McKenna) and visionary civic leadership who were capable to find a way out of the economic catastrophe. Positive energy and a can-do attitude count for a lot. The city has been growing for the last 25 years, and our economic strength continues to accelerate - including in all sectors, even in areas you might not expect (insurance, finance, biomedical research, IT start-ups, light manufacturing, heavy industry (rail car manufacturing), etc).

Moncton should not be underestimated or dismissed. No, we will not supplant Halifax as the east coast metropolis, but we will continue to challenge Halifax in certain sectors and become a force to reckon with. To look west for an analogy, Moncton may not become a new Calgary, but we will damned sure become a Saskatoon.......
Yes, Moncton is a very positive force within the Maritimes and you guys should be proud of what you've made of yourselves. Being there, it was very weird, because it felt very un-Maritime to me, aside from the Acadian element. It was younger, bilingual, newer, and had a positive dynamism to it. Very Albertan, actually. I'd probably prefer Saint John if I moved to New Brunswick, but there's no denying the successes Moncton has made vis-a-vis Saint John, Sydney, etc. The only other places with Moncton's level of prosperity seemed to be Halifax, Lunenburg, and PEI.

I think, on the whole, New Brunswick at large is underestimated and dismissed on the national stage. A lot of people really don't know anything about it. PEI, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland all have more distinctive brands in people's minds. Maybe New Brunswick is hard to define... but they could totally do something with the Acadian heritage.
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  #180  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2017, 12:42 AM
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Interesting - I myself have often said that I find Moncton to be the least Maritime of all Atlantic Canadian cities, and indeed would fit in quite well on the Prairies. It's young, dynamic, optimistic, flat and not an ocean port.

Despite not being on the ocean though, the Northumberland Straight is only 15 minutes away, and the Bay of Fundy is only 30 minutes away, so it's still easy to get your Maritime "fix", and the seafood is always fresh......
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