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  #21  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2018, 3:04 PM
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I recently visited a friend in Mississauga and spent a weekend there; she lives in the Churchill Meadows neighbourhood in western Mississauga. It's an area that was designed in a new urbanist style and it actually shows. The area's street layout is mostly grid-like instead of crescents. Lots of midrise on the main streets and the local streets are pretty much all townhouse or semi-detached. It's surprisingly pedestrian friendly. Sidewalks everywhere, and even the strip malls had layouts that allowed easy access from the sidewalk without having to walk through the parking lot (like this - https://www.google.com/maps/@43.5589.../data=!3m1!1e3). Within a 10 minute walk of her house, there's a good selection of shops and stores and services, and thanks to the reasonably pedestrian friendly design, it's reasonably pleasant to do so. Aesthetically it's quite suburban (still lots of land devoted to parking, for example) but it's a lot more functionally urban than I was expecting. I dunno what transit service is like out there, though.
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  #22  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2018, 4:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Kitchissippi View Post
In Montreal, there's Beaconsfield and Baie d'Urfé.
Town of Mount Royal is pretty much the closest there is to a Westchester-type suburb in the Montreal area.
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  #23  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2018, 5:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
A history of the Philly-area main line which I think the OP was referring to.

Wow I was way off. I'd always thought the Main Line referred to the towns along the PATCO line in southern New Jersey. Though it is quite similar, to be fair, albeit not quite as affluent.

(I also had no idea that Villanova University - of NCAA fame - was in the Philly suburbs, along the actual Main Line. I'd just assumed it was in the south somewhere)
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  #24  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2018, 10:32 PM
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Ugh. Are we yet again trying to compare ourselves to the bloody Yankees?!?! Why are Canadians so bloody obsessed with Americans and how they do things? Why can't we compare ourselves to fellow Commonwealth countries like Australia or New Zealand? I'm sick and tired of having to read about how we compare ourselves to Yanks. It really does give the impression that we are striving to be nothing more than America Jr.
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  #25  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2018, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Pinus View Post
Ugh. Are we yet again trying to compare ourselves to the bloody Yankees?!?! Why are Canadians so bloody obsessed with Americans and how they do things? Why can't we compare ourselves to fellow Commonwealth countries like Australia or New Zealand? I'm sick and tired of having to read about how we compare ourselves to Yanks. It really does give the impression that we are striving to be nothing more than America Jr.
There is no comparison. The US have us beat in terms of suburbs, highways, average household income, etc.
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  #26  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2018, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Pinus View Post
Ugh. Are we yet again trying to compare ourselves to the bloody Yankees?!?! Why are Canadians so bloody obsessed with Americans and how they do things? Why can't we compare ourselves to fellow Commonwealth countries like Australia or New Zealand? I'm sick and tired of having to read about how we compare ourselves to Yanks. It really does give the impression that we are striving to be nothing more than America Jr.
Thanks for your contribution to the discussion.
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  #27  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2018, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
I'm not sure what's included in each area (though at 2,000/sqkm it's only a little less dense than the Mississauga-wide average of 2,500/sqkm - not half) and if that includes Port Credit, or the industrial areas, etc;
Mississauga's average density of 2,468 people/sqkm includes a huge industrial area and the airport in Mississauga-Malton. ~85% of Mississauga-Malton is non-residential. Compared to the rest of Mississauga excluding Mississauga-Malton, the population density of Mississauga-Lakeshore is less than half.

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Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
but regardless, the idea with these sort of railroad suburbs is that you have a dense, walkable, traditionally urban town centre located around a train station, surrounded by lower-density SFH.

So the density levels should - at least in theory - roughly even out between the two, all else being equal; with the higher density of the TOD town centres offsetting the lower density of the surrounding houses. The big difference is that the first type here provides a greater diversity of housing types and is better at providing both "urban" and "suburban" accomodations, and in a more attractive way:
Outside of the main street, Port Credit is mostly 50s/60s towers-in-a-park and you can find find those and many newer high-rises throughout Mississauga and the suburban GTA, including Etobicoke, Scarborough and North York.

Outside of Port Credit, south Mississauga is all large detached houses on huge lots - no semi-detached houses or townhouses or apartments. Hardly anyone can afford to live in these neighbourhoods, and transit is not an option. So if anything, south Mississauga is notable for its lack of diversity and inclusiveness.

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Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
This is kind of funny. For the record, I wouldn't like to live in either - I'm a city person, myself - but, most of the people living in the suburbs probably would rather live on a farm than in a neighbourhood of packed-in houses, given the option.
Yes, they could go live in Caledon or Halton Hills or Georgina or something. If proximity to work, shopping, school, transit, friends, and all the other benefits of urbanity were not at all important to them, then they don't have to live in Mississauga, the same way they don't have to live in Scarborough.

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Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
That's why they live in the suburbs and not in the city. People aren't moving to places like Brampton and Vaughan for the density and vibrant urban life.
All this time you've been saying that the suburbs are not desirable to suburbanites because they are not low density enough, but now you're saying people are moving to the suburbs because they desire low density. Which is it?

The people of the suburbs have elected their own governments, they have decided this is how they want their neighbourhoods to look like, they have decided to higher density and spend billions of dollars on transit. Do you really think you know better than them what they want?

Most of the City of Toronto is high density, post-war suburbia just like the 905. A true "city person" should not speak on behalf of suburbanites and criticize the resemblance between the city and the suburbs as bad for the suburbs, based on the assumption that the city and the suburbs are completely different and that the city is not the ideal in any way. It makes no sense.
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  #28  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2018, 4:05 PM
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Port Credit and Mineola look really appealing. I think large lot/mature growth neighborhoods seperated by dense mid/highrise arterials is the way to go.

And these areas are not just limited to south Mississauga and Oakville. Woodbridge also has quite nice pockets around the National Golf Course and Sylvadene Parkway. Same with Richmond Hill and Markham. The only suburb thats almost entirely new style tract subdivisions is Milton.

Last edited by yaletown_fella; Aug 11, 2018 at 4:17 PM.
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  #29  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2018, 3:20 AM
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Yeah, and a lot of York Region's pre-1980 areas (old Richmond Hill, old Thornhill, Markham village) have the big lot/leafy feel.
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  #30  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2018, 9:49 AM
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What about the Lake Simcoe area (relative to Toronto)? Or is that too "normal"?
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  #31  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2018, 10:31 AM
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Also, are there any parts of the 905 that used to resemble Westchester et al. but filled in with more generic suburbia over the years to the point that it kind of got swallowed up? Or parts of the old York townships that have since been amalgamated into Toronto proper? This is basically what happened to Bedford NS (as alluded to earlier) - the "bones" of a venerable bedroom community are there but the bulk of what Bedford has become looks more like the newer parts of Calgary than a "classic" pre-Radburn/Levittown US Suburb.
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  #32  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2018, 3:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Hali87 View Post
What about the Lake Simcoe area (relative to Toronto)? Or is that too "normal"?
Lake Simcoe is very far out. There are quite a lot of people who commute from Barrie to the northern GTA, and now you can sit on the GO train for an eternity to get downtown, but they've only done this in the past 30 years, or so. It's definitely not a turn of the century railroad suburb by any means.

There are some exurbs on the southern end of Lake Simcoe in places like Keswick. Keswick, however, is not known for being affluent nor charming. It's probably the part of the GTA that most resembles a working class exurb of vinyl-sided bungalows like you see all across the Eastern US, and on shows like COPS.
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  #33  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2018, 3:42 PM
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If Metrolinx/GO had more of a development ethos, and less of a parking authority that runs trains ethos, the parking lot around Rouge Hill station could be redeveloped into a New Urbanist commercial centre, and the surrounding area would be like a modern day Main Line suburb. That part of Scarborough is really nice.
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  #34  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2018, 3:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Hali87 View Post
Also, are there any parts of the 905 that used to resemble Westchester et al. but filled in with more generic suburbia over the years to the point that it kind of got swallowed up? Or parts of the old York townships that have since been amalgamated into Toronto proper?
My sense of those Toronto-adjacent 905 towns is that in the 19th century and even early 20th century they were primarily local hubs, with a rural/agricultural feel, rather than functioning as suburbs. The tiny historic parts of communities like Brampton, Oshawa, Markham feel very much as if they developed as distinctive, non-metropolitan towns, and everything else is very post-automobile.

Those more expansive Westchester-style 'burbs in NY/PA/NJ/MA seem really to have largely developed from much older communities, in most cases founded a century or more before the GTA-area towns. The Canadian examples that seem to better fit in that model model (Montreal's west island towns; Bedford, NS; etc,) are also much older, founded in the 18th century or in a few cases, the 17th.

The outlier would be Rothesay, NB earlier, which I still think is an apt example, though it was only founded in 1860. (But it was developed rapidly as a residential/summer community for Saint John's urban wealthy.)
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  #35  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2018, 4:17 PM
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Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
If Metrolinx/GO had more of a development ethos, and less of a parking authority that runs trains ethos, the parking lot around Rouge Hill station could be redeveloped into a New Urbanist commercial centre, and the surrounding area would be like a modern day Main Line suburb. That part of Scarborough is really nice.
Yes it is a beautiful area and ideal really. Wedged between the Rouge River and Lake Ontario, walkable GO Station and also easy access to the 401.
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  #36  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2018, 4:36 PM
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So I'm gathering that the question is, "should there be suburbs with urban town centers on commuter rail corridors surrounded by detached SFHs on large lots"? If so, I'd answer no. Urban town centers on commuter rail lines are good, but I don't find SFHs on large lots (in an urban/suburban setting) to be attractive from any perspective whether it be efficiency, lifestyle or aesthetics. They'd be attractive in a rural area, but I expect suburban to still be urban but just at a lower intensity. I'd consider the ultimate suburban format to be something like these:

(Halifax)
https://goo.gl/maps/eYF3gw44Lzs
https://goo.gl/maps/q8Z22bhjKDR2
https://goo.gl/maps/8J3HKVLSGT72
https://goo.gl/maps/5WSh132httN2

(Scarborough)
https://goo.gl/maps/CKxahPVYdK82

The architecture isn't any less bland than the average suburb but i'm referring more to the layout, massing, street interface, etc. Orderly, quiet, green, leafy, etc. but doesn't feel empty and isolated like many large lot areas.
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  #37  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2018, 4:36 PM
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In the early 20th century, rich Torontonians were moving to Rosedale, Lawrence Park and the like.
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  #38  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2018, 6:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
So I'm gathering that the question is, "should there be suburbs with urban town centers on commuter rail corridors surrounded by detached SFHs on large lots"? If so, I'd answer no. Urban town centers on commuter rail lines are good, but I don't find SFHs on large lots (in an urban/suburban setting) to be attractive from any perspective whether it be efficiency, lifestyle or aesthetics. They'd be attractive in a rural area, but I expect suburban to still be urban but just at a lower intensity. I'd consider the ultimate suburban format to be something like these:

(Halifax)
https://goo.gl/maps/eYF3gw44Lzs
https://goo.gl/maps/q8Z22bhjKDR2
https://goo.gl/maps/8J3HKVLSGT72
https://goo.gl/maps/5WSh132httN2

(Scarborough)
https://goo.gl/maps/CKxahPVYdK82

The architecture isn't any less bland than the average suburb but i'm referring more to the layout, massing, street interface, etc. Orderly, quiet, green, leafy, etc. but doesn't feel empty and isolated like many large lot areas.
I find these somewhat banal.

There are areas in Markham I would consider to have the ideal suburban form.
https://goo.gl/maps/i6cHrLuHWRr
https://goo.gl/maps/DH9domnxEL52
Https://goo.gl/maps/y7k6DLcva5H2
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  #39  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2018, 7:23 PM
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Originally Posted by TownGuy View Post
I find these somewhat banal.

There are areas in Markham I would consider to have the ideal suburban form.
https://goo.gl/maps/i6cHrLuHWRr
https://goo.gl/maps/DH9domnxEL52
Https://goo.gl/maps/y7k6DLcva5H2
Those are nicer but to be honest, I wouldn't even think of them as suburban form but rather urban form in a suburban setting. I mean, the streets are straight and mostly gridded with parking in back laneways, houses close to one another and barely set back from the street. In other words, not much different than some pre-war urban neighbourhoods other than the age of buildings and lacking commercial long the arterials.
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  #40  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2018, 8:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
Those are nicer but to be honest, I wouldn't even think of them as suburban form but rather urban form in a suburban setting. I mean, the streets are straight and mostly gridded with parking in back laneways, houses close to one another and barely set back from the street. In other words, not much different than some pre-war urban neighbourhoods other than the age of buildings and lacking commercial long the arterials.
Surely any form in a suburb is suburban form?

Or must it look like the old Unionville area of Markham?

https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.86639...7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.86330...7i13312!8i6656
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