HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForum
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada

Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #21  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2018, 11:13 PM
d_jeffrey d_jeffrey is offline
Living between provinces
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Alexandria, ON
Posts: 2,657
I like your comment about the sheer human activity, because that's exactly the opposite of where the city is going, especially with Projet Montréal as it's head.
__________________
If only "common sense" people had any.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #22  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2018, 11:16 PM
kool maudit's Avatar
kool maudit kool maudit is offline
what it is
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Copenhagen
Posts: 10,807
In spite of my disappointment this summer, I do think Montreal is doing all the right things. I think I may have been premature in some of my expectations; much of what I had been curious to see is still in the creation stage.

The Saint-Laurent/Sainte-Catherine area, Square Victoria, Griffintown, western downtown -- it's coming. I have no doubt that the city is moving faster than it did during the 18 years I lived there.

But I was surprised by the holes, I have to say. I was surprised by how I couldn't avoid them.

And I was surprised by how incredibly alive those long Toronto arteries have become.
__________________
here's why that's a problem
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #23  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2018, 11:19 PM
kool maudit's Avatar
kool maudit kool maudit is offline
what it is
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Copenhagen
Posts: 10,807
Montreal needs to support its arterials better. I don't know if it's trams, tax breaks, or what, but the Sainte-Catherine project is probably on the right track. But what about Saint-Laurent and Saint-Denis? Why are they sleepy? This is a very large city.

A street like Ossington was as much of a no-hoper as, say, Atwater, but look at it now.

You shouldn't need an eight-million-person metro area to have these things.
__________________
here's why that's a problem
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #24  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2018, 11:25 PM
d_jeffrey d_jeffrey is offline
Living between provinces
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Alexandria, ON
Posts: 2,657
Quote:
Originally Posted by kool maudit View Post
Montreal needs to support its arterials better. I don't know if it's trams, tax breaks, or what, but the Sainte-Catherine project is probably on the right track. But what about Saint-Laurent and Saint-Denis? Why are they sleepy? This is a very large city.

A street like Ossington was as much of a no-hoper as, say, Atwater, but look at it now.

You shouldn't need an eight-million-person metro area to have these things.
Taxes and the boroughs are really picky about what kind of businesses they want. The small pa and ma shops are what the city wants, and basically they can't afford taxes on those streets. Hence the nice streets are secondary roads. Ontario between Berri and Papineau has gentrified while Ste-Catherine between the same streets is dying.
__________________
If only "common sense" people had any.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #25  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2018, 11:31 PM
koval95's Avatar
koval95 koval95 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 135
It's funny, I recently just moved from Toronto to Montreal after living over 8 years in TO
I had spent my first 11 years of my life in MTL, and my move was mostly related to my desire to experience the adult life in Montreal and see how much it had changed.

I lived in Toronto when the big construction boom occured and saw how much it had changed in just a matter of a few years; a stronger music culture, financial expansion, housing expansion, tourism increase and sport teams doing much better. You could feel the 'grandeur' of the city just by driving around on the highways or on Queen, Bloor, King, Eglinton etc. and I was proud of calling myself a Torontonian. However, the city began being financially unwelcome (we all know why) in the last 2 years and the desire to live there extinguished so I decided to move back to MTL.

Its been 2 months since I moved back to MTL and I can say that I am much happier here than in Toronto. Kool Maudit, you have some good points. In the beginning, I was trying to go back to my favorite places in the hopes of experiencing the same moods i had as a kid, but much of it disappeared for some reason.

The stagnation which Montreal experienced in the last few decades can definitely be felt. Even though I am Quebecois, I have a strong dislike for what the province did to itself in the 70s which ultimately dethroned Montreal's glamour over 40 years; corruption, political instability, cultural disconnect, poor leadership decisions from all political parties are all to blame to its demise. There is a strong paradox, as much as I love Quebec, I also love Canada and I would never want Quebec to become a 'unique' state. What i saw in Toronto, I wanted the same in Montreal.

What I feel now is that the city is trying to catch up to all the things it should have done decades ago. It is absolutely insane the amount of the undergoing construction projects throughout the city, and the worst is, there is so much left to do!
The city feels exhausted from the never-ending detours and constant reconstruction of major road arteries; this is perhaps why some streets which used to be full of life are dying out, as businesses can't operate under such atrocious conditions.

But I am an optimist, and I know that Toronto cannot continue its growth under such a heavy financial strain on the younger generations. Additionally, the traffic and lack of affordable and efficient public transportation is already putting a heavy toll on the GTA's population. Considering Montreal's "boom" occurred over 3 years ago, I think it is safe to say that it's doing all the right things and I am certain that in 10 years, it will be a vibrant and different city.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #26  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2018, 11:32 PM
kool maudit's Avatar
kool maudit kool maudit is offline
what it is
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Copenhagen
Posts: 10,807
Interesting, and perhaps reflective of the fact that my impressions came from a vacation and not a real move.
__________________
here's why that's a problem
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #27  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2018, 11:53 PM
VANRIDERFAN's Avatar
VANRIDERFAN VANRIDERFAN is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,763
Quote:
Originally Posted by kool maudit View Post
The city is not the quiet and marginal place it once was, but is needlessly giving up irreplaceable things.
That is not unique to Halifax. Too many cities across Canada have knocked down beautiful architecture and replaced them with some gawd awful boxes of crap.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #28  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2018, 1:03 AM
Zeej Zeej is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: TOR / MTL
Posts: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by kool maudit View Post
Interesting, and perhaps reflective of the fact that my impressions came from a vacation and not a real move.
I really enjoyed your reflections. I've also spent time living in all three cities -grew up in Montreal and spent 23 years there, some school in Halifax for 3 years, Toronto for the past 3 years working.

I moved to Toronto because my lady friend moved here from Halifax. My plan had always been to return to Montreal but, well, things happen.

TLDR: Like Toronto. Love Montreal.

Background: Anglo Montrealer with sufficient French language skills to crack the workforce. I consider myself 80% bilingual, which could only improve with a job in a French language milieu.

Disclaimer: opinion piece.

I think you hit the nail on the head about Toronto when you said that many people here seem to be doing what they're passionate about. It's a good city and it's thriving. I feel as though this didn't come naturally to Toronto but it has consciously worked very hard to shed itself of its "good" image and has succeeded at becoming very, very dynamic.

I also think that maybe the vacation here and not the day-to-day may have have painted a bit of a rose-coloured portrait. I find that streets that should feel "major" are kind of sleepy. I like to use Bathurst as an example. It has a subway stop and a streetcar line. It's downtown adjacent. And yet, it doesn't hold a candle to Wellington in Verdun in turns of activity. I actually feel that it's Toronto that has more holes. I have a hard time getting on board with the amalgamated Toronto that is, in reality a small, hyper urban core surrounded by rings of (older) suburbia. That Toronto has a bunch of smaller downtowns is pretty cool and definitely boosts the feeling of major metropolis, but there's something about a 60 floor tower next to a street of single family homes that I just don't care for. I can't deal with the public transportation system here. It's not up to par for a city that considers itself world class. The cost of living is becoming an issue for me.

So... I want to return to Montreal. In fairness, I always did. I have friends who have moved to Toronto and I'm aware that we (Montreal) are still on the losing end of this exchange. That said, it's getting better. I'd estimate that 75% of my high school graduating class has remained. There are things about Toronto that I wish Montreal would emulate. I realize that this is a rather blasphemous statement, but what the hell. That said, I can't shake Montreal. That city. My bias is obvious but damn that city is fine, often for reasons that are hard to describe (this post is getting pretty lengthy so maybe another time).

We'll see how things shake out. I look forward to what Montreal is becoming. I have high hopes for it. Toronto is living its moment. It's the shit and it'll be just fine. But I want Montreal.

Oh, and Halifax was dece.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #29  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2018, 1:10 AM
MTLskyline's Avatar
MTLskyline MTLskyline is offline
The good old days are now
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Montreal
Posts: 4,053
Interesting observations. It's always interesting to read how things are perceived from outside, especially by a former resident with a critical eye.

I don't entirely disagree with your impressions on Montreal. Downtown Montreal changed very little from about 1992 to about 2012, except everything aged by 20 years (comparative skyline pictures make this quite evident). While the economy and morale improved during the latter part of this period, it is taking time for everything to catch up. Even downtown Montreal has pothole-filled roads and tons of closed storefronts. St. Catherine Street is the only major commercial street downtown, and even many stretches of it look terrible (fortunately, St Catherine will be revamped, but it remains to be seen if reducing traffic to one lane will hurt the vibe of this street).

Additionally, a lot of the major public projects in Montreal are quite underwhelming.

The conversion of the Bonaventure Expressway into an urban boulevard and park is one example. It's a giant amount of open air empty space, in what is supposed to be the center of downtown Montreal. With the railway tracks hemming it in on one side, the whole area has this strange "outskirts of town" vibe. The park, while more popular than I anticipated, remains at the centre of 8 lanes of traffic, and is bordered by (rather modest) buildings on only one side. Some of this land should have been developed.

http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/375/en/l...et-bonaventure

Another area that is bizarre is the Place des Festivals area.. Yes, it's vibrant during "festival season", but during the other 10 or so months a year, the area is completely devoid of life. And while Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and NFB buildings have improved it, it still feels far too airy and sterile, especially for an arts and entertainment district.

http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/p..._schema=PORTAL

And then a lot of the main skyscraper district (which is pretty much a few blocks of Rene-Levesque), is filled with fairly mediocre buildings that would look more at home in smaller cities, such as in the image below (CIBC, PVM and the Telus buildings aside)...

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...e_Ouest_02.jpg

But, yes things are improving. Griffintown is a lot better than it was 10 or even 5 years ago, despite the anything-goes approach to urban planning and cheap-looking buildings. And parking lots are much rarer than they used to be downtown (although still quite present). Rene-Levesque/De la Montagne is light years ahead of where it was.

Last edited by MTLskyline; Jul 29, 2018 at 1:22 AM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #30  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2018, 4:53 AM
ssiguy ssiguy is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: White Rock BC
Posts: 6,012
I adore Montreal. Montreal is a beautiful city with wonderful architecture and a bohemian lifestyle that Toronto will never have. That said I prefer Toronto for both living and visiting.

Toronto has so much going on all the time that you really don`t know where to start. It`s rather jumbled urban environment and cultural anti-establishment vibe gives it real quirky kind of feel. Toronto is the kind of city where you never know what or who is around the corner. I think that`s why I have no love of Vancouver...…...you always know exactly what is around the corner. Toronto is a city of endless surprises, Montreal relaxing bohemia, and Vancouver sterile predictability.

Halifax is a very interesting little place and gives the impression of being far larger than it`s just 400,000. People often compare Halifax to Victoria as both are very beautiful, government, historical, maritime cities but Halifax very much is a city for young crusaders and Victoria for wealthy retirees.


Canada is very blessed to have so many major cities that are completely different from each other socially, culturally, economically, geographically, climatically, historically, architecturally, and demographically. VERY few countries have the kind of urban diversity that Canada has................we don`t appreciate how lucky we are.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #31  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2018, 6:15 AM
niwell's Avatar
niwell niwell is online now
sick transit, gloria
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Brockton Village, Toronto
Posts: 8,129
I'm real happy about you and your gf's feelings about Toronto. It really echoes how I feel about the city now. As much bad shit and inequality - there's just Something Here.

I did a 35km bike ride today from my place to a new contract brewery to get some Scandinavian beer and passed through so many neighbourhoods. I made a point to notice what I went through and it was incredible. From 1890s houses to the dreams of the 1940s. I love this city so much, and need something like this to remind me of it.

I'm posting this after getting home from the nearby local after we went to a show that my friend manages the band. Oh and before that a backyard BBQ by someone who is a chef. This is my Toronto and it's the best.
__________________
Check out my pics of Johannesburg
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #32  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2018, 7:36 AM
PBruge PBruge is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by kool maudit View Post
I think what I meant by that is simply new construction and new commercial activity.

We know there are fewer new buildings in Montreal, and I felt (but don't know, admittedly) that were fewer new commercial ventures as well.

So there was this sense of more things from past eras, and not always Wilensky's/Binerie Mont-Royal-type charmers.

Sometimes just weird '90s-seeming things.

I can see how in a longer-term livability sense, Montreal does have a generous amount of Northern Europe-type attributes, but this slow turnover -- even compared to little Copenhagen -- can give it a frozen-in-time-type feeling in places.
Well that’s the thing Kool, Wilensky’s, Binerie, Schwartz etc. were all 20 years old at one time. I’m sure that there were people at the time who said « Get rid of that! Why can’t we have we have one of those new McDonald’s things! »

We all know how that turned out.

I’d much prefer to go to a legit 90’s place than some douchebag, retro 90’s recreation.

Who knows, it may become the next Wilensky’s, 20 years from now.

You know, when the globally cool Tastemakers deem it to be cool.. for 5 minutes..
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #33  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2018, 7:39 AM
PBruge PBruge is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by niwell View Post
I'm real happy about you and your gf's feelings about Toronto. It really echoes how I feel about the city now. As much bad shit and inequality - there's just Something Here.

I did a 35km bike ride today from my place to a new contract brewery to get some Scandinavian beer and passed through so many neighbourhoods. I made a point to notice what I went through and it was incredible. From 1890s houses to the dreams of the 1940s. I love this city so much, and need something like this to remind me of it.

I'm posting this after getting home from the nearby local after we went to a show that my friend manages the band. Oh and before that a backyard BBQ by someone who is a chef. This is my Toronto and it's the best.
Scandanavian you say? Can’t get much cooler than that!

Until there’s something even cooler, tomorrow.

Diversity beer!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #34  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2018, 8:03 AM
PBruge PBruge is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by kool maudit View Post
I will always love Montreal. Nowhere is more fascinating. Nowhere would the spectacle of human flourishing mean more to me.

I am an anglophone and Toronto was always better on paper. But Montreal had the intangibles, at least as far as I was concerned. I made my life there and refused several opportunities to head down the 401.

This time, it was different. I felt the weight of more young people trying their luck, more young people working their passions, in Toronto. That Friday night on Queen had more working musicians playing mid-billed shows, playing rooms you could just wander into, for very little money than the next Friday in Montreal, and their average level was quite a bit higher too.

I was in Montreal one week later.

I looked. I wanted it to be even better but it was not as good.

Maybe it was an anomaly or a construction thing or whatever, but I doubt it. The sheer human activity level, the vitality, just wasn't there.

Toronto will never mean anything like what Montreal means to me but, and I apologise for the lyricism mais c'est mon estie de fil, the nymphs are departed.

And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors;
Departed, have left no addresses.
I’m sorry Kool but I have to laugh at this. You must willfully and steadfastly avoid anything that’s happening in your search for « holes ».

And by the way, Toronto is experiencing a crisis of closing music venues and artists who are leaving the city because they can no longer afford to lease/live there.

Starbucks/Shoppers/Subway (and not the good subway)
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #35  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2018, 10:17 AM
TownGuy's Avatar
TownGuy TownGuy is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Cobourg, ON
Posts: 1,517
Quote:
Originally Posted by PBruge View Post
Scandanavian you say? Can’t get much cooler than that!

Until there’s something even cooler, tomorrow.

Diversity beer!
Posts like this do the exact opposite of what you are trying to achieve.

It comes off as petty and like you're trying too hard, very insecure. This thread was nothing more than an opinion piece but here you are trying to defend Montreal's honour like there is no tomorrow. Just aligns with what kool was trying to say to be honest.

Obviously it's fine to have counterpoint opinions but at the same time you gotta take this thread with a grain of salt rather than taking needless insecure shots at Toronto.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #36  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2018, 10:59 AM
Acajack's Avatar
Acajack Acajack is online now
Pro Trivia Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Vieux Canada
Posts: 35,306
I generally go to Toronto a few times a year for various reasons but this summer I spent more continuous time there than I have in a while. (Just got back from there a few days ago in fact.)

I'd been looking for a thread to post my thoughts and while it's not a "homecoming" thing for me, this one seems to fit the bill.

A few general comments:

In spite of all the talk about the city being on edge because of crime and violence, I did not sense this at all. As I said before in the homicide thread I was there the night of the Danforth shootings and walking around the next day there was nothing palpable in the air. Business as usual. There was more of an edge in Ottawa-Gatineau in the days after the 2014 attack in downtown Ottawa. Not sure if this is a good or a bad thing.

I also looked at the city long and hard with an SSPer's hat.

For starters the downtown core was a lot "whiter" than I realized when I actually chose to pay attention to this. It wasn't noticeably more diverse colour-wise than downtown Ottawa or downtown Montreal. I know this will be disputed by many on here but that was the feeling that I got. This was both during the day on weekdays and weekends and also in the evenings up until around 9 pm and even later in the entertainment district. This also applies to service staff we dealt with at any time of day. I've often disputed the notion that Toronto feels more white than London or NYC myself on SSP and other forums, but I think I may have been wrong. There are a number of major prosperous non-ghettoized cities in the U.S. that are not NYC that probably feel less white than Toronto does.

Then outside of the downtown in the inner ring, especially where the tower blocks are, if you venture into these areas, is where the non-white population predominates. In some areas almost no one is white except for bus drivers, cops and people driving through. Going through one of these areas (that had a lot of dog-eared apartment buildings and strip malls and an obviously FOB population), one my kids remarked that it was reminiscent of Mexico.
__________________
Vous n'êtes pas écoeurés de mourir, bande de caves?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #37  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2018, 11:07 AM
Acajack's Avatar
Acajack Acajack is online now
Pro Trivia Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Vieux Canada
Posts: 35,306
Toronto has a great deal of oomph that I've been aware of on every frequent visit but it's still often the Toronto I've always known in many ways.

We dined in a pretty nice restaurant downtown and they still had Stand Back by Steve Knicks and Listen to the Music by the Doobie Brothers blaring on the Muzak. Our waiter was nice and affable but had a demeanour not too different that you'd get from a waiter at Kelsey's in Peterborough. Even if his name was Ranjiv.

About a month earlier I ate at a similar type of restaurant in Montreal and they had a quartet of jazz musicians and a singer entertaining us. Now this may be a tad unfair as a comparison but at the very least in Montreal a resto of that calibre would have had less "plebean" music on the Muzak.

I know you can find both in either city (or any large city in the world) but it just seems to me you're more likely to stumble upon A in city A and B in city B.
__________________
Vous n'êtes pas écoeurés de mourir, bande de caves?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #38  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2018, 11:11 AM
Acajack's Avatar
Acajack Acajack is online now
Pro Trivia Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Vieux Canada
Posts: 35,306
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post

Halifax is a very interesting little place and gives the impression of being far larger than it`s just 400,000. People often compare Halifax to Victoria as both are very beautiful, government, historical, maritime cities but Halifax very much is a city for young crusaders and Victoria for wealthy retirees.

.
This is how I feel about Halifax as well. I agree with kool that it's not on the level of its size comparables in Europe but I don't think it's realistic to expect it to be like that.

Even a place like Quebec City will come up short on a lot of metrics in that type of comparison.
__________________
Vous n'êtes pas écoeurés de mourir, bande de caves?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #39  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2018, 11:14 AM
Acajack's Avatar
Acajack Acajack is online now
Pro Trivia Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Vieux Canada
Posts: 35,306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeej View Post
I find that streets that should feel "major" are kind of sleepy. I like to use Bathurst as an example. It has a subway stop and a streetcar line. It's downtown adjacent. And yet, it doesn't hold a candle to Wellington in Verdun in turns of activity. I actually feel that it's Toronto that has more holes. I have a hard time getting on board with the amalgamated Toronto that is, in reality a small, hyper urban core surrounded by rings of (older) suburbia. .
I also find that a lot of Toronto's major neighbourhood arteries are sleepy. There are of course a number of exceptions (some of them outside the core too) but overall you'd think with the size of the city and nearby population that more of these streets would be busier especially in the evenings.

I have always found this about Toronto and it still has not changed much. In spite of the city's boom.
__________________
Vous n'êtes pas écoeurés de mourir, bande de caves?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #40  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2018, 11:29 AM
Acajack's Avatar
Acajack Acajack is online now
Pro Trivia Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Vieux Canada
Posts: 35,306
Quote:
Originally Posted by kool maudit View Post
I mean that the central urban landscape is more heavily characterized by buildings built according to the trends of the '80s and '90s.

There are also many more throwbacks on the retail level and in spaces like bars and restaurants. You just see a lot more things like marginal electronics stores, frozen chicken fingers, and budget signage. You can't get away with that in places like Stockholm or Toronto.

Now, admittedly, the rents in those places are what sparks this sort of finicky, high-level competitiveness in even the smallest things, and this weighs on quality of life. But at the end of the day, what do you want? Where are the next things going to come from? Stockholm or Belgrade?

I was looking at these cities as possible venues for life and career. I was looking for a certain dynamism.
Yes, there is obviously more of this "national metropolis" stuff going on in Toronto than in Montreal. Montreal can still play the game to some degree due its status as the metropolis of Quebec-French Canada which is a relatively cohesive entity, but only to a point.

Most of the stuff that is only going to be in one city in Canada is going to be in Toronto. Or at least in Toronto first. Though due to a number of factors there are quite a few exceptions (F1 Grand Prix, Tesla, etc.) that allow Montreal to continue pretending.
__________________
Vous n'êtes pas écoeurés de mourir, bande de caves?
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 8:09 PM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.