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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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  #201  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2017, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
The reasons they give are often hilarious. My personal favourite is "St. John's is basically an inland city, you can't even see the sea except through the Narrows. I need to be by the sea!" in Whitbourne? Gander? Grand Falls-Windsor? Deer Lake? Sure...

I think people just didn't put any thought into it. Government didn't consider our culture and heritage in allowing these communities to grow, and even encouraging it. And people thought moving the shortest distance represented the least sacrifice and compromise. But it really didn't. I can't understand how people don't get gradually dragged down into depression living in a place like Gander, when they came from, say Newtown. To go from walkable, extreme beauty to living in your car between a bungalow, big box centre, and work?
It is in vogue to crap on the suburbs, but there's got to be some appeal to them, otherwise why would they be so popular? Maybe people in the 21st century don't want to live in tiny, remote areas, despite all their natural beauty. Scenery is just that and it fades into the background noise after a bit.

I don't buy the 'people are stupid' angle either. I might not agree with with another person's choices, but I don't claim to be some super-genius who can manage everyone else's lifestyle choices to what I feel they should want. It is one of my pet peeves. People are competent and can make their choices like adults, even if I disagree with them.

I see why government kind of wants this concentration to happen - the cost and breadth of government services increased dramatically over the 20th century and providing it to a huge, sparsely populated hinterland is a challenge.
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  #202  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2017, 4:38 PM
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It's no secret there's a dystopian theme here no doubt

But the numbers don't lie, at least in places like Edmonton. Fastest growing communities by a wide margin are outside the ring road

I think those folks are probably too busy going about their daily lives to worry too much about what the urbanites think

We're in the mushy middle.. not totally suburban but far enough away from downtown that it's perfect for us
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  #203  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2017, 4:44 PM
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I guess it's to be expected because they are not very old, but Chilliwack and Abbotsford are extremely suburban and have unremarkable urban cores for how large and far away from metro Vancouver they are. They are not really within commuting distance (or at least I doubt that many people are commuting from Chilliwack) but they feel like bedroom communities of somewhere else.

Nanaimo could theoretically grow a lot too but like almost everywhere else in BC it's wedged in next to mountains and doesn't have much easily developed land. Even if it only doubled in size while remaining about as densely built up as it is now most of the arable land nearby would be gone.
They both have urban cores like I would expect from a city of 10,000, vs ones 10 times that size.

Funny note, the 'Historic Abbotsford' section of the Abbotsford Economic Development website has a banner of fake historic buildings

https://caed.abbotsford.ca/historic-abbotsford/
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  #204  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2017, 5:19 PM
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from my recollections, the de-facto commercial centre of Chilliwack moved from the downtown centred on Young and Yale Roads, to the banal big box barf lining Highway 1 (especially on the Sardis side, on Luckakuck). Same thing for Milton (401), and Kelowna (Harvey Ave/Highway 97). I am less familiar with Abbotsford.
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  #205  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2017, 5:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Rico Rommheim View Post
Trois-Riviere (aka Quebec's Red Deer) pop 150K.

Mark my words, one day they're finally going to build that high frequency train between montreal and Qquebec, and when they do T-R will boom.

T-R reminds me of a mini-montreal plucked in the quebec wilderness. It's got it's seaport, it's got a university and a downtown with an old rail-station just waiting to be re-activated and it's even got its own pre-war scraper.
I couldn't agree more (if the north shore corridor is preferred).
Moreover, Trois-Rivières' and Shawinigan's urban fabrics are only 4,5 km apart along the route 157 corridor, in Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel (a community en sééénwiche between TR and Shawi that grows faster than any other in Mauricie). Shawinigan could quickly become Trois-Rivières's Magog (ex. Sherbrooke).



Also, another mid-sized city that could emerge faster than we think in QC is the Granby-Cowansville-Shefford-Waterloo area. Its fabric is quickly integrating. There are something like 85k (Granby-Bromont) + 11k (Waterloo-Shefford) + 17k (Cowansville-Brigham) people right there. Map same scale as TR.


Density per km2, census 2016, ilôts de diffusion. Maps by me.

Last edited by Laceoflight; Jul 21, 2017 at 6:00 AM.
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  #206  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2017, 6:32 AM
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I guess it's to be expected because they are not very old, but Chilliwack and Abbotsford are extremely suburban and have unremarkable urban cores for how large and far away from metro Vancouver they are. They are not really within commuting distance (or at least I doubt that many people are commuting from Chilliwack) but they feel like bedroom communities of somewhere else.

Nanaimo could theoretically grow a lot too but like almost everywhere else in BC it's wedged in next to mountains and doesn't have much easily developed land. Even if it only doubled in size while remaining about as densely built up as it is now most of the arable land nearby would be gone.
I will agree that they have unremarkable urban cores however they are not far from Metro Vancouver! Aldergrove is within the township of Langley and borders Abbotsford. I think you would be suprised with the amount of people living in Chilliwack or Abbotsford the commute to greater Vancouver. Also, the other way around.

I know of people whom commute to the city of Vancouver from Abbotsford.
There is a push to get a new fast ferry link between Nanaimo and Vancouver. Still lots of people commute from Nanaimo to Vancouver. Some take the ferry others take the sea plane until the new fast ferry is in service. One just open up between Victoria and Vancouver.

Even my father commuted for three years between Nanaimo and Vancouver on the Ferry.
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  #207  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2017, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
It might be worthwhile discussing the zeros (as currently not chosen) and the reasons for which they are not Candidates. They are, in order of listing (and my 2 cents in parentheses): Saguenay (too remote, zilch immigration), Brantford (might surprise us...it is geographically 'blessed')), Kamloops (really?I think it is a potential dark horse), Chilliwack (I am surprised: improved rail connections to Van would boost this city significantly) and Cape Breton (so sad, no chance).
Chilliwack is growing fast—faster than Abbotsford—but they are just extensions of the Vancouver area. Saying Chilliwack will become big is no different than saying that Milton or Okotoks will be big. It's pretty meaningless and ultimately uninteresting. As far as commuting goes, I can't find them now, but I do remember seeing that there is a fair bit of commuter movement between the Valley and the Metro. The vast majority of it is to Surrey and Langley of course. There are very large office parks there, it's not a crazy commute to go there and back from your house in Chilliwack. It's only an hour from Chilliwack to Surrey.

Kamloops definitely could do it and is probably just overshadowed by Kelowna in this poll. It's gorgeous, has a strong downtown and a decent university. However, it faces the same challenge that many other BC cities face: a lack of room to grow. You can only densify so much, especially in cities of that size.
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  #208  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2017, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by GlassCity View Post
Chilliwack is growing fast—faster than Abbotsford—but they are just extensions of the Vancouver area. Saying Chilliwack will become big is no different than saying that Milton or Okotoks will be big. It's pretty meaningless and ultimately uninteresting. As far as commuting goes, I can't find them now, but I do remember seeing that there is a fair bit of commuter movement between the Valley and the Metro. The vast majority of it is to Surrey and Langley of course. There are very large office parks there, it's not a crazy commute to go there and back from your house in Chilliwack. It's only an hour from Chilliwack to Surrey.

Kamloops definitely could do it and is probably just overshadowed by Kelowna in this poll. It's gorgeous, has a strong downtown and a decent university. However, it faces the same challenge that many other BC cities face: a lack of room to grow. You can only densify so much, especially in cities of that size.
Where is there room to grow in B.C., Vancouver Island perhaps? Maybe we need to annex part of Washington, or reclaim more land from the sea.
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  #209  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2017, 1:13 AM
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Where is there room to grow in B.C., Vancouver Island perhaps? Maybe we need to annex part of Washington, or reclaim more land from the sea.
The Peace Region.
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  #210  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2017, 6:35 AM
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Where is there room to grow in B.C., Vancouver Island perhaps? Maybe we need to annex part of Washington, or reclaim more land from the sea.
It's complicated by the Agricultural Land Reserve. Even cities with a fair bit more flat land don't have much room to grow as the rest of it is protected farmland. Though of course, the ALR is a law that could just be taken away one day.

Ignoring the ALR, Victoria and Vancouver both have a LOT of flat land. Much of east coast Vancouver Island does as well.

Again ignoring it, In the Kootenays (southeast BC) Creston and to a lesser extent Cranbrook are the only cites with a sizeable amount of flat land.

Kelowna still has a lot of flat land, but I believe just about all of it at this point is ALR. Everything else has been pretty much developed. Mountain hills are the only places with sprawl now.

Prince George has a lot of flat land too, probably the most of any city other than Vancouver, not sure how much of it is in the ALR though.

But yeah, the Peace Region as a region is the flattest part of BC as it's east of the Rockies and into the Prairie plains. The two "big" towns there are Fort St. John and Dawson Creek which have essentially endless room to expand as the Peace Region is massive. Again though, the ALR likely comes into play eventually.

A lot of our promising towns are hemmed in by mountains though. Kamloops comes to mind, as does most of the Okanagan region, as well as Prince Rupert. And since our mountains go way up north, Whitehorse is the same. I feel it does have potential (once other northern cities grow and make it less isolated), but there's very little developable land there.

I'm sure we'll find ways around the mountain problem at some point (hopefully not ALR removal) but it is definitely a challenge.
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  #211  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2017, 12:15 PM
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Grease the right palms and magically development can occur on ALR lands - have seen it happen in Kelowna.
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  #212  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2017, 4:56 PM
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The Peace Region.
Not sure the people who are interested in relocating to "BC" would consider that area - isn't it the Prairies, basically, in terms of ecology and geography? You may pay your taxes to coffers in Victoria rather than Edmonton but that's not much of a difference in the grand scheme of things when you have none of the mild winters, the ocean nearby, the Pacific Rim oriented culture, and the rich flora of the coast.

I mean, if you're going to live in the Peace Region because you can't afford Vancouver, you might as well pick Edmonton or Calgary and have at least some urbanity and all the "big city" features.
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  #213  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2017, 5:12 PM
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^ no one moves to the Peace Region because of high housing prices in Vancouver.

The people I know who live up there all work for the provincial government or in forestry.
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  #214  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2017, 2:31 AM
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Yeah the Peace Region may grow with its natural resource development if it begins to ramp up, but for now it's definitely not a escape-from-prices place. The southern interior is though, and places as far as Prince George are trying to market themselves as affordable alternatives to Vancouver in BC as it is far outside the orbit of southern BC real estate (http://moveupprincegeorge.ca/). No idea if it's been at all successful though.
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  #215  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2017, 2:48 AM
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I mean, if you're going to live in the Peace Region because you can't afford Vancouver, you might as well pick Edmonton or Calgary and have at least some urbanity and all the "big city" features.
There are a few major reasons why people might stay in Vancouver. The biggest ones are personal ties, including family and friends and a job or career. Behind that there's the fact that this is a decent-sized city with nice scenery and OK weather. There aren't many comparable alternatives in Canada.

If you move to the Peace Region you're giving up on almost everything. It is a 10+ hour drive north. You're not going to be going down to Vancouver every couple of weeks. Some people might find that it's a good fit for their career or something but I don't see a lot of people moving to places like that.

For me personally, I already own a place in Vancouver, so I can't really be priced out. If I get tired of not being able to upgrade or all my friends move away then I will probably either move to the US (though that gets less appealing when there are musings about tearing up NAFTA etc.) or move to the eastern half of Canada somewhere. The back-up plan isn't rural BC. Everyone's different but I also doubt my outlook is completely unique. A lot of Vancouverites are from other urban areas around the world.

I've thought about moving to Montreal but I'd be giving up on a lot of personal ties and I'm not sure I could deal with the weather there. Plus I generally like the scenery and stuff here.
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  #216  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2017, 4:14 AM
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My vote is Barrie. Moving more from ex-urb to suburbn already. GO RER will cement that trend.

Rest of the cities on the list? No reason to have very high sustained population growth. The only real game changer would be High Speed Rail, which would offer up places like Kingston as real alternatives to Toronto or Ottawa or Montreal. But this is Canada in the 21st century, we don't have the ambition to do megaprojects and we hate each other to much ever spend $20 billion in Southern Ontario and Quebec.
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  #217  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2017, 6:18 AM
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I still say that Clarington ON has the most potential for population growth. And it was over 92,000 in the 2016 census which really surprised me. I have some friends from Timmins who live there are they tell me that proposed and already under construction infrastructure and transportation projects will lead to attracting many people.

Some of the reasons:

-the 401 goes through the Southern part (that alone is a huge deal)

-hwy 407 extention is being built to the community (Northern portion) It will allow fast access to the entire GTA from there.

-Hwy 418 being built to connect the 401 with 407 (Western portion)

-already has Hwy 115 to Peterborough which is pretty much a freeway (Eastern portion)

-Soon to be surrounded by freeways!!!

-it is getting a new GO Transit station

-land is still pretty cheap

-lots of available land for developments and is large in area

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  #218  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2017, 8:25 PM
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Actually getting multiple GO Stations in Clarington. One in Courtice near the 401 and one in Bowmanville.
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  #219  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2017, 8:27 PM
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What do upper and lower tier municipal boundaries mean? What's the difference?
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  #220  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2017, 8:35 PM
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What do upper and lower tier municipal boundaries mean? What's the difference?

Upper-tier municipalities are basically counties; lower-tier municipalities cities and towns within them. In the case of larger cities, they're generally one and the same.
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