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  #61  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2016, 2:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post
Can someone from Montreal please go to Toronto...........Yonge Street is a dump!
Sure, we'll send them a committee of people who will happily subject Yonge to years of turbulent road closures, unexpected sewage pipe construction, painfully long sidewalk reconstruction, jack hammer sounds and endless orange cones. By the time we're done with Yonge it'll have half the pedestrian activity it had before with like 10% more capacity.
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  #62  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2016, 4:49 AM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
I hadn't yet paid attention to Greater Vancouver's road network at the time of that "at first sight". (I flew in and my sis picked me up at the airport.)



Edit: interesting to compare... what I was used to vs what I found, similar scale:

https://www.google.ca/maps/@45.47897...1,11.18z?hl=en

https://www.google.ca/maps/@49.26021...5,11.82z?hl=en
It's for your own good, Vancouver is fighting the good fight by making everyone who visits' life miserable while they travel the place. You should have taken the bus.

Joking of course... although Burnaby is very well served by the Skytrain to be fair. But as others have said, for Vancouver's no road strategy to work it needs a much more extensive rail network, when what it has is barely adequate for a 2.5m city, and only looks OK compared to US cities.
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  #63  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2016, 11:14 PM
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  #64  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2016, 12:31 AM
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I saw that Griffentown was mentioned in the op. Passed by recently to check it out. For those not familiar it's basically a semi abandoned residential/industrial neighborhood. Well it's still that except now they've dumped some overly large and not particularly attractive condo buildings into the midst. It's nothing that I would label as a renaissance.
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  #65  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2016, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by GreaterMontréal View Post
I'm really glad to finally see it happen. As it was said in another thread: in a few years, Montréal is going to be a totally different city.
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  #66  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2016, 1:07 AM
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Originally Posted by matthew6 View Post
I saw that Griffentown was mentioned in the op. Passed by recently to check it out. For those not familiar it's basically a semi abandoned residential/industrial neighborhood. Well it's still that except now they've dumped some overly large and not particularly attractive condo buildings into the midst. It's nothing that I would label as a renaissance.
still a very young neighborhood, it's the new up and coming area to live in.
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  #67  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2016, 1:14 AM
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Originally Posted by kwoldtimer View Post
Which Vancouver freeway would you have in mind, lio?
Vancouver's only freeway doesn't even go to Vancouver

Okay, technically it does, but just barely.
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  #68  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2016, 1:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post
I think the real issue is which Canadian cities will lead the renaissance and are we changing enough to keep pace with other countries.
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Originally Posted by kwoldtimer View Post
Relevance? It makes it sound like some sort of competition
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Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post
It is relevant because it is a competition.

Businesses and highly skilled workers have their international options and Canadian cities have to make sure that we can compete with those cities in terms of liveability, urban and social infrastructure, affordability, cultural amenities, and urban vitality.

To me, it seems saying something like "are we changing enough to keep pace with other countries" is a fairly typical Canadian thing to say. My take on it is that we're insecure. We like to stand out in the world and we just don't. For that matter we like to stand out in our own country. In my city, we are building the tallest building in Canada (outside of Toronto that is - and now Edmonton is beating us at that). Same sort of thing. Kind of bragging about second place. Or keeping up with the Joneses.

Maybe we should look to other countries for inspiration rather than competition. And not care too much about what the rest of the world thinks.
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  #69  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2016, 3:41 AM
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Originally Posted by rico rommheim View Post
the subway in laval will eventually continue its expansion, and close off the "loop". However, i think it's pointless considering the metro already takes you minutes away from laval's clock tower, which is the definitive nexus and tourist hotspot of the city.
:p
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  #70  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2016, 3:53 AM
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Originally Posted by GreaterMontréal View Post
still a very young neighborhood, it's the new up and coming area to live in.
I was hoping someone would bring this up.
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  #71  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2016, 4:25 AM
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Originally Posted by GreaterMontréal View Post
still a very young neighborhood
I hope it turns out. I think they need to renovate and enhance the original structures (whatever is left of them) . The thing that gives the area its character in the first place.

I did some research on this area, and the city really did a number on it in the 60's. It was zoned industrial. Many houses were leveled. Apparently an expressway was planned - the same expressway that was supposed to plow through Old Montreal?
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  #72  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2016, 4:32 AM
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Originally Posted by matthew6 View Post
I hope it turns out. I think they need to renovate and enhance the original structures (whatever is left of them) . The thing that gives the area its character in the first place.

I did some research on this area, and the city really did a number on it in the 60's. It was zoned industrial. Many houses were leveled. Apparently an expressway was planned - the same expressway that was supposed to plow through Old Montreal?
There isn't much original character left. A lot of it ended up as parking lots for Expo67. That said, it has a surprising amount of new life in the way of hotspots.
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  #73  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2016, 5:17 AM
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Great idea for a thread Chadillaccc. I didn't read all 4 pages of posts so what I add may have been mentioned already.

In the last 10-15 years there's been a massive re-focus on urbanity and its happening nationally from our biggest cities to those just barely over 100,000 people. Our cultural interest in suburban sprawl reached a turning point back in the 1990s. Urban planners saw the wisdom in promoting denser cities that could support transit and implemented policies to ensure that it happened. It's a more efficient way to build a city, cuts down on pollution/congestion, and increases the vibrancy of our cities. Canadians have largely 'bought in'.

In essence, we're returning to pre-WW2 principles where cities weren't built around the automobile. We've done a complete 180 in our views on what we want from our cities. The exciting bit is that we're only 15 years in and look what Canadian cities from coast to coast have already accomplished. This isn't intended as a dig at our southern neighbours, but we're way ahead of the Americans on this front. If you compare similar sized metros in Canada and the US, the urbanity and vibrancy of our cores is noticeably better.... and the gap looks set to widen.
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  #74  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2016, 6:12 AM
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Originally Posted by RWin View Post
Maybe we should look to other countries for inspiration rather than competition. And not care too much about what the rest of the world thinks.
Reading this from Paris - great comment.
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  #75  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2016, 12:37 PM
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[QUOTE=RWin;7420516]To me, it seems saying something like "are we changing enough to keep pace with other countries" is a fairly typical Canadian thing to say. My take on it is that we're insecure. We like to stand out in the world and we just don't. For that matter we like to stand out in our own country. In my city, we are building the tallest building in Canada (outside of Toronto that is - and now Edmonton is beating us at that). Same sort of thing. Kind of bragging about second place. Or keeping up with the Joneses.

Maybe we should look to other countries for inspiration rather than competition. And not care too much about what the rest of the world thinks.[/QUOTE]

I believe ssiguy's point was not about what the rest of the world thinks, but rather what the best and the brightest (Canadian and foreign) think. The challenge for our cities, especially for those with high tech ambitions, is to attract and retain these people, who can move easily to other world centres.

Edit: It is definitely not about being "insecure", but rather about confidence - it is, for example, the Region of Waterloo saying, "OK, our competition is not London or Hamilton, or even Toronto. It's Silicon Valley, so how are we going to try to create an environment that attracts and retains the folks who flock to San Jose/San Francisco. One could scoff, but they (the Region and its municipalities) are quite serious and, imho, can only be applauded for their ambition.

Last edited by kwoldtimer; Apr 26, 2016 at 1:11 PM.
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  #76  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2016, 1:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWin View Post
To me, it seems saying something like "are we changing enough to keep pace with other countries" is a fairly typical Canadian thing to say. My take on it is that we're insecure. We like to stand out in the world and we just don't. For that matter we like to stand out in our own country. In my city, we are building the tallest building in Canada (outside of Toronto that is - and now Edmonton is beating us at that). Same sort of thing. Kind of bragging about second place. Or keeping up with the Joneses.

Maybe we should look to other countries for inspiration rather than competition. And not care too much about what the rest of the world thinks.
Great post. I think it's normal to want the best for your city, and it's definitely wise (recommended, really) to look outside of Canada for ideas about that can be - but we're never going to out-London London, or out-New York New York. And we shouldn't want to do.

Every city needs its own thing, that springs from its own culture - and then you'll know where to turn for inspiration. Compared to the Canadian cities I've visited, for example, we do the arts exceptionally well - especially music, theatre, and comedy. All three are genuine, deeply rooted in the local culture, effortless, and everywhere. So we should be looking to places like Broadway, Edinburgh Fringe Fest, and Dublin - what are they doing that we can emulate, even at our population? That's where we'll find the ideas, including urban planning, that will complement our culture and life.
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  #77  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2016, 5:01 PM
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I will also add to your points that many people are now becoming aware that the suburban model is failing financially, culturally and humanly. The car is probably the most destructive element for humankind.
LOL, then what a surprise its rise parallels that of the unsurpassed standard of living increase in North America and Europe. And why every developing economy wants an auto industry.

The problems most SSPers (including me) are way too young to remember what life was like without cars. Every wonder why grannies hold onto their license as long as possible? Because they DO remember.
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  #78  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2016, 5:12 PM
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Neither of my mother's parents in St. John's ever had a license to drive. My father's parents, out around the bay, certainly did - but they had to. They lived in an area where'd they'd be shut-ins without one. It was a 10-minute drive just to get a tin of pop.

I can't imagine many elderly people in decently urban neighbourhoods have vehicles? It certainly seems far more normal to me that vehicles are mainly for suburban/rural people and young couples. Most of my uncles and aunts in the city... it has to be an event to get them in their cars. I only have mine for weekend getaways and to make it easy to drive to my parents' place across town. I use it for much more, since I have it, of course (in winter, I'll even drive to the superette down the street, literally a five-minute walk away), but those getaways are the only reason I'm willing to pay that much for the privilege.

I see far more old women with plastic bags on their head walking than driving. And this is an obscenely car-dependent city. You need to work and live in the core for the inconvenience of not owning a car to be tolerable for anyone who could afford it.
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  #79  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2016, 8:01 PM
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IMO there is one other important political element that is correlated with the Canadian Urban Renaissance, and that is environmental concerns. Not until the last 10-15 years has the environment taken a centre-stage discussion for politicians and development.

Back to the current topic....

I definitely do think that the Urban Renaissance is happening. And I agree that we should look to other cities for inspiration architecturally and economically. This may be a little off-topic but with the low oil prices that Canada is experiencing we need to expand our economy more and we can do that with our cities becoming tech-hubs or more efficient ports for global trade routes.

As for looking at other cities for competition.... I think it's healthy as long as we keep the competition within the country. For example, the fact that cities "compete" with each other to build the tallest tower is great if the city can afford it and if that tower contributes significantly to the city's economy. When one city tries to out-do the other, what you get in the end, is a couple of cities with really nice towers. The Edmonton-Calgary competition comes to mind here...
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  #80  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2016, 8:29 PM
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Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
Great idea for a thread Chadillaccc. I didn't read all 4 pages of posts so what I add may have been mentioned already.

In the last 10-15 years there's been a massive re-focus on urbanity and its happening nationally from our biggest cities to those just barely over 100,000 people. Our cultural interest in suburban sprawl reached a turning point back in the 1990s. Urban planners saw the wisdom in promoting denser cities that could support transit and implemented policies to ensure that it happened. It's a more efficient way to build a city, cuts down on pollution/congestion, and increases the vibrancy of our cities. Canadians have largely 'bought in'.

In essence, we're returning to pre-WW2 principles where cities weren't built around the automobile. We've done a complete 180 in our views on what we want from our cities. The exciting bit is that we're only 15 years in and look what Canadian cities from coast to coast have already accomplished. This isn't intended as a dig at our southern neighbours, but we're way ahead of the Americans on this front. If you compare similar sized metros in Canada and the US, the urbanity and vibrancy of our cores is noticeably better.... and the gap looks set to widen.
Exactly, I know even in Calgary some of our new suburbs are starting to return to the grid pattern of planning instead of the endless maze of cul-de-sacs that characterize most suburbs.
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