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  #61  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 6:58 PM
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Doubtful. At the first census after Confederation (the National Plan didn't come into effect until almost a decade later), Halifax was already smaller than Montreal, Quebec City and Toronto. Ontario had the most people and together with Quebec had 80% of the new nation's population. Upper Canada surpassed the population of Nova Scotia as early as the 1820s and Lower Canada in the 1840s. You can't blame the National Plan for that.

The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence area has the population and dominance that it does because of geography, not politics.
True. The trajectory prior to the 1870s would have seen more east-coast growth, relatively, but it's very unlikely that Halifax would have become the dominant east-coast metropolis. But it certainly would have grown more, and likely the large discrepancy in scale between Montreal, Toronto, and Halifax would not be as great as it is. Though almost certainly Halifax would still be the smallest of the three.
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  #62  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 7:35 PM
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Would Toronto really look more like the 1970s stereotype of a "poor, inner city, rich suburbs" troubled American city if that happened? Or would other factors be at play?
I think there were still other factors at play to prevent this - namely Toronto did not have the same racial disparities found in the US at this time. Central Toronto did have somewhat of a 70s/80s decline parallel with de-industrialization however it was relatively minimal compared to American cities. It's very possible that there would have been more blighted inner city areas (e.g. the Annex) at the peak but on the whole I don't think it would have been too similar to the American experience.
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  #63  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 7:44 PM
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I think there were still other factors at play to prevent this - namely Toronto did not have the same racial disparities found in the US at this time. Central Toronto did have somewhat of a 70s/80s decline parallel with de-industrialization however it was relatively minimal compared to American cities. It's very possible that there would have been more blighted inner city areas (e.g. the Annex) at the peak but on the whole I don't think it would have been too similar to the American experience.
What would ethnic diversity look like in Toronto if you had the "destruction of the inner city" that characterized the 70s/80s American de-industrialization. Would you still have Toronto have similar diversity to today, from immigration? Would immigration to Toronto be less (since there's less of an advantage to move to Toronto, relative to Montreal or Vancouver, or even US cities since the biggest city in Toronto is not as attractive?)
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  #64  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 7:46 PM
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Why would the Spadina Expwy. have limited development north of the 401?
Sorry I read it wrong. For some reason, I thought you were talking about Gardiner Expressway Extension all the way to 401 near Rouge Hill...

I blame my lack of sleep.
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  #65  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 9:10 PM
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True, there's an element of "our languages were here before the Anglos" that both Latin Americans and French Canadians share. Others like German Midwesterners, Ukrainians on the Prairies and Gaelic Maritimers, were much more prone to assimilation even if their populations were large at one time.

Then again, without institutional support, Quebec-style, you still have language loss (eg. Cajuns, Franco-Americans in the US, even Spanish-speaking Americans in places without large critical mass), regardless of if the language was a "colonial period" one, not an "immigrant" one. Acadians could still keep their language better than Franco-Americans though even without support from government.

But I don't know how Acadians who stayed in Canada did compared to their counterparts that became the Cajuns. Louisiana according to a quick wiki search is claimed to have 150, 000 to 200, 000 French speakers, less than the Acadians remaining in Canada but still large in number.
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I've seen those numbers for Louisiana, and having visited there and being somewhat familiar with the Cajun community, they seem a bit high. Apparently there are 800,000-1 million Cajuns. Hanging around with them in their home milieu it seems a huge stretch that around 20% of them can still speak French.

It's hard to make comparisons on language loss because how do you pick the spot where you set the baseline for when the language loss began?

Overall though it's safe to say that Cajuns have undergone a much greater degree of language loss than any of the three Acadian communities in the Canadian Maritimes.
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  #66  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I've seen those numbers for Louisiana, and having visited there and being somewhat familiar with the Cajun community, they seem a bit high. Apparently there are 800,000-1 million Cajuns. Hanging around with them in their home milieu it seems a huge stretch that around 20% of them can still speak French.

It's hard to make comparisons on language loss because how do you pick the spot where you set the baseline for when the language loss began?

Overall though it's safe to say that Cajuns have undergone a much greater degree of language loss than any of the three Acadian communities in the Canadian Maritimes.
Maybe it also depends on how people perceive fluency in a language in order to claim they speak it, on a survey or on the census.

If Canadians have a higher bar or make higher demands on themselves or others in terms of what's fluent in French (not just elementary school learned-and-forgotten as is common in many places in Anglo-Canada) in order to call someone a "French speaker" than Americans, that could lead to underestimates in Canada or overestimates in the US.

Another thing I wonder about is how much government (or social) suppression of language there was for Cajuns in the US versus Acadians in Canada. It's one thing to not have government support, it's another thing to have acting discouragement and suppression (eg. for kids in school), versus neutrality and indifference (no support but no punishment for speaking it either by society or government).
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  #67  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I've seen those numbers for Louisiana, and having visited there and being somewhat familiar with the Cajun community, they seem a bit high. Apparently there are 800,000-1 million Cajuns. Hanging around with them in their home milieu it seems a huge stretch that around 20% of them can still speak French.
What is it like talking with the Cajun community of French speakers in terms of vitality of the language?

Do most people who do speak it, feel comfortable with it as a home language and the language they feel at ease in? Is it mostly the older people who speak it with the younger generation losing it in the manner that say, allophone immigrant kids talk to their immigrant parents in Toronto or something, or is there a sense of fear that the next generation will lose it, as opposed to people fiercely proud of it, and willing to revitalize it among the younger crowd?
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  #68  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2018, 3:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Capsicum View Post
Maybe it also depends on how people perceive fluency in a language in order to claim they speak it, on a survey or on the census.

If Canadians have a higher bar or make higher demands on themselves or others in terms of what's fluent in French (not just elementary school learned-and-forgotten as is common in many places in Anglo-Canada) in order to call someone a "French speaker" than Americans, that could lead to underestimates in Canada or overestimates in the US.

Another thing I wonder about is how much government (or social) suppression of language there was for Cajuns in the US versus Acadians in Canada. It's one thing to not have government support, it's another thing to have acting discouragement and suppression (eg. for kids in school), versus neutrality and indifference (no support but no punishment for speaking it either by society or government).
There are stories of kids who spoke French in Louisiana schools getting their mouths washed with soap. I've also heard of this happening in NE states like Maine as well.

Never heard of such a thing with francophones in Canada although most of us are aware that this was done to aboriginal kids in some residential schools.

In terms of suppression of French though, one of my parents went to a one-room schoolhouse in the 50s in a Canadian province that is obviously not Quebec, and where the teacher was forbidden from speaking to the kids in French, and could lose her job or even be jailed if she did. (Even though 100% of the kids were francophone Acadians.) In practice the school day mostly took place in French anyway, but with English books and learning tools. And the kids were trained to switch to English immediately if an inspector from the ministry of education was sighted coming down the road.

It's also part of Franco-Ontarian lore that the Desloges sisters in the early part of the 20th century shooed away with sharp hairpins a couple of Ontario government officials who were trying to keep kids from being schooled in French in Ottawa.
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  #69  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2018, 3:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Capsicum View Post
What is it like talking with the Cajun community of French speakers in terms of vitality of the language?

Do most people who do speak it, feel comfortable with it as a home language and the language they feel at ease in? Is it mostly the older people who speak it with the younger generation losing it in the manner that say, allophone immigrant kids talk to their immigrant parents in Toronto or something, or is there a sense of fear that the next generation will lose it, as opposed to people fiercely proud of it, and willing to revitalize it among the younger crowd?
This is actually two questions. Lucky for you guys - I can answer both!

In terms of the renaissance of French down there, my sense is that it's only a small uppity but influential minority of the Cajun population that really cares. However they have been successful in creating an organization called CODOFIL and implementing either bilingual or immersion curricula in most of the Cajun areas of Louisiana in recent decades. These are places where almost no French instruction existed before, so this is definitely a step forward.

The large passive majority probably doesn't feel strongly about it and is too busy living a typical American lifestyle, dreaming of playing in the NFL, singing country music or landing a bit part on "Swamp People"...

But they'll go along with it as they don't see any harm in their kids learning French since after all it is the language of their not-too-distant forebears.

One issue though with the expanded teaching of French in Louisiana is a critical shortage of locally-trained teachers. So a lot of the teachers have been from Quebec, the Canadian Maritimes and even France. As a result some people have complained that there is a disconnect between the French taught to Cajun kids and their people's historical variant of the language.
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  #70  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2018, 3:56 PM
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Second part of the answer on how it is having conversations in French with those Cajuns who still speak the language...

I've had a number of conversations with older Cajuns in French. By and large their French is very antiquated and colloquial. It's how I imagine rural people in Quebec spoke 150 years ago. We can still understand each other but it takes a bit of work.

It's not always easy to find them even in the areas where the stats tell you lots of people speak French. My sense is that there is still a lingering reticence about speaking French out in public. It's happened a few times that I overheard people talking in French and when we approached they switched to English between themselves. (I recall some francophones living outside Quebec used to do this when I was a kid - but this practice has all but disappeared.)

There is also within the Cajun community an activist component who speak French with the Cajun accent but with vocabular and grammar that is closer to the international standard. The most famous Cajun singer Zachary Richard from the Lafayette area is like this. He is totally "plug and play" linguistically for TV interviews in both Montreal and Paris.

One thing is that the kids who've gone through the CODOFIL programs I mentioned above don't usually speak French with much of a Cajun accent. Unless they also speak French at home - which is a rarity down there. So they often sound like anglo French immersion kids in Canada!

What's interesting in Louisiana is how knowledge of French is "bookended" generationally. The French speakers are concentrated at both ends of the age pyramid, and almost no one in the middle (my age and people 15-20 years younger or older than me) speaks French.
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  #71  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2018, 6:25 PM
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One alternate history that I'd like to see is if the City Beautiful Movement plans for Calgary materialized (by Thomas Mawson). It would also be interesting seeing Burnham's plans for Chicago, San Francisco and Manila completed.
I don't know of any other city beautiful movement plans in Canada asides from Calgary and the outrageous proposal for Churchill, but Winnipeg had something developed by its first city planning commission, unfortunately all the illustrations and maps seem to have been destroyed as only the plans' descriptions are available in civic records.
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  #72  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2018, 6:42 PM
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While not as comprehensive as the Calgary plan, Toronto had some City Beautiful aspirations that weren't fully realized. University avenue was completed in part (and required significant demolitions), but where it narrows at the south end was supposed to be a massive traffic circle called Vimy Circle lined with monumental buildings. Several other City Beautiful style thoroughfares would have been created in the vicinity as well. These were cancelled in part due to the depression and in part due to the construction of large buildings along the proposed ROW which would have made land acquisition too expensive.

In addition to this a number of diagonal thoroughfares were planned connecting downtown to the suburbs. Again mostly cancelled due expenses squiring land. Dundas street was actually created through the connection of a number of smaller streets and was part of the same series of planning exercises.

Here's an interesting article about some of this stuff: https://www.erudit.org/fr/revues/uhr.../1017821ar.pdf


Proposed downtown street grid:


blogTO: https://www.blogto.com/city/2016/04/...onto_entirely/


Vimy Circle:

https://www.blogto.com/city/2016/04/...onto_entirely/



https://www.blogto.com/city/2016/04/...onto_entirely/
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  #73  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2018, 7:02 PM
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Edmonton's seemingly random diagonal roadways north of downtown (Kingsway and Princess Elizabeth Ave) are the product of the partial implementation of a city beautiful subdivision plan from 1912. I think most people believe the angles were to accommodate the adjacent airport, but they are actually part of a subdivision plan that predated the airport by about 15 years.
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  #74  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2018, 7:08 PM
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It would have looked quite similar to Piata Universitatii, in Bucharest (Romania) (Google Streetview). Where, incidentally, you can find a Second Cup franchise (Google Streetview), so it looks even more like a Toronto-that-wasn't-built from a parallel universe!

Too bad they did not proceed with this plan
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  #75  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2018, 9:39 PM
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Edmonton's seemingly random diagonal roadways north of downtown (Kingsway and Princess Elizabeth Ave) are the product of the partial implementation of a city beautiful subdivision plan from 1912. I think most people believe the angles were to accommodate the adjacent airport, but they are actually part of a subdivision plan that predated the airport by about 15 years.
Yes, you can see the proposed design for that area here:

https://citymuseumedmonton.ca/2016/0...monscona-plan/

It has often interested me if Edmonton's prewar plans got built out like this plan. It is sort of odd that Edmonton's prewar development basically ends mere blocks north of downtown, although they continue for quite some time in other directions, especially northeast. I realize this was due to HBC lands, but it'd have been nice to have a cool, 1920s era City Beautiful development instead of 1950s bungalows. Though it makes you wonder about YXD and where it would've gone, if built at all. I assume it still would've just perhaps north of the Grand Trunk Railway instead.

Unfortunately, after the 1914 bust, Edmonton had ample roads already paved for the anticipated development in other areas that sat mostly without any structures. The economy was rather stagnant in Edmonton until 1947.
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  #76  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2018, 3:08 AM
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Probably could never have happened, but it's interesting to ponder Victoria being a Canadian "San Francisco."
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  #77  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2018, 3:09 AM
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Probably could never have happened, but it's interesting to ponder Victoria being a Canadian "San Francisco."
Why not? Competition from the real San Francisco (or the US, especially the sunny west coast in general)? Or it being a lack of a draw within Canada itself?
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  #78  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2018, 4:08 AM
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One alternate history that I'd like to see is if the City Beautiful Movement plans for Calgary materialized (by Thomas Mawson). It would also be interesting seeing Burnham's plans for Chicago, San Francisco and Manila completed.
I don't know of any other city beautiful movement plans in Canada asides from Calgary and the outrageous proposal for Churchill, but Winnipeg had something developed by its first city planning commission, unfortunately all the illustrations and maps seem to have been destroyed as only the plans' descriptions are available in civic records.
The Town of Tuxedo, (now) in Winnipeg, was laid out in 1905 by the Olmsted firm on City Beautiful principles, although the municipality didn't stick to the plan very well as the town developed. The western (upper) half of "Tuxedo Park" was never developed and is now part of the Assiniboine Forest. The plan to locate the University of Manitoba there was abandoned, although much more recently the Canadian Mennonite University has coincidentally occupied some of the same site. The sweeping "Van Horne Blvd." was eliminated when the middle section of the town was built out in the 1950s: it would have been more noisy and disruptive in the automobile age than could have been envisaged in 1905. Tuxedo is still Winnipeg's wealthiest neighbourhood.


Image courtesy University of Manitoba.

Regina also had a city beautiful type design around the lake.
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  #79  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2018, 5:46 AM
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Why not? Competition from the real San Francisco (or the US, especially the sunny west coast in general)? Or it being a lack of a draw within Canada itself?
It's too small, and was displaced by Vancouver after the amalgamation of Vancouver Island and mainland BC. But it's interesting think of it rising to be a metropolis that at least rivalled Vancouver.

But at this point, Victoria is more like Santa Barbara than San Francisco.
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  #80  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2018, 6:18 AM
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The following are some excerpts from Winnipeg's City Planning Commission that existed from 1911 to 1913 and can be found in "Gateway City" by Alan Artibise. There were maps and city plans that accompanied the descriptions, but it seems they were either lost or destroyed, unfortunately. There was a lot of city boosterism and visions for what cities would one day become, but I think Winnipeg truly believed that it would become one of the continent's most important cities. Oh how times have changed...

"...many new highways must be planned by extending, straightening and in some cases widening existing streets and by building bridges or subways..."

"...the idea of boulevards around the City should be encouraged and advantage taken of the river banks in the neighborhood of the City to establish picturesque driveways..."

"The encouragement of rapid transportation to the suburbs, to relieve and prevent the formation of congested districts and encourage any tendency of the working class to move into out-lying districts."

"The formation of garden suburbs."

"...the City should make it clear that all railways will only be allowed to enter at certain points."

"The building of a main boulevard around the City connecting the outside park system."

"...a plan should endeavour to arrange for the location of a factory district or groups of factory districts."

"...this joint Committee recommends a trans-city highway along the following route, Pembina, Osborne, Colony, Balmoral, Isabel and Salter..."

"The scheme...calls for the widening of Vaughan Street by extending the West line 88 feet, thus creating a Mall or Plaza 134 feet wide, connecting the Provincial group of buildings dominated by the dome of the Capital Building, centered on the Mall to the south, with the City Hall to the North, also centered on the axis of the Mall facing the Capital. The Plaza furnishes an opportunity in the future for the location of buildings which will be required from time to time in the City's development, such as a Public Library, Museum, Art Gallery, Post Office, Auditorium and other buildings of a similar nature..."

"...the establishment of a City Hall Park, bounded by the Trans-City Highway on the west, and the City Hall centered on the axis of the Mall. The City Hall Park should include all the property in the triangular space between Kennedy, Balmoral and Ellice..."

"...against the erection of a new City Hall on the present site, believing that the site is altogether un-suitable for a building such as should represent the future status of Winnipeg..."

"...the present City Hall and Market Site be transformed into a Public Square, similar to St. James' Place, Montreal."

"Legislation should be secured that would enable the City to place restrictions on the class of buildings to be erected on focal points, so that our opportunities of securing the erection of commanding structures at such points would not be lost in the future as they have been in the past."

"In the laying out of new streets, changes in direction or alignment should be made to break the dreary monotony of an endless vista."

"...buildings in the business districts should be made to conform to a common standard of height, and, in any case, it is recommended that the height of buildings be rigidly regulated by legislation to one and a half times the width of the streets on which they face..."

"...the City must without delay have courage to look into the future and must have in mind Winnipeg as one of the world's largest cities."
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