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  #81  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
So, on one side you have apartment neighbourhoods with 20,000/km2 and on the other side you have farmer's fields. If this were an American city, there would have been a Camden, NJ or Hoboken-sized place where Longueuil is, and they would have tried to bridge the St. Lawrence a generation earlier.
Well, there's also the Victoria Bridge which opened around 1860. And St-Lambert, which it connects to, is one of those satellite towns that was mentioned, although it seems small relative to Montreal. The New York comparison is a bit strange because New York is a much larger city and Manhattan is much smaller than the island of Montreal. Hoboken is 2 km from midtown Manhattan.

It's hard to find good representative maps but the pattern of Toronto's development in the first half of the 20th century looks very similar to cities like Cleveland. Even Cleveland was 50% larger as late as 1940 though. Chicago was a much larger metropolitan area. Toronto's metro area was in the same ballpark as Milwaukee.

It would be interesting to see, say, lists of the largest municipalities in Ontario compared to different states from different censuses. I would expect to see more big suburbs higher up the list for states like Michigan and Ohio. But I am not sure how big the difference really is.
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  #82  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 10:31 PM
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Scarsdale and Winnetka developed around the same time as Forest Hill and upper Westmount.
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  #83  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by esquire View Post
I guess we're getting into some pretty nuanced differences here. There are a lot of suburban areas that started out as a small town or city or whatever and eventually got subsumed by the dominant city... many of Toronto's outlying suburbs are like that, once small rural towns that are now for all intents and purposes standard issue suburbia.

New Westminster obviously wasn't a small rural town, but it was at one time a standalone city. But due to its proximity to the much larger metropolis of Vancouver, it has basically taken on a suburban character. Maybe if Toronto becomes a massive 10,000,000+ megalopolis where RER trains run every 15 minutes to Hamilton, Hamilton could eventually become that way too. But in my view it is nowhere near that point yet.
While Hamilton's obviously more independent of Toronto than Vaughan is, it's still less of a "separate city" than somewhere like Ottawa is. So sure, it may not be a suburb, but then it seems like there's just a hole in language to describe a city that could stand on its own while still having a very close relationship to a dominant city in the region.
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  #84  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 11:03 PM
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Yeah it is a nice place to live (in parts, some neighbourhoods are still very rough), but not a jobs centre at all. And while it may have some nice looking 100 year old buildings, there's essentially no street retail, with huge stretches of blank walls. That's why I object to the idea that it is the most urban. You can cherrypick good looking areas for nice photos, but buildings like this are way too common:



Nice old building, but shitty at street level. And new builds aren't any better.
It's shitty at street level because the first two floors are the police station. Police stations generally don't have street retail in them. That building was also built in 1955 and expanded/restored in 2002 to have seismic upgrades and a new fifth floor.

I'm curious which new builds in downtown New West you feel have "huge stretches of blank walls". All of the new buildings I can think of downtown have ground-oriented retail, or are integrated into the New West SkyTrain Station.
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  #85  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
Lio, you're being pedantic.

There's a clear difference between "4th largest city in the country, population 50,000 in 1891" and "bigger than Vancouver when Vancouver was a collection of tents".
I admit that; my point was that this particular topic is inherently pedantic because the status of suburb is a continuum and the discussion's inevitably going to involve arbitrary lines.
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  #86  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 11:11 PM
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A minor tangential observation: Hamilton was Canada's 4th largest city in 1891 in the same sense that Calgary was a larger city than Toronto in 1996 and is still a larger city than Vancouver today.

One of the most populous municipalities in Canada in 1871 was a mysterious town in New Brunswick called "Portland", which was really just overflow that wasn't annexed into Saint John.

This is not to say that Hamilton didn't also have a much larger metropolitan population (it may or may not have), and it doesn't invalidate your argument. But I have noticed a weird double standard on SSP. People are very aware of the shortcomings of comparing present-day municipalities, but don't worry about it much when looking at numbers from 100 years ago or more.
Interestingly, using hipster duck's logic, Portland NB would actually have been disqualified from the running for "Canada's biggest suburb in 1871" for just being too populous.....
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  #87  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by GlassCity View Post
While Hamilton's obviously more independent of Toronto than Vaughan is, it's still less of a "separate city" than somewhere like Ottawa is. So sure, it may not be a suburb, but then it seems like there's just a hole in language to describe a city that could stand on its own while still having a very close relationship to a dominant city in the region.
If you go down the list of Canada's biggest cities in order of population, Hamilton unarguably is the first you run into that isn't the absolute primary center of its Greater Urban Area, so, it's the biggest city in the country among all of those who have a shot at the title of "most urban suburb".
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  #88  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 11:31 PM
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Inarguably? Both Mississauga and Brampton are bigger municipalities that obviously aren't the primary centres of their urban areas. In the context of the thread, the most populous municipalities make more sense than CMA population which is a control group for population statistical analysis. The average person wouldn't know what the fuck you're talking about or does it make sense for Oshawa/Whitby, in particular, to be separated from the Greater Toronto area.
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  #89  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 11:37 PM
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I personally use the word "suburb" much more loosely as any city that now falls within the stronger sphere of influence of the central city. If there's even a segment of the population that lives their lives in two places (works in one, lives in the other) then I think of that as a broader metro area. Plus, it doesn't necessarily need to be Hamilton with Toronto, as an example. If Hamilton's connected to Burlington or Oakville or whatever, then by extension it's connected to Toronto. That doesn't necessarily mean that Hamilton's dependent on Toronto, it's not, but that they do functionally form one giant city at this point.

Regardless, even if people may consider Hamilton a secondary city to Toronto today, Hamilton is clearly not a "suburb" in the spirit of what this thread is trying to accomplish.
Suburb is easy enough for us as well - there's a blurry line surrounding the Georgestown neighbourhood, which was built and advertised as the city's first suburb in the late 1800s but is a rowhouse neighbourhood behind the Basilica.

But otherwise, cut and dry, a suburb is a neighbourhood build post-WWI with detached houses.

You can throw in lots of caveats - it must have a universally-known and commonly-used neighbourhood name, be mostly residential, whatever else. But, meh... why bother?
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  #90  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by WhipperSnapper View Post
Inarguably? Both Mississauga and Brampton are bigger municipalities that obviously aren't the primary centres of their urban areas.
Oh, right. Apologies. I meant to say running down the list of CMAs. That's where you're more likely to find an actual downtown worthy of the title of most urban "suburban node". It was clear in my head (big 3, then big 6, then big 9 and there you've found your candidate) but when put in writing I did mess it up.

It's been a while since I visited, but I'm still pretty sure downtown Hamilton is more urban than Mississauga, is it not? Mississauga didn't impress me much.
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  #91  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2018, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
Oh, right. Apologies. I meant to say running down the list of CMAs. That's where you're more likely to find an actual downtown worthy of the title of most urban "suburban node". It was clear in my head (big 3, then big 6, then big 9 and there you've found your candidate) but when put in writing I did mess it up.

It's been a while since I visited, but I'm still pretty sure downtown Hamilton is more urban than Mississauga, is it not? Mississauga didn't impress me much.
Like I said, CMAs are basically a control group for making analysis. SSP are a little too wrapped up with them.

Mississauga is a collection of small town centres encapsulated by sprawl. The new city centre was envisioned in the late 1960s when the municipality was formed. It's therefore auto centric in design and still hasn't reached full built out (which is good as there's room to introduce some more modern planning practices.) No, it has nothing on Hamilton.
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  #92  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2018, 12:11 AM
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I'm curious which new builds in downtown New West you feel have "huge stretches of blank walls". All of the new buildings I can think of downtown have ground-oriented retail, or are integrated into the New West SkyTrain Station.
I was mainly thinking of the area around New West station, but you can't discount that due to "skytrain integration" because completely destroying the block on all sides was both completely unnecessary and a crime against urban planning. That area could've been the new downtown New West if built better.

For those not familiar:

https://goo.gl/maps/hExUytSEyqn

https://goo.gl/maps/DygFRodi5rG2

It is mainly the old blank wall buildings that destroy the vibe on the street, and it happens in my hood too though, don't get me wrong. Pinnacle destroyed east Esplanade for no reason.
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  #93  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2018, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Pinion View Post
I was mainly thinking of the area around New West station, but you can't discount that due to "skytrain integration" because completely destroying the block on all sides was both completely unnecessary and a crime against urban planning. That area could've been the new downtown New West if built better.

For those not familiar:

https://goo.gl/maps/hExUytSEyqn

https://goo.gl/maps/DygFRodi5rG2

It is mainly the old blank wall buildings that destroy the vibe on the street, and it happens in my hood too though, don't get me wrong. Pinnacle destroyed east Esplanade for no reason.
I'll give you the first one, definitely.

The second one was also definitely a really poor idea. Those were supposed to be some kind of live/work studios that never panned out. If you turn around 180 degrees though you'll see a well-trafficked section of retail on the other side of the street. That one block of Carnarvon is really a struggle, and I don't think tarring an entire city based on one or two bad blocks is really all that fair, especially when you can just turn around and look at the other side of the street which is a fine example of ground-level retail that works.
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  #94  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2018, 4:29 AM
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It's hard to find good representative maps but the pattern of Toronto's development in the first half of the 20th century looks very similar to cities like Cleveland. Even Cleveland was 50% larger as late as 1940 though. Chicago was a much larger metropolitan area. Toronto's metro area was in the same ballpark as Milwaukee.
Toronto's growth pattern kind of resembles Washington DC, by no means a small city in 1940, but without extensive suburbs. Both had around 900,000 or so in their metros in 1940.

Upper NW DC along Wisconsin and Connecticut avenues resembles Rosedale/North Toronto along Yonge. While in most other eastern American cities, the equivalent group had mostly moved out of the city limits, to Westchester, the Main Line, Shaker Heights and the like.
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  #95  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2018, 4:35 AM
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Yikes. That's bleak on so many levels.
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  #96  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2018, 4:59 AM
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it's never been that great of an area, traffic is always heavy there, huge semis whiz by constantly not a pleasant area. They try to funnel people over a pedestrian bridge to the river market. Its basically the end of downtown, nothing much beyond.
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  #97  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2018, 5:36 AM
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Originally Posted by GlassCity View Post
While Hamilton's obviously more independent of Toronto than Vaughan is, it's still less of a "separate city" than somewhere like Ottawa is. So sure, it may not be a suburb, but then it seems like there's just a hole in language to describe a city that could stand on its own while still having a very close relationship to a dominant city in the region.
Yeah... it's called Ottawa being over 400km away from Toronto.

You know what's 400km away from Brussels? . . . Not Paris. It's closer than that. Yet the relationship between Paris and Brussels clearly isn't a minimum difference to not be a suburb.

Hamilton is simply close to Toronto. Brussels and Antwerp probably have plenty of people running day trips to the other city, a fair number of commuters, etc, being so close together. (Hamilton is less balanced than Antwerp probably thanks to Toronto being bigger, but they're still fully distinct cities.)

A 1 hour trip and a 5 hour trip simply cause a different relationship in people's minds.
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  #98  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2018, 5:55 AM
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I don't know anyone in Ontario that thinks that Hamilton is a suburb of Toronto at all. It's like Baltimore is to Washington, close yet distinct.
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  #99  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2018, 6:45 AM
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speaking of hamilton...

How a mid-sized Canadian city became the envy of urban planners
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  #100  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2018, 2:29 PM
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Its basically the end of downtown, nothing much beyond.
Well yeah it kinda has to be the end of downtown because of how it was built. If it was done right, it could've been the centre of downtown, with Columbia Square Plaza being developed next, and then the car dealerships/collision repair places to the west of that. That would feel like a true urban neighbourhood, with lots of overpasses (preferably a covered tunnel) to the nice riverfront area.
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