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  #21  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 1:09 PM
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I've been on quite a Google map binge. I like the look of New Westminister better than North Van. A lot of the lowrises in both are hideous in that California way, but New Westminister seems older, more layered, meatier.

Does BC have any settlement of size actually on the Pacific coast? Looking straight west and seeing nothing but the open Pacific? They all seem to be tucked deep in the bays.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 1:42 PM
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For me it is no contest, New Westminster.

New Westminster Vibe by Ian, on Flickr

New Westminster by Ian, on Flickr

New Westminster by Ian, on Flickr

Urban New Westminster by Ian, on Flickr

New Westminster Summer Streets by Ian, on Flickr

Skytrain Through New Westminster by Ian, on Flickr

IMO this area is one of the best urban neighbourhoods in western Canada when it comes to urban texture. A nice mix of various generations of architecture. A mix of elevated and underground metro structures. An entire shopping district built around the main elevated train station. The old CP tracks running by with pedestrian and vehicle overpasses. Riverfront properties and a growing Seawall like boardwalk. Old industrial complexes in view. Etc...

North Van is in the running for second place, but it does have some competitors.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 2:17 PM
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^ Those pics of New Westminster make it look like San Francisco. I remember rolling into Vancouver by train, and I always found the NW segment kind of fascinating... it looked like you were reaching some sort of major metropolis only to keep chugging along without stopping.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 2:37 PM
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Maybe an argument could be made for Oshawa? Though it's a bit distant from downtown Toronto and IS at the centre of its own CMA, so maybe not. Brampton also has legitimate town centre, but it's dwarfed by sprawl.

Montreal has some modest contenders. The west island gets a bad rap, but Point Claire is nice, as is Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.

And yes, if Dartmouth were still un-amalgamated with Halifax, it might be a shoe-in. Smaller than New West, but more central to the region and more historic.

But I think I'd concur with New West, for size, density, transit accessibility, and how well it functions as a stand-alone place.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 2:43 PM
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Generally speaking, the winners of this thread are the formerly separate cities that were swallowed up by a larger metropolis, like New Westminster, Dartmouth and the like.

Among truly suburban areas (i.e. the ones built in the 20th century as suburban bedroom areas for commuters), even the most urban ones still kind of pale in comparison to the New Westminster-type places. I mean, parts of Richmond feel very urban but once you get a few blocks off the Skytrain line there's no mistaking that you're in suburbia.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 3:15 PM
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Although today, New Westminster is regarded as a suburb of Vancouver because it is largely a bedroom community, by proper definition New Westminster is not actually a "true suburb" because it existed before Vancouver. A true "suburb" is a newer and dependent outgrowth of a city which existed before the suburb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
I've been on quite a Google map binge. I like the look of New Westminister better than North Van. A lot of the lowrises in both are hideous in that California way, but New Westminister seems older, more layered, meatier.

Does BC have any settlement of size actually on the Pacific coast? Looking straight west and seeing nothing but the open Pacific? They all seem to be tucked deep in the bays.
In BC the California look is much revered.

Prince Rupert is the best example, but in the South nothing except Tofino, and a few other small places. The coastal areas are mostly too rugged.

https://goo.gl/maps/gykTGPhpHZF2
https://goo.gl/maps/DRwnJmqYYhN2
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  #27  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 4:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esquire View Post
^ Those pics of New Westminster make it look like San Francisco. I remember rolling into Vancouver by train, and I always found the NW segment kind of fascinating... it looked like you were reaching some sort of major metropolis only to keep chugging along without stopping.
It's a bit misleading. If you like old architecture sure New West is better but Lonsdale is much more high end, much safer, much more "normal" pedestrian traffic.

I get the appeal of New West though, especially if you recoil at the sight of yuppies.

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Although today, New Westminster is regarded as a suburb of Vancouver because it is largely a bedroom community, by proper definition New Westminster is not actually a "true suburb" because it existed before Vancouver. A true "suburb" is a newer and dependent outgrowth of a city which existed before the suburb.
Lonsdale aka Moodyville also existed before Vancouver.

Some urban Lonsdale shots for comparison. Lonsdale definitely doesn't have amazing architecture, I'll give it that, but I wouldn't call New West "meatier" either.

At Water's Edge ������������ North Vancouver, BC by SeaSide Signs ~ Vancouver, Canada, on Flickr

Shipyards Night Market, Lower Lonsdale, North Vancouver by chrisjohann, on Flickr

Caribbean Days 2017, North Vancouver by chrisjohann, on Flickr



Unfortunately I seem to be the main Flickr photographer of the area and I just take crappy phone shots of construction sites not great photos available. :/ Especially in the five minutes I had to look.

Last edited by Pinion; Jan 11, 2018 at 4:59 PM.
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  #28  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 4:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
And yes, if Dartmouth were still un-amalgamated with Halifax, it might be a shoe-in. Smaller than New West, but more central to the region and more historic.

But I think I'd concur with New West, for size, density, transit accessibility, and how well it functions as a stand-alone place.
It's interesting how similar New West and Dartmouth are. It doesn't really come across in photos but the demographics and the older businesses in both have a similar feel. They've both been gentrifying in a similar way, although New West has really taken off in the past few years since Vancouver has become so pricey.

As others have mentioned neither place is really a suburb. They were separate towns that became a part of a larger metropolitan area. They are interesting historical oddities but they're not as interesting as examples of unique urban planning; they fit the usual patterns of development. Those urban-looking 7 or 8 storey office blocks and apartments in New West were built around 1910 when that was a standard type of development.

A different interesting topic is which of the true postwar suburbs, greenfield sites during or after the 1950's, turned out the best.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 7:40 PM
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I'd go with North York, although it amalgamated with Toronto 20 years ago. North York was rural for much of its history, although there was some development concentrated along Yonge Street around Willowdale during the 1930s and 40s. Most of the development beyond Willowdale was built between WWII and the mid-1970s, followed by the subway being extended north to Finch in 1978 and the building of office towers along Yonge in the 80s. Some sections of Sheppard Ave have become more urban feeling as condo towers have been built in the past 10 years, following the construction of the Sheppard subway. North York Centre is much more urban feeling than the "city centres" of Scarborough and Etobicoke.

Much of this was thanks to the longtime mayor of North York (and later Toronto mayor), Mel Lastman, who kept property taxes lower than in the old City of Toronto to try and attract big businesses to locate there, and who also pushed for the Sheppard subway.
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  #30  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 9:05 PM
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Originally Posted by dleung View Post
Not sure what most "suburban" is, but for most urban:

1. New Westminster
2. North Vancouver
3. Richmond
4. North York
5. Burnaby Metrotown

Urban but mostly from "before"
6. Ambleside West Vancouver
7. Port Credit
8. Burlington

Puke pile: Burnaby Brentwood, Coquitlam, Surrey, Mississauga, Six Points, Scarborough, Markham, etc

I would have to agree with this, but add in a few of Montreal's older burbs as well.
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  #31  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 9:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Architype View Post


Prince Rupert is the best example, but in the South nothing except Tofino, and a few other small places. The coastal areas are mostly too rugged.

https://goo.gl/maps/gykTGPhpHZF2
https://goo.gl/maps/DRwnJmqYYhN2
You can't see the Pacific Ocean directly in these two places, it seems that you can only see a cove or a strait wherever you look. However one can see the open ocean in the south parts of Tofino, including that beach. Otherwise I tend to agree with Signal (and I had noticed the same before) there is no settlement directly located on the Pacific coast, they all seem to be tucked in a bay or a cove.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 11:18 PM
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Probably Hamilton, Ontario.

Or the Hull neighborhood of Gatineau. Or Westmount.

Though this question IMO barely makes any sense, because it all hinges on arbitrary lines that can be altered at the whim of provincial governments.
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  #33  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 11:20 PM
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Is there any city of decent size on the open ocean in Canada and not in a harbour or bay? Cities were deliberately built in protected areas for protection in a storm.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 11:23 PM
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Is there any city of decent size on the open ocean in Canada and not in a harbour or bay? Cities were deliberately built in protected areas for protection in a storm.
Not really, but I don't mean a city. I'm just looking for BC's equivalent of say a Pouch Cove, or Ferryland, or Bonavista, or whatever. Prince Rupert is still more like a Clarenville, way inside the bay.
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  #35  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
Not really, but I don't mean a city. I'm just looking for BC's equivalent of say a Pouch Cove, or Ferryland, or Bonavista, or whatever. Prince Rupert is still more like a Clarenville, way inside the bay.
Tofino? It's still a little bit inward facing but that's as "open to the ocean" as you get. Because "open to the ocean" is miserable.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 11:45 PM
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Ya we don't have anything like Miami Beach. Even Miami the city is protected.
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  #37  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 11:50 PM
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Hundreds of cities are open to the ocean on the West Coast of the US. I don’t see what makes them miserable.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 12:41 AM
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Hundreds of cities are open to the ocean on the West Coast of the US. I don’t see what makes them miserable.
Seems to me not so much until you hit California, even then many larger towns in Northern California are in somewhat sheltered locations compared to those in the southern half of the state.

This largely has to do with weather and topography.

Weather systems come in from the west and pound the PNW throughout the winter. As for topography many cities are built around ports, which coves / bays / inlets are far more hospitable for.

It is no coincidence that all of the largest urban areas of the coastal PNW (Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Olympia, etc...) are not on the exposed coast.

Heck, even San Franscisco is somewhat sheltered with its primary districts along the Bayinstead of the exposed coast.

And then there is the simple fact that the PNW has so many natural inlets and islands (BC in particular) that offer the benefits of coastal living in more sheltered conditions without the exposed drawbacks, that it takes away any real need to have settlements on the exposed coast.
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  #39  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 3:42 AM
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Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
Not really, but I don't mean a city. I'm just looking for BC's equivalent of say a Pouch Cove, or Ferryland, or Bonavista, or whatever. Prince Rupert is still more like a Clarenville, way inside the bay.
I think Prince Rupert and Tofino would both be considered open ocean even by Nfld. standards, they're only separated marginally by islands. Clarenville is much more sheltered.

Ucluelet is another example, its back side is on the open ocean, no bays or inlets here except for the actual harbour. However it has tall trees between it and the ocean, blocking the views, something that Nfld. doesn't have in these type of exposed areas.

https://www.google.ca/maps/@48.93426...!3m1!1e3?hl=en


The exposed coastal Newfoundland settlements began two hundred years before those in BC, back in the age of sail when proximity to fishing grounds was essential. In BC they didn't have to chose those types of locations for settlement, so they chose locations with good harbours and suitable land. Many BC settlements were based more on logging than on fishing.

Last edited by Architype; Jan 12, 2018 at 4:03 AM.
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  #40  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 3:59 AM
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Probably Hamilton, Ontario.

Or the Hull neighborhood of Gatineau. Or Westmount.

Though this question IMO barely makes any sense, because it all hinges on arbitrary lines that can be altered at the whim of provincial governments.
Yeah. For example the older part of Aylmer is kind of like St-Lambert, which has been mentioned in this thread, and therefore might be a contender. But due to larger municipal boundaries than St-Lambert, you probably wouldn't consider Aylmer because a larger part of the (former) city is just typical low-density suburbia.
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