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  #41  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 6:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doady View Post
Suburban road network means a strong heirarchy of streets. Wide highways and boulevards contrasted with very small streets. "Dispersed road network" doesn't mean anything. "Dispersed" means lower density. You are saying Mississauga has a lower density of roads? Doesn't make sense. I thought it was the opposite.

Mississauga's road network is suburban because of its strong heirarchy, not because of "dispersal".

New Westminster is mostly pre-war. Overall, it's older than the City of Toronto. It's an extension of the inner city. Like if Yorkville separated from Toronto, it would be most urban suburban municipality. So what?
I was actually gonna originally bring up road hierarchies but decided against them, because Richmond and Surrey both have them and in my opinion they are more urban than Mississauga.

What I meant by "dispersed streets" (admittedly not the best wording), is that major arterials in Mississauga are far away from each other. Take Hurontario for example. The major arterials it crosses - Queensway, Dundas, Central Parkway, Burnhamthorpe, etc.) are farther away from each other than the arterials in places like Richmond or Surrey, which both have their arterials laid out every 800 metres. To me, this tighter arterial layout is more urban.

Also, Vancouver suburbs have houses fronting their arterials. In places like Mississauga, they look like highways, with houses turned away from them. Also very important. On the street, Mississauga very much feels like a typical suburb, and very different from low-density Toronto proper. Richmond and Surrey are clearly low density and have curvilinear networks within their arterial grids, but the arterials and their built form barely differ from low-density Vancouver proper.

This: https://www.google.ca/maps/@49.12644...7i13312!8i6656
is more urban than this: https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.58886...7i13312!8i6656

Obviously the bar is being set pretty damn low at this point. But I'll add too that it's easier to urbanize the first example rather than the second, due to existing street frontage.

Last edited by GlassCity; Jan 12, 2018 at 6:34 AM.
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  #42  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 6:55 AM
Docere Docere is offline
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Maybe divide the question into suburbs of above 100,000 and below 100,000 population?
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  #43  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 7:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Docere View Post
Maybe divide the question into suburbs of above 100,000 and below 100,000 population?
I don't know how useful that would be considering suburbs are determined by arbitrary boundaries, whereas the metro areas we usually compare are not. After all, the City of North Vancouver (52,898) is more urban than Surrey (517,887), while Burnaby (232,755) is more urban than Coquitlam (139,284).
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  #44  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by le calmar View Post
Hundreds of cities are open to the ocean on the West Coast of the US. I don’t see what makes them miserable.
Did you seriously not consider regional temperatures? It's miserable down to the Columbia River, then starts getting pleasant. Washington's coast looks just like BC, but Oregon has beautiful sandy beaches like California.

But even as far down as SF and LA it's pretty uncomfortable to be right on the coast. Very windy. LA itself started well inland and moved to the coast as suburban sprawl.
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  #45  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 1:25 PM
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^ Of course I did. I have experienced cold temperatures near the open ocean in the US northeast before and did not think it was miserable. But I admit my experience is limited and those settlements are generally more open to the elements.
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  #46  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 2:11 PM
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Before it was amalgamated I would say Dundas had a decent claim. Not quite to New Westminster levels, but still pretty good.

Burlington is just a hair behind Oakville I'd guess.

Grimsby is cute.

You can start a fight by claiming either of Thunder Bay's downtowns is the suburb of the other.
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  #47  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 2:58 PM
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Originally Posted by le calmar View Post
^ Of course I did. I have experienced cold temperatures near the open ocean in the US northeast before and did not think it was miserable. But I admit my experience is limited and those settlements are generally more open to the elements.
On the west coast you have strong wind hitting you consistently from the Pacific ocean, and in Vancouver/Washington you're usually right on the jetstream. On the northeast coast the wind usually comes from the south. Huge difference.

Like even on Venice beach in LA I was uncomfortable at the edge of the beach because the wind was so powerful, despite being warm. But just a few hundred feet inland it starts to die down.

Same in SF... the city is fine facing northeast on the peninsula, but west of Golden Gate is like pointing a cold blow dryer at your face even in the middle of summer.
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  #48  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 3:02 PM
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Richmond, BC. The downtown has buildings rising from the curb, and is much less dominated by towers-in-a-park/parking lot (like Mississauga, Burnaby).

New Westminster is a good candidate.
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  #49  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 3:04 PM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
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.
Hamilton is not a suburb.
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  #50  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 3:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
Richmond, BC. The downtown has buildings rising from the curb, and is much less dominated by towers-in-a-park/parking lot (like Mississauga, Burnaby).
Haha no. "Downtown" is dominated by strip malls, it's a terrible pedestrian experience.

I wouldn't even rank it top 3 in metro Vancouver.
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  #51  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 3:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Pinion View Post
Haha no. "Downtown" is dominated by strip malls, it's a terrible pedestrian experience.

I wouldn't even rank it top 3 in metro Vancouver.
North Van must have changed since I last visited 5 years ago. Aside from Lonsdale area, I didn't find it particularly appealing to pedestrians.
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  #52  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 3:20 PM
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For QC...
  • Verdun was an independant municipality until the mergers of 2002. It's almost entirely composed of rows of 2-3 storey plexes + Nun's Island. It's now generally considered as MTL's inner city though.
  • Same goes for Lachine, though it had a different fabric (strong institutional core with domes and spires, row housing, industrial housing and mostly multi-family dwellings). Interesting fact, Lachine isn't generally considered inner city. Would it count then ?
  • Saint-Lambert, on the South Shore (Montérégie), is considered as one of MTL's oldest suburbs. It started developing when Victoria Bridge was built. Interesting urban built forms that can recall either Villeray or NDG at times.
  • Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu is considered as a suburb of Montreal since 2016. The central areas are pretty urban; it basically tells the story of the 19th century industrialization, centered around locks, a waterway, railroads and important institutions. The outskirts have no interest. It's still quite independant job-wise (60% of citizens work within the municipality).
  • Other than that in Montréal, the North Shore, Laval and the West Island are nothing more than suburban cookie-cutter wastelands.
  • For Québec (city), there would be the oldest parts of Lévis / Lauzon, on the South Shore. However, unlike places such as New Westminster, we, in QC, tended to develop new downtowns (suburban office parks) on the outskirts instead of building above the old cores. That's why they were preserved. But that's also why the towns are sprawling and their cores mostly look like big villages.
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  #53  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 3:28 PM
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For strictly post-war suburban municipalities I'd actually give Markham a nod as well. It's not exactly pretty but they have a fairly aggressive new-urbanist agenda including mandatory retail (usually as live-work) spaces on arterials within neighbourhoods. The new "downtown", while very much a work in progress seems much more human scaled than Mississauga.



All areas built in the last 15 years or so:

https://goo.gl/maps/o19DoFoCatJ2
https://goo.gl/maps/LFAPCHrxWFG2
https://goo.gl/maps/24prJeyksJ62
https://goo.gl/maps/U73A1zRtLxE2
https://goo.gl/maps/TndPL7YbPmN2
https://goo.gl/maps/A8CEs9YporT2


I'm not a fan of the aesthetic at all but it's still fairly impressive compared to other new suburban places.

There's a few older areas but they are very small considering the size of the city:
https://goo.gl/maps/rN4ZLZjMSMD2
https://goo.gl/maps/BM782gNx7m82
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  #54  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 4:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
Hamilton is not a suburb.
Can you justify this position using an argument that isn't arbitrary, though?
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  #55  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 4:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
North Van must have changed since I last visited 5 years ago. Aside from Lonsdale area, I didn't find it particularly appealing to pedestrians.
We're only talking about Lonsdale (City of North Van, not District), and it is rapidly changing yes. A whole new waterfront public area with new restaurants and hotels is almost done, and tons of condos have been added in the last five years, with tons to come. An entire neighbourhood of dozens of single family homes was just razed to make room for about 10 more condos.

Housing prices are also going up 30+% per year, which has an effect on the type of people who live here. People who used to buy in Yaletown/Coal Harbour are now buyng here. You can't get a one bedroom condo for less than $400,000, even in an old crappy building on a busy street.
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  #56  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 4:38 PM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
Can you justify this position using an argument that isn't arbitrary, though?
At a certain point a city is so far off literally and figuratively from the dominant metropolis that it can't really be said to be a suburb even if it has some suburban characteristics. Suburbs generally exist because of the big city... you can't really say that about Hamilton.

It's a bit like how Tours and other French cities suddenly got a lot closer to Paris when the TGV opened. Sure a good number of might people might commute from there, but would anyone ever call Tours a Parisian suburb?
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  #57  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 4:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
Can you justify this position using an argument that isn't arbitrary, though?

Hamilton was the 4th largest city in Canada in 1891 and it has a 150 year old pro sports team.
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  #58  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 6:09 PM
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Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
Hamilton was the 4th largest city in Canada in 1891
Yeah, back when New Westminster was bigger than Vancouver. I guess it makes Vancouver the most urban suburb in the country then?

"Used to exist as a separate city" does not invalidate the fact a place may nowadays function as a peripheral node in a greater metro.
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  #59  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 6:11 PM
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Originally Posted by esquire View Post
Suburbs generally exist because of the big city... you can't really say that about Hamilton.
Okay, but FYI, that criterion totally disqualifies New Westminster as well as Hamilton; it used to be the capital of BC and was the biggest city in the Lower Mainland. Let's ask Metro One to edit those pics out
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  #60  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 6:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Pinion View Post
Haha no. "Downtown" is dominated by strip malls, it's a terrible pedestrian experience.

I wouldn't even rank it top 3 in metro Vancouver.
With the redevelopment going on in Richmond's downtown I think it will be on par with New West and North Van once it's finished. I agree with MolsonExport's assessment: no towers in the park, just urban buildings rising right from the streetfront. New roads are being built continuously to improve the grid. Its downtown development is the most impressive in the region - just doesn't get credit cause the buildings are short.
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