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  #21  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 3:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post
I didn't think gated communities were legal in Canada. I understood the only gated communities are ones that are part of a shared complex such as townhomes or condo where land is strata owned. An area maybe cut of but cannot be "exclusive" unto itself, or so I thought.
London has one called River Bend, which also features a golf course within. I'm not sure if there is a condominium corporation involved.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 3:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post
I didn't think gated communities were legal in Canada..
I am pretty sure they are legal provided the city doesn't own the streets or any of the land within them. If it's all private property (which can be owned collectively by the residents) from the point where you leave the city property/street, then you can gate it off if you want, just like you can fence off a single home lot if you want.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 3:17 PM
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Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
That has more to do with the lower quantity of limited access roadways around Toronto compared to similar-sized U.S. cities. And far from being epic in sprawl, Toronto is quite modest in that regard, as it doesn't have a hundred thousand acres of estates on squiggly cul-de-sacs that places like Chicago do. Instead, Toronto is famous for having high-rises outside of the downtown area, which places like Chicago don't.

The Golden Horseshoe feels massive, but it's not in the American league. Consider this: the 401 doesn't feel much at all like the similarly-placed 294 in Chicago, which, aside from servicing the airport and various industrial zones, goes through large swaths of sparsely populated exurban residential development featuring large lots and golf courses.

Toronto's sprawl is denser than most (all?) on this side of the Atlantic.
I wonder what the daily tonnage transport on the 401 through Toronto is. I find the GTA suburbs incredibly ugly but, as a function of sprawl, they are no where in the league of most US metros; abundant 1/4 acreages, no sidewalks, much high percentage of abandonment and, miles to go for milk. Most larger subdivisions of the last 20 years here are designed with a commercial component that is within walking distance of most homes. For this, all of the larger builders have commercial divisions.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 3:25 PM
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^ I think suburbs are generally ugly in North America, apart for some around New York City (Long Island) or Chicago (North Shore). Mostly because they're modern I guess.

For every Markham/Richmond Hill/Brampton there is a Laval/Mascouche/Repentigny.

Last edited by SkahHigh; Jan 21, 2015 at 3:37 PM.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 3:27 PM
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Originally Posted by SkahHigh View Post
^ I think suburbs are generally ugly in North America, apart for some around New York City (Long Island) or Chicago (North Shore). Mostly because they're modern I guess.

For every Markham/Richmond Hill/Brampton there is a Laval/Mascouche/Repentigny.
Boston has nice suburbs (visually) too, though they are large-lot SFH and low-density.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 3:51 PM
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Originally Posted by WhipperSnapper View Post
I wonder what the daily tonnage transport on the 401 through Toronto is. I find the GTA suburbs incredibly ugly but, as a function of sprawl, they are no where in the league of most US metros; abundant 1/4 acreages, no sidewalks, much high percentage of abandonment and, miles to go for milk. Most larger subdivisions of the last 20 years here are designed with a commercial component that is within walking distance of most homes. For this, all of the larger builders have commercial divisions.
The way suburbs are built these days in the GTA is very different than the norm in mid-size Canadian cities. New suburban developments in cities like London and Kingston have zero provision for any commercial development within walking distance. One of the new subdivisions in the west end of London is a 30-minute walk from the nearest convenience store. I was very surprised a few years ago when I visited a new development in suburban Milton (itself a suburb serving both Toronto and Hamilton), and saw commercial development under construction in the neighbourhood - and it was even pedestrian-oriented with street-facing entrances. You'd never see that in Southern Ontario outside the GTHA and maybe Ottawa.

Today's Toronto Star had an interesting article on the subject of walkability: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015...t-pay-off.html - It's interesting to see that walkable neighbourhoods are becoming more desirable in large cities with long commute times from the suburbs, while in mid-sized cities the traditional suburban development model is still king.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 3:52 PM
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With housing prices in the GTA soaring through the stratosphere, could it just set up even more development farther afield? Although the closest places not subject to the Places to Grow Act are about 150 km from downtown Toronto.
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  #28  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 3:58 PM
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I don't even think of Surrey's general sprawl as that bad. That's cause I don't really mind sprawl as long as it's within a grid layout. The arterials, being straight, can be easily urbanized while those who want to live in SFH can still have their quiet streets within them. So commercial areas, even if autocentric power centres, are usually located on major intersections, rather than some random corner of the "master-planned community" When I think of real bad sprawl, I think of Surrey/Langley's new sprawl, like the Clayton Heights neighbourhood. Or Morgan Crossing in White Rock.

I do hate the modern way of building suburbs even more than before though: roads have gotten even curlier, and now they're packing the houses so close together you might as well be living in a townhouse. It's removed pretty much the only benefit of suburbia, which is having lots of space.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 4:03 PM
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Montreal has some nice suburbs as well. Rosemere is a historic suburb and has its charm. Many areas in the West Island are nice too. Mont-Saint-Hilaire is not old, but I think it looks good with the combination of the houses, the hill and the streets going through the forest. But remove the hill and the forest and you get a bland suburb similar to the others.

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  #30  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 4:11 PM
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The closest place to downtown Toronto NOT subject to the Places to Grow Act is Oxford County, about 130 km away.

To the north, Muskoka is about 160 km away, and to the east, Hastings is about 150 km away.
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  #31  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 4:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Beedok View Post
I think Ottawa's biggest mistake is actually the greenbelt. It was too small to stop sprawl and just made commutes a bit longer.
I completely agree, and we should have treated it like they do in Edinburgh, nothing outside the greenbelt except for farms.

The greenbelt should extend to Carp road in the West, Trim in the East and Mitch Owens in the South. That would have given alot of redevelopment and intesification within the greenbelt and would likely have resulted in a Subway and much better Transit to everything everywhere. A huge increase in walkability as well.

We really dropped the ball on that.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 4:24 PM
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Originally Posted by le calmar View Post
Montreal has some nice suburbs as well. Rosemere is a historic suburb and has its charm. Many areas in the West Island are nice too. Mont-Saint-Hilaire is not old, but I think it looks good with the combination of the houses, the hill and the streets going through the forest. But remove the hill and the forest and you get a bland suburb similar to the others.
St. Lambert and Rosemere/Lorraine are probably the nicest. Some on-island suburbs are nice too.

Last edited by SkahHigh; Jan 21, 2015 at 4:40 PM.
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  #33  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 4:43 PM
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Originally Posted by MoreTrains View Post
I completely agree, and we should have treated it like they do in Edinburgh, nothing outside the greenbelt except for farms.

The greenbelt should extend to Carp road in the West, Trim in the East and Mitch Owens in the South. That would have given alot of redevelopment and intesification within the greenbelt and would likely have resulted in a Subway and much better Transit to everything everywhere. A huge increase in walkability as well.

We really dropped the ball on that.
If that was the case, communities outside Ottawa would likely be several orders of magnitude bigger...imagine 50,000 people in, say, Kemptville?
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  #34  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 4:56 PM
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To be fair, that first gated community is Swan Lake in Markham. It's a 55 plus community so really it's just a way for the residents there to maintain a quiet neighborhood. The funniest thing about Swan Lake is that they built it around a spring fed pond my friends and I knew as Turtles Cove. We used to spend our summers over there exploring as kids and as we got older we used to camp over there drinking and heading back into the burbs pool hoping late at night. There was suppose o be a moratorium in place to stop any sort of development north of 16th avenue back then because the farm land in the region is some of the most fertile and productive in North America. It's a shame Markham allowed for development almost to it's border with Stouffville now. I think it's tougher to build on farm land now but it's still happening to a lesser extent. Damn I hate the burbs
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  #35  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 5:03 PM
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Originally Posted by eternallyme View Post
Yet the density of the GTA is the 2nd highest of any major urbanized area in North America, after (get this) Los Angeles...
It surpassed LA several years ago and is now the densest urban area in Canamerica.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 5:25 PM
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I would say some of New York City's closer suburbs are quite dense, no? Maybe at the magnitude of Mississauga or less likely Brampton? I found them to be quite dense considering they are suburbs.
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  #37  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 5:39 PM
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A thread about sprawl that hasn't even mentioned Calgary yet, that's impressive!
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  #38  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 5:59 PM
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EDIT: Posted some Calgary sprawl pics but links got all wonky. Might try again later.
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  #39  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 6:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Calgarian View Post
A thread about sprawl that hasn't even mentioned Calgary yet, that's impressive!
Were leaving it up to Calgary locals like yourself to add it just to keep the peace haha.
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  #40  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2015, 6:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 333609543 View Post
I would say some of New York City's closer suburbs are quite dense, no? Maybe at the magnitude of Mississauga or less likely Brampton? I found them to be quite dense considering they are suburbs.
The closer ones can be dense, for sure. However many of these date back from the 1920s/30s, if not earlier. And have historic town centres. Some of the 1940s/50s growth areas seem reasonably dense as well. It's after that things get really sprawly with large estate lots, leapfrogged developments and whatnot. The type of tract development you see in Mississauga and Brampton doesn't really exist on the east coast of the US.
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