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  #21  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 2:16 PM
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Downtown Ottawa has a bit of history behind it.

Historically there was a sectarian divide at the Rideau Canal. French and Irish Catholics to the east and Protestants to the west. In early history, there was considerable violence. This sectarian division has mostly disappeared in recent years but was still apparent even in the 1960s.

Because of this and also geography, the downtown area was also split into what was called Lower Town and Upper Town, and correspondingly the use of terms of Uptown and Downtown respectively. These terms were still in common use until the 1960s. Today, most of these terms have disappeared with the exception of 'Lower Town'.

Despite that and also because of the presence of Confederation Square, downtown Ottawa still has two components that mirror the earlier naming convention. To the west of the Rideau Canal and Confederation Square is the main office area north of Somerset (although that may be a couple of blocks too far south) and the Ottawa River and between Bronson and Elgin. To the east of the Rideau Canal, is the other downtown sector which is more retail, restaurants, bars, hotels and condos and includes the Rideau Street corridor as far as King Edward and the Byward Market area.
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  #22  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 2:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
This seems to be a perennial Toronto point of contention. A lot of people seem to define practically anywhere between the Don and the Humber as downtown. I get that if someone is in, say, Markham, and they're going to Parkdale, they might say they're going "downtown" as a general directional indicator.

In Toronto having those in the suburbs refer to virtually all of the Old City (and even parts of the York's) as "downtown" is more or less synonymous with people in the Bay Area referring to San Francisco as the "City". Or those in the NYC area with Manhattan, without trying to invoke *that* comparison. In context it simply means inner-city. I have heard the term "City" refer to older parts of Toronto as well, but it's much more rare than just downtown.

To keep things simple I usually say I live downtown when someone from the GTA asks, and say Parkdale when someone from Toronto asks.
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  #23  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 2:28 PM
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Regina's downtown is pretty compact, but it can vary a bit, generally the proper downtown is everything between Albert/Saskatchewan and Broad/Victoria. I would give the residential section stretching South to the park as downtown as well so Alberta/Saskatchewan to Broad/College even though that area is often called Transition.

West of downtown is Cathedral. South of Cathedral is Lakeview. North of downtown is Warehouse and then North and North West is North Central. East of Downtown is ugly. until you start to move closer to the park in Arnheim place.

It would be great if Cathedral along 13th could sort of morph into an midtown kind of thing, but good luck with that time capsule.
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  #24  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 4:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
This seems to be a perennial Toronto point of contention. A lot of people seem to define practically anywhere between the Don and the Humber as downtown. I get that if someone is in, say, Markham, and they're going to Parkdale, they might say they're going "downtown" as a general directional indicator.

But that seems to be a suburban conflating of "urban" or "old" with "downtown". Realistically, I think it's approximately Sherburne to University, below Bloor. And there's an argument to be made that it widens out the further south you go. i.e., I wouldn't call the Annex between Spadina and Bathurst downtown, but I could see Queen West as far as Spadina, and King West as far as Bathurst.

But if I'm on Ossington or Parliament, I'm not downtown.
Yeah, I think Bathurst to Don is more a central area than downtown. I agree the western boundary is further west the further south you go.
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  #25  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 5:23 PM
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Downtown Saskatoon has neatly defined boundaries, being 25th Street to the north, Idylwyld Drive to the west, and the South Saskatchewan River to the east and south. Geographically, it's a massive area for the downtown of a city of Saskatoon's size. You'll find that on the fringes of this zone there are large areas that don't feel or function like a downtown - a mostly single-use high density residential area in the northeast, the Warehouse District to the northwest, River Landing on the south, and a lot of vacant property/surface parking thrown in the mix. The office/retail/entertainment core is centered on 21st Street (Midtown Plaza - Bessborough Hotel) and 2nd and 3rd Avenues, and then a further block or two in each direction.

For planning and public realm investment purposes, the City defines a larger City Centre area, which combines Downtown with adjoining corridors of 20th Street (Riversdale) to the west, Broadway Avenue (Nutana) to the south and College Drive (U of S) to the east across the river, and the high density portion of City Park to the north.

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  #26  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 5:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echoes View Post
Downtown Saskatoon has neatly defined boundaries, being 25th Street to the north, Idylwyld Drive to the west, and the South Saskatchewan River to the east and south. Geographically, it's a massive area for the downtown of a city of Saskatoon's size. You'll find that on the fringes of this zone there are large areas that don't feel or function like a downtown - a mostly single-use high density residential area in the northeast, the Warehouse District to the northwest, River Landing on the south, and a lot of vacant property/surface parking thrown in the mix. The office/retail/entertainment core is centered on 21st Street (Midtown Plaza - Bessborough Hotel) and 2nd and 3rd Avenues, and then a further block or two in each direction.

For planning and public realm investment purposes, the City defines a larger City Centre area, which combines Downtown with adjoining corridors of 20th Street (Riversdale) to the west, Broadway Avenue (Nutana) to the south and College Drive (U of S) to the east across the river, and the high density portion of City Park to the north.

There is often a strategy to these odd definitions of downtown. In my city (Gatineau) downtown is traditionally the Vieux-Hull district which is right across from downtown Ottawa. Where the infamous bar strip was and federal office buildings are clustered. But it also officially includes the commercial strip of Boulevard St-Joseph some distance away and is not really that connected to the old core. I think it's something the BIA on St-Joseph lobbied to get in order to be considered as part of "downtown". What advantages there are with this I am not sure, but it is what it is.
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  #27  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 6:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
This seems to be a perennial Toronto point of contention. A lot of people seem to define practically anywhere between the Don and the Humber as downtown. I get that if someone is in, say, Markham, and they're going to Parkdale, they might say they're going "downtown" as a general directional indicator.

But that seems to be a suburban conflating of "urban" or "old" with "downtown". Realistically, I think it's approximately Sherburne to University, below Bloor. And there's an argument to be made that it widens out the further south you go. i.e., I wouldn't call the Annex between Spadina and Bathurst downtown, but I could see Queen West as far as Spadina, and King West as far as Bathurst.

But if I'm on Ossington or Parliament, I'm not downtown.

I see it just working something like this - with the red area corresponding to the Downtown core and the green being a sort of "Greater Downtown" (give or take the boundaries a bit):

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  #28  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 6:55 PM
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/\ That seems reasonable to me, even though I would enlarge the red part and shrink a bit the green part. Toronto's downtown feels huge.
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  #29  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 9:10 PM
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Saint John is fairly unique among Canadian cities its size in that it doesn't have a "downtown". The Central Business District is referred to as Uptown Saint John due to its position at the top of a hill. There's never been a "downtown", though the term could be mistakenly applied to Portland Valley (a neighbourhood that doesn't really exist anymore, shout out to the amazing Lost Valley Blog but this has never been the case.
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  #30  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 9:16 PM
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Another note on DT Fredericton, while the city defines the CBD, many (I would estimate 60% of citizens) Incorrectly cite anything north of Dundonald Street as "Downtown" since that's where The Hill ends and the Town Plat begins.
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  #31  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 10:39 PM
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Downtown is anything south of Dupont-Davenport-Bloor between Parliament and Ossington but north of Queen's Quay.
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  #32  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 11:51 PM
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Halifax is one that has a few different permutations.

At minimum would be this, which includes the historic main street and waterfront, financial area, legislature, and much of the oldest architecture.




In recent years, however, I'd make the argument that the commercial stretches along Water, Barrington and Hollis streets have become more or less continuous with the rest of downtown. The fact that they extend to the city's main train station (little-used though it is) and central market seem to bolster that. They also contain a similarly rich mix of 18th, 19th, and 20th-century architecture




The stretch heading west along Spring Garden Road to Robie has seen a dramatic spike in new development and tall buildings. Ten years ago it would have been more of an adjunct to downtown--an Annex type of neighbourhood. Today, the scale of development (and again, continuous mixed-use streetwalls connected to the rest of downtown) is quickly making it feel a lot more urban, extending west along this corridor and out of frame for a bit.




And finally, on the left side, Gottingen Street (where the arrow is) used to be a main commercial arterial branching north (this map is oriented with north on the left and east on the top). That neighbourhood was considered by many to be downtown, though in the 1960s the city destroyed a huge swath of the central city, severing the areas above and below Cogswell Street from one another. Cogswell is the red line marking the far left extent of downtown on the first three maps).

Gottingen sort of atrophied like a disused limb at that point, and I think it's fair to say that it can't really be considered downtown anymore, though some people will fight the point. It's seeing gentrification/revitalization now, however, so who knows in the future.
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  #33  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2017, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
The stretch heading west along Spring Garden Road to Robie has seen a dramatic spike in new development and tall buildings. Ten years ago it would have been more of an adjunct to downtown--an Annex type of neighbourhood. Today, the scale of development (and again, continuous mixed-use streetwalls connected to the rest of downtown) is quickly making it feel a lot more urban, extending west along this corridor and out of frame for a bit.
It is analogous to the Annex plus everything east to Yonge Street. The most expensive retail space in the city is along Spring Garden Road. It's an older neighbourhood though; there are lots of buildings from the early to mid 1800's on the sidestreets (downtown Toronto has grown and spread out a lot more over the years).

I get the sense that Spring Garden Road would have been considered a neighbourhood in the 1960's or so, but that it became a major retail street in the 1980's around the time when malls like Park Lane were built.

Quote:
And finally, on the left side, Gottingen Street (where the arrow is) used to be a main commercial arterial branching north (this map is oriented with north on the left and east on the top). That neighbourhood was considered by many to be downtown, though in the 1960s the city destroyed a huge swath of the central city, severing the areas above and below Cogswell Street from one another. Cogswell is the red line marking the far left extent of downtown on the first three maps).
Back in the 60's it was a lot smaller than Barrington, but you might have done your weekend shopping along Gottingen Street. It had some neighbourhood shops plus businesses with a wider appeal. By 2005 that street was amazingly dead. It has come back much faster than I would have predicted at the time.


Source


Not very "downtown"-like in 1960. It had the sort of buildings you'd normally associate with a neighbourhood retail street.
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  #34  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2017, 12:49 AM
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I see it just working something like this - with the red area corresponding to the Downtown core and the green being a sort of "Greater Downtown" (give or take the boundaries a bit)
So the bulk of the West End is greater downtown?

Would you say the west end/west side begins at Spadina or Bathurst? The east end/side at Jarvis or the Don River?
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  #35  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2017, 3:21 AM
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So the bulk of the West End is greater downtown?

Would you say the west end/west side begins at Spadina or Bathurst? The east end/side at Jarvis or the Don River?

For me at least, the downtown core really refers to the built up CBD & commercial heart of the city (which wouldn't include more locally-oriented neighbourhoods like Kensington or the Annex, which are their own things and not just generically "downtown"), which generally corresponds to the area between Spadina and Jarvis or Sherbourne (as others have mentioned it's really more of a vaguely triangular shape that dips & doodles around various places, but from a practical standpoint that's just too much bother to neatly define).

But then there's also a more geographically concise section of the inner city that could broadly be referred to as "downtown" in the general parlance of the city. Living within that green line of the greater downtown (just east of the Don River), I'd say generically that I live downtown (if not saying specifically that I live in Riverdale), but if I were to go to Yonge & Dundas or something I'd say I was going downtown, both as a direction and as destination.

As for the East & West Ends... The West End definitely starts at Spadina I'd say, extending out as far as the Humber. The East End is a bit tricky though - the Don River makes for a natural border, with areas on the west bank like Regent Park and Cabbagetown not quite feeling like they're part of it, but not quite feeling like the central downtown either. I dunno, they could probably go with either and no one would really care.
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  #36  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2017, 3:33 AM
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For Calgary, I'd say downtown is the CPR tracks to the south, the Bow River to the north, 14th Street to the west and the Elbow River to the east. Some will argue that the East Village and Eau Claire aren't part of Calgary's downtown core while others would argue that the Beltline is a part of Calgary's downtown.

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  #37  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2017, 3:41 AM
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Saint John is fairly unique among Canadian cities its size in that it doesn't have a "downtown". The Central Business District is referred to as Uptown Saint John due to its position at the top of a hill. There's never been a "downtown", though the term could be mistakenly applied to Portland Valley (a neighbourhood that doesn't really exist anymore, shout out to the amazing Lost Valley Blog but this has never been the case.
Uptown Waterloo, ON.
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  #38  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2017, 4:10 PM
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As for the East & West Ends... The West End definitely starts at Spadina I'd say, extending out as far as the Humber. The East End is a bit tricky though - the Don River makes for a natural border, with areas on the west bank like Regent Park and Cabbagetown not quite feeling like they're part of it, but not quite feeling like the central downtown either. I dunno, they could probably go with either and no one would really care.
The east-central area (i.e. Jarvis to Don) was also the most subject to urban renewal, and then development east of the Don was a bit delayed (I'd say on average the west end developed about a decade earlier than east of the Don). So you're right it leaves that area neither quite downtown but quite different from east of the Don too.
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  #39  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2017, 4:28 PM
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/\ That seems reasonable to me, even though I would enlarge the red part and shrink a bit the green part. Toronto's downtown feels huge.
I agree, I would also put most of the Docklands in the green.
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  #40  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2017, 5:40 PM
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There is downtown, and the "City" to me. For people from outside of the city, you would describe these areas generally as "Downtown".. but they aren't really. Parts of the north especially may not be considered "downtown", but its certianly part of the inner city to me.

I live in the west end too, so that part is more familiar to me. I may have overstretched the lines in some spots, but You can see what others were talking about how downtown is more "triangular". I debated putting all of spadina in downtown too, as there is merit to that.

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