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  #41  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2017, 9:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Franco401 View Post
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",...
Uptown, in this case, really means the same thing, just a different term for it.

The concept and useage of "up" and "down" in geography is interesting. It usually relates well to North and South conventions, also to rivers and travel on the ocean. Many Canadian cities happen to have water and the ports to the south, (New York is somewhat similar with Lower Manhatten being downtown), further reinforcing the concept of "downtown", as being south and next to the ocean, often on lower land, and the oldest part of the city which also became the downtown commercial area. These conventions aren't always the case however; In Nfld., you go "up" to St. John's from other areas of the province (even though it is south), but when you get there, you are also "downtown". You also go "up" to Toronto from Nfld. and the Maritimes, but when you get there you may also be "downtown". Vancouver's downtown qualifies as being next to the port and near the ocean, and on lower land, but is North and West, although its seperation from the rest of the city further identifies its status.

Last edited by Architype; Apr 20, 2017 at 9:52 PM.
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  #42  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2017, 10:22 PM
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I really feel like the red section should cross the DVP to Carlaw and extend to Danforth. Hell it's going to have 2 DRL stops located in it. Also Cabbagetown is a no brainer as part of downtown.
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  #43  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2017, 11:00 PM
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The city of toronto's definition of the downtown area has always been the best in my books. I do prefer the older boundaries than the updated version.

I believe the older boundaries were The Don, Davenport, the lake and, Bathurst above Queen extending to Dufferin below Queen. The revised version is just Bathurst from the Lake to Davenport.
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  #44  
Old Posted Apr 21, 2017, 1:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Architype View Post
The concept and useage of "up" and "down" in geography is interesting. It usually relates well to North and South conventions, also to rivers and travel on the ocean. Many Canadian cities happen to have water and the ports to the south, (New York is somewhat similar with Lower Manhatten being downtown), further reinforcing the concept of "downtown", as being south and next to the ocean, often on lower land, and the oldest part of the city which also became the downtown commercial area.
Yes, and "downtown" does work as a directional in Toronto. North is also uphill and there's a bit of a psychological element to going "up the hill" above Dupont, just as there is crossing the Don River.
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  #45  
Old Posted Apr 21, 2017, 1:20 AM
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The "advantage" to using Bathurst for the boundary of the west, Don River as the boundary for the east and north of St. Clair (or specifically the Belt Line Trail) is its simplicity. The east gets a geographic marker, North Toronto doesn't "interfere with" the west end. Only question is where do the Annex, Rosedale and Yonge-St. Clair fit? Downtown maybe fits within the central area.
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  #46  
Old Posted Apr 21, 2017, 1:49 AM
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Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
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):

I pretty much agree with this and like the idea of distinguishing between downtown and surrounding central neighbourhoods. I suppose a rule of thumb IMO is if I feel like I'm in a neighbouhood then I'm probably not downtown. Cabbagetown, Kensington, Riverside, Annex, Niagara, etc... these are all distinct areas where the neighbourhood feel dominates.
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  #47  
Old Posted Apr 22, 2017, 4:05 AM
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I just calculated the population for what called the downtown core, covering Bathurst/University to Jarvis, Davenport to the lake.*

In the 2016 census, there were 121,669 people in this area of 6.6 square km or 2.5 square miles.

I haven't bothered to do the "official" Bathurst to Don defintion, which covers 17 square km or 6.5 square miles, which is fine as a greater downtown but a little large to be the downtown core or "downtown" for comparative purposes IMO.

* Census tracts 11-15, 34-35, 62-63, 88, 89
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  #48  
Old Posted Apr 24, 2017, 12:30 AM
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So the Spadina to Roncy hipster belt is part of greater downtown?

It used to be that hipster/bohemian neighborhoods used to be on the edge of downtown (i.e. Gerrard St. in the 50s, Yorkville and the Annex in the 60s and 70s) but now they basically "own" the west end.

Last edited by Docere; Apr 24, 2017 at 12:41 AM.
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  #49  
Old Posted Apr 24, 2017, 7:43 AM
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The western edge for downtown in Toronto is Spadina. For all the major east west streets try become more transitional west of Spadina.

In the east it is Sherbourne as nobody considers River street downtown. Parliament is a good comparable to Bathurst IMO for the east end. The transition points are important as less intensive uses and structures find a good place in these areas

City planners created the Bathurst to the Don River thing. On the ground it isn't what is there now. Locals from the old Boroughs also tend to get lazy and will call anything from High Park to the Don "downtown".

Toronto has a massive downtown as it is. Some parts I only ever see once or twice a year. I don't remember the last time I was at Avenue and Bloor for example.
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  #50  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2017, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Beedok View Post
Hamilton's is really blurry. Partly because people on the mountain consider practically the whole lover city 'downtown'. But for a more standard count... Bay, Hunter, Wellington, and Cannon maybe?
When I lived in Hamilton, I was between Dundurn and Locke, and my coworkers considered me to be living downtown. I lived in Kirkendall, and even longtime Hamiltonians from the Mountain would sometimes not know what that was, and try to insist that I lived downtown. I knew one person who lived near Ottawa Street, and would get exasperated when someone implied that was downtown- really, it was quite a trek downtown for her. I think that your boundaries are pretty close, but that James South might be part of it, and the western boundary may be Queen.

I think this confusion about what constitutes "downtown" is common to a lot of smaller Canadian cities. Folks who live in older neighbourhoods or streetcar suburbs can see the clear distinction between their 'hoods and the central business district. Suburbanites might see (relatively) dense urban neighbourhoods as all part of one huge "downtown." Here in Kitchener, I live in a neighbourhood close to downtown but absolutely not part of it, but a lot of people (coworkers) just lump my area in with downtown. Kitchener's downtown is bordered by Victoria, Cedar (maybe a bit further east), Weber and Courtland.

I'm from London but don't know the boundaries of its downtown. Is Dufferin the boundary? Or is Richmond Row now part of downtown, either de facto or officially?
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  #51  
Old Posted May 1, 2017, 5:35 AM
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Originally Posted by osmo View Post
The western edge for downtown in Toronto is Spadina. For all the major east west streets try become more transitional west of Spadina.

In the east it is Sherbourne as nobody considers River street downtown. Parliament is a good comparable to Bathurst IMO for the east end. The transition points are important as less intensive uses and structures find a good place in these areas

City planners created the Bathurst to the Don River thing. On the ground it isn't what is there now. Locals from the old Boroughs also tend to get lazy and will call anything from High Park to the Don "downtown".

Toronto has a massive downtown as it is. Some parts I only ever see once or twice a year. I don't remember the last time I was at Avenue and Bloor for example.
I included over to Bathurst in one census tract only (tract 11), which is centered along King St. from University to Bathurst, in my downtown population count.
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  #52  
Old Posted May 1, 2017, 3:52 PM
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This is what I would consider to be downtown Fredericton.

From Google Maps:

Untitled by James McGrath, on Flickr
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  #53  
Old Posted Yesterday, 11:49 PM
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Population of the Bathurst to Don "greater downtown" Toronto was 237,698 in the 2016 census.
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  #54  
Old Posted Today, 1:42 AM
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Those Calgary and Fredericton examples look like pretty clear delineations of downtowns. From those satellite views it looks like a clear demarcation between the DT area and the rest. Interesting.
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  #55  
Old Posted Today, 2:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
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.
Personally I'd consider the last one to be the most accurate although I've never included the Centennial pool as part of downtown.

I'd define it as:

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  #56  
Old Posted Today, 2:38 AM
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Downtown is a part of the city that virtually every normal person in the city would be familiar with (e.g., while there, could usually give basic directions to a downtown landmark to a tourist). Ossington or St. Clair are somewhat central areas of Toronto but they aren't known as universally as Yonge or University are. Every Winnipegger has, at some point, walked around (if not across) the Portage and Main intersection while relatively few have walked around (say) Portage and Broadway, even though the latter is still central and familiar from driving by in one's car.

That's not a sufficient condition, of course, but it is (close to) a necessary one. There would also need to be a reference to the traditional headquarters of businesses and of many one-of-a-kind establishments (department stores, medical offices perhaps, concert venues, etc.) -- again because these places need to be accessible to the residents of the entire city and therefore tend to locate in a place that all residents would know.

What did Mel Lastman do when he decided that North York needed a downtown? -- the answer might provide some clues to what a downtown is supposed to be.
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  #57  
Old Posted Today, 2:42 PM
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Downtown North York is Bathurst and Lawrence. Downtown Willowdale is Yonge and Sheppard.

Downtown Toronto is roughly between College and King, Jarvis to Spadina. UofT is its own entity which means Bloor-Yorkville is indeed midtown, with the Annex being midtown's first suburb.
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