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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Ontario > SSP: Local London > London Issues, Business, Politics & the Economy

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  #81  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2010, 4:44 PM
Snark Snark is offline
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Electromotive is not to be euthanised for the sake of an American plant. Life goes on. Pheewww! That was a close one! Almost turned into Flint there before my eyes.

BTW

Unemployment (current):
London = 8.5% (with people re-entering the workforce)
Flint = 13.7% (with no one re-entering the workforce)

Unemployment (modern-era peak):
London = 11.0% (2009)
Flint = 27.3% (2009)

Median Household income:
London: $53,865 (2005)
Flint: $28,015

Negative population growth:
London: N/A
Flint: -44%
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  #82  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2010, 5:05 PM
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...And those stats probably include the infamous London Metropolitan area. Those communities (such as Saint Thomas) really mess up those numbers compared with the city proper.

What year was that negative population growth for? Hopefully that was over some time, Flint losing nearly half it's people in a year is nuts. Perhaps that should be changed to just population growth... London would have a + something and Flint would have -44%.
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  #83  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2010, 11:53 PM
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...And those stats probably include the infamous London Metropolitan area. Those communities (such as Saint Thomas) really mess up those numbers compared with the city proper.

What year was that negative population growth for? Hopefully that was over some time, Flint losing nearly half it's people in a year is nuts. Perhaps that should be changed to just population growth... London would have a + something and Flint would have -44%.
I just pulled some quick numbers off the innerweb to show what a city in REAL trouble looks like - all the stats are probably metro stats as the Americans do their counting in the same way. Anyway, it doesn't have to be precise to illustrate the point.

The Flint population decline was from the mid-70's high of a whisker under 200,000. At that time, London's population was about 225,000 if I recall correctly - which would produce a growth of about 57% over that same period.

I know that folks bemoan the economic state of Ontario and most of its cities that have been hurt by the downturn in manufacturing - but it's not near a bad as many American cities in similar situations - and in some ways a cautionary tale of how not to operate an economy of municipality. I realize that this is cold comfort to those in Ontario struggling to find work, but the difference between what is going on here and what is happening in other places that are in genuine serious trouble is the difference between a cyclic economic downturn and societal collapse.

Such catastrophic declines also directly affects how these devastated municipalities can not afford to provide basic services. For example:

- Across Lake Erie in Ashtabula County Ohio they're down to one police cruiser for all 1800 sq.km.'s of the county. Asked what the citizens should react to this situation, the sheriff said "buy a gun".

- Hundreds of municipalities everywhere in the U.S. are pulverizing asphalt roads and converting them into gravel roads, because they can't afford to maintain paved roads any more.

- Some cities that can no longer afford to provide basic services to the outer ring of their city are paying residents who live in those areas to move in to the centre of the city (on threat of expropriation) - buying up the abandoned homes, demolishing the entire neighborhood, and returning it to a natural state that no longer has to be serviced.

So, sure, things ain't perfect here and there are problems - but it is far, far from catastrophic. Things need to be kept in proper perspective. For a good perspective go to Google Earth Streetview at coords 42d21m41.46s N , 83d02m16.88s W to see what Detroit looks like 3500 metres from the centre of its downtown.
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  #84  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2010, 12:25 AM
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All excellent points Shark.

Just remember that you are dealing with two different countries with two different social and economic policies. American cities/states/whatever can't afford some of these services because no one wants to pay the taxes to support them. I doubt we will ever see a similar situation anywhere in our country.

I think I'll leave it at that. Things are just too different to compare.
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  #85  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2010, 2:03 AM
GreatTallNorth2 GreatTallNorth2 is offline
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Look what they are talking about just one hour down the 401. K/W has become a much more important region in Ontario than London and is becoming one of Canada's big cities. We have clearly lost the importance we once had as a city to this area.

Region on verge of becoming ‘a really big city’
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November 02, 2010
BY ROSE SIMONE, RECORD STAFF
KITCHENER — Imagine a dense, large city, cosmopolitan in nature, with lots of people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, plenty of highrise condos and condo townhouses in the core, and streets bustling with traffic.

That describes the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo of the future, says Joe Berridge, a partner at Urban Strategies, a Toronto-based planning and urban design firm.

“You are becoming a really big city, and a whole lot of things come with that,” Berridge said at a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. annual housing outlook seminar held Tuesday at the Holiday Inn in Kitchener.

Big city transit options, such as light rail transit, or some type of fast and efficient transit system, will no longer be a choice but a necessity, Berridge added.

“It means that you will have to intensify and turn into a more pedestrian- and transit-based community than you have had in the past. However you figure out how to pay for this, that will have to be in the works,” Berridge said.

He said people will need to see investment in the transit system in the same way they regarded investment in universities. “It is an investment in the next generation,” he said.

Berridge said although this region won’t become a giant like Toronto, it will nevertheless be a large city that is “much more compact and dense in its centre.”

Conference participants were told that in the shorter term, the housing market in Waterloo Region will return to a steadier and more stable period of growth in 2011 compared to the “roller coaster ride” of up and down swings in sales and prices that characterized the market in recent years.

“The wild ride is over,” said Erica McLerie, a senior market analyst with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

But Berridge said over the longer term, this region is growing faster than most other mid-sized cities in Ontario because the post-secondary institutions here have made it the “brain capital of Ontario.”

Waterloo Region has already passed the critical mass of a half-million people and it is expected to grow to more than 700,000 people by 2031. That gives it the second fastest population growth for a mid-sized city in Ontario, right after Barrie, he added.

The region “is assuming, very rapidly, a dominant position in Ontario,” Berridge said.

But it doesn’t have the ability to allow more sprawl on the outskirts, he added.

The Ontario Places to Grow Act is not likely to be changed too much by the present or future provincial government because people living in the smaller villages in the outskirts will also resist the urban sprawl, he added.

“There really isn’t a lot more land coming on in the next 20 years, so that does mean that you are going to be looking more and more at intensification sites and building more in the existing built-up area, reusing buildings for multiple and intense forms of dwellings,” Berridge said.

The region’s three cities will become more like “one big city,” he added.

In the past, this region has been characterized by big single-family detached dwellings, much like other small- and mid-sized cities in Ontario. But that, too, will shift somewhat. There will be growing demand for other housing options such as apartments and condos.

“That is just a fact of life for anybody who lives in a big city,” Berridge said.

Trends in the global economy are going to push up the costs of fuel and will change the way people view housing and transit options, he added. “Congestion is already becoming nightmarish and the cost of gas is going up and that will very slowly start to get reflected in the people’s housing choices.”

In many ways, Waterloo Region is experiencing the issues that come with being a growth success story, Berridge said. The “incredible investment” in higher education “is now being repaid with the incredible retention and attraction of a younger workforce.”

As a result of the investment in higher education, this region is also drawing larger numbers of highly educated immigrants with university degrees. So the very nature of the region is changing fast, Berridge said.

Compared to places in Europe and elsewhere, Ontario has actually done a good job of successfully integrating its immigrants, and “I am convinced that the successful transition into home ownership is one of the crucial parts of making that process of settlement successful,” he added.

Meanwhile, McLerie said that for the coming year, the sales and prices in the Kitchener housing market should be fairly balanced, with growth happening, but at a slower and steadier pace.

She said the housing market has been “very volatile” in recent years, because it experienced a big drop at the end of 2008 with the financial crash, then surged early this year when people were trying to buy ahead of the anticipated higher interest rates and harmonized sales tax, and then dipped again afterwards.

Although the global economy is still shaky, the local housing market is supported by population growth, a gradually improving job market and the expectation that mortgage rates will remain relatively low, she added.

“What we look forward to in 2011 is a period of more stability. After three years of volatility, the markets will return to their longer-term trend,” McLerie said.

rsimone@therecord.com
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  #86  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2010, 2:51 AM
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I bet London never saw this coming 30 years ago! It just plain sucks to hear how awesome things are going an hour down the road, and it makes us look like we're stuck in the stone age.

Still, London is way more of a city than the grown together mess that is K-W. We have 1 real downtown with (currently) a better skyline. Not to mention the city's location, and layout makes sense. Right at the forks of a river, smack dab in the middle of Southwestern Ontario, with a traditional grid pattern.

If only we stepped it up a bit. It just grinds my gears how K-W is planning all this great stuff, meanwhile we're still bickering over ever building a ring road, or ever thinking of maybe perhaps wanting to get LRT. They built a much better highway system long ago, and look at them now. Planning LRT also.

I think the real passing of the torch for capitol of SW Ontario will be when they take our 10th place on the top Metro list(without Cambridge I believe). It's getting pretty close now.

I mean no disrespect to K-W, I'm just jealous!
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  #87  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2010, 4:21 AM
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Huh. I just did a little rant comparing London and K-W...

You can read it here: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...7#post66482297 (post #1792 if you get lost on that page)

It's a little off topic but what I'm basically saying is how K-W's transportation planning has made Waterloo Region into a powerhouse while London has been left in the dust.

I have to agree that as a city, London is better. As a region however, K-W slaughters London. (For that I'm mostly factoring in downtown London, not the suburbia that surrounds it within the city limits.)
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  #88  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2010, 5:35 AM
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I think the real passing of the torch for capitol of SW Ontario will be when they take our 10th place on the top Metro list(without Cambridge I believe). It's getting pretty close now.
To be fair, Cambridge is included in the metro area, but Guelph is not. Our CMA is still geographically far smaller than London's, which includes more far-flung communities.

Anyways, don't draw too many conclusions about us getting LRT. There's quite a big political movement here to "derail" the proposal, so to speak. And their side is louder. Instead, we might end up with an almost-as-expensive BRT that will just need to be replaced in 20 years as it reaches capacity, thereby increasing the cost even more over the long run. The electorate here can be just as short-sighted and misinformed as anywhere else.

Of course, I hope that doesn't happen, but the height of a recession that is crippling Ontario wasn't the best time for the provincial government to announce their share of the funding. Really, really bad timing.
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  #89  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2010, 2:28 PM
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At least you'll probably get some sort of mass transit system. London is banking too much right now on being a city for the retired; in 30-40 years they'll be gone and there will be too few younger people to sustain the population. The exodous of young people from London is just getting bigger and bigger - of the people I knew in high school only a fraction are still in London since finishing university/college; most have moved to other parts of Ontario. Almost everyone else I know who is left plans to leave once they're done school. And those who are coming to London for post-secondary aren't staying. There is going to be a serious labour pool shortage here if something isn't done.
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  #90  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2010, 4:15 PM
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At least you'll probably get some sort of mass transit system. London is banking too much right now on being a city for the retired; in 30-40 years they'll be gone and there will be too few younger people to sustain the population. The exodous of young people from London is just getting bigger and bigger - of the people I knew in high school only a fraction are still in London since finishing university/college; most have moved to other parts of Ontario. Almost everyone else I know who is left plans to leave once they're done school. And those who are coming to London for post-secondary aren't staying. There is going to be a serious labour pool shortage here if something isn't done.
I didn't realize you guys were becoming the next St. Catharines.

I don't get why young people would be so thrilled to live in KW after university, but not London. I mean, at its core, London has much more of a big city feel to it. You have Richmond Row, which is a more dense hub of nightlife than can be found anywhere in Waterloo Region. I'm really surprised young people are fleeing London and more companies aren't setting up shop there. It's a little blue collar (as is basically everywhere in Ontario), but isn't Hamilton, Windsor, or Niagara Region by any means.
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  #91  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2010, 4:55 PM
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To be fair, Cambridge is included in the metro area, but Guelph is not. Our CMA is still geographically far smaller than London's, which includes more far-flung communities.
London's metropolitan area is a joke. In my opinion, London is a city that doesn't have a metro at all.

Many think Saint Thomas should be included as it is the closest somewhat sizable community to London. Problem is that to get there you have to travel on rural 2-lane roads with no rail connection, not really a metro "feel", don't you think?

My quote from the link above

Quote:
Once the hub of Southwestern Ontario, Kitchener-Waterloo has left us in the dust. They built a freeway system while we canceled ours, and now they're getting rapid transit while we don't even have a bus terminal.

Crazy thing is London is still bigger than K-W, even when you factor in the metro area (10th biggest in Canada) but that is going to change soon. My city's edge has been lost on a "do nothing" approach to transportation planning and on a variety of other issues and we're paying the price.
The fact that K-W has an expressway system and "plans" for light rail makes it so much more progressive than London. As stated above, we're losing a lot of young minds and retirement communities are sprouting everywhere in the city.

Simply put, we lack a long term vision. The status-quo seems fine in a city that politicians think should be treated like a village. It's been like that for decades, and is quite sad.
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  #92  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2010, 8:20 PM
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As a resident of a bedroom community, I'd say the problem with our metro area is that the the city includes vast ammounts of land, all ready to be turned into smart centres and sprawl (at least for now). Once you leave the city limits, it's just 2 lane country roads to small towns with some new subdivisions, but not much industry or commercial development in them, or on the way. It just makes it feel more like your in the middle of nowhere, when places like K-W have wide roads and are more interconnected with transit.

I would much rather have sprawl in a city where there are adequate roads and highways like in KW. They have at least 3 highways or VMP like parkways: King St. Bypass, Conestoga parkway, and even Homer Watson Blvd. What do we have? A 1960's era joke called Highbury road, and VMP, which isn't even a real highway. My point is that these expressways help to support new industry.

I rant, because I really love (maybe loves to strong of a word) this city, and as much as I want to get the hell out of it and go somewhe else eventually(like many my age) it'll always be home to me.

BTW,St. Thomas isn't included in our metro? Can someone tell me where the extra 100 000 people or so that make up our CMA live? Is it just all of Middlesex, because that would be a joke.
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  #93  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2010, 9:33 PM
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Not sure if it fits exactly, but it looks like London's CMA covers most, if not all of Middlesex county. Looks like it definitely includes St. Thomas.

http://geodepot.statcan.ca/GeoSearch...entName=London (CMA)&IdentUID=555

I suppose I can see what you're saying about the bedroom communities outside of London not feeling like they're part of metro London. The largest one for the tri-cities (Elmira) only got bus service into Waterloo a year or two ago. New Hamburg and Baden are very close to town, sprawling rapidly, but aren't even considered part of the CMA yet. I did the calculations a couple years ago and they were almost borderline in qualifying for CMA inclusion...but I guess that'll have to wait for at least 2011.

As much as it would probably be worse in a lot of ways for KW to not get the expressway, it has probably hurt us in some ways as well. Along with the historical circumstance of being a collection of smaller towns that merged, the expressway has encouraged the dispersion of not just residents, but jobs as well. It's likely has no small role in why the region is so decentralized and hasn't developed a substantial CBD like London has.
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  #94  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2010, 12:34 AM
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Not sure if it fits exactly, but it looks like London's CMA covers most, if not all of Middlesex county. Looks like it definitely includes St. Thomas.

http://geodepot.statcan.ca/GeoSearch...entName=London (CMA)&IdentUID=555

I suppose I can see what you're saying about the bedroom communities outside of London not feeling like they're part of metro London. The largest one for the tri-cities (Elmira) only got bus service into Waterloo a year or two ago. New Hamburg and Baden are very close to town, sprawling rapidly, but aren't even considered part of the CMA yet. I did the calculations a couple years ago and they were almost borderline in qualifying for CMA inclusion...but I guess that'll have to wait for at least 2011.

As much as it would probably be worse in a lot of ways for KW to not get the expressway, it has probably hurt us in some ways as well. Along with the historical circumstance of being a collection of smaller towns that merged, the expressway has encouraged the dispersion of not just residents, but jobs as well. It's likely has no small role in why the region is so decentralized and hasn't developed a substantial CBD like London has.
^ Thanks for the link Cambridgite. Our CMA does includes St.Thomas.

So Elmira gets local bus service, eh? It's about the same distance to the edge of the city, and is a simmilar size to my town. It's a sizable community only 10 minutes from the city limits, so that would be sweet if the LTC ever thought of that.

I also agree that I would never want an internal expressway splicing up the Forest City. But I would like to see a continuation of VMP north of the city to meet up with a western expressway from the 402. But that's not a new idea.

Sorry for getting off topic.
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  #95  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2010, 2:22 AM
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I didn't realize you guys were becoming the next St. Catharines.

I don't get why young people would be so thrilled to live in KW after university, but not London. I mean, at its core, London has much more of a big city feel to it. You have Richmond Row, which is a more dense hub of nightlife than can be found anywhere in Waterloo Region. I'm really surprised young people are fleeing London and more companies aren't setting up shop there. It's a little blue collar (as is basically everywhere in Ontario), but isn't Hamilton, Windsor, or Niagara Region by any means.
I have been to Kitchener's downtown and compared with London it is very dull. That said I am not heavily familiar with K-W so I can't comment directly on why young people would prefer it over London. I do have one friend who is strongly considering moving to K-W after he finishes at Western, specifically citing their higher committment to public transit as a major reason.

Personally I don't think I'd choose to live in K-W unless I got a great job opportunity there.
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  #96  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2010, 2:12 PM
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Half of what is transpiring in KW is the product of circumstances...that is, being within the greater GTA. That aside, the collection of communities making up KWC just seem to have a much bolder vision for the future. London's sleepiness on this front is frustrating to me.
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  #97  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2010, 3:39 PM
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Half of what is transpiring in KW is the product of circumstances...that is, being within the greater GTA.
The Greater Greater Toronto Area?

Maybe if we just added one more "greater", London could also be included in the Toronto area.

I can sort of see how being in the GGTA (or the GGH, more properly) attracts more support for visionary proposals to the region from senior levels of government. Not that it's helped other places in the GGTA like Niagara, Brantford, or Peterborough. They are all growing slower than London.
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2010, 10:16 PM
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The Greater Greater Toronto Area?

Maybe if we just added one more "greater", London could also be included in the Toronto area.

I can sort of see how being in the GGTA (or the GGH, more properly) attracts more support for visionary proposals to the region from senior levels of government. Not that it's helped other places in the GGTA like Niagara, Brantford, or Peterborough. They are all growing slower than London.

Whoops, meant to say greater Greater GREATER Toronto Area.

Then there is the great greater greatest Toronto area, which takes in everything from James Bay to Windsor to Cornwall.
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Last edited by MolsonExport; Nov 5, 2010 at 10:26 PM.
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  #99  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2010, 10:20 PM
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To be honest, I'd move out of London if I got the chance. Kitchener-Waterloo would definitely be a favorable choice but I would rather live in a bigger city... maybe somewhere in the GTA. (I'm young like Simpseatles... lived in London all my life and kinda sick of this place.)

I've been to Uptown Waterloo and it's almost like Richmond Row on a smaller scale. The difference between the two is that in London is dull... there's nothing to do so we all get drunk (hense a large bar scene), where in K-W there's more activities.

Location is another reason why K-W is growing at a much faster pace. It's proximity to Toronto and the GTA make it an attractive destination for people what want to be close to the big city but not live there. London's about half-way between Detroit/Windsor (mostly a decaying ghetto) and Toronto (actually somewhat prospering) and people would rather go to the latter.

Kitchener and Waterloo are two separate cities, that's why there's no central core like downtown London. I don't think having a freeway was a main contributor as to why K-W has no central core.

And you can't really argue freeways encourage sprawl. Look at London... we don't have a local freeway and there's low density suburban sprawl everywhere. (In fact I believe we're the largest city in North America that doesn't have some sort of freeway network to serve local traffic.)
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2010, 11:23 PM
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Whoops, meant to say greater Greater GREATER Toronto Area.

Then there is the great greater greatest Toronto area, which takes in everything from James Bay to Windsor to Cornwall.
Ahha! I found some great satellite imagery showing the greater greater greater greatest Toronto area. That beam of light is striking right through the intersection of King and Bay, where the rest of the universe rotates around.



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I've been to Uptown Waterloo and it's almost like Richmond Row on a smaller scale. The difference between the two is that in London is dull... there's nothing to do so we all get drunk (hense a large bar scene), where in K-W there's more activities.
King/Bridgeport (uptown) is the densest concentration of nightlife in the Region, but it's not the only one. There's a whole bunch of suburban megaclubs around the universities, which are a complete shitfest of fun in your late teens/early 20s. Downtown Kitchener also has a fair number of pubs and clubs. It's not as concentrated as the uptown scene, .but it's growing and offers more variety . It's just another example of how dispersed everything is in KW compared to London. Lamebridge couldn't run a decent (non life-threatening) bar to save its life . Nearby Guelph also has a very nice downtown and bar scene (not in the CMA, but very accessible for a night out if you have a car).

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Location is another reason why K-W is growing at a much faster pace. It's proximity to Toronto and the GTA make it an attractive destination for people what want to be close to the big city but not live there.
It's day-tripping distance. As long as you're not drinking and only going there every now and then, you can arrive home the same night. I suspect you'd get a hotel and stay overnight if you're coming from London.

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Originally Posted by haljackey View Post
Kitchener and Waterloo are two separate cities, that's why there's no central core like downtown London. I don't think having a freeway was a main contributor as to why K-W has no central core.
Well no, it's both of those. But most of the office space in KW is in neither downtown core, although that is starting to change. A lot of the office space is in the burbs in the north half of the region. A lot of people who work here are also employed in non-office jobs, such as Toyota or a whole host of distribution centres that are mostly in Cambridge (near the 401, which I guess proves your point about location).

Quote:
Originally Posted by haljackey View Post
And you can't really argue freeways encourage sprawl. Look at London... we don't have a local freeway and there's low density suburban sprawl everywhere. (In fact I believe we're the largest city in North America that doesn't have some sort of freeway network to serve local traffic.)
That's a good point. London sort of has the worst of both worlds in that sense. Hopefully your planners get it together!

Last edited by Cambridgite; Nov 6, 2010 at 1:01 AM. Reason: showing image
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