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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2010, 7:29 PM
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Montreal | To some, urban sprawl is a stretch

To some, urban sprawl is a stretch


February 25, 2010

By DAVID JOHNSTON



Read More: http://www.montrealgazette.com/busin...295/story.html

Quote:
Is there really such a thing as urban sprawl in Montreal? Or is urban sprawl just an urban myth? Ten years after the creation of the Montreal Metropolitan Community, municipalities on and off Montreal Island are still at odds on this question. The MMC was formed in 2001 as a prelude to the municipal mergers forced by provincial law. On-island and off-island elected officials were to come together on the body to discuss issues of regional importance.

- There is a sense of déjà vu on the regional political landscape, as the 15 representatives from the island of Montreal and 14 from off-island municipalities prepare to meet.

- The MMC council holds limited political power, compared with city councils in the region and the two "agglomeration" councils in Montreal and Longueuil. But it was given one major task under provincial law in 2001: It was mandated by the government to forge a metropolitan consensus on a land-use master plan for the 82 municipalities in Greater Montreal.

- The city of Montreal and anti-sprawl advocates saw the land-use plan as a mechanism to curb off-island sprawl.

But negotiations fell apart in 2005, when off-island municipalities complained that the regional planning bodies to which they had long been affiliated - municipal regional counties, or MRCs - had not been given a political voice in the land-use talks.

- Still, the city of Montreal likes the fact that Bill 58's preamble provides guidance requiring regional development to be synonymous with "sustainable development." But off-island suburbs read "sustainable development" to include toleration of natural demographic phenomena, like freedom of movement of people and businesses.

- Laval Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt and other off-island mayors had thought Montreal was trying to use the land-use plan to engineer a development monopoly for itself. It was never realistic, they said, to expect Montreal to be able to hold sway over whether someone could build condominiums in Boisbriand. At the same time, off-island mayors continue to maintain that fears about urban sprawl in the Montreal region are overblown.
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2010, 7:01 AM
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Places on the south shore are ugly now.
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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2010, 10:18 AM
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Montreal doesn't look that sprawly, really, for a metro of near 4 mil.


I have been to Montreal, not going just by the picture.
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  #4  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2010, 2:45 PM
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^ Greater montreal is definitely the denser metro, but in all fairness, metro MTL is not over 4 mil (currently ~3.7 mil) making it smaller than metro Det. which has a metro of 4.4 mil and a CSA of over 5 mil.
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Old Posted Feb 28, 2010, 8:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
^ Greater montreal is definitely the denser metro, but in all fairness, metro MTL is not over 4 mil (currently ~3.7 mil) making it smaller than metro Det. which has a metro of 4.4 mil and a CSA of over 5 mil.
Metro Montreal is at 3,814,738 as of july 09

http://www.stat.gouv.qc.ca/donstat/s.../rmr_total.htm
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  #6  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2010, 9:35 PM
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Saguenay is still losing population?

That's too bad... it's one of my favorite areas of Quebec. So much water and so much waterfront... it's also a very proudly French-speaking area, even moreso than Quebec City. If you are trying to learn French, Saguenay will force you to improve.
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  #7  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2010, 10:26 PM
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Interesting.

Montreal actually has some worst urban sprawl when compared to other Canadian cities. Lots of low-density suburban corridors which seem to stretch on for some distance and plenty of leap frog type development. Offset of course by an extensive urban core on the island. It's fairly understandable given the geography of the metropolis coupled with the extensive network of pre-existing towns and the difficult nature of large scale land assembly offered by the remnants of the seigneural system. It only highlights the need for a comprehensive regional plan.
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Old Posted Feb 28, 2010, 10:52 PM
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Outside of the core and inner suburbs, Montreal is Very sprawly...Laval and the South/North Shores are complete wastelands of suburban banality.
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  #9  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2010, 11:51 PM
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Not knowing Montreal all that well. Based on the google view of it. It appears that the Island is dense as it puts a psychological border and helps to keep things dense. But once you've crossed the bridge so to speak the density drops off because that border no longer exists. And so sprawl becomes more rampant.
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2010, 11:55 PM
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Well the part of the south shore nearest to Montreal Island (St. Lambert, Old Longueuil and Greenfield Park) isn't really that sprawly. Certainly much less so than the West Island, west of the airport, which doesn't even have sidewalks. These parts of the south shore are 5-10 km from downtown (in St. Lambert's case less than 5)

The south shore is sprawly mostly in parts of Saint-Hubert, Brossard and Boucherville and beyond.
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  #11  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2010, 12:04 AM
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Is there a physical limit to how far Montreal can sprawl. Are the hills big enough to stop development past them.

That is one aspect I like about Vancouver. In that no matter what direction you go there is some form of limitation that well stop you from going any further in development. So even if sprawl covered every last square inch. It would mean that going up is the only option.
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  #12  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2010, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabotp View Post
Is there a physical limit to how far Montreal can sprawl. Are the hills big enough to stop development past them.

That is one aspect I like about Vancouver. In that no matter what direction you go there is some form of limitation that well stop you from going any further in development. So even if sprawl covered every last square inch. It would mean that going up is the only option.
No physical limits whatsoever (except for maybe the nearby New York state [75 km away] and Ontario [80 km away] borders). That being said, Montreal can expand in all directions, which limits the amount it extends in any particular direction I suppose.
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Old Posted Mar 1, 2010, 1:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
^ Greater montreal is definitely the denser metro, but in all fairness, metro MTL is not over 4 mil (currently ~3.7 mil) making it smaller than metro Det. which has a metro of 4.4 mil and a CSA of over 5 mil.
I said Montreal's metro was near 4 mil, which it is.
As far as Detroit goes, only parts of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties are in that view and the total of all three doesn't exceed 4 mil. people.

IMHO, American CSAs are very generous designations including populations well outside of the suburban boundaries. CSA cannot be directly compared to Canadian metro area census figures, excepting perhaps the unofficial Golden Horseshoe core population figure of 6.5 million, extended area 8.1 mil.

I am familiar with both cities. Montreal is more compact and a more urban experience in the real meaning of the word.
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  #14  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2010, 2:31 AM
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^Detroit and Montreal are probably not the best comparisons. The former has an absolutely huge footprint for its population. When looking at satellite comparisons the Detroit metro looks to occupy more space than the extended GTA with more than 2 million fewer people.
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  #15  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2010, 7:44 AM
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Only slightly related, but seeing Montreal from space really shows how it grew up along its French ribbon farms. You can see the same from space of Detroit along the river and lake, though on a much smaller scale since Detroit went into British and then American hands relatively early in the city's history.

To be honest, the satellite view of Montreal a cul-de-sac laced mess. The sprawl looks fairly uniformed and patterned, which certainly isn't the worst kind of sprawl and urban area can have in terms of function.

BTW, by any measure of metropolitan areas (GTA & MMC, Toronto CMA & Montreal CMA), the population density of Greater Toronto and Greater Montreal are damned near indentical. Of course, population density doesn't totally speak to the physical layout of an area.
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Old Posted Mar 1, 2010, 1:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niwell View Post
^Detroit and Montreal are probably not the best comparisons. The former has an absolutely huge footprint for its population. When looking at satellite comparisons the Detroit metro looks to occupy more space than the extended GTA with more than 2 million fewer people.
That's the point though. Juxtaposition if you will. They are opposites on the sprawl spectrum.

The leadoff post stated
"Is there really such a thing as urban sprawl in Montreal?"

Not that much, comparing it to a similar sized metro that has one of the prime examples of urban sprawl on the continent.
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