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Despite Mayor Ford's spite for downtown Toronto, it grew by 300,000 residents since 2000. Yep, 300,000!

 

to-skyline.jpg?w=940

 

Toronto skyline’s ‘absolute transformation’ captured by two photos taken 13 years apart

Emily McWilliams, National Post Staff | January 17, 2015 | Last Updated: Jan 19 11:17 AM ET

 

For Brooklyn-born Ken Greenberg, this heady era in Toronto is akin to a certain New York moment.

 

In New York City in the late 1920s, an explosion of people and skyscrapers, and especially the addition of iconic structures like the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building to the skyline, “drew people like magnets” from all over the world.

 

“People were exhilarated by the fact that we had the technology to build buildings like that, but then they came to symbolize a kind of excitement about the place,” said Mr. Greenberg, Toronto’s former director of design and architecture and the Toronto-based principal of Greenberg Consultants.

 

MORE:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/01/17/toronto-skylines-absolute-transformation-captured-by-two-photos-taken-13-years-apart/

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^if you don't mind sterile-looking yuppie high rises on equally sterile streets. That's what this section of town looks like when you're at street level. From a distance it might look impressive but up close it's actually quite boring.

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^if you don't mind sterile-looking yuppie high rises on equally sterile streets. That's what this section of town looks like when you're at street level. From a distance it might look impressive but up close it's actually quite boring.

 

I suppose thats what the old fuddy-duddies in New York were saying in the 1920's as the growth exploded.  Oh the horror of the concrete canyons!

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^if you don't mind sterile-looking yuppie high rises on equally sterile streets. That's what this section of town looks like when you're at street level. From a distance it might look impressive but up close it's actually quite boring.

 

I suppose thats what the old fuddy-duddies in New York were saying in the 1920's as the growth exploded.  Oh the horror of the concrete canyons!

 

I think I know what eastvillagedon is getting at.  I am a big fan of Toronto but all the condos on the water front have seem to left a sterile street life.  Has nothing to do with "concrete canyons"...just some bad development practices.  Could have been done much better.

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Those definitely need more street-level uses, and I suspect these buildings may be modified to accommodate them at some point in the future. It seems that developers were more interested in building as many housing units as fast as possible. So the streets especially in the bland CityPlace mega development west of Rogers Centre are as jammed with cars as pedestrians. And the Harbourfront LRT is crowded with people heading into the older parts of downtown were shopping exists or to connect with the subway. But the design of CityPlace was originally founded in 1960s-era urban renewal of old railway yards. What was built since is awfully reminiscent of anti-septic urban renewal concepts from 50 years ago, even though we know messy street-level uses makes for dynamic pedestrian settings.

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^^Agreed KJP, and that's what I was getting at with the 1920's NYC analogy.  Those neighborhoods were far from perfect, and people complained of the lack of planning and vision.  But it somehow managed to become the greatest city on earth.  And Toronto is certainly aiming to aiming in the top 10 if they keep up the exploding growth.

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The first picture also is super grainy and looks like it was taken in the 70s or something.  Not to discount the amazing transformation of Toronto, but those photos employ other techniques to give the impression of transformation than just the increase in condo towers.

 

I wish Toronto would get a little more creative with their skyscrapers, too.  Other than the CN Tower, I can't really think of too many iconic Toronto buildings (maybe the Libeskind museum...), and I'd be great if they could add a few to their skyline.

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Despite Mayor Ford's spite for downtown Toronto, it grew by 300,000 residents since 2000. Yep, 300,000!

 

to-skyline.jpg?w=940

 

Toronto skyline’s ‘absolute transformation’ captured by two photos taken 13 years apart

Emily McWilliams, National Post Staff | January 17, 2015 | Last Updated: Jan 19 11:17 AM ET

 

For Brooklyn-born Ken Greenberg, this heady era in Toronto is akin to a certain New York moment.

 

In New York City in the late 1920s, an explosion of people and skyscrapers, and especially the addition of iconic structures like the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building to the skyline, “drew people like magnets” from all over the world.

 

“People were exhilarated by the fact that we had the technology to build buildings like that, but then they came to symbolize a kind of excitement about the place,” said Mr. Greenberg, Toronto’s former director of design and architecture and the Toronto-based principal of Greenberg Consultants.

 

MORE:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/01/17/toronto-skylines-absolute-transformation-captured-by-two-photos-taken-13-years-apart/

 

KJP I would like to know where you got that number from?  I did a quick google search and discovered that the population of the ENTIRE city of Toronto was 2,481,494 in 2001 and 2,615,060 in 2011, for an increase of 133,566.  Impressive but nowhere like the 300,000 for just downtown alone you suggest.

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^yeah, that figure of 300K seems overly inflated for downtown Toronto, or even for the city of Toronto. It does seem plausible, however, when taking into account the Greater Toronto Area, or GTA as its known, which now has a population surpassing 6M and includes several counties surrounding York County.

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The first picture also is super grainy and looks like it was taken in the 70s or something.  Not to discount the amazing transformation of Toronto, but those photos employ other techniques to give the impression of transformation than just the increase in condo towers.

 

I wish Toronto would get a little more creative with their skyscrapers, too.  Other than the CN Tower, I can't really think of too many iconic Toronto buildings (maybe the Libeskind museum...), and I'd be great if they could add a few to their skyline.

I agree. Too much bland architecture. Although there's obviously a lot of lively street activity in Toronto sadly not found in many US cities of similar size, the skyline looks too much like just a denser version of Houston or Dallas. I like the Frank Gehry transformation of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Really nice reimagining of what was an historic, though too staid-looking, structure.

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KJP I would like to know where you got that number from?  I did a quick google search and discovered that the population of the ENTIRE city of Toronto was 2,481,494 in 2001 and 2,615,060 in 2011, for an increase of 133,566.  Impressive but nowhere like the 300,000 for just downtown alone you suggest.

 

Maybe there are people already living in Toronto moving into downtown?

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BMI-GreenGardiner-2015-09-22-draft-LIGHT-14.jpg

 

GARDINER EAST: Using the rail corridor to crack the highway riddle

SEPTEMBER 21, 2015 | BY JOHN LORINC

 

The Gardiner East Follies returns for yet another extended run at City Hall beginning on Tuesday morning, when city officials present three scenarios for relocating the highway’s eastern end to free up valuable waterfront land.

 

For much of this year, and some of 2014, the lion’s share of public, policy and political attention has focused intensively on the stretch between Cherry Street and the Don River. (For more on the origins of the problematic loop, read this.)

 

First Gulf, which wants to transform the sprawling Lever Brothers site into Toronto’s Canary Wharf, has a strong interest in the alignment of the Gardiner/DVP interchange, as do the developers who own land along the Keating Channel. In a show last spring, suburban councillors pushed to keep the highway network in tact, while downtowners fought to replace that one portion with an at-grade boulevard.

 

MORE:

http://spacing.ca/toronto/2015/09/21/gardiner-east-city-looking-innovative-decking-rail-corridor/

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Toronto is just astounding right now. I lived there last summer downtown, and couldn't believe how much damn bigger it grew since the 90's. It feels much larger and more vibrant than Chicago now, and it's way more diverse. Back in the 90's, it actually felt like a sleepier Chicago (though to be fair, Chicago was really kicking ass in the 90's and was larger in population than today). Toronto is the most dramatic transformation of any city I've ever seen, and the skyline has exploded in size and scale. There are literally hundreds of skyscrapers under construction right now in TO. It's going to be second to Manhattan in no time...like by 2020.

 

They've also made huge investments in rail transit. The commuter rail system is better than anything I've seen in the states outside LIRR. The new Toronto Pearson UP Express train is simply remarkable and bests any air-rail connection in America. It's a gorgeous train. In under 30 minutes, you're right at the heart of ever-expanding Union Station. Best train station in North America? I think so. Also of note is that the TTC subway is much cleaner and more reliable than comparable heavy rail systems in the United States. Ridership is now higher than every American city except NYC.

 

Quite frankly, Toronto is kicking our ass, and its diversity, integration, and lack of violence is enviable. That society and culture could just never work here in the Bay. People are far too self-centered and greedy in San Francisco and Oakland to ever produce an inclusive urban environment like that. The immigration wave right now in TO is massive, and much larger than anything happening in the states. There is no longer any doubt in my mind that quality of life in Toronto is higher than anywhere in the United States. People are moving there from all over the world because it really is the American dream, just in Canada. The difference in politics is stark. Torontonians seem less hateful and far more willing to support the public good in the form of mass transit and housing construction (even though that limits their property value growth). And I don't even think Torontonians are the nicest Canadians. It's a competitive city in every way, but it's a much healthier competition than in the United States. It's like they took the cut-throat nature of SF and NY, but somehow made it fair and civil. Maybe Canadians are less corrupt? There is a sense in Toronto that government's job is to build first-class infrastructure, support diversity, support the arts, keep the city safe, and keep the city clean. Toronto excels on all fronts. This is our model city, and it's long past time we look to Canada to learn how to create a civilized urban society. They have so many similarities to us, but the key differences they have make all the difference. Of North America's most cosmopolitan cities, the people of Toronto really stand out. They are friendly, real, have a great sense of humor, and are open-minded.

 

I get back to my home in the states and am welcomed by race riots, anarchy, regular mass shootouts, relentless street crime, insane inequality, homeless people everywhere, people attacking Google busses, Donald Trump running for president, and people protesting new housing construction because, "Screw everyone but me, I want my house to make me a millionaire! I got here first!" The Bay is wholly dysfunctional, but its problems are started to be repeated in a lot of American cities. By contrast, Toronto just works. It's a city that gets things done and doesn't have to worry about a violent, drugged-out, politically destructive citizenry ruining everything.

 

Toronto is better than us. The lack of crime is what I miss most...I didn't hear a single gunshot there. It was such a difference from the states. Even in Toronto's worst neighborhoods, people were much less threatening than here in our ghettos. Not once did anyone threaten my life nor did I have to threaten anyone else's life. It's a peaceful city despite the global crush of humanity. I don't know how they do it. With the dramatic cultural clashes there, you'd think people would go crazy. But they don't. The American dream is alive and well there with a lot of immigrants opening their own businesses. At this point, Toronto is lacking in nothing. The only negative is that brutal Great Lakes winter. Get rid of winter, and Toronto is practically an urban utopia. I guess it's only fair there has to be some achilles heel.

 

*I'd say much the same about Montreal too, though it's not as diverse or cosmopolitan as Toronto. I've never been to Vancouver, so no comment on that, but I've heard it's much nicer than Seattle and Portland.

 

**I'm really a Canadian trapped in an American's body. I'm now starting to think my biggest mistake was moving back to the states...

 

***the high-rise residential area discussed up thread is not as vibrant as the older Toronto neighborhoods, but it's really a small section of the city and changing so fast, you can't judge it yet. It's all brand new and retail is filling in the ground floors. Every week, a new place opened. They are trying to avoid the affordability crisis of San Francisco-Oakland, Vancouver, and New York City. That's what makes it such a special city. They really don't want Manhattan or San Francisco rents. That's why stuff is getting built so fast up there and it looks half-finished. With that said, a lot of this housing is better than any of the new residential stuff I'm seeing in the Bay right now. Thank God they're not afraid of heights! Big cities are supposed to have skyscrapers. Toronto knows if it doesn't build a ton of housing for its explosive population growth, it's going to lose a lot of its diversity and character due to evictions. And the city deserves a ton of credit for reviving a dead waterfront. They are building something from nothing in most cases...that Lake Ontario waterfront used to be a total dead zone.

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I love toronto.

 

That said there high rise condo/office towers are some of the most generic buildings I've seen. They dominate so much of the skyline, yet are so stale and boring to look at. Just very uninspired.

 

That's the only thing I don't like about Toronto..And enjoy montreal in a respects a bit more. The architecture there is beautiful, and doesn't feel dominated by tall bland high rises.

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I love toronto.

 

That said there high rise condo/office towers are some of the most generic buildings I've seen. They dominate so much of the skyline, yet are so stale and boring to look at. Just very uninspired.

 

That's the only thing I don't like about Toronto..And enjoy montreal in a respects a bit more. The architecture there is beautiful, and doesn't feel dominated by tall bland high rises.

 

I would agree with you, if they were destroying historic architecture to build them.  But there has been little of this, with much of the new construction happening on former industrial/brownspace.      If you want historical in Toronto, there is still plenty of it to go around. 

 

Should Cleveland ever see an economic boom similar to the early 20th century, I would welcome half of these towers!

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I love toronto.

 

That said there high rise condo/office towers are some of the most generic buildings I've seen. They dominate so much of the skyline, yet are so stale and boring to look at. Just very uninspired.

 

That's the only thing I don't like about Toronto..And enjoy montreal in a respects a bit more. The architecture there is beautiful, and doesn't feel dominated by tall bland high rises.

agreed. Most of the new architecture in Toronto is pretty boring. I guess the biggest problem is that except for a few historic buildings downtown and at the University of Toronto you don't get that much of a sense of history (or different layers of history) since so much was built relatively recently. Sadly even New York is starting to look like this with its current building boom.

 

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Toronto is just astounding right now. I lived there last summer downtown, and couldn't believe how much damn bigger it grew since the 90's. It feels much larger and more vibrant than Chicago now, and it's way more diverse. Back in the 90's, it actually felt like a sleepier Chicago

 

My only trip to Toronto was an organized 2-3 day high school trip in 1994.  The place was very dull from what I remember, seeming no bigger than Cincinnati. I didn't see a streetcar even once and we had no idea that it had a subway.  We asked stupid questions and back-talked the people who narrated a charter bus tour of the city, the highlight of which was seeing an old man peeing against a tree in a park. Like a pack of wolves the whole bus let out an exaggerated uproar over the old man and one of the tour guides looked out into space, bewildered.  I remember we had one male and female tour guide and we kept asking them when they were having kids, if they already had one, etc. 

 

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Toronto is just astounding right now. I lived there last summer downtown, and couldn't believe how much damn bigger it grew since the 90's. It feels much larger and more vibrant than Chicago now, and it's way more diverse. Back in the 90's, it actually felt like a sleepier Chicago

 

My only trip to Toronto was an organized 2-3 day high school trip in 1994.  The place was very dull from what I remember, seeming no bigger than Cincinnati. I didn't see a streetcar even once and we had no idea that it had a subway.  We asked stupid questions and back-talked the people who narrated a charter bus tour of the city, the highlight of which was seeing an old man peeing against a tree in a park. Like a pack of wolves the whole bus let out an exaggerated uproar over the old man and one of the tour guides looked out into space, bewildered.  I remember we had one male and female tour guide and we kept asking them when they were having kids, if they already had one, etc. 

 

 

You should probably go back.    The tour guides have kids, their are still a few people peeing on trees, and about 500 more skyscrapers.

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I was in Toronto about a month ago. I haven't been up there in about 7 years and I was blown away. There were so many new skyscrapers. There has to be 50 new skyscrapers along the Gardiner expressway since the last time I was there.

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I was in Toronto last week. I was actually shopping for real estate in nearby Hamilton and meeting with rail advocates on a possible new Cleveland-Ontario project.

 

Posted my photos at:

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php/topic,30423.0.html

 

If you're interested in the rail aspect of Toronto, check out this thread:

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php/topic,30043.0.html

 

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Does anyone here know any U.S. citizens who have invested in homes/multifamilies in Toronto or elsewhere in Canada?  Earlier this year I spent a few evenings comparing housing prices across Canada and Montreal appeared to be as absurdly cheap as Toronto is absurdly expensive.  The problem of course is that managing a property in Montreal as a resident of Ohio means a 600-mile farther round-trip as compared to Toronto.  You'd have to stay overnight every time you had to run up there, meaning you'd have to hire a property management company and that would cut pretty deeply into your returns. 

 

Also, if you buy a property in Quebec, is the closing and title work all done in French?  It seems like if you tried to get through it as an English speaker without hiring somebody you'd be setting yourself up for getting swindled.  Even around here half of these title companies seem to be run by total shysters. 

 

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Does anyone here know any U.S. citizens who have invested in homes/multifamilies in Toronto or elsewhere in Canada?  Earlier this year I spent a few evenings comparing housing prices across Canada and Montreal appeared to be as absurdly cheap as Toronto is absurdly expensive.  The problem of course is that managing a property in Montreal as a resident of Ohio means a 600-mile farther round-trip as compared to Toronto.  You'd have to stay overnight every time you had to run up there, meaning you'd have to hire a property management company and that would cut pretty deeply into your returns. 

 

Also, if you buy a property in Quebec, is the closing and title work all done in French?  It seems like if you tried to get through it as an English speaker without hiring somebody you'd be setting yourself up for getting swindled.  Even around here half of these title companies seem to be run by total shysters. 

 

 

I'd be more worried about my French vendor network owning a property there.   

 

The mortgage paperwork is most likely in French, but probably can be translated as there are over 750K English speaking people in the Montreal metro.

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I'd be more worried about my French vendor network owning a property there.   

 

The mortgage paperwork is most likely in French, but probably can be translated as there are over 750K English speaking people in the Montreal metro.

 

Good point.  The closing and annual tax paperwork are things you can prepare for whereas an ongoing relationship with a French-speaking management company in a French part of town would be a pain.  Ordinary irritations would be exaggerated by the language and distance issues.  So I suppose you'd want to invest in an English-speaking part of the city. I just have a hard time imagining that Montreal's pathetic fortunes since its 1960s-70s heyday will continue much larger.  Everyone sitting on valuable land in Montreal is going to eventually motivate a loosening of all of the draconian Francophile stuff that has stifled Montreal for the past 30 years while Toronto has flourished by attracting immigrants to a city that speaks and does business in the world's dominant language.  Part of the motivation for Quebec's secession is, I think, a hedge *against* that eventuality.  They know if Quebec doesn't become a completely independent country that at some point reason will prevail and Quebec and Montreal will be assimilated into the English-speaking culture of the entire remainder of the continent. 

 

But look back at what I just wrote -- part of the reason why real estate is so flipping (pun intended?) cheap in Montreal is because nobody wants to deal with the language hassle.  Business isn't conducted in the 21st century in French anywhere in the world other than France (which is a country where the sort of cutthroat capitalism we are accustomed to is impossible) and a handful of oddball spots around the globe.  The instant the tide changes, foreign investment will flood into Montreal because the barrier to entry will be almost nill for a native English speaker or the innumerable wealthy people around the world who were sent to English-speaking schools as kids.  The fact is that Montreal's setting and streetscapes are a lot more interesting than Toronto, plus it's an hour-shorter flight to Europe. 

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Montreal's low home sale price is mostly due to the weaker economy there. French is a barrier, but most in Quebec are bilingual (maybe not native level, but functional enough for business). Toronto is a global economic powerhouse with far-reaching influence in finance, media, fashion, film, arts, and just about every industry under the sun. It is economically vibrant and didn't get hit nearly as hard in the recession as other Great Lakes cities. Couple that with relentless immigration, and you've got a situation where even with all the housing construction, housing prices have gone up. They won't go up forever though since so much new housing has recently been approved. Toronto at least recognizes middle class affordability as an issue, and is working to fix it. This is in direct contrast to housing policies in cities like San Francisco and Oakland. Toronto is making sure to avoid the situation in the Bay and New York City. It's not as bad as Vancouver, but to any American who is not from San Francisco, Oakland, or Manhattan, rents and home prices are going to look high in Toronto for what you get. It's not a cheap city, but job opportunities are pretty much the strongest in Canada. It seems to even out better than in the states. There aren't a bunch of starving hipsters like there are in Brooklyn and there is not a coordinated attempt to eradicate the middle class and African-Americans like in San Francisco-Oakland where redlining has re-established itself with brute force. Toronto is more welcoming of class and racial diversity. That's why despite the high cost of living, it hasn't reached the inequality situation of many American cities.

 

Montreal has had a lot of economic trouble despite its stunning urban structure and excellent culture. It is easily one of North America's most impressive big cities, but the economy unfortunately does not back it up. This also proves that just because a city has cheap rents and a tough labor situation, it doesn't have to be ghetto. Crime is extremely low in Montreal, and as anyone who has visited can attest, it is a remarkably vibrant, dense, intact urban powerhouse (one of world's best cities). Montreal proves you don't need a bunch of money to have a world class city. Like Toronto, I think Montreal bests any American city, but for a few different reasons.

 

Also, some defense of historic Toronto. There is plenty of historic urban structure in Toronto. Pre-WW2 Toronto is about the same size as pre-WW2 Montreal. There are more modern skyscrapers all over Toronto, but a lot of historic buildings survive. Toronto's Little Italy, Annex, Beaches, Greektown, Queen Street West, Cabbagetown, Little Portugal, etc. are large, historic urban neighborhoods with tons of great housing and extensive mass transit service. Also, in terms of nightlife, Montreal certainly ranks high, but Toronto's King Street West is often overlooked. King Street West is one of the top nightlife districts in North America and there are supermodels everywhere. It actually bests anything on the West Coast. It's like taking San Francisco's Polk Street, mixing it with LA's Hollywood, and then adding a dose of Canadian hospitality. People dress in the style of Vegas, but it's in a dense, historic urban setting with low levels of douchery. No way could King Street West work in the states. All of our best nightlife districts have more than their fair share of horrible people. Bars and clubs in Toronto are really well-run. While the city overall could use more major nightlife districts like King Street West, its existence kills the argument that "Toronto's nightlife is weak for a city its size." I'd put it up against New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago these days. Vegas tops it for sure, but Vegas is not without its problems. I suppose Montreal overall tops it too since there are more options, but people shouldn't discount Toronto due to its lower levels of drug use and less public revelry. The city knows how to have fun, just in a more defined area. Toronto just needs to loosen up its liquor laws. It's crazy you have to buy all your liquor at the LCBO.

 

The big difference between Montreal and Toronto is the waterfront. Toronto had an industrial Rust Belt waterfront for decades that wouldn't have looked out of place in Buffalo or Cleveland. That's why so much of the waterfront urbanity is new and the skyline looks like it's from Australia or something. There were slag heaps, abandoned shipyards, superfund sites, etc. all over the Lake Ontario coast there. It's amazing how well they transformed it, and by building so many massive skyscrapers, they softened the blow of the Gardiner Expressway by creating an urban wall around it. It's similar to what San Francisco is doing with I-80 right now. The theory is if you have an elevated urban freeway that you can't afford to tear down, just build tons of skyscrapers around it while making sure there are lots of pedestrian connections underneath it. Toronto is doing a good job with this.

 

Montreal's waterfront urban core is more historic and I will admit looks better. It also helps they have no Gardiner Expressway in Montreal. From the start, Montreal had a little bit better urban planning. Toronto is fixing mistakes of its past. Toronto's first mistake was not developing along the waterfront. It actually turned its back on Lake Ontario, which is nuts since the Great Lakes are so beautiful. Toronto instead developed along Yonge Street, which can now compete with pretty much any urban corridor in the United States. There are tons of historic buildings on Yonge Street mixed with massive modern skyscrapers that look straight out of Manhattan. Montreal doesn't have anything quite like Yonge Street. Montreal has an overall more historic core, but Yonge Street screams "big city" in a way no stretch of Montreal does. I get why people have mixed feelings about the overload of modern skyscrapers in Toronto (some which did come at the expense of historic landmarks), but those skyscrapers also give it some excellent urban canyons. When you're in Toronto, there is no question it's a globally vital city. Montreal, as fantastic and beautiful as it is, pretty much stopped developing in the 1970's. That's really why it doesn't have a whole lot of skyscrapers or newer buildings. I'm sure this helped preserve more historic buildings, but it's important to remember the lack of development in Montreal is due to serious economic problems (not Rust Belt serious) that allowed Toronto to leapfrog it as Canada's dominant city. They used to compete on the same level. They're not on the same level anymore, but Montreal does feel cozier and has more jaw-dropping beauty. There is a cold, hard edge to Downtown Toronto that develops in any financial powerhouse. This is why it has more in common with Chicago and New York than any city in Quebec. No one can deny Montreal's beauty and rich history.

 

Overall, no doubt Montreal is insanely undervalued given the quality of the city (whether comparing it to Toronto or anywhere else in the world). It's a world class city with outstanding urbanity priced about the same as your average sprawled out, low density, burrito-eating American burg. I bet even Denver is more expensive than Montreal now. Denver can't remotely compete with Montreal...

 

*Also, while people deride the modernist skyscrapers of Toronto's Financial District, there are some exemplary gems of the era in there. TD Centre is the best example of a mid-century modern skyscraper complex I've ever seen. It's a masterpiece that's the crowning achievement of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. New York City and Chicago don't have anything quite on that level. People tend to overlook TD Centre since it's overshadowed by nearby larger skyscrapers like First Canadian Place, Scotia Plaza, and Commerce Court West. I also find it odd that Americans deride Toronto for its modernist skyscrapers when so many major American cities did the exact same thing to their urban cores. Our best cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles are dominated by modernist skyscrapers just like Toronto. Like in top American cities, at street level, there are still a lot of historic facades in Toronto's core. Lately, Toronto has been doing a fantastic job blending historic low-rise buildings with modern glass skyscrapers on top. You see a lot of that on Yonge, and it's a trend they're doing better than most American cities. Toronto's architecture is improving a lot. The bland Toronto of the 70's to 90's is over!

 

**I think people have a tendency to romanticize Montreal's European feel, both physical and cultural. Toronto is more like an American city, but it's important to remember it's hanging with the absolute best of American cities, not some cornhole in the middle of nowhere like Omaha.

 

***Actually, Omaha is somewhat underrated considering its size and location (must be the strong economy). It's just never going to be popular with the tourist set or have the cosmopolitan vibe of top tier coastal megacities like Toronto. :| Toronto competes on every level with Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

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Seems like every week there's a new mid- to high-rise development announced in Toronto that appears in my Twitter feed. Here's the latest....

 

UrbanToronto ‏@Urban_Toronto  21m21 minutes ago

Today's #ProjectOfTheDay is #Whitehaus Condos by @Lifetime_Dev and Knightstone Capital http://ow.ly/WZXxM 

 

CYmvK3JWAAAYVPp.jpg:large

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It looks alright I guess.

 

I can't understand why toronto architects aren't taking more risks with these residential towers though. I was under the impression that architects have a profound love for architecture and design. Almost all of toronto's residential tower stock looks so generic, boring, and flat. And it sucks because so much of the skyline is dominated by these tall towers.

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I don't have a problem with either city.  Most of the towers are not heinous, and we all know what it takes to make new residential high rise construction financing happen (case in point:  the ZERO new condo towers dotting the skyline of Cleveland).

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I don't have a problem with either city.  Most of the towers are not heinous, and we all know what it takes to make new residential high rise construction financing happen (case in point:  the ZERO new condo towers dotting the skyline of Cleveland).

 

For now...

http://neo-trans.blogspot.com/2016/01/cleveland-ready-to-scrape-skies-more.html

 

I share your enthusiasm for the future KJP.  But we have a long way to go to catch up with:

 

2981914469_6b2c03fb62_b.jpg

 

 

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We won't catch up with Toronto. They're adding buildings of 20+ stories an average of 1 every few days citywide. More if you include the suburbs. And if Trump gets elected it will only increase! Canada is more pro-urban than America. Canadian cities are clean, safe, better transit and more density/skyscrapers. It probably comes as a shock to Americans that all of those are interrelated conditions.

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^Love those sailboat buildings around Toronto. I think they're an example of modern condo towers done right. I really love the huge new one downtown near Union Station. I think it's called L Tower, and it's awesome.

 

The tall, slender ICE Towers look great too. One King Street West also looks great. I think there has been a significant improvement over the last few years in Toronto condo tower architecture. I like them more than what I'm seeing in the United States. I also love the fact they're not afraid to build height monsters. There is a lot of recent stuff in the 500-1000 foot tall range.

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Investment in rail transit used to spur economic growth & shape transit-friendly land use patterns? What a concept!

 

jennifer keesmaat ‏@jen_keesmaat  Jan 23

LRT along Kingston Rd: an impetus for private sector investment in midrise in Scarborough. Market is weak otherwise.

 

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