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Thread: Toronto/Chicago comparisons

  1. Default Toronto/Chicago comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by vatche View Post
    I'm from Montreal ans was in Chicago laso week for the weekend and in Toronto as I write. The Chicago trump is a lit more interesting and much more imposing than trump Toronto. And the Chicago waterfront is far superior to toronto's! Toronto needs a lot of beautification work on it's sidewalks and boulevards to be half as appealing as Chicago. That's my 2 cents worth. Bloor is looking nice but chicago's Michigan is even better with their planters and arrangements!!

    I completely agree! While I love the massive level/amount of developments Toronto's downtown is seeing, Chicago's downtown beats us so bad that there's almost no comparison. I know some people here in Toronto will disagree (I can't remember who but there was this forumer once who stated that Toronto's skyline is just as imposing as Chicago's) but most (from an objective point of view) would agree that Toronto's appeal is barely half of Chicago's.


  2. Default

    i have never been to chicago so i cant give an opinion... but can you guys give me say a list of all the things that chicago has that beats toronto... im curious, from subway system to parks, to roads etc... just to get the overall understanding

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    Quote Originally Posted by toronto3 View Post
    i have never been to chicago so i cant give an opinion... but can you guys give me say a list of all the things that chicago has that beats toronto... im curious, from subway system to parks, to roads etc... just to get the overall understanding
    i'm no chicago expert, but i've been there several times.
    Pros that TO can't match:
    - Chicago architecture, freakin intense, cinematic, just like in the movies,
    - Taller, more iconic buildings, Willis, Hancock, Prudential Plaza, etc.
    - Chicago Gold Coast, the best waterfront you'll ever have for a lakefront city.
    - Chicago River/Lake Michigan, chicago river is cool, lake michigan is clean.
    - Millennium Park
    - Navy Pier (though it's not THAT spectacular... at least to me)
    etc...

    Midway:
    - Bigger (but dirtier) transportation system, it's just alright,

  4. Default

    thanks that was a load of help... it really does sum it up even if you did leave a lot out... thanks again

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    Quote Originally Posted by toronto3 View Post
    thanks that was a load of help... it really does sum it up even if you did leave a lot out... thanks again
    i'll do a better job... a picture is a thousand words:

    ....and Chicago will always be Gotham City!!!!



    http://www.48hourvisit.com/wp-conten...go-skyline.jpg

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by steveve View Post
    i'll do a better job... a picture is a thousand words:

    ....and Chicago will always be Gotham City!!!!



    http://www.48hourvisit.com/wp-conten...go-skyline.jpg
    i feel bad looking at this picture... makes me think twice about Toronto being the best city in the world regardless... oh well... it'll always be home... thanks again Steveve

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by toronto3 View Post
    thanks that was a load of help... it really does sum it up even if you did leave a lot out... thanks again
    Hey Toronto3,

    Steveve's thoughts are in line with mine regarding Chicago. Here are a few more: In addition to Chicago's skyline being substantially bigger, with more iconic buildings from almost all periods of architectural 'themes', its waterfront area blows ours away (even after taking into account the future developments Toronto will see over the next decade or two), the designs of many of the condo buildings, especially the newer ones, are more aesthetically appealing than ours (as they have less grey buildings and use less spandrel than Toronto's condos); Chicago's roads are more grand and boulevard-like, the quality of the sidewalks and roads are better (with fewer potholes and patches) and many of them in the 'greater downtown area' are wider too (than ours). Its shopping options are better, and thankfully, Chicago also has a lot of ethnic neighborhoods (just like Toronto) so if you're the cosmopolitan type, you wouldn't miss out on the variety of all things global.

    Further, its mass rapid transit system is significantly bigger than ours with eight real lines (i.e. not something like the Sheppard stubway or the Scarborough RT system), and both of the city's main airports (O' Hare and Midway) have connections to these local train lines! As much as I like streetcars, I find it a nuisance to use them for actually going from one place to another (especially on Friday and Saturday evenings) as they're slower and block traffic, etc., so the fact that Chicago does NOT have streetcars is a plus for me!

    The customer service and social skills of people in general is far better in Chicago (as it's an American city after all) and hence you won't get as much of the reserved Canadian mindset; as well, a higher % of the Canadian population cannot communicate effectively in English compared to their American counterparts.

    Finally, since I'm a gay male, I find the gay nabe of Chicago better than ours; first off, it's visually more appealing; second, it has more variety/options in terms of lounges, bars and nightclubs. Chicago's gay nabe has five full fledged and nice gay dance clubs, unlike Toronto, which has two (Fly and Straight). The Barn and Buddies don't count as '1st tier clubs' as they're too rundown (but that's of course my opinion).

    Now, Chicago also has its disadvantages compared to Toronto like the crime rate, deeper racial segregation, and a weaker economic situation (at least for the last few years and most likely the next few years). Note, Chicago's economic base is really diverse and the metro area is home to many headoffices, just like Toronto. We also cannot forget the other typical US-Canadian differences, like health care, gay rights, etc. (for which Toronto has an advantage over Chicago).

    Overall, both cities are comparable in quality of life but it's just that as a gay male who is into urban development and design, especially in the main parts of the city (I don't care much about the suburbs), Chicago, to me, seems materially ahead of Toronto.

    I think this is it from my end as this is the Trump tower thread after all, and don't want to deviate from that anymore.

    Cheers.

  8. Default

    I've have yet to see one iconic proposal in Toronto's latest condo boom. I had the chance to visit Chicago last summer, and I can tell you that they have many iconic buildings including the John Hancock Tower and the former Sears Tower. I would suggest that whoever is into urban design and architecture take the architectural boat tour in Chicago, its amazing. Even proposals like the L Tower, Aura, and 1 Bloor East would be considered average for Chicago standards.

    on the flip side there parts of Chicago that make Jane and Finich look like Rosedale

    Now back to the main subject. Its unfortunate they had to scale down the original proposal of the Trump building, not sure when Toronto will grow up literally.

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kd86 View Post
    I've have yet to see one iconic proposal in Toronto's latest condo boom. I had the chance to visit Chicago last summer, and I can tell you that they have many iconic buildings including the John Hancock Tower and the former Sears Tower. I would suggest that whoever is into urban design and architecture take the architectural boat tour in Chicago, its amazing. Even proposals like the L Tower, Aura, and 1 Bloor East would be considered average for Chicago standards.

    on the flip side there parts of Chicago that make Jane and Finich look like Rosedale

    Now back to the main subject. Its unfortunate they had to scale down the original proposal of the Trump building, not sure when Toronto will grow up literally.
    Quote Originally Posted by CITY_LOVER View Post
    Hey Toronto3,

    Steveve's thoughts are in line with mine regarding Chicago. Here are a few more: In addition to Chicago's skyline being substantially bigger, with more iconic buildings from almost all periods of architectural 'themes', its waterfront area blows ours away (even after taking into account the future developments Toronto will see over the next decade or two), the designs of many of the condo buildings, especially the newer ones, are more aesthetically appealing than ours (as they have less grey buildings and use less spandrel than Toronto's condos); Chicago's roads are more grand and boulevard-like, the quality of the sidewalks and roads are better (with fewer potholes and patches) and many of them in the 'greater downtown area' are wider too (than ours). Its shopping options are better, and thankfully, Chicago also has a lot of ethnic neighborhoods (just like Toronto) so if you're the cosmopolitan type, you wouldn't miss out on the variety of all things global.

    Further, its mass rapid transit system is significantly bigger than ours with eight real lines (i.e. not something like the Sheppard stubway or the Scarborough RT system), and both of the city's main airports (O' Hare and Midway) have connections to these local train lines! As much as I like streetcars, I find it a nuisance to use them for actually going from one place to another (especially on Friday and Saturday evenings) as they're slower and block traffic, etc., so the fact that Chicago does NOT have streetcars is a plus for me!

    The customer service and social skills of people in general is far better in Chicago (as it's an American city after all) and hence you won't get as much of the reserved Canadian mindset; as well, a higher % of the Canadian population cannot communicate effectively in English compared to their American counterparts.

    Finally, since I'm a gay male, I find the gay nabe of Chicago better than ours; first off, it's visually more appealing; second, it has more variety/options in terms of lounges, bars and nightclubs. Chicago's gay nabe has five full fledged and nice gay dance clubs, unlike Toronto, which has two (Fly and Straight). The Barn and Buddies don't count as '1st tier clubs' as they're too rundown (but that's of course my opinion).

    Now, Chicago also has its disadvantages compared to Toronto like the crime rate, deeper racial segregation, and a weaker economic situation (at least for the last few years and most likely the next few years). Note, Chicago's economic base is really diverse and the metro area is home to many headoffices, just like Toronto. We also cannot forget the other typical US-Canadian differences, like health care, gay rights, etc. (for which Toronto has an advantage over Chicago).

    Overall, both cities are comparable in quality of life but it's just that as a gay male who is into urban development and design, especially in the main parts of the city (I don't care much about the suburbs), Chicago, to me, seems materially ahead of Toronto.

    I think this is it from my end as this is the Trump tower thread after all, and don't want to deviate from that anymore.

    Cheers.
    thanks CITY_LOVER that was extremely helpfull... it seems like Chicago has everything more than Toronto besides the things tourist dont take into account often (i have the mind of a tourist... unfortunatly)...i totally agree with you kd86, it is very unfortunate... i hate losing the best something can be for only mediocre level... not saying trump toronto is mediocre, it's just i feel we've lost quite a bit of an iconic building.... STILL LOVIN! GO TRUMP GO! WOOT WOOT!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by toronto3 View Post
    i feel bad looking at this picture... makes me think twice about Toronto being the best city in the world regardless... oh well... it'll always be home... thanks again Steveve
    hey, Toronto ain't all that bad... It's definitely not the prettiest looking city to take walks down, but it's more liveable. after all, it's home! (to most of us). i feel like it's more alive as well, (chicago can be quiet downtown.... except for when i was last there while they were filming Transformers 3... BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!), btw: you can't film an epic action sequence like the one in Transformers 3 in Chicago... holy cow, freaking intense. Toronto would never look that cool with alien robots invading

    Back OT, Awesome photos corridor_dweller, i really wish Trump was 5 floors taller so you could see more of it when it's complete... and so that it could have a stepping stone effect from Scotia Plaza down to FCP... oh well..

  11. #11

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    I think everyone here is way too harsh on TO. The amount of development we are getting here is easily 4 times (or more) more than Chicago. Our city is about 100 times cleaner, 100 times safer (the possibility of anyone carrying a gun is not to be taken lightly!), and just generally 100 times more livable (Toronto beats Chicago in just about everything aside from skyline imo). Also, Chicago seems to be a city that has a serious inferiority complex, from what I've seen. Nearly everything is done in order to be better than others, not for any realistic use. This is readily apparent in the entire city (especially downtown) where there is a huge amount of vacancy and abandonment. Though many would disagree, I can definitely see similarities between Detroit and Chicago (though obviously, Chicago is in much better shape). This is a vastly different approach from NY, or TO where everything seems to be there due to demand, and the cities seems much livelier (again, especially the downtowns)

    Though it is hard to compare every aspect of the 2 cities without any form of bias, I can sum it up with this: Chicago is a city built to capture the gasps of tourists, while Toronto is a city built entirely for the pleasure of its citizens without much of an attention-seeking structure.

    Back on topic: I was seriously disappointed with Trump Chicago, but with that said, I still think that it is an overall better building than our Trump strictly because of the large height advantage. Had both buildings been the same height, Toronto's Trump would be, in my opinion, by far a better building.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahmad.m.atiya View Post
    I think everyone here is way too harsh on TO. The amount of development we are getting here is easily 4 times (or more) more than Chicago. Our city is about 100 times cleaner, 100 times safer

    Back on topic: I was seriously disappointed with Trump Chicago, but with that said, I still think that it is an overall better building than our Trump strictly because of the large height advantage. Had both buildings been the same height, Toronto's Trump would be, in my opinion, by far a better building.
    Aside from the subway, I actually found Chicago streets pretty clean (along the main streets), Michigan Avenue, Wacker Drive, etc... are all very clean and architecturally cool (with the design of the street lamps, bridges, etc), i didn't find Chicago streets dirty at all, in fact, Yonge street is ridiculously dirty compared to Chicago streets,

    I still find Trump Chicago to be a very nice skyscraper, in fact, one of the best built in recent years. The cladding is terrific/shiny, and the interior finishes are equally impressive. Trump Toronto, so far, is definitely not the nicest skyscraper built recently in TO, but definitely not the worst. I find Trump TO fitting in perfectly in the skyline, neighbourhood, and surrounding area. love it or hate it, it's one of Toronto's next big landmarks.

  13. #13

    Default

    I know this isn't a Chicago VS. Toronto thread but as someone who has visited almost all areas of Chicago and have friends who live there, you guys are overlooking some very important things by comparison. (that favour Toronto)

    If you walk all over Chicago (not just The Miracle Mile & Old Town) you will quickly realize Toronto has much more lively streets. How many of you guys have walked south of The Loop or west of the river? I have and I can tell you, that you will see almost nobody when you go south of Shedd Aquarium. Have you guys been to their Greek town? It's full of parking lots and almost empty, day and night. Maybe that's why they filmed "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" in Toronto. Walk west of there and you will see nothing except for some older apartment buildings. (oh, and Oprah's studio) Few people walk in this area. Actually, there is only one direction you can walk, that is interesting and lively, and that's north of The Loop. (unlike Toronto, where you'll find interesting and lively areas in ALL directions from Bay & King) Hell, even Ward's Island is interesting.

    Chicago goes all out maintaining Michigan Avenue but have you seen Martian Luther King Street? South Chicago has MANY abandoned buildings and vacant lots. I saw it with my own eyes and it actually looks pretty scary. Have you seen the Latino area, I think it's called Pilsner or something like that? It's a whole different world from Old Town or Lincoln Park. You can buy a condo in South Chicago for 50,000 dollars. Sounds great, until you discover what the murder/crime rate is.

    Do you guys know any black folk in Chicago? Ask them if they go to bars in Boys-town. I don't want to start anything racial here but my black friend would not go to any gay bars with me. He told me he goes to all black gay clubs because he wouldn't feel comfortable in a "white club". I wont get into the conversations I've had with white Chicagoans because it would just cause grief but I can tell you I have never heard white people in Toronto say the things I've heard from men in Chicago. (racist shit)

    Do you guys know over 50% of that state's governors are in jail for corruption? Do you guys know about the ties with organized crime and the Chicago unions? And as for the great Chicago waterfront, well, it's separated from the city by a highway. Yep, cars whizzing right beside the beach and few access points. Yeah and we have the Gardiner, I know. (though not nearly as close and not at street level) I actually think Toronto's waterfront is more interesting to explore. It's a real neighbourhood, not just parkland, although we have lots of that too. With Chicago's waterfront, you can see it all laid out before you. With Toronto's, you need to walk to explore all it's Quays and hidden places. (Ireland Park) We also look out onto a green Island, as well as a huge lake, just east and west of downtown. We have towering bluffs and huge nature preserves. It might be just me but I really do find Toronto to be a better city. I find it much more interesting to explore. Sure, they have Millennium Park and that great amphitheatre but don't discount the beauty of Ontario Place. (I love those futuristic floating pods & Imax Theatre) We also have more (undeveloped & undiscovered) ravines than any other city in the world. There is tons of great potential there.

    You will not find any quirky, eccentric areas like Kensington Market or it's unconventional looking people. I never see non-conformists when I go to Chicago. It's just not a Mid-Western thing. Do they have anything as beachy or cool as The Beaches? (I've never seen it) Ethnic Chicago has nothing on Toronto. Go to Little Italy, Greek-town or Polish Chicago and it's nothing like what we have here. Do you see the open, lively, out-door restaurants we have in Little Italy or Greek Town? Nope! Their Chinatown is a lot cleaner and tourist friendly than what we have but our Chinatown (Chinatowns) is much bigger and more for real Chinese. (few if any meat or fruit stores in Chicago's Chinatown) It's mainly restaurants for tourists. I do like all the Asian monuments and Chinese art they have. Toronto's ethnic areas are larger, more diverse, more interesting and REAL! They are not created for the sake of tourists. You can find many different ethnic restaurants in ALL directions in Toronto. You definitely cannot say that in Chicago. (unless you call pizza joints and western Chinese food real ethnic food)

    If one is black or Latino, can you live in any area you choose, in Chicago? Read a bit about Chicago's racial history before you answer that question and speak to a few non-white people. Their responses might surprise you. You may legally live where you please but the neighbours and real estate agents might have something to say about that. Have you guys taken a ride on the El? Do you think having a noisy, dusty, run-down elevated train and tracks, running through parts of the city, is a good thing? I don't and I'll take Toronto's crowed, maligned subways over Chicago any day. Chicago's subway stations are basically just outdoor platforms without walls. On cold winter days, you do not want to be there. I was told that in Chicago, only "the riff-raff" ride the subway.

    Am I anti-Chicago? Actually, I rather like Chicago. Unlike some tourists, when I go to visit a city, I go to see the real city. That means I go to all areas and meet people of all backgrounds. I talk to people because I'm curious to see what their lives are like. Chicago does some things really well. They put great effort into their upscale areas, like The Miracle Mile. Millennium Park and their beaches are really nice. Of course, the architecture and their historic buildings are head and shoulders above Toronto. I'd trade our Ripley's aquarium for the Shedd any day. I guess that tells you how much confidence I have in Ripley's. I like Chicago's waterfront but I actually prefer Toronto's. I just like the much more diverse landscapes we have here, including The Islands and their eccentric neighbourhoods. You will see a lot more eccentricity all over Toronto, than you will in Chicago. Chicago kicks our ass in Museums and it's wonderful art gallery but I still think Toronto has a better cultural scene.

    Both cities are great cities but for the qualities I value most, I prefer Toronto and I really see Toronto as having a brighter future. This city is growing and changing so fast, nobody knows what this city might eventually become. That's what makes coming to Urban Toronto so interesting. Every month brings new developments we never dreamed possible. Who here thought Dundas & Jarvis would turn into a huge condo this soon? Toronto is growing in ALL directions and it's wonderful to see. Look what's happening to Regent Park and compare that to what Chicago is doing with Cabrini Greene. That tells you a lot about Toronto, its people and where this city is heading.

    I don't envy Chicago at all. (OK, maybe the architecture a little lol) But when push comes to shove, there is no other city I'd rather call home. The future is ours.
    Last edited by Torontovibe; 2011-Jul-04 at 00:50.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ahmad.m.atiya View Post
    I think everyone here is way too harsh on TO. The amount of development we are getting here is easily 4 times (or more) more than Chicago. Our city is about 100 times cleaner, 100 times safer (the possibility of anyone carrying a gun is not to be taken lightly!), and just generally 100 times more livable (Toronto beats Chicago in just about everything aside from skyline imo). Also, Chicago seems to be a city that has a serious inferiority complex, from what I've seen. Nearly everything is done in order to be better than others, not for any realistic use. This is readily apparent in the entire city (especially downtown) where there is a huge amount of vacancy and abandonment. Though many would disagree, I can definitely see similarities between Detroit and Chicago (though obviously, Chicago is in much better shape). This is a vastly different approach from NY, or TO where everything seems to be there due to demand, and the cities seems much livelier (again, especially the downtowns)

    Though it is hard to compare every aspect of the 2 cities without any form of bias, I can sum it up with this: Chicago is a city built to capture the gasps of tourists, while Toronto is a city built entirely for the pleasure of its citizens without much of an attention-seeking structure.

    Back on topic: I was seriously disappointed with Trump Chicago, but with that said, I still think that it is an overall better building than our Trump strictly because of the large height advantage. Had both buildings been the same height, Toronto's Trump would be, in my opinion, by far a better building.
    It's Toronto's famous inferiority complex. Everybody tells you Chicago is better, so you just accept it as fact. I make up my own mind.

  15. Default

    Vibe, completely agree with your post. Chicagoans who come here and actually go to our neighbourhoods love it. Americans I know that are familiar with both cities prefer Toronto as well. It seems we can't appreciate what we have. I envy Chicago for their architecture and their well-established cultural institutions. But on every other count I take Toronto - for the people and it's openness to ideas. It's amazing how this city has matured just in the past ten years. It pulls talent in well. Not just the talent that wants money, but the talent that wants safe streets and good schools for their children. Chicago has a couple areas where it is absolutely formidable. But Toronto can change completely in 5 minutes on foot and again in another 5 minutes. It's constantly shape-shifting and reconsidering itself, which is a good thing.

    I get this sentiment a lot from young people, that they don't want to leave for somewhere better and become absorbed into some city like Paris or New York. They want to stay and till the ground and establish the city along with themselves. Toronto already is one of the greatest cities of the world and in the forseeable future, Fords aside, it'll only get better.

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