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Is Toronto more similar to (and more linked to) Montreal or Vancouver?

Which one?

  • Much more like Montreal

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • A bit more like Montreal

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • It is equally similar to (or equally unlike) either city.

    Votes: 3 37.5%
  • A bit more like Vancouver

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • Much more like Vancouver

    Votes: 1 12.5%

  • Total voters
    8

wild goose chase

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I was thinking about how Toronto and Montreal share a lot of similarity and history up from colonial times to the 20th century -- architectural style, history, demographics and immigration.

However, in recent years (probably post 1970s), Toronto and Montreal's character have somewhat diverged.

I would say Toronto is for the most part more like Montreal, but here are some later half of 20th and 21st century things that have made Toronto a bit more like and closer to Vancouver -- glassy waterfront skyline and condo boom are similar in both cities, suburbs with again glassy high rises, similarly high foreign born population and more similar post-1970s demographics (though Toronto and Montreal were closer in this regard before). The departure of Anglo-Montrealers and the fact that immigrants to Montreal assimilate to French more (whereas in the past, many did to English) adds to the difference.

I still would say Toronto is more like Montreal on the whole, but moving towards being more Vancouver-like.
 

junctionist

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Toronto today is what Montreal was in 1900--Canada's wealthiest, biggest and most metropolitan city. With that comes a variety of sophisticated private and civic projects that you might not see anywhere else in Canada.
 

doady

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One thing that struck me about inner Montreal it is full of 3 or 4-storey walk up apartments on every street, endless rows of staircases. Old City of Toronto is mostly houses on every side street, so it feels very different. GTA is houses and high-rises, very little in-between.

I actually think it is the 50s/60s suburbs of Montreal that feel most similar to Toronto's 50s/60s. But again the suburban slabs in Montreal tend to be low-rise and mid-rise, instead of high-rises.
 

wild goose chase

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One area in which Toronto is not like either: a sharp east/west divide socioeconomically.
I wonder what accounts for this pattern. I know socioeconomic patterns for North American cities are often explained by positioning of former manufacturing or industrial sites (with one explanation being that poorer areas are downwind of factories, or where formerly prosperous industries left). But I don't think Vancouver really had much manufacturing compared to Toronto and Montreal so probably these aren't as big of a factor.
 

King of Kensington

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I wonder what accounts for this pattern. I know socioeconomic patterns for North American cities are often explained by positioning of former manufacturing or industrial sites (with one explanation being that poorer areas are downwind of factories, or where formerly prosperous industries left). But I don't think Vancouver really had much manufacturing compared to Toronto and Montreal so probably these aren't as big of a factor.
Vancouver was never much of a manufacturing city, but the port and other industry was located on the east side.

Toronto has a more complex social geography than other Canadian cities.
 

wild goose chase

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Toronto has a more complex social geography than other Canadian cities.
It seems to be partly by design -- to avoid the rich and poor being concentrated in any one area, there was more conscious planning towards mixed income housing or towards the placement of housing projects etc. though I don't know to what extent other cities in Canada have also done this.

Or perhaps just by being the largest city in Canada with a more diverse economy, where jobs are located in a variety of areas and where people from all walks of life have moved and settled there, you naturally start to get localized pockets of both rich and poor throughout each and every borough as well as the downtown itself too (kind of like New York City and its metro) rather than simple concentrations of rich and poor all in one side/area.
 

wild goose chase

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Another supposed similarity, one that's rather stereotypical, between Toronto and Vancouver that people like to claim is that both have a more reserved, pragmatic, British demeanor while Montreal is supposedly more expressive and fun-loving.
 

old boy

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I'd say Toronto is more a combination of both cities, and then some. Who propels these stereotypes of Toronto being reserved and pragmatic anyway, other than maybe Montreal Tourism.
 

pman

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Montreal's core is actually handsome - a wonderful stock of Beaux Arts buildings, well designed and well maintained public realm. I'm always struck at how shabby and ugly Toronto is in comparison.
 

TrickyRicky

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"Montreal's core is actually handsome - a wonderful stock of Beaux Arts buildings, well designed and well maintained public realm. I'm always struck at how shabby and ugly Toronto is in comparison."

I've spent many days traversing Montreal so don't get me wrong, I have a fondness for the city; however, I just don't get these comments. Building stock OK, design OK but well maintained? Montreal is one of the most dilapidated large cities in North America, shabby even by Toronto's low standard.
 

torontologist

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Montreal's core is actually handsome - a wonderful stock of Beaux Arts buildings, well designed and well maintained public realm. I'm always struck at how shabby and ugly Toronto is in comparison.
As a former Montrealer, I'm gonna have to disagree with you there. The core isn't handsome, Old Montreal is, and Old Montreal is for tourists. I never knew anyone that lived or worked down there. We stayed north of the Ville Marie highway.

Everyone is going to have a different mental picture, but "real" Montreal to me is the Plateau and Westmount. Though Montreal's triplexes are an interesting built form, they're not usually very intricate or sophisticated. I think Toronto's brick Victorian streets are much prettier.
 

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