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Planned Sprawl in the GTA

ericmacm

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I am one of those people who have left the GTA for Windsor. I'm in my early 20s, I moved to Windsor for school in 2015, from Mississauga, and will probably stay here for a while after I graduate. I don't ever plan on returning to the GTA.

The job market here is iffy. It's not glamorous but there is a decent amount of positions up, and availability is also highly dependent on your field of work. In the context of my field of study/work, engineering, there are absolutely jobs here, although the market can be a tad bit competitive. A lot of established places looking for senior positions have to poach from outside of Windsor. A lot of these jobs don't pay too drastically differently from their counterparts in Toronto or elsewhere, so for many, taking a bit of a pay cut for a steep decrease in cost of living/real estate is very enticing. With a STEM job salary in Windsor (and Detroit if you want to work cross-border), you can live a lot better here than you would in Toronto. This is what brought me here. In terms of manual labour-type positions, there is a lot of that down here, lots of plants and factories need workers (aside from FCA which is currently downsizing the plant workforce), and lots of construction is happening in regards to homebuilding. For people who do not have post-secondary education, it is much easier to live well here and be able to save, as opposed living paycheque to paycheque.

Apartments and homes are much easier here. One can easily afford an apartment here on minimum wage, your average 1bdrm apartment is approximately $650/mo, with your average 2bdrm apartment being $950/mo. In terms of homes, older houses around downtown/university cost around $150,000. Newer, larger homes further out cost around $300,000. Homes in the county cost similar. Waterfront/isolated property can easily be under $1mil.

We are seeing a large uptick in students, but it's retirees, mostly. A lot of students are in my situation, coming from Toronto because it's much cheaper to live here on your own and be able to afford a house. Some just come here for their education and then leave, but I've been noticing more staying. With seniors, it's the exact situation you'd expect: they're cashing out of Toronto with $1mil+ and buying a really nice place for much less. Lots of new build apartments here are being targeted towards seniors as well.

Either way, it's growing here really nicely, it's changed a lot even in the four years I've been down here. There's a small new tech scene starting up, and we've also got the Marijuana industry with Aphria growing out in the county. The new bridge being built is also expected to generate a lot of work too. Hopefully it keeps steadily growing down here, I'm sure a continued spill out from the GTA will definitely keep attracting more to come down here.
 

Johnny Au

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I am one of those people who have left the GTA for Windsor. I'm in my early 20s, I moved to Windsor for school in 2015, from Mississauga, and will probably stay here for a while after I graduate. I don't ever plan on returning to the GTA.

The job market here is iffy. It's not glamorous but there is a decent amount of positions up, and availability is also highly dependent on your field of work. In the context of my field of study/work, engineering, there are absolutely jobs here, although the market can be a tad bit competitive. A lot of established places looking for senior positions have to poach from outside of Windsor. A lot of these jobs don't pay too drastically differently from their counterparts in Toronto or elsewhere, so for many, taking a bit of a pay cut for a steep decrease in cost of living/real estate is very enticing. With a STEM job salary in Windsor (and Detroit if you want to work cross-border), you can live a lot better here than you would in Toronto. This is what brought me here. In terms of manual labour-type positions, there is a lot of that down here, lots of plants and factories need workers (aside from FCA which is currently downsizing the plant workforce), and lots of construction is happening in regards to homebuilding. For people who do not have post-secondary education, it is much easier to live well here and be able to save, as opposed living paycheque to paycheque.

Apartments and homes are much easier here. One can easily afford an apartment here on minimum wage, your average 1bdrm apartment is approximately $650/mo, with your average 2bdrm apartment being $950/mo. In terms of homes, older houses around downtown/university cost around $150,000. Newer, larger homes further out cost around $300,000. Homes in the county cost similar. Waterfront/isolated property can easily be under $1mil.

We are seeing a large uptick in students, but it's retirees, mostly. A lot of students are in my situation, coming from Toronto because it's much cheaper to live here on your own and be able to afford a house. Some just come here for their education and then leave, but I've been noticing more staying. With seniors, it's the exact situation you'd expect: they're cashing out of Toronto with $1mil+ and buying a really nice place for much less. Lots of new build apartments here are being targeted towards seniors as well.

Either way, it's growing here really nicely, it's changed a lot even in the four years I've been down here. There's a small new tech scene starting up, and we've also got the Marijuana industry with Aphria growing out in the county. The new bridge being built is also expected to generate a lot of work too. Hopefully it keeps steadily growing down here, I'm sure a continued spill out from the GTA will definitely keep attracting more to come down here.
At least you are next door to Detroit, which is seeing a rebirth. Detroit is emulating the success of Windsor.
 

ericmacm

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At least you are next door to Detroit, which is seeing a rebirth. Detroit is emulating the success of Windsor.
Yeah, being next door to a Detroit undergoing resurgence, you'd be surprised how much it has been benefitting Windsor. The two cities are becoming more interlinked and feed off each others' success. We've got Detroit's Quicken Loans setting up an office in Windsor which should help start the tech industry up a little bit. There are also talks about using Detroit's soon-to-be-revitalized Michigan Central Station for a new (old) Amtrak line that could carry people from Detroit to Toronto, which could mean a new train station in Windsor as well (and a new way to get across the border). The Gordie Howe is going to change the area a whole lot too. It'll revitalize a dead neighbourhood (Delray) on the American side, and fill up a totally empty area (Brighton Beach) on the Canadian side with some new commercial development.
 

BhadPetrov

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Now i want somebody to do a video of how and why Canadian suburbs were built, at least through the 50 - 70s there were all kinds of housing types built unlike in the US
 

doady

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BhadPetrov brings up a good point. Canadian suburbs should not be lumped in with US suburbs. They are only similar in an extremely superficial way, if even that. All of these articles and videos being posted here about US suburbs being full of single family zoning, their overdependence on cars, their impaired walkability from disconnected street networks have little relevance to places like Scarborough, Mississauga, Montreal-Nord, etc.

Most of the high-rise development in the GTA has been located in the suburbs, not the inner city. There are approximately 1300 high rise buildings in Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke, Mississauga, more than the City of Chicago and every other North American city except New York. Scarborough has higher transit ridership per capita than Brooklyn and Queens.

Canada and US took very different paths in the post-war era. Canadian urban areas and US urban areas have almost nothing in common today.
 

BhadPetrov

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^^ not only that but in the 80s to present our suburbs began to look a lot more like the ones in the US, only in recently has the condo boom in certain areas has stood out from the US style, but it's nothing like it used to be as I mentioned before. The cities that on the edges of our region don't allow for apartment and highrise construction like Toronto did when it was building out. Don mills in the 60s comes to mind where there were highrises on the edge of the city surrounded by a mall, unfortunately, it was built to be auto-dependent.:(
 

jje1000

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I wonder if the differences emerged from lingering post-war British influences, especially from the siting of tower blocks in suburban zones? Maybe also differences in common practice and provincial laws?

Would definitely agree that suburbs in Canada are fairly different from the US. In the US, suburbs dissipate into exurbs, forming a thin continuous semi-urban film that connects cities together (think New Jersey between NY and Philadelphia), whereas in Canada, cities and towns still seem to have a hard edge that defines the rural and urban.

Furthermore, new suburbs in Ontario, though forgoing the tower blocks, are also far denser than suburbs in the US.
 
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doady

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US sprawl could probably be divided into two broad categories: Rustbelt/Snowbelt vs the Sunbelt. The Sunbelt tends have denser sprawl and the more discrete urban boundary like Canadian urban areas.

^^ not only that but in the 80s to present our suburbs began to look a lot more like the ones in the US, only in recently has the condo boom in certain areas has stood out from the US style, but it's nothing like it used to be as I mentioned before. The cities that on the edges of our region don't allow for apartment and highrise construction like Toronto did when it was building out. Don mills in the 60s comes to mind where there were highrises on the edge of the city surrounded by a mall, unfortunately, it was built to be auto-dependent.:(
Most the high-rise condos in Mississauga City Centre (along Webb Dr, Kariya Dr) are from the 80s and 90s. A lot of the apartment towers in Mississauga Valleys and around Meadowvale Town Centre are from the 80s as well. The high-rise construction slowed down but it never truly disappeared.

Even without any towers, Brampton still has made some effort to increase density along arterials with townhouses and semi-detached houses to try increase transit ridership. They still tried to minimize walking distances to the bus stops. It is still has been built based on TOD concepts. In contrast, new suburbs in the US often don't even have sidewalks along their arterials, let alone bus stops and bus service.

Brampton Transit got around 144,000 boardings per weekday in 2016. There aren't many systems in the US that get more than that. As I said, the similarity between US and Canadian suburbia is superficial at best. If you look deeper, at the design/layout of the streets/sidewalks, the density, the multi-family structures, the transit culture, even Brampton has very little in common with suburbs in the US.
 

W. K. Lis

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../

Even without any towers, Brampton still has made some effort to increase density along arterials with townhouses and semi-detached houses to try increase transit ridership. They still tried to minimize walking distances to the bus stops. It is still has been built based on TOD concepts. In contrast, new suburbs in the US often don't even have sidewalks along their arterials, let alone bus stops and bus service.

...
There are still councillors in Toronto who do not want to install sidewalks in the former township built subdivisions, when they didn't have sewers or sidewalks originally. (The townships (now part of the city) did install the sewers later, but sidewalks were an afterthought.) See link.
 
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BhadPetrov

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US sprawl could probably be divided into two broad categories: Rustbelt/Snowbelt vs the Sunbelt. The Sunbelt tends have denser sprawl and the more discrete urban boundary like Canadian urban areas.



Most the high-rise condos in Mississauga City Centre (along Webb Dr, Kariya Dr) are from the 80s and 90s. A lot of the apartment towers in Mississauga Valleys and around Meadowvale Town Centre are from the 80s as well. The high-rise construction slowed down but it never truly disappeared.

Even without any towers, Brampton still has made some effort to increase density along arterials with townhouses and semi-detached houses to try increase transit ridership. They still tried to minimize walking distances to the bus stops. It is still has been built based on TOD concepts. In contrast, new suburbs in the US often don't even have sidewalks along their arterials, let alone bus stops and bus service.

Brampton Transit got around 144,000 boardings per weekday in 2016. There aren't many systems in the US that get more than that. As I said, the similarity between US and Canadian suburbia is superficial at best. If you look deeper, at the design/layout of the streets/sidewalks, the density, the multi-family structures, the transit culture, even Brampton has very little in common with suburbs in the US.
I'm just offended that mississauga valley's were built in the 80's, they look like damn 60s buildings. it's not like the buildings back then were particularly interesting to begin with...

but something that I really like from brampton is the mount pleasant area by the GO station, areas like that should be the rule, not the exception. I wished that highrises on the city edges were like the 60s (except the towers in the park), because everyone likes a skyline
 

Davis

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I am one of those people who have left the GTA for Windsor. I'm in my early 20s, I moved to Windsor for school in 2015, from Mississauga, and will probably stay here for a while after I graduate. I don't ever plan on returning to the GTA.

The job market here is iffy. It's not glamorous but there is a decent amount of positions up, and availability is also highly dependent on your field of work. In the context of my field of study/work, engineering, there are absolutely jobs here, although the market can be a tad bit competitive. A lot of established places looking for senior positions have to poach from outside of Windsor. A lot of these jobs don't pay too drastically differently from their counterparts in Toronto or elsewhere, so for many, taking a bit of a pay cut for a steep decrease in cost of living/real estate is very enticing. With a STEM job salary in Windsor (and Detroit if you want to work cross-border), you can live a lot better here than you would in Toronto. This is what brought me here. In terms of manual labour-type positions, there is a lot of that down here, lots of plants and factories need workers (aside from FCA which is currently downsizing the plant workforce), and lots of construction is happening in regards to homebuilding. For people who do not have post-secondary education, it is much easier to live well here and be able to save, as opposed living paycheque to paycheque.

Apartments and homes are much easier here. One can easily afford an apartment here on minimum wage, your average 1bdrm apartment is approximately $650/mo, with your average 2bdrm apartment being $950/mo. In terms of homes, older houses around downtown/university cost around $150,000. Newer, larger homes further out cost around $300,000. Homes in the county cost similar. Waterfront/isolated property can easily be under $1mil.

We are seeing a large uptick in students, but it's retirees, mostly. A lot of students are in my situation, coming from Toronto because it's much cheaper to live here on your own and be able to afford a house. Some just come here for their education and then leave, but I've been noticing more staying. With seniors, it's the exact situation you'd expect: they're cashing out of Toronto with $1mil+ and buying a really nice place for much less. Lots of new build apartments here are being targeted towards seniors as well.

Either way, it's growing here really nicely, it's changed a lot even in the four years I've been down here. There's a small new tech scene starting up, and we've also got the Marijuana industry with Aphria growing out in the county. The new bridge being built is also expected to generate a lot of work too. Hopefully it keeps steadily growing down here, I'm sure a continued spill out from the GTA will definitely keep attracting more to come down here.
Job market will pick up there for sure. I keep hearing about real estate in Windsor and how hot it is so I'm sure things will only continue to pick up there. If you like it then you should stay. The cost of living in the GTA is crazy and there are plenty of great places to live outside of it. I know a lot of people who are holding out hope that prices will come down in Toronto and they'll be able to buy but I just don't see that happening in my lifetime lol.
 

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