News   Apr 17, 2024
 185     0 
News   Apr 17, 2024
 278     0 
News   Apr 16, 2024
 1.1K     2 

Seven ways to make Toronto a world-class city again

blacktrojan3921

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Aug 22, 2011
Messages
78
Reaction score
2
Found this rather interesting opinion piece on the Globe and Mail regarding ways to revitalize Toronto into a world class city.


Seven ways to make Toronto a world-class city again
JOE BERRIDGE
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Mar. 30 2015, 8:43 AM EDT
Last updated Monday, Mar. 30 2015, 9:25 AM EDT



Two decades ago Toronto was not in good shape. A persistent recession, wearying amalgamation struggles and senior government cutbacks were then compounded by the SARS scare. But out of those crises sprang a remarkable series of initiatives. Half a dozen new major cultural buildings, notably the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Ontario College of Art and Design and the Four Seasons Centre, arrived with great architectural enthusiasm. The MaRS Project was born, Luminato sprang onto the scene. The long awaited regeneration of the city’s relationship to the lake finally got underway with the establishment of Waterfront Toronto. An unsuccessful Olympic bid was transformed into this year’s hosting of the Pan-Am/Parapan Games. Pearson Airport got a magnificent makeover. And those are just the headline events; many other important educational, job training, immigrant settlement and similar ideas got started from which we are still benefiting.

Today the picture could not be more different. Toronto is now in good shape: 2015 is going to be a great year for the city. The waterfront is going to look wonderful, tied together by the new promenade along Queens Quay. Union Station is being re-born as a magnificent transportation terminal. The AirRail Link to Pearson Airport will open and Torontonians won’t believe how they could have managed without it. Much of the relentless grind of downtown road construction will be over. The Games look like they will be a heck of a lot of fun. The new mayor seems competent, civil, and sober. And The Economist said Toronto is the best place in the world to live.

Yet as far as I know, no comparable set of big ambitions exists for the city’s next two decades.

The grinding transit debate has sucked all the energy out of the city. Understandably, as transit, along with the daunting need to reinvent Toronto’s public-housing system, are major challenges. They are, however, not all a big city is about. And make no mistake, Toronto is now a significant global city. The stakes are higher: the city’s current boom was not accidental, and continued prosperity cannot be taken for granted. It depends on investing to maintain that position.

Continued.....

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/glob...-city-again/article23681575/?click=sf_globefb
 
Last edited by a moderator:
We already are a world-class city. Articles like this are ridiculous. We wouldn't have such a massive influx of people from around the world if we weren't.
 
We already are a world-class city. Articles like this are ridiculous. We wouldn't have such a massive influx of people from around the world if we weren't.

How are we a world class city? I have been to world class cities and Toronto really doesn't come close. Is it a nice, bustling, city? Yes. But world class? Not..even...close. Only people I hear talk this world class junk are delusional Torontonians.
 
Last edited:
How are we a world class city? I have been to world class cities and Toronto really doesn't come close. Is it a nice, bustling, city? Yes. But world class? Not..even...close. Only people I hear talk this world class junk are delusional Torontonians.

World-class by what measure? Urban design and architecture? Historical pedigree? Or economic, social, technological weight? Work from other countries on the latter measures put TO firmly in the alpha rank of world cities. It's utterly pointless to use the term (a problematical phrase) without clearly defining it.

AoD
 
We already are a world-class city. Articles like this are ridiculous. We wouldn't have such a massive influx of people from around the world if we weren't.
Agreed. We're a small, provincial municipality. Certainly large(est) by Canadian standards, but hardly anything special by world standards. What do I see in my travels that I think would make a world class city?.............

- Modern transit, no overhead wires for streetcars, platform doors for subways, easy electronic payment methods
- Downtown not surrendered to drug addled, mentally ill, vagrants and beggars.
- Zero tolerance for litter and graffiti
- Vibrant inner cities where middle and professional class people live and play, including a vibrant nightlife, vs. 5pm flight to burbs

I think I just described Singapore, but with a nightlife.
 
I wish we could banish the phrase "world-class city." It's meaningless and it reeks of the simpering "you like me, you me really like me" attitude that exists in far too many of the Canadian communities I've lived in. Let's get over it. Toronto has great DNA, as Berridge points out. It's a great place to live. We should be ambitious about good ideas and not worry about whether they make us "world-class." That's for others to judge. It's pointless to base the debate on our future on whether other people think we're cool. If we are, it will be because we're confident. Berridge's best point, IMO, is to "lighten up."
 
Last edited:
Agreed. We're a small, provincial municipality. Certainly large(est) by Canadian standards, but hardly anything special by world standards. What do I see in my travels that I think would make a world class city?.............

- Modern transit, no overhead wires for streetcars, platform doors for subways, easy electronic payment methods
- Downtown not surrendered to drug addled, mentally ill, vagrants and beggars.
- Zero tolerance for litter and graffiti
- Vibrant inner cities where middle and professional class people live and play, including a vibrant nightlife, vs. 5pm flight to burbs

I think I just described Singapore, but with a nightlife.

Wow, Beez, where do you go when you travel? 'No overhead wires' and 'no beggars' are your idea of moving up the global city index?

I agree with Cooper. As AoD says, Toronto is comfortably in the middle to low teens on most indices when it comes to its rank against other cities. There's no need to do anything to maintain that status except to continue to do what we're doing now -- grow, re-invent, enjoy. Looking forward to the Pan-Ams showing off Toronto in its best light to the doubters.

And fully expect all kinds of complaints from those who prefer a negative view of the city.
 
World-class by what measure? Urban design and architecture? Historical pedigree? Or economic, social, technological weight? Work from other countries on the latter measures put TO firmly in the alpha rank of world cities. It's utterly pointless to use the term (a problematical phrase) without clearly defining it.

AoD

I just think Toronto is a big city in transition searching for an identity. We're not there yet. Again, I only hear this "world class city" talk from other Torontonians.
 
Wow, Beez, where do you go when you travel? 'No overhead wires' and 'no beggars' are your idea of moving up the global city index?

I agree with Cooper. As AoD says, Toronto is comfortably in the middle to low teens on most indices when it comes to its rank against other cities. There's no need to do anything to maintain that status except to continue to do what we're doing now -- grow, re-invent, enjoy. Looking forward to the Pan-Ams showing off Toronto in its best light to the doubters.

And fully expect all kinds of complaints from those who prefer a negative view of the city.

Hard to change something if you're unwilling to look at its deficiencies.
 
We are firmly in the second tier of major world cities. We aren't Paris or Beijing and never will be. But you can go anywhere in the world and mention us in the same sentence as Chicago and Sydney and Barcelona and nobody would bat an eye.
If a top researcher from Europe or Asia announced they were moving to UofT nobody would think they were doing anything abnormal. If a major art exhibit visited Berlin, Singapore and Toronto it wouldn't look out of place. If Toronto were stupid enough to bid on the Olympics nobody would claim that it was out of our league.
Pointing out deficiencies like train doors as reasons for not being worthy of global significance is stupid because every city is different.
 
Last edited:
#7 seems the easiest/biggest impact suggestion. It seems moronic that other provinces and cities in the country enjoy looser regulations but we in Ontario can't be trusted with such freedoms. Toronto seems really uptight when you can cross a domestic border and purchase beer in the corner store to drink in the park with your food truck meal. Maybe we could smoke a joint too, or is that too crazy?
 
I just think Toronto is a big city in transition searching for an identity. We're not there yet. Again, I only hear this "world class city" talk from other Torontonians.

TKE, your posts so far in this thread have been vague bashing of Toronto. You backpedaled from 'the place sucks' to 'in transition', then accused me of 'not looking at the deficiencies.' You need to make a fact-based argument.

My older daughter has just been accepted at UT/Victoria College to study Biology. Her mom & I are trying desperately not to over-lobby and have her decide on some 'safety school' just to spite us, but here's what that would get her:

1. A world-class education at a world-class university that ranks in the mid-teens worldwide in most every survey of universities. In Toronto.

2. The ability to take classes from the world-class medical researchers associated with the world-class research hospitals along University Avenue and elsewhere in Toronto.

3. The ability to continue to enjoy the world-class cultural attraction steps from her door, the Royal Ontario Museum, one of the top natural history museums in the world.

4. And, most importantly, if her Orientation Week organizers have any imagination, the ability to rent a streetcar and have a world-class, epic streetcar pub crawl. (The only other place I've done a streetcar pub crawl other than Toronto is Richmond, VA, which paled in comparison. There may be better, and I'd love to hear of them.)

C'mon. Toronto is not Paris or London. But we keep having this argument, and I'll keep putting forward the positive case for Toronto because I find this forum can really complain about the 'deficiencies', but sometimes doesn't want to believe that Toronto really is a great city.
 

Back
Top