Canuck87

Canadian Cities Montage

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I know that a couple of you (@BnaBreaker @TNinVB @titanhog) showed some interest in Canada's urban areas. I came across this short, 3-minute montage of Canada's 4 largest cities, and thought you guys might enjoy it. I decided to post it here rather than derail another thread that's supposed to be about Nashville...

Also, if anyone has the ability to make a video like this for Nashville, you should definitely do that!!

 

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Thanks for sharing @Canuck87 !!!  What an incredibly beautiful showcase.  I love Canada, and I love it's many world class cities too.  I actually go to Toronto somewhat regularly (if once every other year or so counts as regular) as it's only an eight hour drive or so from Chicago.  Vancouver and Montreal I adore, but it has been quite some time since I've been to either of them.  I've never been to any of the interior cities, including Calgary, but after seeing that video that might need to change very soon.  Ottawa was underwhelming and felt very much like the center of government that it is.  Quebec City is stunningly gorgeous but perhaps a bit too much of an antique for an extended stay.  The cities I've been most surprised by in Canada are Victoria, BC and Halifax, NS.  Both have very dynamic cores with lively waterfronts and are surrounded by stunning natural scenery.  I'd highly recommend a visit to both to anyone nearby. 

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@BnaBreaker Glad you enjoyed it. If you've been to Halifax, then you've seen parts of Canada I have yet to experience. I have never been further east than Quebec, but I have always wanted to visit the Maritime provinces. Maybe one day!

I think your assessment of the various Canadian cities is spot on:

Toronto is one of the world's great cities. Very dynamic and multicultural and relatively safe and clean for a city of its size. The only negative thing I can say about Toronto (besides that it's cold) is that it doesn't have the same sort of unique cultural identity that somewhere like Vancouver or Montreal does. 

Montreal is a great, not only for its history and architecture, but obviously for its unique culture.

Vancouver is very much a model city in terms of its focus on "livability," plus you get the mountains and the ocean, which is a HUGE plus. 

Quebec City, as one of the oldest cities in North America, has a very "old world" feel to it, which I love. I don't think there's another city like it on this continent. But it is definitely the least dynamic urban area of the major Canadian cities.

I've only been to Ottawa once, and nothing about it stood out to me either. That being said, I haven't visited for over a decade, and I know the city is growing rapidly, so I really can't say what it's like now.

Calgary is a really interesting place. One thing that makes it different from every other city I've seen is that everything is so new. Calgary basically didn't exist 100 years ago (the population in 1900 was like 4,000 people). Because of that, the city has a very organized, cohesive feel to it. When you have a clean slate to work with and you don't have to build around anything, you can basically design an entire city according to a master plan. So even though the population is less than 1.5 million, it has a very dense urban core. Plus, you get the Canadian Rockies less than an hour away. Definitely check it out if you get the chance.

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Excellent rundown!  I've only been to Halifax, because you can take a ferry over there from Portland, Maine (another HIGHLY underrated small port city), and have yet to enjoy any of the other maritime provinces.  But yes, very much worth a visit there if you ever make it to that corner of the world.  I'd love to make it up to St. John and PEI someday too.  

I want to clarify on Quebec City too.  I think it's an absolutely remarkable place that everyone should visit at least once.  The "antique" vibe there is 100% authentic, which is what makes it so cool, and I think it should absolutely be preserved.  I just think that maybe they've clung to that part of their identity a little too much to the point that there really is very little that feels dynamic, as you said, about the experience there.  I'm all about preserving local heritage and the historic architecture etc. but unless you're really into eating crepes or trinket shopping or visiting old churches, there just isn't enough there to occupy your average tourist for more than a couple days, in my opinion.  Even though it has, what, 700,000 people, it still feels like you're visiting some old Swiss mountain town or something.

Toronto I'm just in love with.  The last time I was there was last February for NBA All star weekend, and it was brutally cold...I'm talking like -40 degrees F windchill.  But that was a major anomaly.  Plus, I'm fine with the cold weather there generally though, because it's really no colder or further north than where I live in Chicago.  It feels like Chicago to me too the way it's so bustling and diverse and connected to the lake and all about it's sports teams.  The most underrated part about Toronto to me is the food.  Probably the best collection of restaurants representing the Indian subcontinent and environs (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal) anywhere in the world aside from London and possibly Singapore.  

Montreal is brilliant too...great food and architecture as you stated, but it's just got everything a city kid like me could want.  It feels very European too, and not just because the signs are in French.  The people are very European in nature and general attitude (although they'd probably resent me saying that) and the city is just very cosmopolitan feeling. 

Vancouver though is definitely the jewel of Canada, and one of the jewels of the world, for sure.  From it's mild weather to the fact that it's surrounded on all sides by some of the most drop dead gorgeous scenery this world has to offer, to it's walkability to it's food to it's people and cultural institutions...I really just can't say enough good things about that city.  

I'll definitely take your advice on Calgary.  It seems like a pretty remarkable place for sure and feels WAY larger than it's actual size.  

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Canuck87 -- I think I speak for most of us when I say we appreciate your contributions! (uh, look at your likes-to-posts ratio -- it's sick, dude)

While it is obvious that Canadian cities and American cities are really not directly comparable, I, for one, am very happy that you have posted some pics of Canadian metropolises here. While I don't think Nashville could ever strive for a Vancouver (or obviously Toronto), I for one, LOVE the Calgary skyline. Edmonton ain't bad, either....but Calgary....it looks like Denver discovered protein shakes, brah.

As for Halifax....I have some very distinct and nostalgic memories there. Back in '03 my grandmother broke her nose when she fell on a sidewalk. The hospital in Dartmouth struggled to figure out how to charge her (it was something like $100 US, which is retarded) and her glasses were scratched, which the store in the mall attempted to fix...essentially for free. Something us Americans were not used to.

Also, the Citadel was very much a site worth seeing.

 

 

It's a weird comparison, but I would say the Maritime provinces are a lot like the Southern U.S. in terms of hospitality. Not in accent or anything else...but in terms of hospitality...it's a weird, but appropriate comparison.

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@UTgrad09 I appreciate the kind words. I've been following the development in Nashville closely for the past several years, but I just recently came across this board. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to discover a group of people who are just as enthralled with Nashville's current growth (and urban living more generally) as I am. I'm more than happy to do my bit to contribute to the community!

I think you're absolutely right about Calgary. As I said on another post, Calgary gets overlooked, mainly because it's not Vancouver, Montreal, or Toronto. But it's still a fantastic city in its own right. Plus, it's proof positive that a city doesn't have to be huge in terms of population to still have many of the features people associate with mega-cities (e.g., a dense urban core, robust public transit, etc.). 

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7 hours ago, BnaBreaker said:

Toronto I'm just in love with.  The last time I was there was last February for NBA All star weekend, and it was brutally cold...I'm talking like -40 degrees F windchill.  But that was a major anomaly.  Plus, I'm fine with the cold weather there generally though, because it's really no colder or further north than where I live in Chicago.  It feels like Chicago to me too the way it's so bustling and diverse and connected to the lake and all about it's sports teams.  The most underrated part about Toronto to me is the food.  Probably the best collection of restaurants representing the Indian subcontinent and environs (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal) anywhere in the world aside from London and possibly Singapore.  

I wish I could go to Toronto more often! Don't get me wrong, I consider Toronto one of the world's great cities, and I would happily live there if the opportunity ever presented itself (my parents and two brothers actually live there currently). And as an ethnic-food connoisseur, Toronto is heaven on Earth for me.

What I meant when I said Toronto doesn't have the same "unique cultural identity" as somewhere like Montreal or Vancouver, is that it is less distinctly Canadian than those other cities. When a city reaches Toronto's level of size and prominence, I think it starts to lose some of its regionality and begins to take on the character of a "global city." As an example, I spent a summer in China and was able to travel to many cities, both large and small. When I compared Shanghai to somewhere like say Leshan, Shanghai felt less "Chinese" than the more regional cities. In many ways, I think Toronto is more similar to somewhere like New York or London than to it is to its sister cities in Canada.

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Canuck87...I've been to Calgary and Toronto many times (matter of fact, I was in Calgary when 9/11 happened)...and prefer Calgary because I'm a mountains person and I just prefer west Canada over the east.  I'd really like to see Vancouver and Montreal someday.  

LOVE the Canadian Rockies.  I actually did the tour of the Athabasca Glacier near Jasper and walked on it...which was pretty awesome.  Also did dogsledding near Banff...which is also awesome.

Btw...I'm posting a drone video of Nashville someone made, which is cool but not perfect.  Wrong time of year (needs to be anything but winter)...and it needs some footage of the Broadway nighttime crowds...as well as CMA Music Fest, 4th of July, NYE, etc to really capture some of Nashville's excitement and spirit.

Also...what are some of your favorite U.S. cities and why?  Always love to hear what people who didn't grow up here think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBnISkavbu4

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Am I the only Tennessee UP'er who has set foot in New Brunswick ? :blink:

I saw Campobello Island where FDR had his Summer Vacation Home (and where he contracted polio, or as some medical experts have theorized today, perhaps Guillain-Barré Syndrome), Saint John (a pretty and compact city that slopes down to a bay with many of the kinds of homes in its downtown that Nashville demolished en masse and has a wild "reversing falls" at its river that changes the direction of its flow depending on the radical tide at different times of the day) and NB's capital of Fredericton, a modest-sized river town.

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17 hours ago, titanhog said:

Also...what are some of your favorite U.S. cities and why?  Always love to hear what people who didn't grow up here think.

Well, to be fair, I moved to Tennessee when I was in middle school, so I split my "growing up" between Nashville (Franklin) and Canada. Thus, I don't know how unique my perspective will be. 

With that disclaimer out of the way, I would have to say my top 5 U.S. cities are probably (in no particular order) NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Seattle. As you probably can tell, I like cities located next to a body of water. I prefer large dense cities that are easy to walk. I also have a bit of an East Coast bias, though I like Seattle a lot (reminds me of Vancouver). 

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28 minutes ago, Canuck87 said:

Well, to be fair, I moved to Tennessee when I was in middle school, so I split my "growing up" between Nashville (Franklin) and Canada. Thus, I don't know how unique my perspective will be. 

With that disclaimer out of the way, I would have to say my top 5 U.S. cities are probably (in no particular order) NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Seattle. As you probably can tell, I like cities located next to a body of water. I prefer large dense cities that are easy to walk. I also have a bit of an East Coast bias, though I like Seattle a lot (reminds me of Vancouver). 

Interesting...What do you think about the city we live in, nashville?

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I think Nashville is a fantastic city, and it is getting better by the day. I moved to Nashville 1998, so I've been able to witness firsthand how far the city has come in a short period of time. Culturally, it's a very distinct place because of how many migrants there are. Very few people you encounter are actually from Nashville originally, so it really is a melting pot of people from every region of the country. It gives the city a very unique feel, which is one of my favorite things about Nashville.

There are still things that need work in my opinion. The big ones for me would be improving overall density, the airport, and public/alternative modes of transit. Fortunately, action is being taken with respect to each of these.

As for density, when I first moved to Tennessee, development was heavily focused on the outskirts of the city (places like Spring Hill and Thompson Station were booming, for example). No one showed much interest in living within the city's core. That's obviously changed substantially for the better (see, e.g., SoBro, Midtown, West End, Germantown, Charlotte Pike, etc.). I'm hoping that trend will continue. The airport expansion should go a long way towards making Nashville's airport truly "international." Direct flights to some major international cities, like London or Tokyo, would be great for business. The transit situation is still pretty bad, but at least people are finally talking about it and taking steps to remedy the situation. There is also attention being paid to things like sidewalks and bike lanes, which would both make getting around without driving much easier.

Overall, Nashville is a great city and a great place to live.

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