Toronto’s Suburbia

24 Nov

From Spacing.ca, proof that urbanists don’t have to be haughtily dismissive and condescending of a city’s suburbs. Fascinating:

An upcoming Spacing Magazine theme will be “The Suburbs” — we’ve tried hard to include writing about Toronto’s inner boroughs in our print magazine and on this blog, but think we need to dedicate an entire issue to these interesting places that will be where much of Toronto’s future unfolds. We’ll be putting that issue together in 2009, but until then we’re pleased to be partnering with the Scarborough Arts Council and The Centre for Creative Communications at Centennial College on a series of public discussions on our suburbs…

…Once seen as quiet bedroom communities far from the noise of the urban core, Toronto’s inner suburbs have become centres of activity – culturally vibrant, diverse and ever changing.

Granted, Toronto is the melting pot of all melting pots, and it’s a city that has seen explosive growth over the past few decades, but here there’s a mutual respect as one might expect of a city and region that doesn’t have time for petty nonsense.

Buffalo, by contrast, has time for nothing but petty nonsense.

6 Responses to “Toronto’s Suburbia”

  1. Colin November 24, 2008 at 9:50 am #

    I’ll be happy to be proven wrong, but I doubt that the suburbs of Toronto were created in anything like the same way as the suburbs of Buffalo. Different baggage.

  2. Shawn Micallef November 24, 2008 at 10:05 am #

    There is some nonsense — lots of downtown hipster junk about Toronto’s suburbs that is not very thoughtful and kneejerk and…dumb — but there are quite a few projects/books/art etc look at suburban stuff in a good way. But “The 905” (area code for the farther burbs) or “Scarborough and Mississauga — the “S&M Crowd” — are heard as commonly as “bridge and tunnel” in NYC. That will change over time, but always some of it will be there.

    Colin — yeah, they did form without much White Flight (says me, a white guy) — more motivated by the postwar dream of more space, pools, automobile etc. So we don’t have that baggage — and the inner city never emptied out here.

  3. mark November 24, 2008 at 10:34 am #

    its much harder to criticize a region with growth like toronto for their rate of suburbanization.

    the buffalo region has increased its land use 75% during its 10% drop in population. although hipsters and urban snobs can always thumb their noses at any suburb…the rust belt ones truly deserve the thorough critique they face.

  4. FancyWow November 24, 2008 at 12:11 pm #

    good stuff here on cleveland jealously looking at Cleve

    http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2008/11/pittsburghs_renaissance_holds.html

    I think there is good merit to this type of comparitive analysis, just wish someone was looking from Buffalo’s perspective on how to translate and implement these best practices in WNY.

  5. FancyWow November 24, 2008 at 12:13 pm #

    or looking at pitt…

  6. Snarky Snarkmore McSnarkamaphone November 24, 2008 at 12:25 pm #

    Apples and Oranges, BP; Apples and Oranges.

    In 1954, the City of Toronto was federated into a regional government known as Metropolitan Toronto.[26] The postwar boom had resulted in rapid suburban development, and it was believed that a coordinated land use strategy and shared services would provide greater efficiency for the region. The metropolitan government began to manage services that crossed municipal boundaries, including highways, water and public transit. In 1967, the seven smallest municipalities of the region were merged into their larger neighbours, resulting in a six-municipality configuration that included the old City of Toronto and the surrounding municipalities of East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough and York. In 1998, the metropolitan government was dissolved and the six municipalities were amalgamated into a single municipality, creating the current City of Toronto, where David Miller is the current Mayor.

    Nothing of the sort, naturally, figures into the Buffalo/suburb divide.

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