It’s harder than it appears: distillating facts and personal musings on the major cities where I’ve lived, worked and cycled so far. Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary are big and jostle for world stage, as Canada’s world-class city.
Several sword points to note:
- Vancouver in my infographic, refers to City of Vancouver. Not 20 other suburban cities around which melt into “Metro Vancouver”.
- Toronto amalgamated in 1999 several nearby cities: Etobicoke, North York, York, East York, Scarborough, Pickering and City of Toronto. Infographic covers this 21st century big Toronto.
- Calgary’s city spread is as big as Metro Vancouver. Metro Vancouver has 2.1 million people. Calgary has 1.2 million. Yes, Calgary sprawls with more low density housing.
- Disinterest about Quebec and Montreal among long-time western Canadians to visit –unless they have family, friends.
- Yet ironically there are historic French speaking towns in central and northern Alberta. I guess their rural voices weren’t loud enough during the fierce French-English language debates in 1970s-1980s.
- Toronto is not monopolized by high-rise buildings. Walk, bike at ground level. You suddenly realize how many trees, lush green parks there are in downtown. Waaaay more than downtown Calgary.
- Calgarians complain too much about car congestion. People talk of saving 5 min. Seriously? Toronto’s average 1 way commute by car can often be 1 hr.
- Toronto has an ever expanding of network inter-city light commuter rail and public bus system (Metrolinx). Daily commuter trains and buses run 120 km. to Kitchener-Waterloo, Peterborough, London. Nothing like this network exists for Calgary yet.
- Cowboys and ranchers never walked Toronto’s history. But the first 1700’s governor of Toronto, Lord Simcoe, did own slaves. The first black city councillor was in 1894.
- Black Canadians (of African, Caribbean descent) in Vancouver are still rare.
- Reduction of Statistics Canada by former Harper government, led to a pathetic online database list of its census studies. I was shocked when I did research for this poster. For 2 decades in my paid professional job as a librarian in government and private sector organizations, we used this rich mine of government data that was critical for Canadian public policy, program planning and market intelligence.
- I look forward to revitalization of Statistics Canada, to provide Canadians strong, deep statistical data and analyses on its people, places and systems.
You may need to adjust your font size to 125+% to read infographic.
Have you lived in parts of your country that were markedly different in different ways?
City of Toronto. Toronto Facts. Accessed Jan. 25, 2016.
Milan, A. et al. A Portrait of Mixed Union Couples. Statistics Canada, 2010.
Statistics Canada. Linguistic Characteristics of Canadians. Accessed Jan. 25, 2016.
Vijayakumar, N. et al. Cycle Cities: Supporting Cycling in Canadians Cities. Pembina Institute, Nov. 2015.