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Old Posted Oct 7, 2020, 8:29 PM
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Great Canadian Neighborhoods

What are the districts or neighborhoods in your city that are worth visiting or living it. What is their typical forms of habitation and what makes those places nice?

I'll start with mine, in Montreal, the borough of Verdun.
It's 10min from downtown (in metro), it has one of the more dynamic commercial street of the city (Wellington St.), a new beach and lot of cultural venues (pre-pandemic..).

It is also the 11th coolest neighborhood in the world (1st in Canada), according to Time Out :


https://www.timeout.com/coolest-neig...nlvMTdVjM3_KSg
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Old Posted Oct 7, 2020, 8:50 PM
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Westdale, Kirkendall, Durand, James North, and Dundas are great. St. Clair has a bunch of beautiful historic homes, but not a lot of nice retail streets. I was really surprised at the scale and sheer amount of mature urban neighbourhoods in Hamilton given the city's small size.

For Toronto, there are probably too many to count. My personal favourite is the Annex, but Leslieville, Riverside, Parkdale, Dundas West, Kensington, Yorkville, St Lawrence, and many more are also great urban neighbourhoods.
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Old Posted Oct 7, 2020, 10:17 PM
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My hometown Edmonton is fairly meh in the interesting neighborhood department, as primarily post war cities are. But it does have some nice places to explore. The most "urban" neighborhoods are Strathcona, Garneau, Westmount, and Oliver. The U of A campus has a great collection of old (~100 yrs) architecture. If you like looking at nice homes with great views Glenora, Crestwood, Parkview, and Belgravia. Terwillegar Town is probably the best neighborhood built in the last 40 or so years in Edmonton in terms of build form. The river valley is of course a great area to explore with hundreds of KM in trails.

Last edited by MattBerryOfficial; Oct 7, 2020 at 10:28 PM.
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Old Posted Oct 7, 2020, 10:37 PM
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This is one of my favourite urban issues to discuss with local friends, and to learn about other cities. I've gone down a deep rabbit hole regarding Cabbagetown in Toronto, for example. I also love how older parts of a city have clearly-defined neighbourhoods, and in newer areas they tend to be relatively meaningless and generic - just the tree-based name of the subdivision, for example.

*****

For St. John's, I'll just explain some of my favourite ones in or very near the core:



Rabbittown is my neighbourhood. It's working class, homes are often dilapidated, lots of newcomers, lots of public housing, lots of rentals, lots of businesses (including the city's only black barbershop). There are old women with rain hats, druggies, and domestic disturbances. My street, for example, was recently in the news for a shooting and police noted they've been there 100+ times this year. Rabbittown is on the crest of the first hill up from the harbour, with Merrymeeting Road dividing it in half. Downhill toward downtown is rowhousing, downhill away from downtown is a mix with a lot of small, post-WWI cottage-style homes. It's an entertaining place to live with a good sense of community. It even had its own theatre company. The neighbourhood pub is the Peter Easton, named for an infamous local pirate.

Georgestown is directly across Bonaventure Avenue from Rabbittown (east). It was the city's first suburb and indistinguishable from the residential rowhouse areas of downtown. It's very gentrified, artistic, colourful. There's a bakery, a cafe, book store, etc. Lots of young professionals, lots of young families, lots of the LGBT crowd. The neighbourhood pub is the Georgestown Pub.

Shea Heights is an infamous one. It used to be a shanty town and after Confederation we were told to either provide public services like water and electricity, or get rid of it. For some reason, we chose the former. The older homes, almost always with nice expansions, still have a bit of shack at their core. In most ways it's a separate town from St. John's. There's even a steep switchback road to get up there. The Circle is similar - it's where public housing blocks were built for residents of the Central Slum when it was bulldozed in the 50s-60s. Used to be infamous, and growing up there would condemn you to a life of poverty. These days, there are LOTS of immigrants with higher standards than the locals and it's much better-kept and with an improving reputation. My neighbourhood is definitely universally seen as worse these days.

The Battery and Signal Hill are postcard St. John's, a well-preserved 17th-Century fishing village in the heart of the city. Narrow, cliffside roads, colourful homes, all of that. Thick accents among the handful of locals who remain, as well as some of the most expensive homes in the city. Lots of Air B&Bs these days.

Quidi Vidi (including The Gut) is a larger version of the same thing, an old fishing village engulfed by the city but still keeping most of its charm. However, modern subdivisions ring it on almost all sides. This is one of the main flashpoints in St. John's between long-time residents and new residents (including Newfoundlanders)/developers. For example, it's no surprise this is where the video of a woman screaming at an Asian brewery owner to go back where he came from was filmed (and fittingly, his family has probably been here longer than hers - generations).

The rest in the core are mostly just varying degrees of each of the above. Riverhead, for example, has the same class of people as Rabbittown and Georgestown mixed, and the housing stock is of a quality somewhere between the two. That sort of thing.
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2020, 12:05 AM
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For Winnipeg, I’d say West Broadway, the Exchange, Wolseley, West End, Point Douglas, River Heights, Corydon/McMillan, and Osborne fit the bill quite nicely.

For Calgary, there’s Inglewood, the Beltline, Bridgeland, Crescent Heights, Kensington (Sunnyside-Hillhurst), Marda Loop, Mission, and Ramsay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattBerryOfficial View Post
My hometown Edmonton is fairly meh in the interesting neighborhood department, as primarily post war cities are. But it does have some nice places to explore. The most "urban" neighborhoods are Strathcona, Garneau, Westmount, and Oliver. The U of A campus has a great collection of old (~100 yrs) architecture. If you like looking at nice homes with great views Glenora, Crestwood, Parkview, and Belgravia. Terwillegar Town is probably the best neighborhood built in the last 40 or so years in Edmonton in terms of build form. The river valley is of course a great area to explore with hundreds of KM in trails.
You forgot McCauley, Alberta Ave, the Highlands, and Beverly. A lot of Edmonton’s best neighbourhoods essentially take a northeast direction from the core.
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  #6  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2020, 1:23 AM
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Vancouver..................Commercial Drive, Main ST north of Broadway.
London......................Old South/Wortley Village, Woodfield/Richmond Row
Victoria.......................Cook Street Village
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  #7  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2020, 3:05 AM
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For Vancouver, I've always liked the Fairview area. I used to live at 18th and Heather, just up from VGH, and it was kinda stunningly beautiful most times of the year.

Westend (particularly Denman St. from Georgia to Davie. Just an awesome neighbourhood with tons of restaurants and watering holes. English Bay is the crown jewel of the neighbourhood.

The Fraser and Kingsway area has really become a cool place to live over the years. Some great restaurants, and a fun populace.

Commercial Drive, of course. My favourite Italian restaurant is there, and it's full of some of Vancouver's most colourful characters.



For Kelowna, downtown has come such a long way that it's barely recognizable from even 10 years ago. Great food, bars and breweries. The boardwalk has really improved as well.

Pandosy Village/Lower Mission (my hometown neighbourhood) is becoming sort of like a second downtown. It's got some good restaurants and watering holes, and is home to Kelowna's most popular beaches. To me, Abbott St. is its crown jewel.
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2020, 3:21 AM
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Originally Posted by giallo View Post
Commercial Drive, of course. My favourite Italian restaurant is there, and it's full of some of Vancouver's most colourful characters.
I think I tried all the pizza places on it (over a period of months), and I can say my favorite is Pizza Garden (northern part of the Drive, just off Napier).

Several times, we treated our employees to pizza from there when they deserved it

(Pizza is one of the safest choices whenever you have to feed a group, though with a mostly South Asian workforce you have to make sure most of the pizzas you get are vegetarian - I learned that pretty quickly.)
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2020, 11:41 AM
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If this is going to be an all Canadian thread it would be great if we used Canadian spelling

For Ottawa great neighbourhoods I believe would be Old Ottawa South, Old Ottawa East, New Edinburgh, Lindenlea, Champlain Park. Others may want to chime in with Hintonburg (neck beards mandatory), Mechanicsville, Westboro or the Glebe.
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2020, 12:20 PM
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For London:
Wortley Village
https://www.neighbourgoodlondon.ca/n...oods/old-south
https://lfpress.com/2013/11/07/wortl...-neighbourhood

Old North
https://www.homesinlondonontario.ca/...-in-old-north/


For Montreal:
Mile End/Mile Ex
Le Plateau Mont Royal
Outremont
Westmount
Montreal Ouest
Town of Mount Royal
McGill Ghetto
Little Italy
Vieux Montreal
Hampstead
Little Burgundy
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2020, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post
Westdale, Kirkendall, Durand, James North, and Dundas are great. St. Clair has a bunch of beautiful historic homes, but not a lot of nice retail streets. I was really surprised at the scale and sheer amount of mature urban neighbourhoods in Hamilton given the city's small size.

For Toronto, there are probably too many to count. My personal favourite is the Annex, but Leslieville, Riverside, Parkdale, Dundas West, Kensington, Yorkville, St Lawrence, and many more are also great urban neighbourhoods.

Parkdale took me by surprise here. What do you find interesting about it? Is it the griminess of it? Or something else? Mind you, I'm not a city dweller so I don't have the same perspective as those who spend more time in the city.
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2020, 12:48 PM
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For Oakville, the three most obvious answers basically anyone would say is Downtown, Bronte Village and Kerr Village. The only places that have village or proper city neighbourhood vibes.
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2020, 12:49 PM
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Parkdale was probably my favourite area I've lived in Toronto, and would move back there happily. It's not far from us now and some of our good friends currently live there so in the area frequently. For me, it's that it feels like a real neighbourhood that offers a range of services for a wide range of demographics - you can get dirt cheap Tibetan food but also go to an upscale wine bar if you want. Lots of dwelling types ranging from relatively affordable highrise apartments to single family homes and everything in between, with some fairly distinctive architecture.

It is grimy and especially during COVID there's a big uptick in visible homeless, but I've never actually felt threatened in Parkdale. Gentrification pressures are quite high, but given the mix of the area it's hard to see it ever turning over at the same speed that say, Ossington did.
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2020, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
For Montreal:
Mile End/Mile Ex
Le Plateau Mont Royal
Outremont
Westmount
Montreal Ouest
Town of Mount Royal
McGill Ghetto
Little Italy
Vieux Montreal
Hampstead
Little Burgundy
My list for Montreal would be quite different. I guess the list depends on what we consider great neighbourhoods. You seem to have a preference for rich, mostly English-speaking neighbourhoods, with big stately homes and quiet streets. Although are the areas you listed are all nice, most are too quiet and almost-suburban to my tastes. Most of them would never make the list of "cool" neighbourhoods. I prefer areas with great lively "main streets" with lots of pedestrians, and dense, leafy residential streets. So my picks would be :
  • Verdun
  • St-Henri / Petite-Bourgogne
  • Rosemont (multiple areas : around Molson Park, around rue Masson and les Shop Angus, Jean-Talon market)
  • Hochelaga (around place Valois)
  • Villeray (from Jean-Talon market to the Met)
  • Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (around Monkland village and Sherbrooke west)
  • Plateau Mont-Royal (pretty much the entire northern half of the neighbourhood, which has multiple interesting areas: the entire length of avenue Mont-Royal, Laurier ave east, Bernard st, Fairmount st, St-Viateur st, Rachel st)
  • Ahunstic (around Fleury)
  • St-Lambert
  • Lower Westmount
  • Outremont (around Bernard st)

But these choices reflect my personal preferences, it's all very subjective.
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2020, 1:04 PM
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^Actually had you asked me 20 years ago my list might be more like yours. But I am now 51 with teenage kids. I used to live in Cote des Neiges and NDG, as well as shorter spells in the East End.

Also, 20-30 years ago, a lot of those neighborhoods were much grittier than they are today.
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2020, 1:06 PM
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Hochelaga is a great name. This will be today’s rabbit hole lol
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2020, 1:12 PM
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^Actually had you asked me 20 years ago my list might be more like yours. But I am now 51 with teenage kids. I used to live in Cote des Neiges and NDG, as well as shorter spells in the East End.
I'm just a few years younger than you and have one teenager and two pre-teens. I like the convenience of central neighbourhoods, where there are tons of places for my kids to meet their friends, hang out, nice parks, bike paths and convenient transit that saves us the hassle of having to give them rides everywhere

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Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
Also, 20-30 years ago, a lot of those neighborhoods were much grittier than they are today.
True. All of these neighbourhoods have improved tremendously (and gentrified) compared to 30 years ago. And this is reflected in the price of houses : a normal-looking triplex is now easily worth $1M+. Fifteen years you could buy one for $300K...
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2020, 1:21 PM
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Parkdale was probably my favourite area I've lived in Toronto, and would move back there happily. It's not far from us now and some of our good friends currently live there so in the area frequently. For me, it's that it feels like a real neighbourhood that offers a range of services for a wide range of demographics - you can get dirt cheap Tibetan food but also go to an upscale wine bar if you want. Lots of dwelling types ranging from relatively affordable highrise apartments to single family homes and everything in between, with some fairly distinctive architecture.

It is grimy and especially during COVID there's a big uptick in visible homeless, but I've never actually felt threatened in Parkdale. Gentrification pressures are quite high, but given the mix of the area it's hard to see it ever turning over at the same speed that say, Ossington did.
I had a very good friend from overseas move to Toronto for a time and so I spent more time in Parkdale than I normally would have in an inner TO neighbourhood.

It was OK but given the hype and lore about it I can't say I was wowed by it.

I realize it's a good location and it's in Toronto, but in terms of quality of life versus what you pay, it didn't seem like that great a trade off to me. Or maybe it was just the specific street or area of Parkdale my friend lived in that had a lot of "bugs".
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2020, 1:21 PM
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Parkdale took me by surprise here. What do you find interesting about it? Is it the griminess of it? Or something else? Mind you, I'm not a city dweller so I don't have the same perspective as those who spend more time in the city.
I lived at Queen and Dovercourt for a few years. Not in Parkdale, but next door, so I spent a lot of time in Parkdale.

The area is very bustling, diverse, and offers a wide variety of amenities from hole in the wall dive bars to high end breweries. It's a great urban neighbourhood, even if it does have a lot of sketchy elements to it. It gets less and less sketchy every year as gentrification pressures are put on it as well - for better or for worse. It's a lot different today than when I lived nearby from 2014 to 2016.
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2020, 1:46 PM
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Winnipeg’s best neighborhoods are mainly around downtown:

1. The Exchange District, especially the east part. Many new and converted condos & apartments. This area has Winnipeg’s best boutique stores, bars and restaurants in general.
2. The Forks in general. The main attraction is Canadian Museum of Human Rights.
3. SHED District. MTS Centre is not that much of an attraction, but True North Square complex is worth a visit.
4. Osborne Village. Recently not as good as before, but many new projects, commercial and residential, will inject new energy into the area. The Corydon Avenue is still pretty good. It has Winnipeg’s most expensive condo.
5. St. Boniface. Beautiful streetscape. Many residential developments and proposals recently.
6. Crescentwood. The oldest affluent neighborhood in Winnipeg I believe. Many century-old houses and mansions. Wellington Crescent has many of Winnipeg's oldest and most expensive properties with values easily over a million dollars.
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