Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Archive for the ‘Ontario’ Category

The Heart of the Ottawa Valley

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Nestled on the shore of the mighty Ottawa River, Pembroke is the largest regional centre between Ottawa and North Bay. Just an hour and a half from Canada’s capital, it has a unique, rich cultural heritage, as it was settled in the early 1800s by tree prospectors looking for tall pines to use as masts for her Majesty’s fleet of tall ships. That exploration brought people from England, Ireland, Scotland, Poland, France and Germany – and they brought with them their unique music and dance – particularly, the easily portable fiddle. Today, that music rings throughout the city every Labour Day Weekend at the Old Time Fiddling and Step Dancing Competition that attracts musicians and afficionados of traditional music, from all over Canada and the U.S.

Pembroke is unique in Canada, and local people speak with a “Valley” accent, a mix of the first settlers languages. The creative talent is amazing in this area, and with the addition of broadband, it means that many more of our youth are choosing to stay home, while able to work anywhere in the world from their laptops. As a regional centre, there has been huge infrastructure investment recently (for a city with a population of 15,000 and a CMA of 74,000) Algonquin College is getting a new campus starting in 2010; the hospital has almost doubled in size and is now a regional health care centre with telecommunications link to CHEO and the Ottawa Heart Institute; the Superior Court House has undergone major expansion and award winn! ing reno vations; and the French School Board has built a new K-12 school and community centre.It’s a small, friendly city, a national Communities in Bloom winner, and one of the best places in Canada to call home!

Sent by Susan from Pembroke, Ontario

Sudbury

Monday, August 10th, 2009

morning-view-1If you appreciate and enjoy a simple, active lifestyle, Sudbury is the place to be. 4 seasons of events, sports and culture make it a vibrant small city on the edge of the boreal forest. Hiking, fishing, boating, canoeing, climbing, skiing, snowmobiling are all accessible fromj your back door. The landscape is stunningly beautiful, contrary to popular belief. The photo shows the view from my backyard, on Long Lake, which is a 10 minute drive to the main shopping district in town. There are hundreds of similar small lakes and rivers in the city limits where clusters of suburban and rural communities develop. Laurentian University is located overlooking gorgeous Ramsay Lake and attracts students from around the world to its small classes and bilingual programmes.

The downtown is not great now, but is being revitalized with a new million school of architecture opening in 2013. Spinoffs from this bold move will be fantastic as young people bring new ideas and energy to these old downtown streets. The city has many significant cultural and government institutions including a major research hospital, Science North and Dynamic Earth science centres, the world-class Neutrino Laboratory, a very important film festival and thriving arts, music and theatre scene. A small food scene is emerging, as well as a strong environmental and ecological approach to innovation, technology and tourism. I relocated here from Toronto to be closer to family and do not miss the big city at all, especia lly when I can go for a swim or a ski on the lake at 6pm after getting home from work, or paddle my canoe to be closer to the loons on the water.

Sent by Pierre from Sudbury, Ontario

Oakville

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

oakvilleontarioOakville Ontario is one of this country’s best small cities. In addition to its excellent lakefront location in such close proximity to Toronto, it boasts a very high quality of life, a great downtown, 2 marinas, lots of parks and great schools.  Half of Oakville’s residents have a university degree which makes this a very interesting and dynamic place to live.

Sent by Ben from Oakville, Ontario

Kingston, Ontario

Monday, April 20th, 2009

A nice example of a walkable city. Close to the downtown core, most essential services are available, with a vibrant arts and music community, and one of the top Canadian universities close by, in addition to the Royal Military College.

Sent by JG from Kingston, Ontario

Edgy Potential

Monday, March 9th, 2009

wycbarbWindsor, Ontario – Living here at the moment is a little scary with increasing numbers of boarded up stores and closing businesses. We’re definitely on the job loss cutting edge. It’s odd though that still remarkably stupid people continue to talk about another bridge to Detroit creating even more truck traffic and resulting pollution even as the economy changes and the need for such a bridge evaporates. But Windsor also has huge potential for success. As the most southern city in Canada it has remarkable water ways and a much warmer client than the rest of Canada. As a grape growing area it has already marketed world renowned vintages and could become a much bigger tourist destination. With a university and a medical school affiliation, a regional cancer centre and many complementary health practitioners, it could become a centre for research and practice of alternative health modalities. And with a clearly collapsing casino and a less than healthy population, not only do we have a wonderful site for research in the casino and attached hotels on issues such as work life and environmental stress, but we also have access to both control and test subjects right here in this community. There are many artists here as well as musicians. It will be interesting to see where those visionaries take us.

Sent by Barbara from Windsor, Ontario