Dazzling Downtown!

A Day in the Metropolis

Urban vs Suburban

Although Mississauga is called a city, the suburb is no match for the streets of Downtown, Toronto. Figuratively, everything about the metropolis is just...bigger.

I can't say there's a night and day difference between a suburb and urban area because both are equally developed in terms of technology and running water. But there is a contrast between the atmosphere of the two. This is mainly because the opportunities are different. Mississauga has lots of open space, parks and large houses that families love. The properties are usually big enough for single families and there are lots of programs and community centers for children. There is always more room for further development which keeps the community looking new. The people that live in suburbs are usually middle aged citizens who already have a career, or seniors looking for a quiet place to live. Downtown Toronto, however, lives off its glamour, institutional and commercial land use, public transit and countless universities and colleges. In other words, its perfect for students and young adults at the start of their career. For young adults looking for jobs, there are countless opportunities. Downtown Toronto is constantly constructing new buildings and looking for construction workers. There are lots of retail stores and restaurants for jobs, and corporate headquarters and hospitals for careers. Young adults can take residence in condos at the heart of the city. They are the perfect size for one to two people, are located in convenient places and usually have a great view of the lake shore.

Because of its high population, Downtown is home to many high order goods we may not find in a suburban area. The Eaton Centre is one of the few malls in the city that feature stores with designer brands (Michael Kors, Hot Topic) fancy restaurants/cafes (Starbucks), specialized tech stores (the Apple Store) and others (Indigo, Papyrus). Stores that sell high order goods need a large customer base to stay in business and Downtown Toronto is a perfect place for them to thrive.

Finally, the biggest difference I noticed between Mississauga and Downtown Toronto is the use of transportation. It works very differently in the two communities. A majority of the residents that live in a suburb own vehicles so the roads are wider. They only form of public transportation available is busing. Whereas in Downtown, we can choose between busing, street cars, the subway, taxis and bike rentals. In fact, many people living in Downtown don't own cars because the city offers more to walkers. The roads are very narrow and crowded so driving a during rush hour isn't the most practical way to go. Downtown is well connected above ground as well as under ground (in case of unpleasant weather). There are several entrances to the underground subway system and the PATH. Not only is the PATH North America's largest underground shopping mall complete with all the popular stores and a massive food court, it is also an underground maze that runs through Downtown Toronto. The PATH is connected to all the main buildings in the city which makes it very convenient for people to get to their work and other places.


What I learned...

On my trip to Downtown Toronto, I learned about how the city sustains and reacts to its high population density. Metropolises are usually popular places to live because of the convenience and development. Downtown's population is constantly increasing but I thinking the city is doing a fairly good job at sustaining the population. Most of the residence consists of small families. There are many high rise buildings that provide housing for more than a thousand people in a small area. The city has also provided multi-floor parking lots for the cars owned by its residents. Business that need a high threshold population to run have set up their stores in this area. This benefits both the customers and the company. It's convenient for people to have high order goods sold nearby and the companies are thriving on their business. Unlike Mississauga, Toronto also has a great public transportation system. This is crucial in a city where many people don't own cars. They rely on a system that will get them anywhere at anytime. People have several choices on how they want to travel. They can use street cars, buses, taxis, the subways and rent-able bikes. Because Downtown Toronto is so crowded, there isn't always enough space on the roads for everybody. Lucky for them, the underground path is just as large and usually less crowded. The services of Downtown Toronto serves its residences well and sustains its dense population without much trouble.