For many years, downtown Montreal (like Calgary) was a destination. You went there either to work or play but not to live. In recent years, there has been a condo boom in downtown Montreal as people have embraced living in the inner city.
Also surprising in a different way is Edmonton. Even though the defined downtown area is a larger area, actually losing density is somewhat alarming. I was thinking maybe they added more area to Edmonton's boundaries from 2016 to 2021, but from what I can see it's the same map. Somehow they lost population in that area over the past 5 years.As large as Calgary's downtown looks in that diagram, it's interesting that it has the smallest area of the "Big 6" cities in Canada. It's interesting how large they drew Toronto and Edmonton's downtowns. They're capturing a lot of single family home neighbourhoods within those boundaries.
Here's the geographic sizes of each big city downtown, along with population densities in 2016 and 2021. I'm quite surprised by Montreal's growth. I clearly haven't been paying enough attention to that city.
City Area (km2) Pop Density (2016) Pop Density (2021) Growth Rate Vancouver 6.2 18,309 18,837 3% Toronto 16.6 14,319 16,608 16% Montréal 13.2 6,679 8,367 25% Ottawa 9.7 6,466 6,847 6% Calgary 6 6,444 7,778 21% Edmonton 11.5 4,869 4,845 0%
StatsCan assembled the downtown areas out of their existing dissemination areas, which are small areas intended to be consistent through time, compact, follow neighbourhood boundaries, etc. And which have around 400-700 people per DA. Here are DAs in central Calgary:For the non-data nerds out there, can you explain why Prince's Island Park and the Stampede grounds are part of "Downtown Calgary"? The rest of the boundaries make intuitive sense to me.
Some of the posters on that forum are unbearable. I don't even bother going on it unless i'm desperate to scroll through 500 different images of MontrealI'm just joking about how those guys are so preoccupied with Calgary and react every time someone says something good about Calgary lol.
This is where Montreal's unique style really shines through, it's downtown is impressive but that's not it's urban population base. Here's the Downtown + urban fringe 2021 population table:Montreal's population density is barely larger than Calgary's. I'm sure those guys are all freaking out on SSP right about now lol.
Is it possible to include area with those stats?This is where Montreal's unique style really shines through, it's downtown is impressive but that's not it's urban population base. Here's the Downtown + urban fringe 2021 population table:
View attachment 379412
Montreal's city centre at one point was much like Calgary's - over-built with offices and limited population. Only in the past decade has the Toronto condo-style boom really hit the city which is why the downtown is significantly growing again.
But Montreal's real secret was absolutely massive inner city population in their high-density, low-rise/walkup neighbourhoods right nearby. I don't have the previous census data to back this up, but of the amount of people less than 10 minutes from downtown, Montreal has never been beaten in absolute scale, easily beating Toronto in magnitude, despite Toronto's decades of endless tower construction.
I'll see if I can find the data table, but it's generally the neighbourhoods you'd think around the city centre of Montreal.Is it possible to include area with those stats?
I could literally play around on Census Mapper all day!View attachment 379378
Population change: https://censusmapper.ca/maps/3054#10/51.0543/-114.0710
The red area around Sunnyside is surprising, but I imagine it is a result of the demolition of a large number of rental units in recent years. The condemned rental apartment on 10th street would have taken a couple hundred residents away alone.
The other thing to note is that the trend of strong growth in the inner city and greenfield suburbs coupled with population loss in 1960s-2000s era suburbs continues.
It's too bad Statscan didn't just define the radius of the "urban fringe" from a central point rather than making it in respect to the boundaries of what they define as downtown. Obviously the larger the "downtown" the larger the population of the urban fringe is going to be. Which is fine, but it makes it difficult to compare cities and explains why Vancouver's urban fringe + downtown population is roughly half that of Montreal's as it captures a much smaller area.I'll see if I can find the data table, but it's generally the neighbourhoods you'd think around the city centre of Montreal.
Here's the map on the StatsCan website as an example. "urban fringe" is dark green. Fringe + Downtown = 828K people in 2021.
This is where using density as a measure of "downtown" really starts to fall apart. Mississauga's "downtown" is just a massive number of high-rises dropped onto a grid of 7-lane car sewers and centred on a sea of surface parking lots surrounding a suburban-style mall (Square One).Interesting that the Mississauga and Burnaby downtowns are a little more dense than downtown Calgary
See Table 4
From 2016 to 2021, the downtown populations of Canada's large urban centres grew at almost twice the pace of the urban centres as a whole, despite a pause during the pandemic. At the same time, urban spread continued, and was accelerating in many urban centres, particularly in suburbs located...www150.statcan.gc.ca
THe Marda Loop area has been one of Calgary's best success stories over the last 20 years. If we could have a couple more neighbourhoods emerge like that we will be in good shapeI could literally play around on Census Mapper all day!
Pretty impressive population increase in South Calgary / Altadore 11,182 >>> 12,370 (+1,188; +10.6%).