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Thread: Buffalo VS Toledo

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Buffalo VS Toledo

    Lake Erie, the second-smallest Great Lake (in terms of area) and the shallowest of the lakes. Giant Cleveland, in the center, anchoring the lake. To Cleveland's right, at the eastern end, is Buffalo. To Cleveland's left, at the western end, is Toledo.

    Buffalo and Toledo appear to have a lot in common.

    Both are struggling rust belt cities. Both have large neighborhoods with eastern European heritage. Both have great collections of older buildings. (Cyburbia's gallery has great Buffalo pictures of older buildings. A tour of Toledo would show much the same, although smaller and fewer.) (Side note: SAC has posted great pictures of Toledo's homes.)

    Both cities are low on the list of metros to grab certain upscale retail and upscale restuarants. Both cities have great local sausages , still available. Both cities have an industrial background that has somewhat withered over the years.

    The core city population of both communities is similar. In 1980, Buffalo was at 357,870 and Toledo was at 354,635. By the turn of the century, both core cities were considerably smaller in population.

    In terms of metropolitan area, Buffalo is 43rd, with 1,170,111, a metro about four (4) times the size of its' core city. Toledo is 69th, with 618,203, a metro about twice the size of its' core city. The metro size is one (1) of the biggest differences between the two (2) Lake Erie cities.

    Buffalo's market would appear to be a dominant western New York force. Buffalo is much bigger than any nearby city. Toledo, OTOH, is dominated by a very-close metro Detroit (only about 40 miles).

    The two (2) communities have universities that play in the same sports league (Mid-American Conference). Their professional baseball teams compete in the same league (International, Triple A ball). Buffalo wins between the two (2) when looking at major-league sports. The Buffalo Bills (never given enough credit for being to 4 Super Bowls!) and the Buffalo Sabres (remember hockey?) grace the major league level of football and hockey.

    Both cities rank very well in terms of air quality. Unfortunately, some of this improvement was related to industrial plant closings. Both communities have ample recreational opportunities nearby. Buffalo has Niagara Falls, the hills of western New York, Lake Erie's eastern basin, and the wild north-of-Toronto (relatively close). Toledo has the western basin of Lake Erie, considered to be among the best sports fishing places in the world, Cedar Point (always rated the best coaster park in the world), and access to the wilds of northern Michigan (relatively close).

    Both cities have at least "considered talking about" the topic of regional government. Both metros would probably be much more visible (and perhaps stronger) if some of the principles of regional government trickled down.

    My guess is that the "person from Buffalo" or the "person from Toledo" both view their community as hometown, great place to raise a family, just the right size, etc.

    Welcoming your thoughts about both or either.....

    Nastrovia!

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  2. #2
    I know a lot about Buffalo and not too much about Toledo.

    Buffalo does have Rochester (Approx 1 M metro though I think the feds exaggerate that a bit) within an hour drive and Hamilton Ontario (500 thou metro) also within 1 hour drive. Buffalo is also within a 1 1/2 hour drive of mega city Toronto (7M metro). There is a population of an additional 400,00 people directly on the Canadian Boarder with Buffalo and its suburbs including towns and cities such as Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, and St, Catherines among others.

    The juxtaposition with Toronto is very good for Buffalo in that Buffalo gets the benefit of being very near a major city without the down side of being overwhelmed by it such as Providence to Boston or Toledo to Detroit etc. The Boarder gives Buffalo just enough isolation to stand on its own as a unique place form the mega city. Some day Buffalo will come to understand that Toronto is a gold mine waiting to be discovered.

    Buffalo is both adversely and positively affected by New York City. I think a large percentage of the people in this country believe that Buffalo is near NYC and have little understanding of it as a place. NYC also dominates the state government to a huge degree making Buffalo's issue very unimportant in Albany. NYC does give NYS great prestige that Buffalo could use to its benefit if they only tried

    Buffalo may look similar in size to Toledo as a city but in reality it is and has been a much bigger and more influential city than T throughout its history. Buffalo was once the 8th largest city in the country. Its city population peeked just under 600,000 in the 50's (plummeting ever since). Its metro is still close to 2 times the size of Toledo. Buffalo's early wealth and size has left it with an extraordinary cultural gift of great architecture and museums, etc. I believe its cultural legacy is unsurpassed by any city its size. It holds its own with many larger cities as well. If ever in town do not miss the Albright Knox Art Gallery. It is a true treasure.

    Buffalo also sits is an extraordinary geographic place. Bordering Canada along the Niagara river it sits between Two Great Lakes with the beautiful and wild Allgheny Mountains to the South and of course the mighty Niagara Falls sit just 30 minutes north of Downtown.


  3. #3
    Cyburbian UpstateNYRox's avatar
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    Toledo vs Syracuse would be more of a fair comparison. Buffalo is on another level.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Buffalo seems to have more of a popular identity with the Bills, wings, and obscene snow.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by UpstateNYRox
    Toledo vs Syracuse would be more of a fair comparison. Buffalo is on another level.
    If population was the only factor being talked about, I would agree. Toledo's core is more populated than Syracuse but the Syracuse metro is (I think) bigger.

    The intent of my post was that there are a number of similarities between T & B. One (1) could almost say that Buffalo is a "large version" of Toledo OR Toledo is a "small version" of Buffalo.

    steel .....Toledo also had a lot of late 19th Century wealth that led to the establishment of a museum considered to be in the Top 10 in the country, the Toledo Museum of Art. Toledo's Zoo also rates very high.....often considered the "most complete" zoo in North America.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  6. #6
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    Toledo has a Mexican barrio...the only one in Ohio. That makes it more akin to places like Fort Wayne, South Bend, Milwaulkee, Chicago, and perhaps other "western" Great Lakes region cities.

    Does Buffalo have a Mexican neighborhood?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally posted by Trinity Moses
    Toledo has a Mexican barrio...the only one in Ohio. That makes it more akin to places like Fort Wayne, South Bend, Milwaulkee, Chicago, and perhaps other "western" Great Lakes region cities.

    Does Buffalo have a Mexican neighborhood?
    Buffalo does not have a major Mexican community. It does have a substatial and mostly poor Puertorican community on the lower west side.

    Buffalo's zoo is th second oldest in the country. It is small and quaint with some real architectural gems however many of its exhibits are out dated. They are currently progressing on a major remake of the place and it promises to be quite nice when complete. Because of its small urban scale it will never be one of the greats such as San Diego but its urban siting is very nice and adds a lot to the city.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    I recall reading/hearing a few years back that Buffalo had the lowest immigration rate of major American cities. Anyone else here this or know where these statistics may be found?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983
    I recall reading/hearing a few years back that Buffalo had the lowest immigration rate of major American cities. Anyone else here this or know where these statistics may be found?
    That is likely true. With Buffalo's stagnant economy its metro has been looseing population. With few available jobs it is unlikely an imigrant would be attracted. The irony is that a strong imigrant influx to Buffalo would probably improve the economy and the state of many inner city neighborhoods.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Kicking open an old thread.

    As I indicated in the earlier posts, even though very different in size and influence, Buffalo and Toledo share some similarities.....including one that has been discussed in another recent thread......perception.

    Bear
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  11. #11
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    Kicking open an old thread.

    As I indicated in the earlier posts, even though very different in size and influence, Buffalo and Toledo share some similarities.....including one that has been discussed in another recent thread......perception.

    Bear
    I think that most of the Rust Belt cities clustered around the Great Lakes share a lot of general similarities despite their variations in size, which is probably a result of when these cities had their "glory days": the late 19th century into the 1950s. These would include both Toledo and Buffalo, but also Cleveland, Rochester, Detroit, Gary, Chicago, Milwaukee, Erie (PA), and other smaller cities. They were mostly reliant on heavy industry, and they have paid a very high price for that in terms of job losses (both from manufacturing leaving AND from manufacturing becoming much less labor intensive), environmental pollution, and social costs. It's the social costs, I think, that make it hard for the Great Lakes cities to change to meet the challenges facing all American cities in the 21st century -- and why most of them tend to get "bad raps".

    These cities have high concentrations of residents who descend from immigrants from southern and eastern Europe. They also have significant percentages of black residents because blacks from the South were drawn by the same manufacturing jobs that drew immigrants from Europe. They tend to have higher rates of ethnic/racial segregation than similar sized cities elsewhere in the US, probably because of the tendency of immigrants to want to live near people who were like themselves (this would also apply to black migrants).

    Moreover, the large number "good jobs" available in manufacturing into the 1970s tended to lower the educational levels of residents, since many residents opted to work in steel mills or assembly plants for "big bucks now" rather than attend college with the plan of making "big bucks later" (or maybe not make "big bucks at all" -- teachers, nurses, etc). This phenomenon has led to cities like Toledo and Buffalo and Milwaukee getting the reputation for being "blue collar" and "un-hip" even while younger residents' educational levels have risen and their attitudes have changed.

    Most of the GL cities, with the exception of Detroit and Chicago, didn't have a large concentration of corporate headquarters, so they wouldn't have had lots of executive jobs. As corporations became conglomerates, the smaller GL cities lost many of the HQ jobs they did have, and with them, the prestige, jobs, and money that nationally known corporate HQs bring to an area.

    These cities have all tried to "reinvent" themselves, but only Chicago has truly been successful at it. It's probably the only one of the GL cities/metros that seems to be attracting people rather than bleeding them. I suspect that Chicago's success is based on a number of factors, including its size (size DOES matter when cities attempt to attract business it would seem) as well as its variety of industries other than heavy manufacturing (ie, meat packing, railroads, etc.).

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    Most of the GL cities, with the exception of Detroit and Chicago, didn't have a large concentration of corporate headquarters, so they wouldn't have had lots of executive jobs. As corporations became conglomerate, the smaller GL cities lost many of the HQ jobs they did have, and with them, the prestige, jobs, and money that nationally known corporate HQs bring to an area.
    Good observation, with Toledo as a prime example.....

    Toledo was once HQ for:

    Champion Spark Plug
    Prestolite
    Libbey-Owens-Ford
    Willys-Overland
    Questor
    Owens-Illinois
    Dana

    All were Fortune 500 companies. Owens-Illinois left the CBD and moved to a spanking new campus-style HQ, in suburban Perrysburg. Dana is in the process of leaving their sprawling campus-style HQ in west Toledo and moving to smaller HQ digs in the suburbs. The others hit the road or were part of a consolidation process.

    Toledo still has "The Pink Panther".....Owens-Corning, in a relatively new and modern HQ building in the CBD, on the shores of the Maumee River.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

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