Richard Florida on Tor-Buf-Chester


Richard Florida wrote in the Globe and Mail (and I can't link because of their stupid fence) about the possible economic engine that could be Toronto, Buffalo and Rochester.

Tor-Buff-Chester is bigger than the San Francisco-Silicon Valley mega-region, Greater Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai, and more than twice the size of Cascadia, which stretches from Vancouver to Seattle and Portland. Its economic might is equivalent to more than half of all of Canada's. If it were its own country, it would number among the 16 biggest in the world, with economic output bigger than that of Sweden, the Netherlands, or Australia.

Instead, we have two American cities that are in decline when they should be succeeding, and a border that gets harder to cross as new security measures are imposed. It is so crazy and wasteful that in one city people are lining up on the street to pay $1500 a foot for condos and fifty miles away in another city they are demolishing 5,000 houses.

Attempts have been made to link the cities more closely; Rochester tried to run a ferry to Toronto, which failed after two years. This wasn't a surprise; it got little or no support from Governments on this side of the lake, and the incompetent Toronto Port Authority couldn't put up a building in time. Rochester journalist Mitchell Kaidy writes:

As the last ripples disappeared from the recent attempt to link Rochester by ferry across Lake Ontario with Toronto, a vast economic potential disappeared with them.....

The American-Canadian border always has been a model of amity between our two nations. Placed in its proper perspective, the huge catamaran's initial stumble amounted to a tryout rather than a failure. And if it stumbled, the failure resulted from the two national governments' lack of vision – that is, not grasping the phenomenal future benefits of promoting both trade and passenger traffic across this vast waterway all year round.

Only on that national level are the resources available to durably inaugurate this highly productive economic link between two peaceful nations and two cities that are inextricably linked by nature.

::The Star

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