ChicagoToronto? Chiconto? Torongo?

As I mentioned before, I was recently in Chicago for a conference. The first thing that struck me was Chicago’s similar shape to Toronto.

I decided to confirm my suspicions with Google Maps’ rotating feature, and the results are in:

Toronto Chicago

Looks pretty much the same! Our sister city is really our twin? From this map we can see that Chicago’s highway system and street grid is highly rational. I’m also more aware of Toronto’s larger grid system (the scales of each are similar, not exact. Hey, it’s Google maps). Also, Toronto seems to have a lot more greenery than Chicago.

If Toronto and Chicago had a child, it would look like this (my location would be at the University College of Chicagotoronto):


One thing that strikes me is how similar Chicago’s highway system is to our subway system. If you squint a bit, you can see it here, where only Chicago’s highways and Toronto’s subways are shown:

Toronto Chicago sub By the way, this is Chicago’s CTA rail system:

Toronto Chicago sub2




For the Chicagoans reading this, here’s a map of Toronto rotated:

Chicago Toronto

  1. rachelmakingthings said:

    Cool! I’ve always wanted to visit Toronto; I’ve heard the cities have similar overall vibes… maybe the geography has something to do with it! Are there certain areas that are grossly underserved by the subway/public transportation in Toronto? That’s certainly one of Chicago’s most glaring issues.

    • Sheraz said:

      I think they do have similar vibes, but I would say they differ a lot in architecture. In terms of transit, Toronto has a really extensive bus network, but the subway does not extend as far out as the CTA does. Toronto also has a big traffic problem on our major highways… if you ever meet a Torontonian, ask them about “The Gardiner” and see what happens :)

  2. Sherif said:

    Torocago would be my pick. It would be interesting to look at sprawl over time in both (any common patterns?) given that their coastline orientations are almost perpendicular to each other.

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