Canada and neighboring USA seem similar but they actually have many differences.
Whereas Canada has free public health, trade unions and public schools, the US is a country based on private institutions.
Canadian and US cities may seem profoundly similar. Both highlight a remarkable multi-ethnicity, impressive transport infrastructures, a high socio-economic level and vast urban suburbs but, if these characteristics are examined in detail, many contrasting elements emerge and the differences in the urban landscape between the USA and Canada are significant.
Urban Development - The major US cities tend to experience the presence of larger urban suburbs compared to similar Canadian cities.
In the States, although some small towns have recently increased their inner population, their growth has been the result of the enlargement of the urban territory.
On the other hand, while controlling the demographic data after territorial expansion, the most populous Canadian cities presented a demographic explosion starting from their core.
The difference in intensity between the demographic collapse in the United States and that in Canada must be attributed to the different approach of the two countries to the problem of urban development. The US metropolitan areas are strongly characterized by the use of the car while the Canadian ones are more focused on public transport and pedestrian traffic.
The United States has one of the most complex transport networks in the world with over 4 million miles of roads the US can move more population and more goods to more places than anywhere else in the world.
Unlike their southern neighbors, Canada has only 650,000 total miles of roads.
It should be noted that Canada has only one tenth of the population and most of its territory is uninhabited or covered by permanent ice. But despite this, Canadian metropolitan areas do not depend heavily on the use of the car as their US neighbors. Regarding the use of public transport, the Canadian average is more than double that of the US, which contributes to its urban centrality and its general higher population density.
The Canadian cities are also very close to the European style of urban development, which firmly supports the use of territory favorable to pedestrians and bicycles.
Immigration - Because of their long relationship with immigration, both the United States and Canada have become largely multi-ethnic nations. Through the process of the immigration chain, many of the immigrants arrived settled throughout North America in different ethnic enclaves. Thanks in part to today's cultural acceptance and appreciation, many of these immigrants have been able to transform their ethnic segregation and neighborhoods into a normal and accepted part of many modern Western cities.
Although the development of minorities in the cities of the USA and Canada is very similar, their levels of integration and demographics differ. A fundamental divergence can be summarized in the contrast between the melting pot of the United States and the Canadian cultural mosaic. In the United States most immigrants integrate fairly quickly, while in Canada ethnic minorities tend to remain rather separate, both culturally and geographically.
There is also a demographic diversity between the two countries. In the United States, Hispanics and African Americans are the two most important minority groups and Spanish is the second language both spoken and written throughout the United States. This naturally derives from the geographical proximity of the USA to the countries of Latin America.
In contrast, in Canada the most important minority groups come from South Asia and China. The massive presence of these two groups is attributable to their colonial relationship with Great Britain. Many of these immigrants are rich and have bought a large amount of real estate in all areas and, as a consequence of all this, while in the US ethnic enclaves are usually established in the center of the cities, the Canadian ones have instead spread in the suburbs.