Personally, I want the “cosmopolitan” character we have now with about half the people. I’m born and bred Calgarian and let me tell you, this city is a lot more “cosmopolitan” than what it was when I was growing up.
Now as to what that word means to me, I expect to be able to go eat / drink and have a choice to partake in most world cuisines. I expect that the nightlife will also have a selection of cultural events that span the world. I expect different architectural styles in different parts of the city. I expect there to be little Italys and Chinatowns. I expect to be able to find other people with my own interests and tastes, be they common, or on the more eccentric side. And, from this site’s POV, I expect there to be endless opportunities for photos on a range of subjects.
Are we there yet? Hell no! We will never be there in some respects – New York is New York partly because it’s had the time to develop all the interesting facets it has, unlike Toronto, or Calgary. But, we do have more of the good stuff that makes a big city a tourist attraction than we had 20 years ago. Unfortunately, we have more of the problems too.
I rode home on my bicycle from downtown for the first time today during “rush hour” and I just can’t believe how stressful it is now compared to the last time I would’ve done that oh, 15 years ago or so. *Most* people are fine and reasonable, it’s the assholes and idjits that you remember, and their are enough people on the paths now that the 2% human scum factor is getting to be a real problem. OTOH, I can have a nice ride home along the Bow River (even with the idjits) and not have to fight with the traffic for a good part of the ride home. Not too many cities where you can do that, for sure.
Let me comment on Trever’s original thought, specifically
“anybody coming in that does not have a place to live and a job already, can get turned away.”
What the hell is wrong with that? He’s pretty much stating Ralph Klein’s Creeps and Bums speech in a different way – why would you move to another city without a job and a place is beyond me – but people do it all the time – and in Calgary right now, if you try it, you are more likely that not to get burned. Turning them away would be doing them a favor – there are enough people with jobs but can’t afford a place who end up living on the street as it is. The word has to be gotten out to the rest of the country that a $10/hr job alone is not enough to dig up roots and come out here – you’d better have your living space covered too, and while you’re at it, get a $15/hr job.