Around the Corner

By Jason Leach
Published February 02, 2006

For all its warts as a boring, suburban bedroom community, Burlington has at least a city council that understands what makes a vibrant community, even if they don't have any models of it in their town. Not yet.

A CHML story talks about the possible revitalization of the Plains Rd .strip in Aldershot.

Right now it looks only a slight step up from Upper James, but the vision for this street is one of mixed uses, pedestrians, transit users and higher density. The same certainly can't be said for Upper James, or anywhere that Hamilton City Council has jurisdiction over.

Burlington Councillor Rick Craven talks about the benefits of having underutilized land and the positive effects of the Greenbelt Legislation. In Hamilton, we ignore underutilized land and continue spiraling into debt fighting those who want to curb sprawl.

Hamilton has over 3,000 acres of brownfield land in the city and several thousands more throughout the city in the form of empty lots and one storey plazas with huge parking lots. Hamilton could seriously add another couple hundred thousand residents to it's current urban area if council wanted to.

Toronto is planning on adding another million people into their current urban area. And I'm sure will continue to attract business and have busy streets as a result. Perhaps Plains Road will become what York Boulevard was supposed to be.

It's right around the corner, yet miles away in mindset and vision.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.


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