A Downtown with Character

By Jason Leach
Published December 04, 2006

Even a sleepy suburb like Burlington can slowly make choices that lead to a decent urban environment. The Toronto Star quotes Elizabeth Law, owner of an interior decorating business on Brant Street:

"I believe that if you develop your downtown core well, then that's your opportunity to individualize the community,'' says Law. "The city planners have kept the downtown waterfront area wide open to make sure everyone can still see the lake and people love that. Even with all this development, the town has kept its history upfront and centre so it doesn't lose its identity. Customers come into the store and say, `Isn't it great that we finally have a downtown with character?'"

Many people in Hamilton are holding high hopes that our new mayor will back up his talk and make Hamilton's downtown and waterfront the major focus at council. We've had mostly lip service and tonnes of sprawl from council over the past few decades.

Now is the time to admit finally our mistakes and realize that every city and every town on the planet is either healthy or sick depending on its downtown.

Trying to become one of the smallest cities in Canada with a dozen Walmarts isn't going to help us turn things around (unfortunately, we're well on our way to that illustrious goal, which seems to have been the main focus of Council in recent years).

Downtown and our waterfront, both of them ­ lake and harbour ­ will lead the charge for revitalization.

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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