Beast Meets West

By Jason Leach
Published May 09, 2005

The Ancaster News reports that a recent meeting of the Ancaster Community Council decided to pursue options to "harmonize" the green, historic west side of Ancaster to the treeless, warehouse-filled east side.

Residents expressed the fact that Ancaster was once known as a pretty, almost Niagara-on-the-Lake type of town, but now is known as a horrendous suburban blob with no history or good planning.

I've got news for these well-meaning folks who, like the rest of us, can plainly see the destructive effects of suburban sprawl on their once-fine town: unless you're willing to bring in the bulldozers, there ain't no going back.

Put in all the roundabouts and decorative street lights you want - the Meadowlands has been a horrible development from the time it began and continues to shatter its own standards for lousy planning and promoting the most unhealthy, car-dependent lifestyles possible.

As Trevor Shaw wrote in last month's issue, the only good thing about the Meadowlands is that it "can't get any worse." In most cities I'd believe that, but I'm sure Hamilton will find a way to outdo itself.

If you think it's bad seeing the effects on your own neighbourhood, try being a downtown dweller like myself and having that never-ending blob of concrete to remind me of how my tax money is being spent.

To folks in Ancaster, the Mountain and everywhere else around Hamilton's urban core I simply say this: Go wild! Build all the meadowless lands you want, but please stop taking tax money from the lower city to do it!

As for the efforts to harmonize east and west Ancaster I suggest you try to rid yourself of the east. I'm sure Hamilton Mountain would love to take it.

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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