Comment 23120

By adrian (registered) | Posted May 14, 2008 at 22:36:33

  1. Basic services:

Good schools, great health care, a good stock of housing at affordable prices, decent roads and more than enough of them, decent infrastructure. Public transportation is lacking but LRT is a great chance to change that.

  1. Beauty and aesthetics:

Unlike nobrainer I see a great deal of beauty in this city. We have many beautiful buildings and many trees. There are many parks and trails even in the core. The escarpment is an excellent natural asset and the trails that run through it give access to remarkable wildlife and vegetation for being directly in the middle of the city.

I also see a lot of beauty in the industrial areas of Hamilton. Fire, smoke and vapor have their own appeal. Call me a true Hamiltonian for that comment.

I do agree with nobrainer about rundown and treeless areas, strip malls, big box stores, sprawl, and so on. Hamilton suffers from two main blights when it comes to these areas, I think: economically depressed areas, and soulless suburban expanses. As a whole, the city gets a C+ on this one.

Openness:

So-so, I think. There is a lot of ethnic diversity, and tolerance for it, but less so in some of the other categories. Hamilton has plenty of immigrants and minorities, but other groups are not so much tolerated as invisible.

Like many other communities, I get the sense that many parts of Hamilton do not foster opportunities to "meet people and form relationships". I think that parts of downtown do this well but that many other areas are populated by people who drive to and from work without too much interaction along the way.

Try a simple experiment: compare the number of people you can strike up a conversation with, if you try to, at the Farmer's Market, or at the grocery store. Heck, there are some stalls in the market I have to avoid if I am in a hurry because I can't get out of there without a 10-minute gab fest!

Physical and economic security:

Hamilton is deficient in this area. I think we are a physically safe city, by and large, but we are really lacking good job opportunities. Most of the best jobs for web developers like me are in cities like Toronto and Ottawa. The same goes for many other highly-skilled professions. We need more advanced industries here, especially big companies. A company like Waterloo's RIM would be fantastic.

There are a lot of factors that go into creating that type of thing but I do not feel that Hamilton's leadership is really intent on creating these types of jobs, attracting these industries, or assisting the companies that are already here. I work at a successful design firm with many clients here and internationally, but has the city ever approached us to offer any kind of economic assistance, tax breaks, or anything of that nature? No.

Leadership:

A major failing point for this city. Leadership in this city is weak, ineffective, short-sighted, unambitious. It is marked by squabbling, cronyism, a patronizing attitude and an apparent inability to apply the lessons of the past to present and future problems.

In some areas, progress is being made on this front. But quite frankly, Ryan, we'd be a lot better off if you were running the show.

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