Comment 31999

By Lookback (anonymous) | Posted June 22, 2009 at 16:26:43

Yes, there is a problem ghettoizing the poor in this city. So many city services downtown providing social and economic support. The services are needed, and end up in the central city again and again because of NIMBY attitudes in "middle class" neighbourhoods that are better organized politically.

But a few buts.
1. Westdale isn't the wealthy suburb it once was. It's a student ghetto. Another reason to encourage more Mac development downtown.

2. Downtown Hamilton isn't King & James anymore. In a city that stretches from just south of the 401 to the north, almost the Grand River on the south west and almost Grimsby on the east, Hamilton's downtown stretches from Dundas to Parkdale, from the bay to Mohawk Road. And at that, Hamilton is a segment of the GTA. What we're after is building diverse, liveable neighbourhoods throughout this district.

3. You can't build a neighbourhood by first getting rid of its residents. Are you volunteering your home, and those of your neighbours, Capitalist? Attractive neighbourhoods are, by and large, built by giving residents the power and skills to affect their own communities. For a long time the Downtown BIA mantra has been to get rid of downtowners so that downtown businesses can serve people from the suburbs. Can't happen. I think they may be changeing their approach, but I also noticed when north end residents wanted to control traffic speeds in their neighbourhoods, folks from outside cried in horror. To attract the Pan Am games the city plans a stadium smack in the middle of the same residential area, ignoring what a great in-fill housing development the brownfield location would make, and the economic effect of adding thousands of new, mixed-income residents would have on downtown businesses.

Displacing the poor will never solve the city centre's problems.

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