Comment 17226

By Rusty (registered) - website | Posted January 16, 2008 at 18:28:57

Great discussion... I live in the St Lawrence neighbourhood and I would echo Highwaters comments about its livability. It's a great neighbourhood. It occurs to me though, after living here for 18 months now, that the income mix is a very delicate thing to design. In amidst the co-op housing is a couple of high end condos with no affordable housing built in at all. The condos are very desirable. At the bottom of my street of 3 and 4 bedroom town houses are some split level co-op houses and rentals. This is known as the 'dodgy' end of the street, although, interestingly, apart from the fact that it runs onto Parliament and butts onto a humungous, bland, imposing co-op condo block with no appeal, there is really nothing 'dodgy' about it. It appears that this small concentration of affordable housing is enough to warrant the label.

My point is that, if you get the housing mix right, and don't concentrate one housing type in a specific area, you can get a really good neighbourhood. As soon as you get a square quarter mile of strictly middle class houses or rentals then you get that concentration which is so destructive.

As for the Lister I say it should be turned into high end condos. There is already a lot of low income housing and services downtown and the only way to get the right mix would be to encourage more yuppies and middle class types. I think folks would buy into it, but like anything, it would take a little more than just a nice condo. Higher incomes types would need to see amenities and jobs and good transit to go along with it. Downtown has a lot of these to offer. However, the problem with Hamilton is that it has so many problems! And there is still very little indication that the City knows how to deal with any of them. The only folks that appear to be moving there are the ones who can't afford to live anywhere else, or the ones who are naive enough to think Hamilton will turn around anytime soon. I hope it does, and for certain there are signs of change, but the momentum is not really there right now.

Turn the streets two-way, put in a light rail, turn the Lister into high end condos - now there's a recipe for change :)



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