Comment 34227

By jason (registered) | Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:56:22

I've never lived in Vancouver, but have visited and know people who live there and Geoff's assessment is bang on. The ground level is ALL that matters. Go to NYC and tell me if everyone is isolated and doesn't know each other. I don't care if a building is 12 floors or 80 floors. The street level is what matters.

Toronto's street level in the new condo developments is pure garbage. No planning whatsoever. Hamilton's residential neighbourhoods with porches and low density may appear to be inviting for knowing your neighbours, but there's so little within walking distance that everyone gets in their cars and drives elsewhere.

Whether a city is low rise, yet dense like Montreal's St Laurent or high rise dense like NYC Upper West side, the key is the street life and amenities in walking distance. Hamilton has almost none of that. Durand is one of the most dense neighbourhoods in Canada, yet you'd never know it after 6pm.

I've said it a million times and I'll keep saying it (probably until my generation is running the show at city hall in a few decades), our main streets SUCK in this city. Traffic sewers will NEVER allow for community or neighbourhood development.

Until we can start to see our main streets look like the Annex, Beaches, Esplanade etc.... with everything at one's doorstep, don't expect to enjoy true urban living in Hamilton anytime soon.

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