Comment 34584

By Hopeful (registered) | Posted October 08, 2009 at 01:17:03

I remember inadvertently starting a Hamilton Burlington debate on another piece awhile ago when I stuck up for Burlington by suggesting that, perhaps, they had embraced and supported some progressive urban thinking better than the big city next door as they grew over the past few decades.
I have to side with those who say that the "powers that be" in the Hammer (and their seeming inability to use some foresight in their decision making) are the City's worst enemies. Hamilton has allowed decay, ghettoization and bad planning to occur which have simply made large areas of the City unappealing to those with options. At the same time, they have routinely ignored the advice of their own staff and outside experts by supporting, and indeed at times encouraging, inappropriate new development. While this may have enriched some property owners and their friends it hasn't laid the underpinnings for a great revival.
In the meantime, the newer more prosperous "bedroom" communities towards Toronto have incorporated enough "faux urban" flavour and amenities into their plans to make the make real thing seem to be a hassle. Until diversity is defined by more than grit, Hamilton will be hard pressed to attract the people, jobs or disposable incomes needed to be truly diverse. Until there is more pride displayed by the leaders (combined with the gumption to insist on more than what they'll settle for today) I, sadly, can't see this sea change that I hope for coming.

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