Comment 34656

By michaelcumming (registered) - website | Posted October 09, 2009 at 11:15:52

I think people can get carried away with the whole 'choice' distinction. Like with any place, residents have a variety of motivations for being here. Often you choose to be near people you are connected to. You usually have limited control over other people's behaviour. Where you live is not always a choice you are able, or willing, to make. This may not always be a bad thing.

We moved to Hamilton for several reasons. We always liked it here. It makes us feel good. My wife grew up here. We like hiking along the Escarpment, I like taking pictures of industrial sites, the kids feel settled here, the list goes on and on. Inexpensive house prices were also a factor. If we had just a bit more money we might even have chosen to live in Burlington. We are glad though to have ended up in Hamilton (and we have lived in many places) because it appears to attract like-minded people, it provides high-value high-quality living accommodation for us, and it is pushing us in a direction that we like being pushed towards. We like Hamilton not only if it 'improves,' we like it just the way it is.

I used to think that people who live in Burlington were one type and Hamiltonians were another. I no longer feel this way (despite what I might have implied in my article). This dichotomy is too crude to be useful, when applied to people. However, the architectural and urban contrasts between Burlington and Hamilton are quite stark and entertaining. It's the proximity of these two worlds that is so interesting to me.

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