Comment 37231

By CCS (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2010 at 09:42:36

This project is a great first step, but we need to think bigger about redefining the role of downtown in terms of 2010 Hamilton. There is really a district that extends from LIUNA on James North to St. Joe's on James South, Bay St to the West and Wellington to the East. It's the major Creative /Financial /Government District for the entire city and it needs to be branded as such. Gore Park is the central node of all of this so its makeover is key, but it's really about a whole Gore District (Coincidentally, this was the original name of Hamilton before if became a City - check Wikipedia). Some 20,000 people a day come to work in this “district” – by far the single largest node of employment in the City. Yet, the perception that it’s some wind swept ghetto with lunatics running around still persists.

Much like the Exchange District in Winnipeg, or Distillery District in Toronto, the rebranding of an area is much more than just promotion – it can change the image of an area so that when people think “downtown”, they aren’t just thinking of Gore Park – they think of a broader connected area full of activities and reasons to come and a enjoy the district. Even the harshest skeptic can’t deny that when your think of downtown in the broader district sense - James North and South, Jackson Square, AGH, all the office towers, creative businesses, theatres, market, restaurants, clubs etc. – there are a wide variety of things to do all the time – they just aren’t going on in every place all the time, and certainly Gore Park is not the right barometer for all activity in downtown. However, all this being said, a revamp of the Gore, as a central gathering place at the cross-roads of the broader district, is an important piece of the broader puzzle.

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