Comment 5895

By zanis_e_v (registered) | Posted March 19, 2007 at 18:54:29

The 'mass exodus' from older neighbourhoods was probably less an exodus, and more a result of demographic and wealth effects. First, most houses in older neighbourhoods were built to house large extended families, boarders; had upstairs flats; or were converted to single-room occupancy. During the 50's - 80's our incomes increased to the point where we no longer needed to rent out rooms, nor would we accept living in such 'crowded' conditions. Second, during the first part of that period family sizes were larger - but the kids (boomers) eventually moved out during the second period. Over the past decade or two the parents have slowly moved out and are being replaced by younger families again (albeit smaller ones, living by themselves in an entire house). Hamilton has never had an exodus - which would be visible as significant numbers of abandoned houses - just fewer people living in each house. Obviously cultural norms meant that most people who were able to buy a house during this period went to the suburbs - but this is hardly a new thing (old neighbourhoods are old sprawl). And I doubt that a significant cultural turn has happened - we still instinctively resist any attempts to intensify our neighbourhoods (talk to the Annex's (urbanite) ratepayer association).

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