Comment 68407

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 24, 2011 at 08:50:21 in reply to Comment 68325

. I'm hopeful that the Allenby Phase 2 pans out and the proposed 8 storey condo with streetfront retail at the old Asian Mart site moves ahead. The street still needs more residents living there to become a place that is animated and busy into the evening.

I lived in the area in the late '80s and early '90s...and I'm there quite often these days.

Very little has changed. Very little. The business profile has, to be sure. (When I was a 'regular' at West Town, it was the original restaurant, just the one side.) Through the years I've seen the street-mix change to what it is today, and it's encouraging. However...

However, one of my favourite quotes goes something like this: 'Every situation's potential has a ceiling.' Meaning that unless you change something fundamental, that ceiling will remain. Forever.

Locke Street's profile south of the railway tracks...in the main...isn't going to change. It almost can't. Because of its heritage, in order to see some 'development' come in, you'd have to have massive disruption...and we both know that's not going to happen. So really, the project you're talking about is about the only real opportunity for an influx. (And I have to say that I've been out of the loop, that I wasn't aware of what you've referred to, because just last week I said to my father that this is a dream location for something big.)

The problem as I see it is that no matter how sizeable a project goes in there...and I hope to God that your wish for a 450' tower isn't indulged; that location needs something that fits the area, the widely-considered area, which does not include 40-story buildings, thank the Lord...it's not going to somehow elevate the neighbourhood to what you (apparently) envision.

And I won't lose a minute of sleep over it. Because it's quite clear to me, someone who's lived in many different spaces, who's worked in retail for decades, that we're approaching that ceiling on Locke Street. (Just as others have. For example, downtown Dundas, Westdale and downtown Collingwood to name just three.)

To me, this isn't something that should be mourned, it's something that should be celebrated: potential fulfilled.

(I do have to add that one of the main issues restricting the buoyancy, the vibrancy, the potential to max-out Locke Street's thrivability is the fact that we have a thoroughfare at Main. Were this a two-way street, were Main from Dundurn to Queen given the change to actually be a neighbourhood along this route -and King to the north, for that matter- then you've have a far greater organic catchment area. The sad thing is that it wouldn't take that much to accomplish. Far less than 'developing' the area.)

What's bothered me about what you've put forth in this thread...and I'm heartened by the way it's played-out, with so many good points being considered and debated...is that you (again, seemingly) have this need to wrap your arms around a vision of Hamilton that I believe is not only misguided, but wrong-headed. I don't believe Hamilton can or even should be 'massively more dense' in the lower city from Wellington to Dundurn, the Escarpment to, say, Barton. While I'm not an aesthetics guru, it's quite clear to me that what Hamilton should be has limits on so many levels...and when I read your thoughts, I'm seeing these limits grossly exceeded. (From Caroline to Bay, Main to the bayfront, I have no problem seeing 'intense density'...but still find that we differ on just how 'big' the upward development should be.)

Several weeks ago, I made a suggestion on Lawrence's article about what Hamilton wants to be when it grows up that people actually imagine what they can see Hamilton being. I mean, on paper. And I'm going to issue that challenge again, if only to get us away from the stultifying exercises of reading about the Federal Building, the BOE building, etc:

Let's hear how you would 'redesign' the area I've noted, from Caroline to Bay, Main to the bayfront. (And when I say 'you', I'm not just referring to you, Jason. I mean everyone.) After all, how can we reasonably react to plans that are announced if we don't have any personal reference points? Against criticisms, there must be some kind of constructive contribution, don't you think?

Perhaps this can become an ongoing article, where people offer up suggestions...and maybe someone here has the know-how to incorporate all these ideas into something graphical?

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-08-24 09:00:55

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