Comment 95517

By JayRobb (registered) | Posted December 04, 2013 at 13:40:48

Here's hoping Hamilton outhustles other cities and attracts more than our share of 18-34 year olds (have to assume we're after well educated, highly skilled, employed and top earning young professionals with loads of disposable income and a preference for downtown condos and gentrifying neighbourhoods).

While it's too early to know how that competition will play out, we should bank on having a whole lot more seniors. Our city's far more likely to get older than younger.

Some seniors will be the picture of health and wealth, hitting the bike paths, hopping on the LRT, doing monthly Art Crawls and spending $6 for a loaf of artisinal bread at "Seven Thieves" style high-end retailers in restored historical buildings that Jennifer highlighted yesterday.

But there will be seniors with health and mobility issues. Seniors who want to stay in their suburban homes or move to suburban retirement communities. Seniors on fixed incomes who stretch their limited buying power by shopping at big box stores that have yet to set up shop downtown.

It's no surprise that young professionals living and working in the lower city want an increasing share of public and private sector investment in their backyard.

It will be interesting to see what seniors outside the core want, how they vote and what sway they'll have on politicians.

Jennifer's said it before and it's a message complete street advocates here should adopt and start hammering home. Making Hamilton a great city for seniors will make Hamilton a great city for everyone. In making investments and improvements downtown, we should be asking will this make life easier and better for our seniors.

Intentionally or accidentally framing the stakes as downtown Millennials versus suburban grandparents will do nothing to unite Hamilton, move us forward and make our city great.

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