Comment 96576

By SeanM (registered) | Posted January 09, 2014 at 11:58:55

The trouble was that the Harris-era amalgamations were not just politically motivated, they were also rushed and made little sense. Only a few, like finally joining the City of Kingston with suburban Kingston Township, made good sense. In Toronto, for example, it probably made sense to amalgamate York and East York with the old City of Toronto. York was one of the poorest municipalities in southern Ontario and had poor civic services; East York was a strange leftover. The total amalgamation of Toronto was rushed and political; it paved the way for Lastman and Ford.

In Ottawa and Hamilton, a smart person, tasked with the reorganization of the former Regional Municipalities of Ottawa-Carleton and Hamilton-Wentworth, would have probably decided that the boundaries between Ottawa and Nepean or Vanier or between Stoney Creek and Hamilton was invisible, yet there were still very rural townships like Goulbourn or Glanbrook that probably didn't really make sense in a mostly urban municipality, especially in Ottawa, in which rural farmers were especially upset about (and I quote, not at all agreeing) "having French shoved down their throats". A smart person might have created the City of Ottawa, the Rural Municipality of Carleton, the City of Hamilton (including Stoney Creek, Dundas, and the built-up area of Ancaster) and the Rural Municipalities of Glanbrook and Flamborough, dividing the rural part of Ancaster between them.

Urban (and I include suburban areas in this definition) have very different needs than rural and exurban areas, from water delivery, to transportation, to social services. At this point, I think any talk of "de-amalgamation" should focus on better reorganizing evident natural boundaries than try to restore old ones. Hamilton is coming together and there's little point trying to go back.

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