My idea for the Auchmar site is to create something like Imhoff Farm in Cape Town, South Africa - obviously without the live animals or ocean/mountain views.
Why not develop a small collection of businesses in a garden-patio setting? Formal gardens and walkways for relaxing all around the back of the site with a couple organic/local restaurants/cafes, a natural food market, small B&B facility, maybe bookstore, bakery and micro-brew?
It would be a great retreat in the middle of the city, instead of slapping up a bunch of townhouses, which has sadly become the extent of Hamilton's creativity in development.
With Mohawk and the new hospital right at this corner, along with easy access to downtown and the central mountain population, how hard would it be to convince people to grab a dinner or drink in a natural setting with quiet courtyard patios behind the buildings and naturalized property to enjoy for a post-dinner stroll and maybe some live garden jazz?
I can just imagine the never-ending list of Hamilton bylaws I'm probably breaking with all these simple ideas, but we need to think differently than we usually do.
I love stealing away a few times a year for a walk or with a book behind Whitehern. Imagine the serenity behind Auchmar! It would be amazing.
This 'farm' in Cape Town was one of my favourite places to eat and purchase bread/cheese when I visited South Africa last year. Auchmar is just waiting for something similar.
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