Comment 2758

By schmadrian (registered) | Posted December 24, 2006 at 08:45:04

OK.

Here's my final pre-Christmas rant. I promise. I hate to think of all those e-trees being chopped down to make it possible for my words to be read...

This connects to a point I raised in my previous post: vacant land. If I had a hundred million dollars, I'd be buying up undeveloped Hamilton real estate. Why?

Think of the GTA. Think of the growth that's taken place. In Toronto-proper, to the north-east, the north, the north-west, to Scarberia in the east, Etobicoke to the west, Mr&Mrsauga, Oakville, Burlington-

Oh, that's right. Then we come to Hamilton.

Hamilton is going to be developed. Come hell or high-water, it's going to be developed. And someone is going to make a killing off what transpires. Because just as communities like Brighton and Bournemouth and Eastbourne and Littlehampton are becoming satellite communities for London, the same thing's happening here. In the Golden Horseshoe. And if 'Hamilton' doesn't have a vision of what it wants to become...something that goes much farther then deciding where the next mega-strip-mall is going, or how quickly the Red Hill Vavoomway is going to be completed...or whether Hamiltonians can handle changing what were once two-way streets long ago, back to that state from one-wayers...then the decisions will be made for it.

Yes, this sounds so very cloak-and daggerish. But it's a fact: Hamilton has somehow managed to remain undeveloped in the face of all other Toronto-vicinity communities having been 'launched' by what amounts to the engine of Ontario. That's not going to last forever. It's going to change. And it won't matter who's in power here. Money talks. And in due time, that money is going to start talking. Some of you may say 'Hurrah! Finally an influx!' Well, be careful of what you wish for.

I return to one of my original, seminal questions: What does Hamilton want to be? It can no longer be a 'steel city'.

"Evolve, or perish."

Except it won't be a question of perishing. It'll be an abrogation of responsibility, a ceding of vision and intent, leading to what I'd project as a real mess.

Despite the gloom and doom of some of my words, I'll state this: Hamilton is positioned for the future in an extremely good way. In fact, it's blessed. Ironically, blessed by its own inteptitude. (Or that of its governors. Semantical gymnastics; doncha love it?) It's got so little going on, so little momentum, that there are all kinds of opportunities, just waiting to be acknowledged.

What we need for starters, is some vision. Not neato ideas to augment the vision, like sensible –and innovative– approaches to transit. I'm talking about vision. Breaking-convention, wow-that's-an-amazing-concept, ballsy-projections of what this city of ours could be, should be.

Otherwise, get ready to hand over the keys to someone else whose vision we'll (by dint of lack of our own initiative) be kowtowing to.

Anyone brave enough to step up and have a go?

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