Comment 30453

By Rusty (registered) - website | Posted April 24, 2009 at 11:30:41

Sorry to say this but, having moved to the Hammer for 6 years and then retreated back to Toronto I cringe whenever I hear of another transplanted Torontonian.

The reaction of, 'I can't believe what I can get for my money!' and the inevitable move to the downtown or the east end is exactly what happened to me and my family. While people's personal neighbourhood likes and dislikes and tolerance levels are different I worry that these folks will have many of the same negative experiences I did. After all - not much appears to have changed since I left.

While there were many wonderful aspects to living in Hamilton in the end it just wasn't viable for me in the long-term. I could not find a decent paying job nearby. The transit system was woeful (I once waited an hour for a bus into town from Dundas, on a Saturday night!). My neighbourhood - near Gage Park - was beautiful and well kept but way too quiet (this was not really a Hamilton problem, more of a suburban problem). The roads were great to drive on, terrible to walk across. And the downtown was clearly decades away from a resurgence.

Stuck with a 3 hour a day commute and a car-centric pedestrian free neighbourhood I found I was hardly ever home and unable to set down roots.

The one positive aspect of so many Torontonians coming into town is that they may aid the charge towards urbanizing Hamilton. As we've argued many times on RTH, there are many relatively straightforward decisions which could be made to make the Hammer a much more desirable place to live. But for now, I can only bring to mind the old adage, 'you get what you pay for'.

House prices are cheap for a reason. Sadly for me they stayed cheap and I barely scraped out ahead. It's up to Hamiltonians to make these investments pay off by continuing to encourage the kind of positive changes the town so desperately needs.



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