Comment 36722

By jason (registered) | Posted January 01, 2010 at 12:21:36

you're bang on about Core Lofts, Margaret and Allenbey. Prices have done well in those projects as well. I, however, am no fan of having a City Mall. For one, it's a joke of a building with mostly low end tenants (and that's while it's filled with city hall - get ready for a parade of dollar stores once city hall leaves). Secondly, the owners don't seem willing to invest money where necessary to draw major tenants or open up the building to the street. There are landlords downtown who do a great job (Right House, Blanchard etc....) IF we were to move city hall anywhere, I'd want it to be into one of those buildings, as a sort of reward for keeping the faith downtown all these years and not allowing their properties to become filled with dollarmarts. Third, despite the crappy streetscape along Main, City Hall has a large public gathering space which is absolutely essential in our society. Where would we celebrate, demonstrate, parade and protest if city hall was buried deep in the old Eatons store??
If we ever decide to take a wild step out of the 50's and actually reclaim our downtown streets for commerce, people, attractive public spaces and vibrancy, Main St in front of city hall could be wonderful and animated with markets, cafes, patios, music, etc....imagine a pseudo-Euro style public plaza with cafe tables and public art surrounding the soon to re-open fountains in front of city hall? Imagine weekend farm stalls and artisan/crafters drawing residents from the densely populated neighbourhoods surrounding the hall? Main could either hold LRT or become a normal 2-way street like Yonge in TO and with priority given to slower traffic, attractive urban design and pedestrian friendly amenities, it could be a great district in the heart of the city along with hopeful similar districts at the Gore, James North and York/Farmers Market.

Perhaps in this next decade Hamilton will stop electing 1950's thinkers and will actually take some of these basic steps towards growing a livable, vibrant, urban economy once again.

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