Comment 37074

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 16, 2010 at 22:00:41

Bigbri hit it right on the nose. Hamiltonians have noone to blame but themselves for downtown's decay. This isn't to blame anyone in particular, since most here spend far more time than most downtown (especially heratige folks).

It's easy to lament the loss of small businesses and historic buildings while you shop at Limeridge or Meadowlands, but unless we actually participate in the downtown community, it won't change. And that can mean anything from attending musical events or protests to having a dinner out or sitting on a park bench. I'm really tired of people spouting off about how there's too many dirty/scary/ethnic people downtown. At least they're down there. I can't think of a more counterproductive response to downtown's ills than "packing up and heading for the 'burbs".

Downtown has a 5-story library, movie theatre, public offices, banks and even schools all within the same building complex. It has more quality food in a couple blocks than entire regions of Hamilton can boast. Nightlife, specialty shops, walkable neighborhoods, unparalleled access to public transit and unbelievably cheap housing. Is it sketchy at times? Of course. Why does everyone in Hamilton have this impression that downtowns ANYWHERE are any different? Drugs, graffiti and crime are a part of urban life. Our downtown is a LOT safer than most parts of London, Paris or Rome.

The real question is why we give such favorable tax status to those who let buildings rot. Or why we think speculative investors are wise custodians of these properties in the first place. Anywhere in Europe squatters would have invaded this place long ago, and kept it up and active with only a fraction of the resources available to these developers.

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