Comment 45858

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 17, 2010 at 14:17:30

Paris is by far the dirtiest, smelliest, and one of the scariest cities I've ever been to. I'd spend a lifetime on the streets of Hamilton before I did a year there (I've been stuck a couple times without accommodations overnight, and good-gravy that town has an ugly side). And though none of them smell quite as bad (the stench of urine is really overpowering - they need to stop charging people money to pee), I could say much of the same about London, Amsterdam, Rome or Barcelona. Paris may be many times more beautiful than Hamilton, but it's many times uglier too.

Pxtl - you hit the nail on the head. There is nothing in Burlington, Brampton, Milton or the South Mountain for people who don't have jobs, cars or working legs. In fact there's very few public spaces between Hamilton's core and downtown Toronto where marginalized people can just "hang out" in a well-serviced area (buses, social services, coffee shops).

Oh, and as for the smoking/swearing/spitting - I'd say it's one of many motivations, as it is for graffiti, muggings, and others. Not so much because it's conscious strategy, but because it works much better than most conscious strategies (like meetings and fliers) at keeping gentrification out. Not a "happy" strategy, and doesn't encourage a healthy diversity of incomes or populations. However, it works very very well - these kind of fears built suburbia. And thus, a very large number of surviving working class neighbourhoods tend to bully people in khakis, simply because the neighbourhoods that didn't are now full of condos and Starbucks outlets.

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