Comment 63148

By Peter Graefe (anonymous) | Posted May 06, 2011 at 10:35:53

I see the point in working to keep Hamilton as a distinct pole, but there is also no point in denying that the regional economy around Toronto is going to have effects on employment and commuting patterns, particularly with the importance of two earner families. As a result, I think a mature strategy involves recognizing those regional trends and shaping them to our advantage. For instance, to the extent Hamilton becomes a "bedroom community", we need to realize that there is a difference between a "GO commuter" bedroom community, centred downtown around the GO station, and presumably shopping and playing in Hamilton, and a "car commuter" bedroom community, centred around suburbs. The first makes efficient use of existing infrastructure, brings aggregate demand into our local economy, and can be part of community building. The latter requires the expense of new infrastructure, is less able to capture the spending locally, and makes civic engagement harder as the link to Hamilton may be limited to the stretch of road between the highway and the driveway. I realize that these are caricatures, but my point is that SOME commuting will be part of Hamilton's future, but we can shape it in a way that serves a broader civic purpose, or we can allow it to transform us into the poor man's Burlington.

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