Comment 91047

By billn (registered) | Posted August 19, 2013 at 20:47:31 in reply to Comment 90981

Certainly there are wealthy people and areas in Oakville, but also many who are not, and districts where housing costs are within the GTA norm. Leaving aside the very well-off, which are a small minority even in Oakville, I would suggest that many working residents actually have less disposable income than their counterparts in Hamilton. We certainly have more poverty here in Hamilton, but we also have strong professional, government and creative sectors here, and many who live and work in our core.

I work in heritage in Oakville (and did for 15 years in Hamilton) and can't agree that their citizens are more engaged than ours (I am not involved with heritage planning or designations). If anything, heritage minded Hamiltonians are more engaged and committed, knowing that they cannot sit back and rely on good governance and regulation.

My comment was prompted by the designation, against some monied and well organized opposition I might add, of the entire district which most closely resembles the Gore in its layout, architecture and original use. You are right that the comparison is not readily evident, but it is not the heritage resource that is different. 35 years ago that part of town was known as "the shacks by the Lake". What is different is the way the citizens and Council of Oakville have treated the district over the years. They have put a value on the built heritage and enforced property maintenance standards. Buildings are fully occupied with businesses and above store residences and offices. Two way traffic, pleasant sidewalks, a good mix of high-end and every day shops, cafes and restaurants and outdoor patios and a Town Square all contribute to a lively scene. My point is it is not the physical resource that is so different, it is the cumulative effect of political leadership, Council decisions, bylaws and enforcement and an active BIA which have made the district increasingly attractive to businesses and customers in an upward cycle.

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