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Northern Lights: Slightly off-topic, but there is a ton of greenery in Hamilton, more wilderness and conservation areas than any other cities I know of actually. Hamilton is one of the cities featured in a recent book about urban parkland (Green City: People, Nature, & Urban Life by Mary Soderstrom).

It is a shame that a highway was built in the Red Hill Valley, but it's done. And the new highway provides access to an industrial park, a large big box shopping area, as well as a bunch of suburban housing. These are not things I like in particular, but they do create jobs and economic growth.

If you took the time to explore Hamilton, you would find that it does have vibrant streetscapes, lively downtowns, great jazz bars, beautiful beaches, loft condos, great nightlife, and nice architecture.

Also Cootes Paradise and Dundas are very much part of Hamilton. I live in Dundas myself and consider it part of Hamilton.

Check out these links if you want non stereotypical views of Hamilton:
http://urbantoronto.ca/showthread.php?t=6073
http://urbantoronto.ca/showthread.php?t=6100
http://urbantoronto.ca/showthread.php?t=6206
http://urbantoronto.ca/showthread.php?t=6031
http://urbantoronto.ca/showthread.php?t=6005
 
but they do create jobs and economic growth.

Big boxes create jobs but they also destroy jobs. People would still buy things if these stores weren't around. How many mom and pop stores did Wal-Mart kill as it expanded?
 
The city is currently servicing an area just off the Red Hill/Linc intersection called the North Glanbrook Industrial Business Park (876 acres), should be finished by 2009. After that the lots goes up for sale for any protential businesses.

Hard to believe but Red Hill has more trees now than in the past. City planted more trees than it took down during the construction of the Red Hill. The city made a deal with the Six Nations tribe to have them look after the natural setting of Red Hill.
 
I think Dundas is great.

Neither is really 'in' Hamilton.

They are legally a part of the Amalgamated City, but that is in name only.

And ask Residents of Dundas whether they're happy about it......

(the answer is no)

Actually, Dundas and Stoney Creek have been physically connected with Ham. for decades and were almost as much a part of the city (eg: same transit system) as NY, SC, ET were to Toronto.
 
The Green Hamilton and Dundas

Let me address both of these briefly and perhaps clarify my view.

First off, I am not anti the people of Hamilton (or at least the 40% who voted for a mayoral candidate that would have killed Red Hill).

Nor am I unfamiliar with Hamilton.

I have hiked the Bruce Trail through Hamilton which is how I am familar with what the Red Hill Valley was, and no longer is.....(wild and beautiful)

Aside from my hiking experience, I had a GF who attended McMaster for her undergraduate degree, I am quite familiar with the University and environs, and with Westdale, as well as Dundas.

While I may exercise some hyperbole in decrying Hamilton, I am aware it is not universally bad......just mostly.

I know Upper James, I know Lower James and King.

I know the Lister Block and Barton and the GO Centre.

So I am not merely disparaging from afar.

I stick to this thesis, however.

Most of downtown Hamilton and areas south/east thereof (towards Lake Ontario) are green-space deprived.

They have isolated examples of good historical archictecture, most of it in dilapidated condition.

It is a heavy-industry, blue-collar town, which unto itself doesn't make it a bad place.

However, suggesting that is full of Bistros and fine patios or gorgeous parks would be more than a little misleading.

Its downtown is relatively dead. I've been there after hours, outside Jackson Square and the Hamilton Eaton Centre.

Dead, Dead, Dead.

Not interesting, not vibrant.

It could be, it should be, it isn't.

As for greenspace, I maintain what i said, having hiked the Bruce through Hamilton.

The natural spaces are minimal.

The Red Hill Valley was the only larger space where you could escape the industrial morass for any length of time, and be isolated from subdivisions, roads etc.

The so-called green areas along the side of the mountain (the escarpment) are highly fragmented by all the roadway/highway connections through.

The level of pollution, both of a chemical (smog-like) nature and of the audiolgoical variety (the roar of traffic) prevents any sense of peace or escape.

And much of the park system is within a sightline of people's back yards and yapping dogs.

Not nature as I define it.

*********

Separately, I will not, no matter how much anyone sincerely believes it, accept Dundas or Flambrough, or Waterdown as parts of Hamilton.

The comparison with the City of Toronto is apt, if un-intentionally so.

I don't consider Scarbrough a part of Toronto, yet.

Again, it is legally so.

However, its land-use, public serices, residents attitudes, streetscapes, arts scene, club scene etc. have not in anyway been caught up to, or integrated with those of the REAL Toronto.

Toronto begins at Lake Ontario and runs north to Eglinton Avenue, with the exception of a small strip a few blocks either side of Yonge where it runs north to Finch.....

From west to East, Toronto is from the Humber River to Victoria Park Avenue.

It generally is the 'old' Toronto with chunks of the former East York, York and slivers of North York included.

That's it.

Talkto me about the great restaurant in Scarborough with the patio on a main street where there are buskers and its busy till at least 12am (2 on weekends).

Right, there is no such place yet.

I have hope it will be so one day. Scarborough is getting better, but is not Toronto, not YET.

Neither is Hamilton....Dundas.

Dundas is a lovely little town which Hamilton might aspire to emulate.

But Red Hill takes them the opposite way.

What makes Dundas great?

No Highway.

No wide roads.

Nearby Nature.

Living History.

These things are not yet respected by Hamilton City Council, as evidenced by Red Hill.
 
Except that according to a certain urban perspective, to offer Dundas as an urban example to emulate would be like offering 1 St. Thomas as an architectural answer to emulate. In fact, lovely as it is, Dundas might be in its way even "deader" (i.e. more genteel, effete, small-town parochial, etc) than Hamilton proper. And if Hamilton sees an influx of priced-out Toronto artsies and creative class, they're the ones who'll go for the raw-material grit of Hamilton, not the easy charm of Dundas.

Besides, the environs of Red Hill contain my own fave building in Hamilton...

00043.jpg
 
Northern Light: Your arguments are a little exaggerated for sure, it's probably not fair to compare Hamilton to Toronto. Compare Hamilton to London or Kitchener in the streetlife/architecture/greenspace departments and it'll come off looking a lot better.

Hamilton's downtown has problems for sure and doesn't impress, but people forget (or don't know) that Hamilton is a city of many communities. There are vibrant "downtowns" throughout the city, eg: Downtown Dundas, Locke St. South, Westdale Village, Hess Village, Ottawa St., Concession St., or Oldtown Stoney Creek. All of these smaller commercial districts are thriving, with few or no empty storefronts or decay, active streetlife, and plenty of unique independent shops and businesses.

Oh, and McMaster's parking lot is in Dundas. Is McMaster part of Hamilton?
 
McMaster "straddles", but is primarily Hamilton, as are the neighbourhoods (Westdale et al) that answer to it. Though yes, the proximity to Dundas mutually helps...
 
Having been raised for 10 years living right next to the valley and then spending another 8 more spending time on the east side of Hamilton, I could see why the Red Hill Expressway was needed. Centennial from the QEW up to Mud street had gone from a normal city avenue to a potholed, polluted mess. The amount of truck traffic going up the escarpment must have gone up 10 times in the past 20 years. I remember many days hiking around the valley and thinking I was the only person in the whole city down there. There are many valleys which run off of this valley going east into Stoney Creek. Battlefield park is a great greenspace for residents on the east side. Taking the traffic off of Centennial will only help the community around Eastgate mall in terms of safety, and polution.

I would still love to see Hamilton get moving on an LRT system though and hopefully after this extention is done, an LRT will be next on the agenda.
 
No doubt the highway will be busy. Even if there wasn't congestion on Centennial Pkwy, highways are one of those things that if you build it, they will come. Hopefully it will take cross town trucks off the roads in the lower city too since they'll be able to cut east-west between QEW and 403 without using King/Main in Hamilton or going around through Burlington.
 
As an ex-Hamilton person, I certainly wasn't happy when the expressway went ahead. But it's done now, and I hope they make good on the promise to mitigate the effect by planting many new trees.

I think people are often surprised to learn that Hamilton has huge amounts of pretty natural green space. Cootes Paradise (hundreds of acres), the Dundas Valley Conservation Area (more hundreds of acres), Iroquoia Heights, Felker's Falls, Mount Albion, the Bruce Trail along the escarpment face, Tiffany Falls, the heights above the bay at Dundurn Park, Battlefield Park in Stoney Creek, Van Wagner's Beach, and more recently the waterfront trail extending from Princess Point to Pier 4 ... Every one of these is "in the city" and accessible by transit. Webster's Falls and Tew's Falls are worth a visit as well, but not accessible by transit unless you are willing to climb a trail up the Escarpment from Dundas.

Hamilton has the gritty blue-collar image, which is not completely unjustified, but it has another side which many may not be aware of.

Jayomatic, I certainly agree regarding transit improvements. As in Toronto, there is considerable talk, which needs to be translated into action.
 
Talkto me about the great restaurant in Scarborough with the patio on a main street where there are buskers and its busy till at least 12am (2 on weekends).

Right, there is no such place yet.

That is an interesting article, though... this is actually not at all true. Scarborough has dozens and dozens of restaurants that are busy past midnight, every single day of the week. They just happen to be Chinese. There are far more people in a Scarborough strip mall at 2am on a Tuesday than there are in the downtown core.
 
Dundas is a lovely little town which Hamilton might aspire to emulate.

Yeah, good plan. Why don't you go back in time to, ohhhh, 1830, and tell them "never ever ever have more than 24,700 people, and you'll be doing just fine!" That'll solve all their problems, and they'll be just like Dundas. Barring that, it's a little late in history to make this practicable, unless you're proposing we shoot about 325,000 people. I guess we could make it fair and have them draw straws or something... Seems a bit much, but I understand building high speed transportation to meet the needs of human beings is an absolute evil and only encourages them, so I guess we'll do what we have to to nip it in the bud. Why stop there, though? By the same logic (and using the same guns), Dundas could aspire to be the new Clappisons Corners!
 
Incidentially, what's left of Clappisons Corners is a big-box complex. Even the corners will soon be gone, to be replaced by a parclo.
 

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