Wow in case you aren’t in the loop or in my case don’t read the spectator, James St North will be getting a bunch of condos… well Stephanie of http://stephanievegh.ca/ has a great blog post about them. I partially agree with a her comments about the James St North scene being very new and doesn’t really have the need or capacity to with stand this gentrification. That said I think this development may spur some people to actually invest and move here/create jobs creative or otherwise. Sadly right now Hamilton doesn’t have the population density it needs to be a great city. People don’t feel safe if there is no one around except a few homeless people.
On the short lived Matt Jelly radio show Jeremy Freiburger of the ICCA once said when commenting on Starbucks on Locke St, “the more gentrification the better for Hamilton” in reference to the fact Hamilton is light years from becomming the next Queen West with Nike Stores, H&M, etc. I agree as it roughly took Queen West about 10-15 years to get to the point where the major chains took over. Some also forget that Hamilton has a sea of derelict buildings and areas that would kill for this, think Barton and Wentworth, heck even John St North.
Hamilton is not James St North or Locke St or Westdale. Hamilton should concentrate on developing interesting development, whether they be buildings, squats, businesses,etc. Hamilton cares too much about Toronto and not Hamilton….Berlin is one of my favorite cities I have ever visited or read about, what got me interested? The squats started by artists in the 1970’s and that are still around! So hopefully it gets done and Hamilton’s artist scene survives and maybe adds some new folks.
In a related theme… Wax Manaquine has a great post about France on his facebook/myspace page, read it!Here’s a bit…
“This town has a great tradition of low culture – trashy cabarets and street performers, drug-addict artists painting dirty pictures on their patron’s dollar. But all of the opportunism and self-destruction of the past has now been idealized into untouchable high-art.”
Ok ok I know the news is crazy Facebook Privacy issues? Michael Jackson? oh man the world is a crazy place! However in terms of James st I guess the big news is the fact the old Hamilton Hotel has been bought up by a group of sorta wealthy people with a plan to redevelop it. While I applaud their desire to improve the area while attempting to make a buck, I am not sure if either will happen. They plan to invest a million dollars into fixing it up and plan on rent at around $400-700 no offence to them but I think its decieving to say they are renting to artists/creative types. I am guessing they are basically speculating on ViaRail/ GoTrain station to pop into the end of james st. Well eventually anyways. To equate this to being noble or for some sort of lofty goal is terrible, I like my captalists like Donald Trump not the Richard Branson model. (ie:unabashed) Well good for them and good for Jeremy at the ICCA hopefully some decent jobs or apartments come about because of it. Also I will be happy to see it done, also I will be very excited to see the proposed Acclamation condo/store front place done I guess check out the Skyscrapper page for scoops on that front…
Spectator image from the article linked above
p.s:some enterprising people in Hamilton are also taking about something a little closer to my heart…..