Comment 112954

By mdrejhon (registered) - website | Posted July 21, 2015 at 10:07:54 in reply to Comment 112952

This is a good POV.

I agree for the most part, but let's consider Sugar Beach's name comes from the blatantly visible sugar factory directly in front of it: http://www.asla.org/2012awards/images/la...

Imagine during an EASTWARD expansion of West Harbour, we have a Sugar Beach that has a clear view of U.S. steel everytime your head turns right. But turn your head left and you see an amazing revitalized Hamilton waterfront. The two contrasts (depending on whether your head turned left or right) is strikingly Hamiltonian. We cannot naturalize the industrial lands quickly but we can easily plop a Suger Beach into a former industrial zone whenever we zone-by-zone expand non-industrials eastwards over the coming years, decades, and generations.

So I think -- that said -- we should have ONE -- not a clutter of many -- I do think we should have at least one beach like that -- just not as a cookie cutter template. We can at least limit it only to an outlier example, and it will attract people who want that type of experience (there are lots). For example, maybe a corner lot closer to the industrial lands especially as West Harbour expands eastwards. It is too hard to cheaply and quickly naturalize some of those areas, so that would be a perfect candidate for the umbrella+muskoka "oasis-in-the-middle-of-civilization" experience. The view of industrials to one side, and the view of fully developed recreational waterfront to the opposite side, is a striking Hamiltonian contrast that alone, will attract people to this location. It is fairly cheap, and creates a very popular people space (except in winter) when there's amenities nearby like a patio pub and a playground area, etc.

Sugar Beach also has a clear view of the RedPath sugar factory less than 200 meters away, so despite the industrialness nearby it is very popular. We can have a beach next to our Hamiltion industry with a closer close-up view of that. Thankfully, the prevailing winds don't usually blow the smells in the direction of West Harbour. At least not at any time I ever visited there, at least... Look left, see beautifully developed recreational waterfront. Look right, see classic Hamilton industry -- that would be the view from our "Sugar Beach" style corner. What contrast, showing the New Hamilton and Old Hamilton depending on which way your head turned.

Areas like these cannot be easily naturalized quickly -- nor can our industry be. But it can be a catalyst for the adjacent winding-down U.S. Steel (the one which will likely eventually shut down) -- this happens to be the big steel factory closest to West Harbour. So, this is a great area to slowly (over decades) spread good redevelopment to, assuming U.S. Steel end up going vacant.

So, I say, bring a Sugar Beach-like corner during a eastwards expansion of West Harbour, with a plain view of U.S. Steel whenever your head turns towards the right. Sugar Beach has a blatant factory in front of it, too. Why the hell not? (I think even you agree it cannot be easily naturalized quickly). Perhaps located in the other corner 500 meters east of Sarcoa (once all those old buildings are demolished and redeveloped). Or if one of the next piers eastwards are developed, then a corner of one of those piers. In Google Satellite view, this will provide a very clear line of view of U.S. Steel works -- a view to be embraced as long as there's a great redeveloped view as far as your eye can see, whenever you turn your head left.

For other areas though, I agree, let's work on making those even more natural. I do agree with keeping natural escapes and utilizing underutilized lands. And natural beaches. And wildernesses. I love catching frogs when I was a kid.

Comment edited by mdrejhon on 2015-07-21 10:34:10

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