Comment 71071

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted November 06, 2011 at 15:17:41

I was on the board of the DNA for six years, and we were occasionally accused of being successful because Durand is "rich", and that we were simply reinforcing our privileges. I found this accusation mystifying given the actual demographics of the neighbourhood, and the priorities of the DNA.

Although, there are some wealthy residents in the extreme southern part of the Durand (mostly south of Aberdeen), the vast majority of the 12 000 Durand residents live in apartments (something like 90%) and it has one of the highest proportions of recent immigrants of any Hamilton neighbourhood. Central school (our only school) is extremely culturally diverse, with 50 languages spoken.

In fact, the Durand is both the most densely populated and most diverse (both culturally and income-wise) neighbourhood in the City. It is this unusual diversity, together with its urban form, that makes Durand unique and is the source of its strength.

The DNA's main issues have included traffic (especially improved conditions for pedestrians), improving our park, heritage issues (such as St Mark's), crime and property standards. We have also worked closely with our many neighbours who live in City Housing and lodging homes to help address issues of concern to them.

It is also important to note that, unlike some other neighbourhood groups, the DNA is a true residents' association: anyone living in the neighbourhood can join and be heard. This is especially important in a neighbourhood like the Durand where the vast majority of residents are renters.

Durand is not just the "mansions" south of Aberdeen: it is mostly the dozens of apartment buildings and condominiums where most of our residents live. The DNA tries to speak for all residents, and our longevity and success is due to the dedication and persistent efforts of our members over the past four decades. Being around for a long time, and being serious, helps when dealing with the City.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2011-11-06 16:04:22

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