Comment 76500

By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted May 05, 2012 at 01:13:38

While I'm commenting on downtown "aesthetics", may as well add a couple cents-worth of thoughts...

A native Hamiltonian, I currently live outside the city and don't get downtown very often, and when I do I'm usually heading through it or to a specific downtown destination without really looking closely at the surroundings.

Today I was there for an event, and took a walk around afterward late in the afternoon. The hotel exterior looks to be nearing completion - personally, I think it's not bad, but it's also unremarkable. A worthy investment all the same. I'm very curious to see how the new condos and eventual second new hotel turn out because they will be a lot more visible from the main streets and beyond. I have high hopes.

There are some other nice things happening - the Lister Block looks terrific, I was impressed by the city hall renovation, the new market and library entrance is really nice (as is the market within, though it was a quiet time and stalls were closing), and there are some buildings I never really looked at up close before that surprised me.

However I was also concerned to see so many buildings that are showing their age - parts of Jackson Square, many office towers, Hamilton Place's worn and stained concrete, lots in prime spots that remain empty (including the one just north of the Lister - wasn't that to be rebuilt too?). The City Centre could have so much potential too, maybe not as a mall any more but re-purposed for other commercial uses.

I'd like to head back and take a longer tour one of these spring weekends, especially further east where it looks like a lot of progress has been happening, and north and south along James. Things are changing but more investment is clearly needed, both many smaller efforts and a few large ones that could really start to add up.

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