Apr 12, 2018
Suddenly the once forsaken city of Hamilton, Ontario is booming for at least two good reasons. First, the city has diversified, and its economy is on the rise; secondly, dues to insane housing prices in the Toronto GTA, the Hammer has recently been discovered in droves by artists and families as a comparatively affordable place to live for people craving an urban lifestyle. Once run down streets like Locke and James N are popping up galleries and cafes and the housing stock is being spruced up.
What better focus for Hamilton to return to its former glory than the harbour that made it great in the first place. The city’s history is synonymous with industry but those heavy steel mills that initially fed Canadian economic growth succumbed to rust belt status making Hamilton the butt of derision especially from smug Toronto-types. While Canada’s Cup heroes like Don Green and Tony Ronza worked hard to put the town on the sailing map over the decades, the industry lined shores were often more the butt of snide sneers.
Suddenly out of almost nowhere, Hamilton Harbour is on the verge of becoming a go-to marine centre. The harbour, long beloved by locals despite it all, is shedding its ugly duckling and becoming a swan beautiful home for boaters and a welcoming destination for cruise-in visitors.
New facilities at the Harbour West Marina include an amazing indoor storage – with a heated floor no less – facility and repair centre, travel lifts, and lovely new docks. There are also new docks at Royal Hamilton. On top of the facilities upgrade wave abatement installations combined with significant greening of the harbour shore have made Hamilton much more welcoming. In the plan, all that will soon be joined by mixed-use development on Pier 8 replacing the hulking warehouse collection that has used up the most prime real estate on the water’s edge.
Over recent years million ($27.2M in just the 2017 budget) have been allocated to development of the Hamilton West Harbour development and you can already see the fruits of that investment in a very big way. This may be the summer you head to The Hammer