Sunday, February 28, 2010

28 Reasons I Love Hamilton... Reason 28

Why write 28 reasons I love Hamilton?

1. Hamilton is a CITY.
2. Location
3. Size (population)
4. Scale
5. Creativity and the arts
6. Buildings
7. Nature

8. Film industry
9. Markets and restaurants
10. Trails, paths, and running routes
11. Gore Park
12. Climate
13. Safety
14. Landscapes and views
15. The ability to live modestly
16. Sports teams
17. Schools
18. Entertainment options
19. The churches and (other faith groups)
20. Festivals and events
21. History
22. Waterfront
23. Small businesses
24. Coffee
25. Being a real part of change
26. Anyone can be active and green.
27. The people

28. Opportunity

I have never lived ANYWHERE else where so much opportunity existed - for myself and for others.

Other cities may have more jobs, but a lot less opportunity as far as owning property, raising kids (especially on one income), and affordable food and recreation and community groups.

Here, what we have is in reach. You can get a great education for a small amount of money, without traveling far. You can eat just about any cuisine. You can drink great coffee. You can hike great trails and visit the beach and get around easily, however you prefer. You can open businesses and pay a quarter of the rent - or even own the building!

Hamilton is rich in opportunity. Not just potential for what this city can be, but what it is right now.

For the future, I do have to say... we can't screw it up. Cities need to be dense, connected hubs that respond to a shifting economy. I hope we catch up. To see the death of industry is painful, but the opportunity is staggering! We need to keep increasing the city's livability, stability, healthcare, education, infrastructure.

If you're poor, the barriers are largely psychological. Sure, there's predatory loan companies and unscrupulous businesses all over the place... but with OSAP, like I did, there's a lot you can do with your life before you've taken on any loans or have a credit rating. Mentors and awareness are huge here.

Right here, right now, though - we have a land of opportunity for those willing to reach out and take it. It doesn't mean it's easy... but wow, Hamilton allows you to do SO MUCH. You can be just about anything here, do just about anything, access just about anything. You may have to fight your way past red tape with a property or slug it out to get whatever job you need to get you by... but there's huge opportunity here to make just about anything of yourself and fulfill whatever dreams you have.

All we need is for the people who live here to believe that - and be willing to do whatever it takes to get there. I certainly do. And I certainly am.

Hamilton has the greatest opportunity in it of any Ontario city I know - for me now, for the kids we'll have one day, or the teenagers I mentor. And that's another reason I love Hamilton.

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