Why write 28 reasons I love Hamilton?
1. Hamilton is a CITY.
2. The Location
3. The size (population)
Half a million people is a good size. At least in my books.
"Toronto envy" is a phrase I've heard a lot since moving here. I don't know why. Mid-sized cities are great.
Hamilton's big enough for me.
There's enough people for critical mass in just about any initiative. There's enough people passionate about just about any issue. There's enough people that you can find just about anything already in existence, or common minds to start it up. Whether that's business, charity, recreation or anything else... there will be others who think alike.
Hamilton's also not too big for me.
It's easier to be heard.
It's easier to get to know people.
It's easier to comprehend what's going on in local matters.
It's easier to work together for change in any single area.
Mid-sized cities are more manageable. (The flipside, of course, is that mismanagement is much more obvious ;))
For me, Hamilton is just right in size.
And that's what I love. Compared to Toronto, where there was so much activity of every single kind - good, bad, crime, business, arts, food, media, culture, festivals that it couldn't possibly be understood, or even become a part of (for or against) in a meaningful way... Hamilton is a city where it's possible to stay informed about a lot... and act on it.
It's large enough that diversity of opinion can coexist peacefully and there's many options for anything. At the same time, though, I think that while both aspects need to exist, it forces us to be more of a melting pot than a mosaic. And that spreads out the good things.
So when I compare Hamilton - in the "what is" and "what could be" categories, I don't ask why we're not Toronto or Chicago or New York or Dubai or even Vancouver. I don't want to live in any of those places, great as they may be.
But how about mid-sized cities? Memphis, Boston, Denver, Seattle, Portland, Atlanta, Miami, Cleveland... even Las Vegas or Nashville. What about Edinburgh or Manchester? There's many more cities more in line with what we are. Mid-sized cities one can look towards rather comfortably for examples of good (and bad) within... and better than looking towards great big cities and bemoaning that we can't be them.
In Tuesday's Spectator, I like this quote about those who used to leave for Toronto now staying in Hamilton and finding they have a place here:
Yes, there is. And that's another reason I love Hamilton.