||The issue of development is challenging for all municipalities. Hamilton has a magnified challenge, as it comprises nearly 1,200 square kilometres. The implication of this vast geographical area is that it confuses the plan on where to develop. Location is critically important as the municipality spans nearly 60 kilometres east to west and families base their decisions about where to live against the backdrop of where they need to work. This means that significant parts of the geography of Hamilton will be substantially more attractive to residents who must commute to work in Toronto or Mississauga or Waterloo versus those that might potentially work in Niagara. The City Centre will not be as attractive as alternatives in Winona or Binbrook or Waterdown for many of these families.
The economic reality faced by families is making some of the outer regions of Hamilton substantially more attractive and suitable based on residents’ need to commute outside of Hamilton. One of the first steps is to intercept this reality and to attract industry and progressive companies to core urban areas offering well-paying jobs so that new and existing residents and their families can live and work in Hamilton. This in turn will create demand to live in the already built area and will enhance the argument for further intensification. Residential intensification without appropriate focus on economic development will only further exacerbate the daily exodus of residents continuing to travel to jobs outside of the city. Today 1 in 3 Hamilton workers commutes out of the city for work. The provincial average is 1 in 4.