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“Be gritty, be cool:” Is Hamilton really the new Brooklyn?

Written by Natalie Paddon
Published in the Hamilton Spectator

Don’t lose your grittiness in the fight for all that gleams, Hamilton.

Those were just a few of the words of advice from Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Carlo Scissura at the Lincoln Alexander Centre Monday evening, where he explored whether Hamilton really is the Brooklyn of Canada.

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Earlier in the day, the CivicAction DiverseCity Fellows — a group of up-and-coming civic leaders — headed out on a walking tour of the city. The group visited LIUNA Station before heading out along James Street North and finishing at the top of the 26-storey Stelco Tower on King Street West.

Following Scissura’s talk, TV host Steve Paikin led a panel discussion. Supercrawl creator Tim Potocic, CivicAction CEO Sevaun Palvetzian and Hamilton Community Foundation president and CEO Terry Cooke were the guests.

During the discussion, Potocic said bringing old buildings in the city back to life is “very challenging” because of zoning bylaws.

“We have to keep all those existing buildings that we do have and bring them back to life,” Potocic said.

Oftentimes, the easiest thing to do is bulldoze them, he said, but they are part of what makes Hamilton a “diverse, fun, cool, exciting town.”

Palvetzian says Hamilton has to build itself up while honouring its roots and maintaining its character.

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