Hamiltonians already know fighting gravity is an uphill battle.
THEY’RE USED TO the unique challenges of hosting a Mountain in the middle of their city — challenges like paying more for snow-clearing, replacing brake pads more often and watching more closely for falling rocks than your average city slicker.
Many residents will argue it’s a small price to pay for fantastic vistas, trails, parks and waterfalls.
But the cost of that beloved geography is now on the rise — for all taxpayers, whether you live on the edge or not — thanks to a mix of historically-bad planning, surprisingly-good marketing and an inexorably-changing climate.
The city is being asked to save or buy homes historically built too close to the edge. Escarpment rocks — and the walls meant to keep them in place — are falling more often on our Mountain-climbing roads. Even our visitors are literally falling for our waterfalls with alarming frequency.
The proposed solutions to those problems come with big dollar signs and tough questions.
Do we have a moral or legal obligation to buy homes teetering on the brink? Do we spend tens of millions of dollars protecting motorists on escarpment roads but put off Mountainclimbing bike lanes? Should we fence off nature to save careless visitors from themselves?
Spectator reporter Matthew Van Dongen explores the price of living on the edge in a series of stories starting Friday.