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  #21  
Old Posted May 12, 2009, 4:58 PM
highwater highwater is offline
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Originally Posted by sofasurfer View Post
Let's get something straight: the cost of petrol/transport is very much relative. Distance, wages, etc. are all very different between here and Canada, and it's way too over-simplistic put an emigration decision in those terms (not to say that some people don't do this!!).
My comment re the cost of petrol referred to Europeans' commuting choices, not their emigration choices.
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  #22  
Old Posted May 12, 2009, 4:59 PM
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As far as I know our economy isn't doing relatively terrible, but the steel mills have taken a big hit. One of our Largest, Stelco, recently shut down until next year (I believe) and 1500 jobs were lost. There have been layoffs in the Health Care industry as well, which is currently our largest (Hamilton Health Sciences being Hamilton's largest employer). HHS is still building massive expansions at three of it's five hospitals though, which is creating a lot of construction jobs.

The city is revitalizing, although it is a slow and painful process. There are a lot of developments that have been proposed/are in the works for 2009. Some of these include:
  • 4 hotel developments
  • McMaster University Innovation Park (Research Facility)
  • Major expansions to Henderson/St. Joes/General Hospital
  • City Hall renovation
  • Lister Block renovation (heritage building)
  • Proposed LRT public transportation (to hopefully start by 2013)
You've captured the redevelopment rub, though. Not to discount the energy that these projects will bring to the table, but these are almost all driven by public investment, and few add to the tax base. I seem to recall that something like that six of the city's Top 10 employers are public-sector; the other four are metals manufacturing. So there's work to be done, need for progressive private employers and bold private investment, which can breed the sort of confidence needed to spark a genuine turnaround, and often faster than public projects.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 6:14 PM
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Some data comparing recent economic performance for Canadian cities from CIBC (PDF). Unemployment seems a bit high compared to the latest data (7.4%) but I think they use a three month average and don't have the latest data.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2009, 7:31 AM
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Originally Posted by drpgq View Post
Some data comparing recent economic performance for Canadian cities from CIBC (PDF). Unemployment seems a bit high compared to the latest data (7.4%) but I think they use a three month average and don't have the latest data.
I don't know where they got those figures either, I haven't seen any numbers even close to that from statscan yet. Supposedly, from an unemployment perspective we are doing pretty good, better than most from what I have heard.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2009, 3:08 PM
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Hamilton – an example of Canada’s changing economy

By Murray T. Martin
http://www.hospitalnews.com/modules/...D=124&AID=1603

During my early childhood growing up in Western Canada, I recall reading in my grade five history textbook about the Canadian Mecca of manufacturing located in Hamilton, Ontario. This was at a time when the Stelco and Dofasco steel mills were roaring in production and Hamilton was home to big-name manufacturing icons such as Otis Elevator, Firestone, Westinghouse and more. However, the world started to change very dramatically in the late 70’s and early 80’s following a major North American recession; Hamilton’s manufacturing base started to close down and move elsewhere.

Hamilton still remains home to two steel mills, now employing only a small fraction of the 20,000 plus people employed during the pinnacle of their production years. Today, both mills have been dramatically impacted by our current recession with Stelco (now U.S. Steel) in total shutdown and Dofasco (now Arcelor-Mittal) in major slow down mode.

There is no doubt, the economic and cultural landscape in Hamilton has changed dramatically. ‘Steel town’ is becoming ‘health town.’ In the year 2009, the health-care sector is quickly becoming the largest employment sector in Hamilton with some 38,000 employees in total. The city’s single largest employer -- with close to 10,000 employees -- is Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS), a multi-site teaching hospital.

As we all know, the business of health care is terrifically employee-intense. It’s a service-based industry that remains on a high-growth trajectory as the population ages and as people continue to live longer.

With annual spending of more than $1 billion on clinical services, Hamilton Health Sciences is a major economic engine in south central Ontario. The fastest growing part of the hospital is not clinical programs, but its research enterprise. During the last fiscal year, Hamilton Health Sciences’ research revenues were $186 million. This is an increase of more than 20 per cent over the previous year and 100 per cent over just five years ago.

In Hamilton, the momentum continues to build. One of the highlights of the past year was a visit from our Prime Minister who announced HHS as one of the few hospitals in Canada to receive a major investment through the Canada Foundation for Innovation research awards to expand our research infrastructure. This investment award has resulted in the construction of a soon-to-be-opened $100 million Cardiac, Vascular & Stroke Research Institute. With this new facility, we’ll be well positioned to grow our world-class research team by a further 50 per cent.

To drive by the north Hamilton location of the new research building, co-located with a brand new, purpose-built Rehabilitation/Acquired Brain Injury Centre and the Hamilton General Hospital, one can clearly see how this once industrial core is going through an unprecedented transformation.

Other major health-care construction projects in Hamilton have stimulated the local economy well in front of any recession-busting strategies. In addition to our new research building and rehab centre, HHS has a major redevelopment underway at the Henderson General Hospital site and a series of smaller projects at the McMaster University Medical Centre site. The total value of all of these projects is in excess of $500 million. At the same time, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton has recently completed a new tower and has recently received approval for another mega project to renew and replace the old Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital facility.

New high-tech buildings, growing research, expanding clinical programs, and a changing workforce -- this is the nature of a modernizing Hamilton.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in capital project investment has dramatically changed today’s skyline view in Hamilton from smokestacks to construction cranes. The more impressive economic change on the landscape relates to the people and the families coming to Hamilton and joining the community.

Knowledge-based employees in health care and biomedical research are often highly educated and highly paid. These employees, their spouses and children are also highly educated and potential high income earners. These families have money to spend -- they eat in the city’s restaurants and shop at the malls. They enjoy the arts and the abundance of leisure activities in the area. For most, Hamilton is a well kept secret to outsiders. (You most likely did not know that Hamilton has more waterfalls than any urban city in North America and sits adjacent to a beautiful escarpment full of trees and parks?) Its economy is energized as it moves away from manufacturing and becomes increasingly based in service and high-tech industries.

In fact, Hamiltonians will say that the best thing about Hamilton is that “it is not Toronto.” And there must be some truth to this since increasingly people are choosing the affordability and lifestyle offered in Hamilton. According to real estate expert Don Campbell, who recently appeared on CBC’s The Hour, Hamilton is the number one place in Canada right now to invest in property. Among other things, including plans for improved commuter access to the Toronto core via light rail transit, proximity to Lake Ontario and other location characteristics and the changing nature of the economy and culture -- not to mention McMaster which has become Canada’s most research intensive university -- makes Hamilton a great choice for people looking for a challenging career in health care mixed with a good balance of family and fun.

Although, I’m not originally from Hamilton and I’ve worked in several other cities across Canada, I’m not surprised to see folks originally from Hamilton returning from elsewhere. And although even Hamiltonians may sometimes need to leave to come back to appreciate all that this city has to offer; when they do, they become the greatest champions of this place that’s “not Toronto.” Now, the only thing left to do is to let the NHL commissioner in on the secret -- Hamilton is also the greatest un-served hockey market in the world.

Murray T. Martin is the President and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2009, 12:19 PM
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That was certainly one hell of an article.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2009, 12:46 PM
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$699,331.98 of public sector money buys a lot of civic enthusiasm.
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  #28  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2009, 12:58 AM
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Why did he have to mention the stupid waterfalls?

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  #29  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2009, 11:16 PM
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Last night I was over at Toronto and learned that Kanetix (Insurance company) is moving a large chunk of their office to Hamilton from Toronto. They'll still keep the Toronto office but most are moving to Hamilton, they cited that it's cheaper to do business in Hamilton.

It'll be up and running in November and they got office space somewhere in Hess Village.
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  #30  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2009, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by SteelTown View Post
Last night I was over at Toronto and learned that Kanetix (Insurance company) is moving a large chunk of their office to Hamilton from Toronto. They'll still keep the Toronto office but most are moving to Hamilton, they cited that it's cheaper to do business in Hamilton.

It'll be up and running in November and they got office space somewhere in Hess Village.
At least there's some good news this week.
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  #31  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2009, 12:53 AM
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Why did he have to mention the stupid waterfalls?

Because they are actually bringing people to Hamilton from other areas. I have met people on several ocassions that have come here from the GTA strictly to look at the falls.

Last edited by urban_planner; Sep 17, 2009 at 2:25 AM.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2010, 12:12 PM
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Jobs boom in city's future
Steel, manufacturing out, education, health and science in

January 22, 2010
Steve Arnold
The Hamilton Spectator
http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/709804

More than 50,000 jobs will become available in Hamilton in the next six years and the city doesn't have the workforce to fill them.

A study prepared for the Hamilton Training and Adjustment Board concludes much of that employment growth will be due to increased economic activity around Hamilton -- but with the right development strategy the city can grab its own piece of that future.

Economist Tom McCormack, author of the study, said the best of the new jobs won't be the metal-bashing and manufacturing work that made Hamilton famous. They'll also demand a lot more education than in the past.

The new jobs illustrate a shift that has been taking place in Hamilton for decades. Since 1987, the city has lost 26,200 manufacturing positions, but gained more than 40,000 jobs in the professional-scientific-technical, transportation, education and health sectors.

That's a gain of 1.5 positions for every one lost, but in vastly different fields.

That trend clearly means Hamilton will have to focus on developing a more highly educated population than it currently has.

"What has happened to manufacturing here has happened to manufacturing right around the world," McCormack said. "That sector hasn't been creating any underlying jobs forever. No community in Canada is going to see growth in manufacturing jobs. That's just not going to happen."

The study, prepared by the Centre for Spatial Economics, concludes as many as 29,000 new jobs will be created in Hamilton by 2016. On top of that, 21,000 current workers will retire.

McCormack said since 2006, the biggest job growth in Hamilton has been in the clerical and retail-service segment, with the "better" jobs going to areas outside the city.

Turning that trend around is a focus of the economic development strategy being developed by the city -- a strategy targeting growth in advanced manufacturing, clean technology, food production, cultural industries, bioscience and goods movement.

McCormack's study showed a clear link between employment and education -- according to the 2006 census, 75 to 80 per cent of the working age population with a community college diploma or university degree was employed compared to 65 per cent of those who had only finished high school and only 35 per cent of those without high school.

The trouble for Hamilton is that about 210,000 of its population over age 15 have high school or less and that's not a pool of workers that will capture the attention of the kind of employers the city needs in the future.

"Hamilton is not as well educated as the rest of the country, but that is going to change in spades," McCormack said.

Another major problem for Hamilton is that its net "natural" growth in population -- births minus deaths -- isn't keeping up with the demand for new workers.

By 2020, McCormack estimates the city will have to attract as many as 8,500 immigrants to keep up with demand, a need that will change the very complexion of Hamilton.

Initial reaction to the findings was positive -- HTAB executive director Judy Travis said they show "the future is bright for Hamilton," while Neil Everson of the city's economic development department said it shows the pressing need for worker education.

"It means we'd better have a skilled labour force ready or employers are going to look elsewhere," he said. "Without the labour force, we aren't going to get the business."

Richard Koroscil, president of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, said the results clearly show "Hamilton has an opportunity to shape its own future.

"The opportunity is there if we're proactive," he said. "We have a chance to create a different city."

McCormack's study is part of an effort to design a workforce development plan for the city. The paper will now be taken to employers to test its projections.

50,000

New jobs coming to Hamilton over next six years

40,100

New jobs in health, transportation and education since 1987

26,200

Jobs lost in the manufacturing industry since 1987

8,500

Immigrants required by 2020 to keep up with demand

THE GOOD

The five sectors which fared best at job creation in Hamilton, 1987 to 2008

THE BAD

The five sectors which fared worst at job creation in Hamilton, 1987 to 2008

THE FUTURE

The fastest growing occupations in Hamilton*

Registered nurses 50%

Nurse aides, orderlies 50%

Early childhood educators, assistants 44%

Receptionists switchboard 41%

1987 2008 Change

Health care 29,200 48,200 19,000

Professional,scientific, technical 8,100 22,100 14,000

Construction 16,000 27,400 11,400

Education 20,100 30,800 10,700

Transportation, warehouse 8,100 17,100 9,000

1987 2008 Change

Manufacturing 80,000 53,800 -26,200

Public administration 13,800 13,200 -600

Utilities 2,500 2,100 -400

Agriculture, other primary 4,500 4,300 -200

Real estate rental and leasing 6,700 6,900 +200
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  #33  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2010, 1:47 PM
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I certainly hope 50,000 jobs become available in Hamilton, but I'm still not a believer in the service economy. To me, the service economy is a whole lot of low paying jobs like retail, which is just what we've been seeing. The rest of the economy is hospital and education workers, who will presumably overeducate future generations in preparation for underemployment. So we have a bunch of moderately paid public sector (health and education workers being paid with tax dollars) supporting nine Walmarts, where everyone else works. Sounds unsustainable to me.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2010, 5:10 PM
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It was just pointed out to me that this 21,000 of the "new" jobs are simply replacements for people who are retiring, so really only 29,000 new jobs are being created. Also the article implies the jobs will only be in the area, not within Hamilton itself, but in the "area".
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  #35  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2010, 7:15 PM
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That's a good summary. One thing is with the colossal provincial deficit, there just won't be money for more hospital and education spending. You're already seeing it with HHS laying off people, so I can't see this being a source of growth for Hamilton over the next five years, where it has been previously.

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I certainly hope 50,000 jobs become available in Hamilton, but I'm still not a believer in the service economy. To me, the service economy is a whole lot of low paying jobs like retail, which is just what we've been seeing. The rest of the economy is hospital and education workers, who will presumably overeducate future generations in preparation for underemployment. So we have a bunch of moderately paid public sector (health and education workers being paid with tax dollars) supporting nine Walmarts, where everyone else works. Sounds unsustainable to me.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2010, 7:20 PM
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The only people that got laid off were the mail service department, that's about 30 people. HHS outsourced them, yea I know I never heard of outsourcing mail service before either. The rest will be pushed somewhere else.
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  #37  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2010, 12:52 AM
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The only people that got laid off were the mail service department, that's about 30 people. HHS outsourced them, yea I know I never heard of outsourcing mail service before either. The rest will be pushed somewhere else.
In the context of my comment, that's still 30 Hamilton jobs lost, whatever they are.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2010, 12:14 PM
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Hamilton economy on upswing in 2010
Manufacturing upturn fuels growth for first time in 3 years

January 28, 2010
Steve Arnold
The Hamilton Spectator
http://www.thespec.com/News/Business/article/713281

Hamilton's economy will grow in 2010 for the first time in three years, a new study by the Conference Board of Canada concludes.

Driving a major part of that growth will be the first upturn to manufacturing output since 2003.

"All of the signs point to a good year for Hamilton," said Jane McIntyre, one of the authors of the Conference Board's quarterly Metropolitan Outlook report. "It's all part of the general world economic recovery."

McIntyre said recovery in the battered manufacturing sector -- which saw output shrink by 31 per cent from 2003 to 2009 and employment in Hamilton fall by almost 18,000 jobs, will be an especially good news story.

Manufacturing output is "finally starting to show some signs of life," she said. "That's going to drive improvements in the service industries and other areas."

The signs McIntyre reads include real gross domestic product, employment, unemployment rate, personal income per person, population, retail sales and housing starts. All of them, except employment, are forecast to increase this year over last and to continue rising through 2014.

The drop in jobs, and matching rise in unemployment, will be smaller than in the past three years, and the situation is expected to get better after this year.

Driving the key recovery in manufacturing will be improved demand in the U.S. for Canadian exports and the recovery in the steel-consuming auto industry.

Specifically, the Conference Board predicts demand for autos and parts this year will increase by more than 10 per cent, contributing to a growth in manufacturing output of 3 per cent.

Ruth Liebersbach, president of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, said the Conference Board outlook matches the chamber's reading of the economic tea leaves.

"It mirrors what we see as a fragile recovery," she said, attributing the fragility to continued slow growth in employment.

"As long as employment is down, people are going to remain cautious, but that increase in housing starts shows that people are starting to open their pocketbooks again," she said.

The uptick in manufacturing activity will be matched by a rise in construction across the city, especially in the housing market.

Last year, housing starts dropped to about half their 2008 level.

This year, the Conference Board said they're expected to spike to almost 2,500 from 1,857.

Starts of single-family homes began to bounce back in the third quarter of '09 and are predicted to surge 56.2 per cent this year.

Starts of multiple units -- apartments and townhouses -- will rise this year partly in response to provincial and federal government funding of social housing projects.

Together, housing starts are forecast to rise 34.4 per cent.

Construction activity outside housing will continue to boom because of road and sewer projects, work on the Hamilton cardiac care centre, $290 million in hospital renovations and construction of the CANMET Materials Technology Lab at the McMaster Innovation Park.

The improvement could be even greater, McIntyre added, if construction of the proposed light rail transit system goes ahead.

An improved outlook in manufacturing and construction will also drive an upsurge in the service sector where growth is expected to run between 2.6 and 3.1 per cent.

All of that activity will help boost the city's real estate sector, added Joe Ferrante, president of the Realtors' Association of Hamilton-Burlington.

"I think we're positioned in a good spot now," he said. "Any overall improvement in the economy is going to be good for real estate."
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  #39  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2010, 12:10 PM
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Last year's big projects diversify city tax base

March 09, 2010
Meredith Macleod
The Hamilton Spectator
http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/734617

Hamilton made big strides in boosting its non-residential tax base in 2009, with huge gains on the crucial industrial and commercial fronts.

While building permit values were down 15 per cent overall, industrial building permits grew in value by 113 per cent in 2009 over the previous year, and commercial permits increased by 37 per cent.

The industrial permits were valued at $115 million last year and commercial permits valued at close to $195 million.

Director of economic development Neil Everson said the numbers, all contained in a series of economic performance reports to councillors, are a good indicator of current economic activity and job creation. He said other area municipalities did not achieve such growth.

Some of the big projects include the Tim Hortons coffee roasting plant, $30 million; the CANMET materials lab, $60 million; and Mountain Plaza Mall, $55 million.

Others are the Red Hill Toyota dealership, the new Ancaster Fairgrounds, upgrades at ArcelorMittal Dofasco, and the Centre on Barton (the former Centre Mall).

City number-crunchers have long been concerned about Hamilton's heavy reliance on the residential taxpayer and a lack of assessment growth in the commercial and industrial areas.

But last year, both sectors soundly beat the four-year average, by 77 per cent on the industrial side and 72 per cent on the commercial.

Residential building was hard hit by the recession last year, falling 32 per cent in value over 2008.

The city issued $282 million in residential building permits, sharply down from the four-year average of $398 million.

The institutional sector was also off by 57 per cent over 2008, but much of that sector, which includes hospitals and schools, doesn't generate tax revenue for the city.

So far, 2010 is proving to be a strong year, with building permits up 108 per cent over January and February of last year.

The big coup is Canada Bread, which announced last month a $100-million, 375,000-square-foot bakery, which will make it the first tenant in the newly renamed Red Hill Business Park.

That will encourage other businesses to follow, Everson said.

"I call it the lemming effect," he added.

Council members praised Everson and his department for producing such positive results while the city was in the grip of the recession.

"I'm sensing that Hamilton is finally economically gaining at other municipalities' expense where for so many years the reverse was true," said Councillor Tom Jackson.

"We are seeing some spectacular growth," said Mayor Fred Eisenberger. He said performance measures across a broad range of indicators show the city's $1.5-million increase to the economic development budget last year paid off.

Overall assessment growth came in at 1.3 per cent. While that was short of the city's target of 1.5 per cent a year, Everson said it was a good result given the economy last year.

Close to half of the growth came from the industrial and commercial sectors, which had accounted for about a quarter of the growth in the previous two years.

Economic development staff also focused on a business retention program called Hamilton Calling, which surveyed 354 business owners last year.

"The Hamilton Calling program has really ramped up and that to me is the star of the show," said Councillor Brian McHattie.

"Keeping in touch with people who are already here is where our growth is going to be."

Everson said his department will be focused on completing a four-year economic development strategy, expected to be presented to council in June. He said major catalysts will include the Pan Am Games and light-rail transit.

The city is also throwing its efforts into marketing through social media and has been recognized for its success.


IN OTHER MEASURES OF 2009:

* Hamilton's unemployment rate was below the provincial average and two full percentage points below any other manufacturing centre in southern Ontario;

* The city lost 200 businesses in 2009. City council has set a target of increasing the number of businesses yearly by 5 per cent;

* The direct economic impact of film shoots dropped to $6.1 million in 2009 from $6.6 million in 2008;

* The downtown office vacancy rate dropped 25 per cent from 2008 to 2009;

* Only three residential units were added downtown, well short of the target of 150 a year;

* Ancaster Industrial Business Park sold out a 35-acre phase in 10 months;

* The economic development office achieved a 95 per cent approval rating from clients in 2009, breaking a city target of 90 per cent;

* 69 per cent of 354 companies surveyed in the city's Hamilton Calling program said they intend to expand in the next three years;

* The city sold $4.2 million in non-core assets and purchased about $20.5 million in property and capital projects.
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  #40  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2010, 12:10 PM
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