Five years ago, my wife and I began looking for a house to buy. We had lived for two years in the Strathcona neighbour hood and for another two years in the Locke Street neighbourhood. We were looking for somewhere we could put down roots, be active members in the community, and raise our family.
We looked at houses in the southwest, Dundas,and Westdale, preferring the features, lifestyle, and amenities of these lower-city neighbourhoods to the sprawling suburbs on the Mountain. We appreciated all that Dundas and the southwest had to offer, but we chose Westdale.
My wife and I are not from Hamilton. We met at McMaster University in 1990. During our time at McMaster, we enjoyed walks through Westdale’s wonderful neighbourhood and occasionally visited Westdale Village to attend the Westdale Theatre or to shop and eat. I remember thinking then what a beautiful neighbourhood it was.
Seven years later, when we were considering our options, we came to appreciate even more the jewel that Westdale is. We had heard about the strong community and the excellent schools within walking distance. Most importantly, we found that Westdale provided what we valued in a community: a mix in size, form, and cost of housing; a huge park, hiking trails, and Cootes Paradise within walking distance; a true village centre where we could shop, go to the library, eat, get a haircut, do our banking and dry cleaning, as well as spend time with friends—all without getting into a car. We also appreciated the energy and vitality brought to the area by the university students, and the various amenities offered by McMaster.
Over the 4 1/2 years during which we have lived in Westdale, we have discovered many more things about the neighbourhood and the people who live here that have added to the list of reasons why Westdale is a model community. It is hard to imagine living anywhere else.
Michael Bordin, First published in the Spring 2005 newsletter, p. 7