Cathie Costanzo

Today I found “Why I Moved to Ainslie Wood/Westdale” while looking for something else on your website, as is common with me. I moved to Hamilton from the United States with my Canadian-born spouse. I am from a western state surrounded by mountains. I missed the mountains, but the Hamilton area and the polite people reminded me of home. The road that goes from Ainslie Wood and Westdale to Ancaster offers great views of the area below. It reminded me of driving through the mountains out west. And the airport is nearby. Hamilton is a city that is not boxed in, is how I see it.

Hamilton Escarpment

The Ainslie Wood/Westdale area is safer and cleaner than where my husband lived in the Corktown area of Hamilton when I first moved to Hamilton. My car was broken into twice in less than four months in Corktown. Also, since I have a child with autism, and we needed a more open, airy place that did not cause her anxiety, I began to look around and make calls. Ainslie Wood was it; we moved there in 2004.

In 2006 we returned to the United States, but I still love the Ainslie Wood/ Westdale area. Key points that led us to move to Ainslie Wood were its cleanliness, abundance of parks, safety, ample parking for businesses, and access to a doctor who would see my daughter. With just a short drive you are near open areas and conservation areas with a creek nearby, so green compared to the western U.S., which is quite dry.  I also love the Ainslie Wood/Westdale area because you can escape the cars and congestion and go at a slower pace, yet in a few minutes you can be in the heart of the city.

Some Canadians think Americans do not like Canada. Nothing could be further from the truth. I help moderate an online group with U.S. and Canadian members and am working with the U.S. embassy in Canada to help disseminate U.S.–Canadian news and issues in a good light.

I think that when the city is promoting tourism, it should promote the west end, especially to American tourists. It is far more wheelchair accessible than the downtown core and has friendly people, nice things to see that are easy to get to, and noticeably cleaner air. I often think, before Hamilton develops further, it ought to look to the west end: Make the city walkable, livable, and keep some open spaces. I highly recommend the Ainslie Wood/Westdale area to anyone.

Cathie Costanzo, Spring 09 newsletter, pg 3