10 reasons why artists should choose Hamilton over Ottawa

10. Junkies, prostitutes and dealers won’t complain to by-law officers that your treehouse blocks their view.
9. Traffic has not outgrown the street capacity and no one questions whether commuter trains are a good idea or not.
8. In further regard to trains – unlike Ottawa, Hamilton realized most traffic goes east – west, not north-south. You don’t need a car to get around and it take less time to travel from Hamilton to downtown Toronto than from one end of Ottawa to the other.
7. Many artists and curators work in close-by Toronto, but in Ottawa most artists and curators with jobs are from Toronto or Montreal.
6. No one is going to think less of you for having dirty hands and paint-splattered clothing. In fact, they will probably respect you more.
5. In Hamilton there is a scene and artists and ilk are moving there in droves – in Ottawa, there is a small, dull, iron-clad clique so artists and ilk move away in droves.
4. At least in Hamilton, you can lobby to the City Council because they are actually the city council for the city. In Ottawa, city council is a token and petty collection representing the u-shaped stretch of property around the downtown core and inside the green belt, and are mostly concerned with shopping malls and sports teams. The real power and money is the Federal Government and the National Capital Commission – neither of whom give a shit about local arts and culture.
3. In Hamilton, most crime is by desperate people on the street with real problems  – in Ottawa, you are robbed by fat cats in suits driving SUVs.
2. Studio space is abundant in Hamilton and cheap – in Ottawa, the only real industrial complex with artist studios is tightly controlled by Sunday landscape painters and tyrannical house-wives from the Glebe.
1. Hamilton is arguably the best (and last) place in Canada for the creative class to buy property – you can buy a house downtown for $80,000. In Ottawa, you’ll pay at least $400,000 for a house that is mind-numbingly ugly in the mind-numbingly ugly and evil suburbs of Nepean, Barrhaven, Kanata, Orleans or South Keys. You will never be able to afford a house downtown, and the stupidly high rent will keep you apartement poor for the rest of your life.

If you are intelligent, ambitious, creative and original do NOT move to Ottawa. If you are a prospective fine art student, do NOT consider either of the arts programs there. The diploma school is a bit of a joke and no one honours those credits (trust me) and the BFA / MFA program is very limited in scope and incorporates the worst aspects of a fine arts program at a university and rejects the best aspects of a college-based practical approach. Trust me again on that one.

If you have some money, you should move to the Parkdale area of Toronto or consider Hamilton if you need to make a little go a long way 🙂

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