It seems Hamilton is now being touted as the next tech city which may sound premature, but with a new company moving 75 employees into a new office it seems we are all jumping on the bandwagon and calling ourselves the next tech city.
It was only five years ago that we had animation companies moving into our city and that was going to make us the next Disney World but those companies took the subsidies to move here and after their lease was up — they left. I know since I had one of them in my building which still has space open so let’s go tech and hopefully it will attract more companies into our city.
It may sound like I am knocking that fact we jump on a bandwagon so fast but we started to call ourselves the city of waterfalls, then the ambitious city, and now the next tech city. Let’s just calm down and call ourselves what we are — Hamilton. Not the hammer, not next Brooklyn, or the next tech city, city of waterfalls or whatever some small minded, short sighted bandwagoner makes up to fit their agenda but one simple word I am proud of — Hamilton — no tag line needed.
The company Q4 has moved fifteen employees to our city to get ready to hire sixty more employees this year with the hopes to get up to 140 employees in the coming years. That is awesome and I hope this is only the beginning and other companies will follow. The interesting part about this move is that they could have gone anywhere they wanted but chose Hamilton.
They did point out it was affordable, close to their main office in Toronto and has a great talent pool to hire from. They also pointed out that prospective employees do not want to commute to Toronto but would rather work in our city that has everything to offer. Green spaces, restaurants, night life, cultural activities, and most importantly, affordable housing. Q4 employees’ average salary will be $55,000 and that would not be enough to live in Toronto but in our city they can own a home, condo and even start a family — imagine that. Work and live in an affordable city working for a global company — without the commute.
I applaud Q4 CEO Darrell Heaps for opening an office in our city and hopefully some of his colleagues will follow his move into our affordable city. Over the past ten years there has been a slow move of companies from surrounding cities moving into Hamilton and hopefully this will not only continue but accelerate in the next decade. So let’s stop pandering to anything new that comes to our city and stop trying to become the next tech city or the ambitious city because we only need to be one city which is Hamilton.V
Darrin DeRoches is a local real estate and mortgage broker. He can be reached to answer questions, comments or stories about real estate experiences through this weekly column at firstname.lastname@example.org.