Hamilton’s industrial age is over. In the steel capital of Canada, there are no more skies lit red by foundries at sunset, no more traffic jams at shift change. Instead, an urban renaissance is taking shape. But who wins and who loses in the city’s not-too-distant future? Is it possible to lift a downtrodden, post-industrial city out of poverty in a way that benefits people across the social spectrum, not just a wealthy elite?
In Shift Change, author Stephen Dale sets up “the Hammer” as a battlefield, a laboratory, a chessboard. As investors cash in on a real estate gold rush and the all-too-familiar wheels of gentrification begin to turn, there’s still a rare opportunity for both old-guard and newcomer Hamiltonians to come together and write a different story—one in which Steeltown becomes an economically diverse and inclusive urban centre for all.
What plays out in these pages and at this very moment is a real-time case study that will capture the attention and the imagination of anyone interested in equitable redevelopment, housing activism, and social justice in the North American city.
About the author
Stephen Dale is the author of four previous non-fiction books exploring issues ranging from the rise of the media-based environmental politics of Greenpeace; the impacts of suburban culture on politics in Canada and the United States; and the role of youth-focused propaganda in creating support for the bloodbath that was the First World War. He’s been a freelance contributor to leading Canadian and international publications, was Canadian correspondent for InterPress Service news agency, and has created numerous radio documentaries for the CBC. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario.