Breeding Innovation: a new way of doing things

bicyclesTraditional methods of growing business, developing communities and advancing strategic plans have evolved significantly in the last handful of years. We’ve witnessed a proliferation of new restaurants, independent retail stores and a growing network of transit options; all pointed squarely at increasing our capacity for renewal. While seemingly focused primarily on the downtown and a defined ‘core’, this has extended to downtown nodes in all parts of the city.

Founded in initiatives like local farmers markets and other community gathering places, the reach is city wide as results include connecting points brought on by bicycle lanes and pathways. The ‘Yes We Cannon’ effort is a direct result of grassroots engagement and citizen leadership; we now see this Cannon bike lane emerge as a corridor to and from the west end of the lower city to the new stadium in advance of Pan Am 2015. So too is the SoBi bicycle network that manifests in more than 120 rack locations we’ve seen pop up around the city. It’s forward looking to what will be a complete system of bicycle sharing for alternate transportation beginning next spring. These sorts of things simply wouldn’t have happened without fresh thinking.

Finding a way to carry the momentum in Hamilton’s thriving culinary scene, we’re seeing crowd-funding efforts by restaurateurs’ looking to grow the level of choice and further define the city as a unique food destination. Fund Us To Feed You, an effort by the owners of Rapscallion and Two Black Sheep, is leveraging the popularity of these two spots into another location offering tacos with a twist at the planned eatery The Mule. You can view their video and follow the progress at Perhaps you can cycle to one of these spots for lunch next summer.

Without leadership – driven by business and private sector innovation, we’d find ourselves lingering behind communities smaller than ours. As I feed my own desire to be living in the centre of a city that is sustainable, walkable and provides the best possible quality of life for my family; I realize I’m not alone. We’re doing it together Hamilton.

BrentKinnard– Brent Kinnaird
Business Administration ’94

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