Many artists are leaving James St. due to skyrocketing rent

Are rising costs changing the landscape in downtown Hamilton? That’s the question many are asking on James St. north.

For the past two decades, James street north has steadily grown into a vibrant hub for local art in Hamilton. But as is the case in many big cities, it’s getting too expensive for many of the local artists who helped bring traffic to area in the first place.

David Brace, a local artist is being forced out of his gallery and studio space on James St. due to sky rocketing rent.

“I was paying about $1650 bucks, they were raising it to $4500.”

Brace took us on a walk down the iconic stretch of James north that has been a hub of local art for two decades. Unfortunately, there are only a few artists left standing. Brace says the landscape is changing from a daytime hangout to a night time one.

Ward 2 councillor Jason Farr agrees that artists are very important to Hamilton and the city is looking at several ways to create incentives, to keep them from being pushed out, like tax reductions for example.

Brace is not leaving Hamilton however, he is heading to a space at Barton and Wentworth that is a little more affordable. A lot of local artists he says, will likely follow suit.



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