A quintessential middle-class community
Milton grew 71% in five years, thanks mostly to its small-town charm and low property taxes
May 02, 2008 04:30 AM
Welcome to Milton, the middle kingdom. A town that still boasts a mill pond.
A place where would-be residents can choose between homes with verandas on Court St. or subdivision living near big box stores.
Thirty minutes from Toronto, its backyard is the Niagara Escarpment.
"It's small enough that it feels like a small town, but there's everything here that you need," said Holly Young who, with husband Shawn and their 11-month-old daughter Makayla, moved here last fall.
Judging by the latest census results, plenty of others, much like Goldilocks, also seem to consider Milton just right. While other GTA municipalities are losing middle-income earners, Milton's gaining and can lay claim to being the quintessential middle-class community.
The town's also seen some big changes – besides the arrival of Wal-Mart or the expansion of the "Milton Hilton," as the Maplehurst "superjail" is affectionately known. Milton grew 71 per cent between 2001 and 2006, from 31,471 to 53,939.
Cheaper housing prices have attracted a lot of people to Milton but many long time residents appear to long for that once small town feel that is slowing disappearing before their eyes. This is illustrated in this comment:
"You talk to some people (about the town's surging population and popularity) and they say, `It's not Milton anymore,'" said café owner Kimberly English. "But you still have that warm, fuzzy thing."
In many parts of Toronto I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz when she said "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore." Rapid population growth fueled by mass immigration will eventually erase any small town Canadiana feel Mitlon once had just like it is doing to Kleinberg, Ontario. Mass immigration is the steam roller and multiculturalism is the pavement that treads over and obscures any preexisting local culture and history like asphalt over grass.
That lament about Milton can be said of all of Canada.