The Sharing City: How The Sharing Economy is Shaping Hamilton

David Potter
“It’s the Uber of…” Fill in the blank with any traditional industry and you will likely find a tech startup working on it.

The widespread adoption of the sharing economy over the last 10 years has disrupted a number of major industries. The Uber’s and Air BnB’s of the world have leveraged technology to take advantage of a resource with excess capacity to fill a gap in the market.

Hamilton has adopted these same principles on a local level and has become a hotbed for the sharing economy. Here are the top 5 ways the sharing economy is shaping the city of Hamilton:

1. Transportation

When you consider the fact that vehicles are parked 95% of the time, it is difficult to justify the high cost of owning one. Community CarShare solves this problem by providing Hamiltonians access to vehicles on a self-serve, pay-per-use basis. Perhaps you prefer to ride a bike – SoBi Hamilton, Hamilton’s wildly successful Bike Share, has over 750 bicycles located at over 100 stations across the city. Wherever you need to go, there is no shortage of ways to get there.

2. Office Space

For entrepreneurs just starting out, the overhead costs of having a private office space can sink the business before it even has a chance to get off the ground. Co-working is a growing trend that provides flexible-shared office spaces within a collaborative working environment. Capitalizing on the need for affordable office space, CoMotionThe Seedworks and The Cotton Factory have become home to over 100 thriving businesses in Hamilton.

3. Industrial Space

Similar to office space, the high cost of an industrial facility is difficult for a new business to absorb. CoBuild offers 20,000 square feet of affordable shared-industrial space. Their all-inclusive membership allows companies to easily scale manufacturing and distribution as the demand for their business grows.

4. Tools and Equipment

Over the course of the year, a situation may arise when you may need to drill a few holes or cut a few planks of wood. However, unless you work in construction or are a serious hobbyist, it likely doesn’t make sense for you to own a garage full of tools and equipment. Hamilton Tool Library provides its members with access to thousands of tools; from drills to paint rollers, to a chainsaw or even a 3D printer – you have everything you need to complete your next DIY project.

5. Food Preparation

With an abundance of amazing restaurants, food trucks and pop-up events, Hamilton has developed an attractive culinary scene. Any food-related business looking to get into the action is required to operate out of a Public Health approved facility, which can be quite expensive. Kitchen Collective has stepped in to provide an affordable commercial kitchen to help chefs, bakers and food artisans launch new exciting culinary businesses. Donut Monster, a local favourite, is just 1 of the 16 delicious businesses taking advantage of this shared commercial kitchen.

These are just a handful of the ways Hamilton has demonstrated the principles of the sharing economy, but I’m sure there are many more. Which ones did I miss?

About the Author

"David Potter is a marketing junkie, foodie and proud Hamiltonian. As the Marketing Manager at Forge & Foster Investment Management, he is part of a team of passionate YPs, executing big ideas to help shape the city of Hamilton. Outside of work, David is interested in community development initiatives, in particular projects that address challenges in sustainable transportation, affordable housing and food security. "