Quite often on this page we discuss the ways in which young people can impact the world with their passionate efforts; truly the young often seem the most capable of pursuing their goals with the entirety of their focus and their feelings and the thousands of dollars and millions of eyes that can be drawn to a cause through youthful effort is ever a source of surprise and inspiration.
But rarely does that passion direct itself in the way it has in 16-year old Lachlan Holmes. Holmes passion stems from his experience in life of a family of two, himself and his mother, and their struggle to have a place to live. He was born in Toronto, but moved to Hamilton when he was nine months old. His single mom, Sterling, is a retired lawyer who focused on social justice cases. Gentrification was pricing them out of Toronto, Holmes said. Hamilton is better, but experiencing more of the same. The pair have lived the city’s housing woes. They’ve lived in various downtown high-rises, he said, and had various fights at the Landlord and Tenant Board. Right now, they live in a fourteenth-floor apartment at Young and John. It has one bedroom. Holmes takes the bedroom and his mom sleeps on the couch.
This is a struggle which is sadly not unfamiliar to many young people, but while most look for a way to escape their troubles, Lachlan dedicates much of his time to trying to tackle it head on. Often he spends much of his free time reading about politics, technology and urban planning. Right now, he’s reading My Years as Prime Minister by Jean Chretien, and recently finished The Ontario Municipal Board: The Last Trip by Peter Howden. For a while, he had a website called theBold media, where he wrote about transit, current events, and — of course — urban planning.
It is this information gathering and this passion to enact change that has led to the creation of Hamilton Forward; who label themselves “the premier group dedicated to fighting for Market Urbanist values and opposing NIMBYism in #HamOnt” on their social media page. It is a 15 member group who aim to combat urban sprawl and urge the municipality to focus on upward expansion.
There is no question among experts that Urban Sprawl, or Urban Expansion, has many undesirable impacts on social, economic, and environmental aspects of life. And while there is still some debate as to what, exactly, the best course to solution is – that a young man of 16 should be so informed and aware of a situation is impressive. Lachlan Holmes has found his passion and is using it to attempt to make his city more affordable and with a stronger infrastructure, all of which benefits everyone who lives in the area. Lachlan Holmes is working to make a better world. He is 16. We should all be doing as much.
Read more about this inspiring young man and his work in your Good News Story of the Day here. Including his appearances in Hamilton Council and the impression he has left on others.
Story and Image from Samantha Craggs and CBC News.