Special Report: Pan Am

Video From Rally, Roundtable

These videos were taken at Saturday's Rally for the West Harbour, and Friday's "Building Hamilton's Future" Roundtable.

By RTH Staff
Published August 08, 2010

Raise the Hammer thanks Orazio Caltagirone for graciously taping, editing, and providing these videos.

Rally For The West Harbour, Saturday, August 7






Building Hamilton's Future Roundtable, Friday, August 6

Please note: this event took place just two hours after Hamilton received word that the federal and provincial governments had vetoed our local democratic process and dictated that the East Mountain was the only choice they would fund, a position they reversed just one day later after public outrage erupted. Thus, the subject matter and tone of this discussion was a significant departure from what was originally planned.









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By Trakstar (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 14:09:29

Worst case senario is if Mr Young doesn't get on board with the West Harbour vision is that we put on a fantastic Pan-Am games event and we have a beautiful stadium (that can be used for soccer and a potential soccer team..imagine Toronto FC vs Hamilton United!) with a velodrome that's connected to an entertainment district with Go Trains and LRT public transpotation and a beautiful view of the West Harbour surrounded by trails and Parks. For the city this promotes a better experience than the East Mountain and promotes Hamilton as a progresive city that can make downtown renewal work and encourages other investors to come downtown to invest... Over $100M in city brownfield downtown renewal will do that if done right.

The idea that the Ticats can't make this work to promote thier interests and build something successful is a crock! Even so called experts can be wrong sometimes. We are a unique city with a unique location beside a bay that has never had a highway running through the downtown yet we still have a downtown that is here and is growing. The Tiger Cats will make money when they are putting a quality product on the field just like all the other CFL franchises. Bob should concentrate on that important fact. The fans will take care of the rest. The West is Best lets not give in to anymore suburban Sprawl!

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By Northender (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 15:46:50

A LETTER FROM THE CARETAKER––goeastmountain site

http://www.goeastmountain.com/a-letter-from-the-caretaker/

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 15:49:41

Caretaker of his money..

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 16:05:58

...but not ours.

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By Stumped (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 16:08:01

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By Jason (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 16:13:23

The same "anti business, anti suburb, anti province" rhetoric that Mark Chamberlain spoke about?? He wouldn't know anything about business would he? What's best for Hamilton is best for every person and business. Chamberlain and Fred nailed it.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 16:21:31

It's convienient how the "Caretaker" in his letter ignores the views of the city's experts.

He mentions up to 100 dates per year at his new stadium. He is clearly delusional if he thinks they will get even close to that number.

He also mentioned the Perimeter Rd. as being cancelled. If I remember correctly it hasn't been cancelled, It has only been shelved until the city is in a better financial position. The city doesn't have the $200 million to build it.

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By lorne (registered) - website | Posted August 08, 2010 at 17:25:35

Having attended yesterday's rally, what I noticed most was the passion that most of the speakers obviously have for the well-being of Hamilton. Mayor Eisenberger has been consistent in his vision of revitalization and a less car-reliant and car-dependent Hamilton, and entrepreneur Mark Chamberlain spoke convincingly of the importance of that vision from a business perspective. Similarly, the enthusiasm of the people attending the gathering was evident, undoubtedly borne by a recognition of the importance of a vital downtown to a city's economic health.

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 17:46:05

One of the blocks I've stumbled upon in conversations with friends/family on this issue, is that the majority don't recognize whatsoever the importance of a vital downtown. That whole "you can't be a suburb of nothing" thing (I think I'm quoting someone on RTH). Most people have no idea how a city keeps chugging along, outside of paying their taxes. Storm Cunningham's article was great in that regard, but I think this point needs to be driven home big time, espcially right now. Investing in a vital downtown is investing in a vital Hamilton - east/west, south/north, up/down. I think people are de-sensitized to the phrase "downtown revitalization" and further more, don't feel that it affects them at all. If you never go downtown except to renew your passport every four years, you probably don't give a crap about what happens there; "it's scary and the panhandling is irritating." I think that the resistance is the perception that we are asking to spend their money for a minority of people and neighbourhoods. How can we get municipal economics 101 out to Hamiltonians? There's amazing dialogue here on RTH, on The Spec blogs, the Hamiltonian, etc., but everyone isn't into or has time for online journalism/social blogging. Oh, yeah, and Young's latest missive is pure drivel (not trying to be trite; just trying to be brief.)

Comment edited by goin'downtown on 2010-08-08 16:55:14

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 08, 2010 at 18:03:03

Mr Young is quick to cite "experts" but he won't tell us which ones and he has yet to produce a single piece of paper to substantiate his claims. What has happened here is Mr Young has drawn deeply from the mug of Kool Aid that Scott Mitchell has been placing in front of him. This isn't about the TiCats not being viable at the West Harbour. This is about them securing a 10 year minimum monopoly over revenues generated by a stadium built with OUR money in a location of THEIR choosing and charging you me and the gate post for every single thing in their "driveway to driveway experience".

Can't you just see it? Come early and for only $30 you can have preferred parking in THE CARMEN'S TAILGATE ZONE, brought to you by CARMEN'S. Where you can enjoy delicious $10 sausage on a bun and ice cold $13 watered down beer on our brand new 45C paved parking lot. (NO PERSONAL FOOD, DRINK ,COOLERS OR BBQ'S PERMITTED).

That's what this is about. Period. They are trying to become MLSE lite and think we are all too stupid to realize it and they want to bankroll their enterprise with our money to give themselves a captive audience in a stadium built in a place where it will benefit no one else but the Hamilton Tiger Cats.

Don't get me wrong. I am a diehard Tiger Cat fan. I'm also an avowed capitalist. But I would never support getting rich on the public dime and at the expense of the public good. Mr Young needs to stick his head in a bucket of ice water, shake the cob webs out and give this a long hard rethink. He can still come out smelling like roses here by jettisoning the tired old mantra of "lets build it in the burbs" and embracing true vision and city building.

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By dsahota (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 18:55:36

Today the proposed WH site is a mile and a half from the nearest highway access. -Bob Young

I love how this line gets repeated again and again. I'm originally from Vancouver and BC Place Stadium (capacity ~50,000) and GM Place (~19,000) are right downtown and almost 7 km from the nearest highway exit. While there is some traffic congestion right after games, it typically clears in 15-20 minutes because the stadiums are right downtown so people disperse in all directions on a number of arterial routes (none of which has a speed limit over 60km/hr). Parking at both stadiums is limited and so most people park on the street or in parkades 500m to 2km away. Public transport also takes care of a large percentage of the crowd.

The throughput of Main / King / York / Barton in Hamilton far exceeds that of the arterial routes adjacent to the stadiums in Vancouver.

There are even days when both stadiums let out within half an hour of each other and still, there's no significant problem. As a longtime season ticket holder living in a suburb, I commuted by car or transit to hundreds of Canucks, Lions and Grizzlies games, as well as numerous concerts, events etc. Even during playoffs the maximum delay due to congestion has been about 20 minutes. My experience mirrors the experience of many other sports enthusiasts in many other cities across North America. Even with the North American car culture, downtown stadiums work, and they work especially well when serviced by rapid transit lines that allow people to park and commute quickly to the stadium site.

The West Harbour site is suitable for both the current reality of the desired "driveway to driveway" experience and the future reality of a transit, biking and walking dominated culture. The East Mountain site suits the current reality, but at a huge cost to the city to upgrade nearby roads to handle the massive influx of cars and at a huge cost to the environment.

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By F* (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 18:59:25

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By dsahota (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 19:53:09

Yes, OUR money, we all live in this great city and contribute to it. Nobody wants to fight traffic all the way to and from that sorry site. After I took my kids to the fireworks this year and spent over an hour trying to get out it

F* that seems like quite a long time to get to the fireworks, do you mind telling us where you parked? That does seem overly long and is concerning. My suspicion is that you parked at Bayfront park which pretty much only has 1 lane in / out and there's a 4-way stop on that road too. One well known problem with Bayfront is that it is across the railroad track and hence access is limited.

The site for the West Harbour stadium, however, is on the south side of the railroad tracks and so there's plenty of access directly to major arterial routes. The parking at Bayfront probably shouldn't really be counted in the available spots for the stadium, unless the cost of improved access over the tracks is being included.

If you do plan to attend the fireworks in the future, I'd suggest street parking on the street on the south side of the tracks. Its currently free at night and only about a 10 minute walk to Bayfront park. Heck, if the stadium is built, you'll be able to park in that lot and then have direct access to Barton or you can drive a block south and get onto York, or 2-3 blocks to get to King.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 20:00:34

I also watched the Canada Day fireworks and experienced the traffic. I know better so I parked my car two blocks away and got out in a reasonable time (15min). An event such as fireworks is great down by Bayfront Park and Pier 4,8 even before they have added more parking and everyone comes back Every Year! The bottom line is they (The City) haven't even built extra parking down there yet and people pack the place!..hmm I wonder why? Thank you for proving that point. People will come down to the bayfront when the event is worth coming too. I'm beginning to believe that the people that support the 'driveway to driveway' experience wouldn't even walk to the end of their own driveways. It's about our money and our city that is correct. Build the Stadium at the West Harbour where it benefits the most people not just a parking lot!

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 20:14:44

Ah, but even your 'driveway to driveway' experience will involve a 10 minute walk from the far reaches of the 50 acre parking lot. Of course they could provide public transit and call it a shuttle service.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 08, 2010 at 20:43:19

Bob Young's article is infuriating. I don't even know where to begin.

The crux of the matter is this. The West Harbour site has two major flaws which will damn it to failure - it's too close to everything, and too far from everything.

Oh, and as for the perimeter road, that's exactly what we need. Another big fugging Red Hill Expressway running right through North Hamilton, Bayfront Park and the Waterfront trail. Hamilton needs trains, homes and parks a lot more than another multi-hundred-million-dollar boondoggle highway for a traffic problem which clearly doesn't exist.

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By Go South (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 21:02:55

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By Go South (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 21:30:32

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 21:57:43

Go South, Then why does Bob need public money to get r dun! so he can build a stadium on the East Mountain? He can fund a new stadium with his own money and put it anywhere he wants. I have no problem with that. Thats what any other buisness does. Com'on you grow up. The East mountain supporters support the Ticats which is absolutely fine so then dig deep in your pockets for $20 bucks and give it to him to build and don't use money that is already set aside for city renewal and clean up. A greenfield is not renewal. If you don't have a vibrant downtown you don't have a city and that is where the public money should go. That is the councils mandate for the fund.

Comment edited by cityfan on 2010-08-08 21:01:22

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By dsahota (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 21:57:56

Bottom line is if anyone wanted to live and work and play down there, it wouldn't take public money to get r dun

First, very few sports stadiums have been built without public money or support in Canada in recent memory. Second, one key reason why no one will build anything on the West Harbour site is that it needs millions to cleanup the brownfield. Without the city cleaning that up, you're right, nothing is going to be done on that site for a long long time.

The East Mountain site is likely to be developed by private interests in the coming decade, that's why one of the big losses to the city is the tax revenue that development would bring in. Essentially, EM cuts a big hole (1-5 million / year according to city staff) in future city revenue while also costing a lot more to maintain in the long term due to required road expansion. The WH requires upfront investment in the remediation of the site but results in no loss in long term city revenue and may bring big increases in revenue if the area around the stadium gets bought up and turned into new mixed commercial / residential space.

Its not important that no one wants to work and play at WH now, what's important is that once the stadium gets built, redevelopment starts and transit access is improved, it will be a highly desirable location to live, work and play.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 22:48:12

  • Go South said "Grow up, get a job and a haircut and start contributing to society".

Actually, driving less, encouraging transit, not paving over green space, leaving potential employment lands (such as the proposed east mountain stadium site) for real employment, getting out into your community, increasing property values in depressed areas, keeping public money out of the hands of the private sector, investing in the common good and teaching your kids that they live in a community not just a house IS "contributing to society". Sucking the life out of your community through a "driveway to driveway" existence or through corporate socialism ISN'T

Comment edited by realfreeenterpriser on 2010-08-08 21:50:30

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 13:59:02

"Kiddies" - Go south

Oh please, enough with the condescension.

You think WH supporters are all latte sipping, bike riding, opera watching, jobless hippies?

Your ignorance and arrogance are as obvious as elephantiasis of the proboscis.

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By Jeffrey93 (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 14:08:11

I read the "Caretaker"'s letter....what is a mile and a half Bob? Is that what they use where you live in Carolina?

I'll let that slide....it's FIVE minutes! It isn't on the other side of town...the highway is 5 minutes.

If traffic in the West Harbour gets THAT bad it means lots of events are going on and lots of people are attending Tiger-Cat games. Maybe then it will be worthwhile to build the Perimeter road to serve the district that has developed as a result of the stadium.

At the end of the day I just want the thing built...don't care THAT much where. I'm glad the decision is back in the hands of the City though...that's a win for democracy.

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