Special Report: Pan Am

Stadium Committee Needs to Engage Community

We need to make the most of this chance to turn around a Code Red area of our city, by taking advantage of what the people of this city have to offer in both their knowledge and love for their city.

By Larry Pattison
Published June 03, 2011

The newly appointed committee who will be overseeing the planning of the Ivor Wynne Stadium District must be well aware that the community is screaming to be involved.

The community wants to be more informed with regards to all plans as they relate to stadium and district design: what's happening with properties, schools, scheduling, where the Cats will play in the interim, and many more details - and on a regular basis.

A recent Spectator editorial hits on the fact that there is no time like the present to start the building of a citizen committee, one that will provide input and support and do their part, to ensure everyone knows what council, the Pan Am organizers, the Tiger-Cats, and this proposed citizen group, are mapping out.

Citizens want to know how these plans may affect or benefit them, and want to serve as a sounding board for the city as a whole, to ensure every citizen's concerns, ideas, and dreams, are brought to council's attention.

Spec editor Lee Prokaska said it best:

Openness, transparency, accountability - this is what citizens crave. We don't want less information, we want more. We don't elect representatives so they can behave like sheep. We elect them to represent our interests and fight for what is important to us. Otherwise, what's the point?

It's time we see how involving the public more significantly plays out. What better time to engage the citizenry than for a project that, I feel very confident, will attract a significant request for involvement?

We all want this to be something special. The community does, council does, the Tiger-Cats do and CFL fans from across the country want only the best. What better way to create something extraordinary than to build this together?

Will this just be any other stadium, in any other stadium district, in any other city? Or will Ivor Wynne live alongside the greats like the historical Fenway Park or Wrigley Field or especially, seeing as though we are talking football here, Lambeau Field?

Maybe our planned 25,000 seat stadium and our 500,000 population doesn't compare in scale to the first two cities/stadiums mentioned, but we aren't all that far of the likes of Green Bay; only in the league we are in, is there perhaps a more significant difference.

I have sold the existing stadium and the benefits of focusing on history and a Fenway/Wrigley north experience to great lengths from day one. I think that is the most important thing that we need to remember as we plan this because I strongly and wholeheartedly believe that is what will make this project special.

History. Tradition. Community. Legacy. That is what 75 Balsam and the surrounding grounds has to offer.

Canada can have its own Wrigley (which I believe suits our stadium location most closely), and Hamilton can be the home of that new Canadian sporting - and maybe even concert - destination.

But that's just me. What's more important, is what 'you' - all of you, envision for this unique opportunity that stands with open arms in front of us.

Hamilton has been given a gift. We need to make the most of this chance to turn around a Code Red area of our city, by taking advantage of what the people of this city have to offer in both their knowledge and love for their city.

I think we'll be pleasantly surprised. I believe we'll even inspire, if we have the courage to work together.

Hamilton already proved their ability to be engaged throughout the Pan Am process and I have no doubt, that many of those same people have the passion and desire to continue to be involved in not only the planning of the Pan Am Stadium and Surrounding district, but the building of their city as a whole.

Will we move ahead together, or backward as individuals?

We will quickly find out whether we should continue to be engaged citizens, or if we should simply hand over the keys that in that unfortunate instance, would have never been ours to begin with; and never will.

I think it's time we know.

Larry Pattison is a local blogger, life-long resident of Hamilton, and father to two amazing girls. Larry is also an elected member of the HWDSB Board of Trustees for Ward 3.

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By I am sick of code red (anonymous) | Posted June 03, 2011 at 16:54:11

Why do people keep going on about Code Red, like it a savior or something. It is actually a very old idea, they did it in Victoria era London, England, to deal with the high levels of poverty back tehn.

In my view we have moved backwards, not forward, considering all things.

A stadium will do nothing. my opinion it is and always will be a complete waste of money, consdiering so many in our communtiy go hungry, do not have adequate housing, should I go on?

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By PaulV (registered) | Posted June 03, 2011 at 17:35:12

As a home owner in the area I can only hope the positives outweigh the negatives. Its difficult no to be optimistic about it and hope some good comes of this, which was the tone of the article. Hold on, aren't i echoing the sentiments of most Hamiltonians, blindly hoping things will be ok based on either little information or the warning signs?

I'm getting frustrated folks!

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted June 03, 2011 at 17:38:09

Well, I challenge you to head over to the Save Ivor Wynne website and browse the Stadium District tab.

I hear you that there are certainly more dire concerns in our city than a football stadium, but it's getting built.

I want to be engaged because I want to see the city work with - not against, people like Don Maga who is not only trying to start a business and clean up the area around the stadium, but he wants to build a commuinity centre-type project. Something the area desperately needs.

I want us to try to save the adjacent schools like Parkview and the programs that run out of there, or build a new one in it's place and incorporate it somehow into the stadium district.

Ya, it may revolve around a sports stadium but it can have a greater impact on social inclusion, poverty, city kids, etc. I spoke with Don and touched on how sadly ironic it was, that kids vandalized a building that was to be conformed into a place that will help get kids off our streets. It proves both that a community centre is desperately needed in the area, and how important the programs at Parkview are. Our family utilizes Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club alot and that facility is always hopping with activity. I am sure this new facility would be no different.

Partner with the boxing gym on Barton. Develop a music program at Parkview. Our band played there awhile back and those kids lined the gymnasium walls with amps and guitars. I don't care if they are learning math. If they are playing music, football over at Ivor Wynne with the Cats players, boxing on Barton, swimming at Jimmy Thompson or designing video games at Scott Park Community Centre - the kids are off the street, engaged, empowered, inspired, and we are finding ways to find what makes them tick, instead of them leaving school ticking time bombs.

Bottom line is that I want this project to be about more than just the Tiger-Cats and the building of the stadium itself.

This project will be a catalyst for a revitalized area around the stadium and Barton Street itself, if the community is heavily involved. I will guarantee that.

This will be something more if we all believe it will be and if we can be open-minded to the fact that this building will do more than just house the cats and a soccer team. It's a city-owned stadium nestled into a community. The more we ensure that stadium is deeply connected to it's community, the better we will feel about it's existance and money being spent on upgrades and maintenance.

The Tiger-Cats will want to work with us. Local businesses, churches, and not-for-profits will want to work with us. It's just a matter of whether city council has the appetite to make this about what we as a city want, and not what a handful of people appointed to oversee this project see as being best for us.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-06-03 17:47:21

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By PaulV (registered) | Posted June 03, 2011 at 19:57:33 in reply to Comment 64552

Thanks for the information Lawrence, I'm sure everyone will visit the website and read the preliminary drawings of the stadium grounds. Yikes - 'There will be a minimum of 1500 parking spaces under team control for game day'

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 05, 2011 at 08:30:29 in reply to Comment 64556

Really, 1500 is a small number of spots, and something needs to be done to make the team profitable. Brian Timmis Stadium should have never been built on that site - that parking lot was always needed.

Personally, I think that mediocre parking lot they're getting is a compromise that should have been made a long time ago. I'm as urbanist as the next guy, but a stadium needs a little parking.

Two stadiums packed shoulder to shoulder with no parking for either of them was always an absurdity.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted June 05, 2011 at 16:18:45 in reply to Comment 64596

I'm as urbanist as the next guy, but a stadium needs a little parking.

Only a stadium far from the downtown core and other similar destinations that can't share nearby parking.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted June 06, 2011 at 09:18:45 in reply to Comment 64603

Is there any stadium of this size, anywhere in North America, that doesn't have any parking?

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By mrspetite (anonymous) | Posted June 06, 2011 at 10:33:26 in reply to Comment 64615

Here are some major stadiums with little or no parking. Fenway Park, Boston. Wrigley Stadium, Chicago. Target Field, Minneapolis. BC Place, Vancouver. Rogers Centre, Toronto. Olympic Stadium, Montreal. Verizon Center, Washington.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted June 06, 2011 at 10:43:59 in reply to Comment 64623

Ryan talked about Wrigley in his first piece after we won the Pan Am bid.

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By Nord Blanc (anonymous) | Posted June 06, 2011 at 13:26:06 in reply to Comment 64624

If only.

The Ricketts family owns 95% of the Cubs *and* Wrigley Field, with Tribune Co. holding the remainder. Not only that, but the acquisition set the Ricketts back $842 million, and promises to hit their wallets again as the park is in need of an estimated $400m in renovations.

http://magazine.uchicago.edu/1008/features/heres-the-pitch.shtml
http://www.wrigleyfieldnews.com/articles/?p=213

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted June 06, 2011 at 14:43:02 in reply to Comment 64636

Thanks for sharing, Nord Blanc. I like how they seemingly plopped a large advertising sign within the confines, which seems to offset the need for naming rights. Fenway is 'littered' with much the same but it doesn't take away from the feel of the park.

Although Wrigley is named after the gum guy, it's been that name so long that it is something that must stay. Kind of like Ivor Wynne. For many who didn't know who he was until recently, the name itself as it pertains to the person isn't what's important; it's the fact that we have called it Ivor Wynne Stadium for 40 years and there is a certain charm and strength about that name. 'Ivor Wynne'.

There will never be a charm about Pepsi Centre or TD Banknorth Garden. Sponsorship will change and in turn the names of the buildings will change. Kind of like telecommunications companies - "What's that company called again?"

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By z jones (registered) | Posted June 06, 2011 at 13:57:46 in reply to Comment 64636

Whaat? A pro sports team owner actually owning the stadium? And, like, paying for it? With their own money and everything?

I never saw that coming.

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By Nord Blanc (anonymous) | Posted June 06, 2011 at 14:18:26 in reply to Comment 64638

To be fair, the MLB has nine times the home games of the CFL, and the Cubs have been in the top quarter of franchises for home attendance since 2003, carrying a 10-year average of around 38,200 at Wrigley. Ivor Wynne, of course, has reached those heights only once: 1996's Argos-Eskimos Grey Cup game.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted June 06, 2011 at 15:05:30 in reply to Comment 64639

Maybe a dumb question, but why do CFL teams play so little? 9-10 home games a year? Why not up the number of games so they can sell more tickets and amortize the cost of the stadium?

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted June 07, 2011 at 11:05:05 in reply to Comment 64645

Because football is a much more physically punishing sport than baseball.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 07, 2011 at 14:47:20 in reply to Comment 64665

Many football players leave the sport utterly broken men, either in body or mind. They use their heads as blunt objects, and that takes its toll.

Adding more games to a season would only exacerbate this.

On the other hand, Hockey is similarly punishing and they play ten times as many games.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted June 07, 2011 at 15:42:45 in reply to Comment 64679

Right, but they don't charge directly at each other on every play.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted June 06, 2011 at 15:21:43 in reply to Comment 64645

Not sure. It's actually more than the NFL. NFL has 16 game seasons and in turn, 8 home dates. There pre-season is longer however - 4 games with 2 of them at home.

I think football in general because it's such a physical sport, is only played once a week.

I am not sure how true that is seeing as though hockey is no slouch in the physicality department and they play 82 games in a season - 41 at home. Plus they also play 7 or 8 pre-season games with 2 or 3 of them at home as well.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted June 03, 2011 at 20:20:32 in reply to Comment 64556

You are welcome Paul. Yikes as in not enough parking or Yikes about the *minimum' part? I'd like to see them seek spots north of Barton more so than directly around the stadium. Possibly partner with GO Transit as they discuss the possiblities of putting a GO stop at Gage.

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By HFan (anonymous) | Posted June 03, 2011 at 20:00:38

Lawrence, thanks for the article and post, great reads. You my friend are a treasure to this community and I enjoy your website as well. Can't wait for the 2011 season to start, I believe in inner city Hamilton as you do and nothing better than being outdoors in IWS watching our Cats play. Thank you once again sir.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted June 03, 2011 at 20:17:00 in reply to Comment 64557

Thank-you wholeheartedly, HFan. Your words mean a great deal. The only way I have been able to keep up this good fight, is through words like yours. I hope we can enjoy a pint together sometime at a game. The first pre-season game is just around the corner. Hey, I have 7 tickets for that game if you or anyone else is interested in sitting together and chatting about our dreams for one of our favorite places in our city. Send me an meail.

Thanks again and enjoy the rest of this perfect summers night.

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By HFan (anonymous) | Posted June 03, 2011 at 20:40:11

If it weren't for the Cats and the city of Hamilton's IWS, coming from old east mountain, I never would have discovered the super cabbage rolls of Taste of Poland that we walk by going to the stadium from Gage Park where we park. Love those cabbage rolls!

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By rednic (registered) | Posted June 04, 2011 at 09:15:28

'The Tiger-Cats will want to work with us'

well lets hope, the tiger-cats management seem to have taken their MBAs at the MLSE school of sports management

after rejecting sites based on the fact there was not enough parking the plan seems to be to pave over green space for parking lots.

I hope it all works out but i'm not holding my breath.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 04, 2011 at 09:36:18

I'm guessing that the reason the community seems disengaged in this process is because it was engaged for over a year and the Cats didn't do a single thing in the best interests of the community. Nobody expects them to start now. I've stopped following this story altogether and could care less what they do now. I suspect many people feel the same way.

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted June 04, 2011 at 10:07:02

...be well aware that the community is screaming to be involved.

It's time we see how involving the public more significantly plays out.

What better way to create something extraordinary than to build this together?

I believe we'll even inspire, if we have the courage to work together.

I think it's time we know.

Me too and I think we should start now.

...a handful of people appointed to oversee this project...

So like who are they and who's running the show?

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By HFan (anonymous) | Posted June 04, 2011 at 11:27:29

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By Nord Blanc (anonymous) | Posted June 04, 2011 at 12:49:35 in reply to Comment 64572

For a little entertainment industry context, Hess Village contains around 18 establishments that have put millions into our community, which employ more people than MRX/Lulu/Tiger-Cats combined, that provide a greater tax base for the city, and which are actually profitable (licensed for 5,000, it only takes 49 capacity nights at HV to exceed seasonal home attendance at IWS) and which provide police with no end of revenue (through overtime and nuisance fines). All without emotional blackmail, sweetheart rents or strong-arming the city into biblical infrastructure builds.

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By Vod_Kann (registered) | Posted June 05, 2011 at 07:35:23 in reply to Comment 64576

That is a zero-sum argument though. You can have Hess Village OR we can have the Cats. We in fact can (and do) have both.

Great cities have options for your entertainment dollar. I don't frequent Hess but I love going to see the Cats and the HPO. Many here would not drop a dime to see the Ticats and that is fine. the wonderful thing about Hamilton is that they are not the only game in town.

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By Nord Blanc (anonymous) | Posted June 05, 2011 at 13:50:34 in reply to Comment 64593

Not disputing that we can have both. Merely pointing out that there are businesses in our community that accomplish much the same ends, yet receive far less municipal indulgence. In the case of Hess Village, the city is arguably hostile toward the area. Aside from nominal investments from the city -- decorative streetscaping, encroachment allowances and CCTV --Hess has bootstrapped it's way to its current status. Which is more or less as it should be. IIt should be obvious by now that our government has no obligation to be in the entertainment business. Despite its abundant flaws, at least HECFI is owned by the city.


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By jason (registered) | Posted June 04, 2011 at 16:40:09 in reply to Comment 64576

In other words, they are legitimate businesses that don't rely on public handouts to survive.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 04, 2011 at 12:42:56 in reply to Comment 64572

I'm guessing this comment is in the wrong thread since I haven't mentioned anything about them leaving Hamilton. Unless this was meant for someone else?

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By HFan (anonymous) | Posted June 04, 2011 at 13:22:40

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By z jones (registered) | Posted June 04, 2011 at 18:18:20 in reply to Comment 64577

Hi Caretaker, welcome back to the forum!

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted June 05, 2011 at 16:19:16 in reply to Comment 64582

No, this is Earl, or Hamilton Fan, the fellow who seems to think that Bob Young can do no wrong.

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By keeppushing (anonymous) | Posted June 04, 2011 at 17:49:47

Great article Lawrence. I think it's interesting that the whole process has gone silent. It's just like the location debate. If the public hadn't got involved, we'd be talking about a sprawl stadium right now. Keep pushing the doors open on this! Perhaps we can actually get something special (although, I have to confess, I don't hold out much hope given the track record of those involved). I wonder what happened to the idea of putting Brian Timmis at the West Harbour as they are turning it into parking at IW. I really liked that idea.

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By Vod_Kann (registered) | Posted June 05, 2011 at 07:27:10 in reply to Comment 64581

This is exactly my point. If it was not for the Our City Our Future campaign we would be looking at a stadium jammed between a Leons and a Home Depot and this conversation is not happening.

Perhaps we could get the Our City, Our Future campaign to work towards:

-not only maintaining but improving recreational centres

-Getting an LRT stop near the stadium

-linking the stadium to the growing Ottawa street restaurant business

-getting a go station that will serve both the Stadium and Ottawa Street

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted June 05, 2011 at 07:46:33 in reply to Comment 64592

-linking the stadium to the growing Ottawa street restaurant business

-getting a go station that will serve both the Stadium and Ottawa Street

FWIW - Buckeye's Smokehouse on Ottawa Street North (formerly Logan's) has acquired Ti-Cat season tickets and plans to run a shuttle service to and from the home games. A co-owner has also informed me that they hope to bring players to their establishment throughout the season. This is in stark contrast to what bigguy1231 has claimed:

The stadium has been there in it's various forms for 80 years and has done nothing to spur any interest in that neighbourhood, from anyone who has money to spend.

Somebody spent large reinventing this tired old restaurant bigguy.

Comment edited by WRCU2 on 2011-06-05 07:53:43

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted June 05, 2011 at 20:26:57 in reply to Comment 64594

FWIW - Buckeye's Smokehouse on Ottawa Street North (formerly Logan's) has acquired Ti-Cat season tickets and plans to run a shuttle service to and from the home games. A co-owner has also informed me that they hope to bring players to their establishment throughout the season.

Kay's Pizzeria at Barton and Gage was doing this 15+ yrs ago when they hosted "The Fifth Quarter". We'd have two hour lineups outside the restaurant on game nights. It's not a new thing.

Would it have happened if the 'Cats were no longer playing there? Probably not, but how many more restaurants downtown could have benefited from something similar?

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 05, 2011 at 21:51:32 in reply to Comment 64607

Imagine the 5th quarter at a large public plaza overlooking the west harbour surrounded by multiple restaurant/bar patios and public gathering space? Could have been....

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By Vod_Kann (registered) | Posted June 06, 2011 at 07:41:06 in reply to Comment 64610

Nobody is arguing the merits of a West harbour site here. A vast majority or RTH readers and posters were on board for this (me included). That ship has sailed however.

There are a LOT of things in Hamilton that "could have been". One of the things that attracted me to this site is that it kept pushing forward its agenda in a positive manner.

We need to continue that in these matters- pushing for the most recreational, transit and pedestrian freindly new Ivor Wynne possible while keeping pressure on the powers that be to develop the west harbour in another incarnation.

Fighting the city, the "old money" and the status quo in Hamilton is an uphill battle that should not be a shock to anybody here but as frustrating as can be we have to keep fighting to make those changes a reality.

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted June 06, 2011 at 09:25:58 in reply to Comment 64614

...we have to keep fighting to make those changes a reality.

I'm not wasting my time and energy fighting forces beyond mine-own ability. I choose to eak-out those alternative means because I'd much rather seen as-is neighbourly.

We must try to put ourselves where the change is happening if we wish to ply parts of IT becoming.

Comment edited by WRCU2 on 2011-06-06 09:28:01

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted June 04, 2011 at 22:36:12

I think someone needs a reality check. There is not going to be a stadium district and putting lipstick on this pig that is IWS isn't going to help that neighbourhood one iota. The stadium has been there in it's various forms for 80 years and has done nothing to spur any interest in that neighbourhood, from anyone who has money to spend.

To think that building a smaller facility in a place that nobody wanted to go to previously is going to somehow be a panacea for the area is ridiculous. If there is any future investment in the area it will be public money for public projects to replace facilities bulldozed to build the parking lot for the stadium.

As for the idea that the stadium is somehow historic or in the same league as Fenway or Wrigley, more nonsense. Once the South stand is replaced the oldest part of the place will only be 40 years old. Nothing of the original facility remains now so how are we preserving any history. A plaque at a new park on the site would do just as much to preserve history and cost much less.

Comment edited by bigguy1231 on 2011-06-04 22:37:27

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted June 06, 2011 at 15:01:16 in reply to Comment 64590

You are likely correct. This stadium has been in its current location in various forms for 80 years and it hasn’t spurred off might. We can either do nothing and let this trend continue, or we can do our part to make sure this time is different.

As for nobody wanting to go there, well outside of some pretty tough years, attendance has averaged around the 25K mark at least as of late. I am sure low attendance had nothing to do with location and everything to do with 1-15 and a few other factors.

There are some things to fix. Some things that the Cats want to make a more sustainable go at it. I think if we work together on this design and we all put our ideas out in the open, there will be some compromises that will need to happen but I think all sides will be pleasantly surprised at how in the end, some of the things we thought we wanted/needed, we didn't, or that there exists more creative ways to go about those things that will turn out better than anyone could have imagined in the end.

Parking for instance. Give the Cats some more parking but put a tree/bush/greenery medium every so many spots. Make it look green and inviting and not a big mass of blacktop. I think that is what those against parking lots hate the most outside of the grid-lock of traffic leading up to most large-scale stadiums. Look at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro and the acres of blacktop surrounding that monstrosity. It looks awful and I am a Pats fan – not to mention it being in the middle of knowhere.

I think it was Trey S who posted something about an alternative to blacktop when we were talking Confederation Park. Is there a way to be creative even in this aspect of the stadium build without the costs skyrocketing? Can we also try to keep most of the parking 'offsite' say by the old Consumers glass or something. Not all that far away but not taking away from any greens paces or trees from the current landscape. Brian Timmis is all grass right now. Paving that over completely would be a shame and I actually believe the original design showed that area being transformed into more than just a parking lot. We could re-work the shared Prince of Whales school/Ti-Cat parking to be a little more green as well, and ensure we find ways to increase parking in a way that keeps any parcel of land in the district from looking like a big, black square.

What Don Maga is doing with Scott Park is an example of how this project won't just be about public funds. He is now actually the first person doing anything within this district.

We can all sell the properties and vacant land/warehouses, etc. ourselves as well. There are soon to be three storefronts empty in the Stadium Mall which in itself, looks to be around the Jimmy Thompson/Ivor Wynne era. How about a CFL Shop there or move the Tiger-Town store into there. There exists lots of parking, the lot is clean, Frescho looks sharp in that plaza, etc. Tear away the awning and show off that brick even. That gives folks walking up Gage from the off-site lots, a place to stop and shop along the way. Make people feel like they are already in the stadium district, and they won’t likely care that they have to walk 10 minutes. Throw a trolly up and down Melrose even??

As for history ... I think the history that is special is how long the game has been played there amongst a community and how long a sports venue has existed there in general. They could bring back some history in the new design, keep with the design of the houses and the neighborhood when designing the new south side stands. How about bringing back the concrete streetscape entrance that once existed along Balsam. Looks pretty sharp with that archway entrance when you browse old photographs.

Yes, Wrigley and Fenway in so many ways, have far better preserved their history but for Boston in particular, they didn't realize the value of preserving history until the 60's.

Unfortunately for Hamilton, history is not something we realized. It's something we have fallen back on but I believe it's taking a long look at history and what people love about these other historic buildings, is what can save a project that so many people think is an epic failure.

It's been six months since Ivor Wynne was given the green light yet we are still sore about West Harbor and in many ways we should be. But Ivor Wynne is what we have to work with and I don't think it's all that bad. Quite the contrary.

If something beautiful becomes of West Harbor in light of how this stadium process played out, and if the community is involved with the building of the stadium and district, than I think we will all be very happy with how the whole story played out, come 2015.

If West Harbor still sits derelict and without a vision when the world comes to town in 2015, than I think no matter how beautiful Ivor Wynne and the surrounding area becomes, this will have been a failure.

So I think we have two major projects to work on in the immediate future. East vs. West. Downtown versus the gateway to it. A bright future, versus where in the world do we go from here?

If there is one thing I think we can all agree on, is that the Stadium and West Harbor, will always relate to one another until both dreams are realized. Ivor Wynne perhaps will never be able to boast its beauty, until the neighborhood whose dreams it whisked out from under its awaiting grounds, sees the vision come to fruition that a very large population in our city had for that community.

We can either continue to say that nothing will ever change in this city or the area around Ivor Wynne in particular, or stand up and make sure that it does. Perhaps the reason why it has remained more or less the same over the past 80 years, is because everyone assumed the surrounding business growth would just happen on its own. The stadium doesn’t even have its own website and there are no signs for it off the highway. It’s like it is not there and the city didn’t want anyone to know how to find it.

We simply need to find creative ways (and I think we are slowly getting there), to show them a better way. If they are set in their ways, than let's show them that they can have their cake and eat it too; maybe just not as much icing. They just have to be open to the mentality that you can use a spoon too and in many ways, it actually works better.

And when the stadium is fait de compli, saving it is a term that can never seize to exist again. As long as we care for it, sell it, and cherish it like we would our own homes, can it continue to serve us and be something that as a community, we can remain proud of.

If we want something done, we have to do it ourselves.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-06-06 15:12:53

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By Nord Blanc (anonymous) | Posted June 06, 2011 at 17:19:47 in reply to Comment 64642

"Give the Cats some more parking but put a tree/bush/greenery medium every so many spots. Make it look green and inviting and not a big mass of blacktop.... Brian Timmis is all grass right now. Paving that over completely would be a shame.... find ways to increase parking in a way that keeps any parcel of land in the district from looking like a big, black square."

IMHO, regularly maintained greenery ratios should be legislated as part of every parking lot. As far as paving goes, I'm sure it's been suggested before as a softening measure, but here goes: Permeable/porous pavers.

http://www.bolduc.ca/pavers-83.aspx
http://www.belgard.biz/environmental-pavers-permeable.htm
http://www.marshalls.co.uk/transform/Products/Driveway/driveways/range/driveline-priora
http://www.marshalls.co.uk/transform/Products/Driveway/driveways/range/biovers-paving-system
http://www.marshalls.co.uk/transform/Products/Driveway/driveways/range/grassguard

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted June 06, 2011 at 17:27:38 in reply to Comment 64652

Awesome! Great links, Nord. I need to stop being so lazy. This is the post where Trey talks about these options with a pic of the grass growing through this paving alternative.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted June 06, 2011 at 12:51:19 in reply to Comment 64590

Just for you, Bigguy.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-06-06 12:51:35

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By WhoCares (anonymous) | Posted June 05, 2011 at 12:58:20

The City doesn't give an F about community involvement or they would have listened to the overwhelming public support for a NEW stadium at West Harbour!

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 06, 2011 at 15:09:48 in reply to Comment 64601

Realistically, the whole stadium process was a waste of time. Unless Bob YOung was willing to bring 8 figures of cash to the table of direct investment (not "stadium district" investment) there simply wasn't enough money on the table to build a stadium that would be big enough for the Cats.

Once the Cats were brought into the fold, there was never any other option than the Ivor Wynne reno.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted June 06, 2011 at 21:38:21

@Lawrence - you seem like a very nice person, and I truly hope your ideals are realized. Your efforts to turn this hijacking of public money by the Ti-Cats and their cadre of influential political buddies into something positive are to be lauded. However, I think we all know that there is no public money left for the West Harbour. It is all allocated to the Ivor Wynne reno. My fear is that this reno will be every bit as successful as the Centre Mall effort....

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted June 08, 2011 at 09:17:35

The city has approved $2 million to begin an ambitious strategy to redevelop its neighbourhoods, starting with the communities, identified in the Hamilton Spectator Code Red series, which are in dire straits.

Paul Johnson, the new director of the city’s neighbourhood development strategy, said his department will select at least two neighbourhoods to partner with and begin implementing the city’s plan this year. The idea is to continue this project over the next five years.

“The plan is holistic,” said Johnson. “It will take into account the physical, culture, social, human and environment (of the neighbourhood). The time for talk is over.”

Johnson said he would like to have the two neighbourhoods selected within the month, with action beginning sometime later this summer. An additional two to three other neighbourhoods could also get involved, he said. Eventually, Johnson would like to see the city’s neighbourhood development strategy integrated into all of Hamilton’s neighbourhoods.

http://www.stoneycreeknews.com/news/article/236978

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted June 08, 2011 at 09:56:38 in reply to Comment 64710

Thanks for sharing, Fred. Very intriquing.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted June 11, 2011 at 10:07:07

Here is the link to the revised report of the June 1, 2011 meeting of the Hamilton Pan Am Stadium Sub-Committee to be received at the General Issues Committee meeting on June 13, 2011: http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/D291...

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-06-11 10:07:45

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