Special Report: Pan Am

Salvaging the Pan Am Opportunity: Move Brian Timmis to West Harbour

The importance of West Harbour has always been much more than just a potential location for a stadium.

By Paul Shaker
Published September 01, 2011

By relocating Brian Timmis stadium to the West Harbour, we could ensure that redevelopment of the waterfront lands will actually begin and Hamilton will have another part of the city to show to our international visitors come 2015.


Brian Timmis Stadium. View Larger Map

The events over the past few months have added yet another layer of twists and turns to the Pan Am debate, leaving citizens shaking their heads at how far off track this amazing opportunity has gone.

However, even at this late date, there are options to salvage some good from the Pan Am opportunity and to ensure that there is a positive legacy for Hamilton after having spent the bulk of our Future Fund.

Elephant in the Room

The elephant in the room remains West Harbour, even with the switch in venue location to Ivor Wynne.

The very finest facility could be built on the grounds of the old stadium, but the crumbing remains of expropriated properties on the waterfront will be a stark reminder of what could have been and, in all likely hood, what should have been for Hamilton come 2015.

Interior shot of old Rheem plant, taken in 2010 (Photo Credit: Matt Jelly)
Interior shot of old Rheem plant, taken in 2010 (Photo Credit: Matt Jelly)

Unfortunately, the West Harbour lands are now being talked about as some sort of cash source to put towards other venue development.

I would argue that we should still be looking to leverage the Pan Am games for redevelopment of the West Harbour, even if the major venues might not be located there.

Preliminary plans show that the land Brian Timmis Stadium currently sits on will be used for the Ivor Wynne redevelopment, either for extra parking or potentially used to accommodate a new North-South oriented stadium.

Dual Purpose

With the displacement of Brian Timmis from the Ivor Wynne area, there is an opportunity to relocate it to the West Harbour.

This would serve the dual purpose of cleaning up the areas that we have expropriated, while also preserving this facility for amateur sport and community use.

This amateur sport legacy was once a central theme of the Pan Am experience, but for obvious reasons, that has been sidelined in favour of the needs of professional sport.

Brian Timmis itself is an under-valued venue. It is considered one of the best soccer stadiums in Ontario outside of BMO field in Toronto and could be reborn as a waterfront stadium on the West Harbour lands.

It has a capacity of about 5,000 and, along with amateur events, it currently serves as the home of a few soccer teams - including Hamilton Croatia of the Canadian Soccer League as well as the Hamilton Avalanche and Hamilton FC Rage of the USL.

Importance of West Harbour

Further, the budget for replacement of Brian Timmis has been included in the Pan Am costing, and, as mentioned, we have already assembled enough land on the West Harbour.

In fact, we have more than enough land, which could allow the development of a relocated Brian Timmis to be a catalyst to spur greater redevelopment on the adjacent lands we have expropriated.

Hamilton West Harbour Planning Area Study Map (click on the image to view original PDF)
Hamilton West Harbour Planning Area Study Map (click on the image to view original PDF)

The importance of West Harbour has always been much more than a potential location for a stadium. It cannot be overstated how much of our planning frameworks are tied to this part of the city.

In Hamilton, everything from downtown renewal, to regional (GO) transit, to LRT, to image and tourism, is tied to or influenced by West Harbour either directly or indirectly.

Turning our backs on this area would not only be unwise, but would also be irresponsible. Further, settling for a fire-sale of the assembled lands to boost the budget elsewhere would be equally irresponsible given the strategic importance of this land.

By relocating Brian Timmis stadium to the West Harbour, we could ensure that redevelopment of the waterfront lands will actually begin and Hamilton will have another part of the city to show to our international visitors come 2015.

Paul Shaker is an urban planner and a co-founder of the Centre for Community Study, a Hamilton-based urban research organization.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted September 01, 2011 at 12:57:18

FYI: In an answer to a question asked at thespec.com BoBra stated that the West Harbour is prime tax-generating land, and should be used as such. He also implied that the cost of remediation was too much for the city, and he suggested a large commercial development would be a suitable use for the West Harbour lands.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted September 01, 2011 at 14:03:31 in reply to Comment 68886

Sounds like a perfect site for a stadium and velodrome....

If only we could get someone else to help us pay for them.

Oh well...

Comment edited by Brandon on 2011-09-01 14:09:35

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 01, 2011 at 13:05:55 in reply to Comment 68886

After extrapolating on Monday's Bill Kelly show that the cost would be $34-40 million - staff have estimated the cost will be $3-5 million - Mayor Bratina said in today's QA with the Spec that the cost will be $3 - $37 million:

The clean-up costs of West Harbour have been given as a range of between $3 million and $37 million dollars.

Can anyone cite any published staff reports that make this cost estimate? It rather sounds like he just took the lower bound of the actual staff estimate that was published and joined it to the upper bound of his own extrapolation from the Waterfront Trust remediation of a different property.

I'm happy to be proven wrong if there are actual numbers we can refer to.


Update: It looks like the Mayor is citing a preliminary estimate from early 2010. From a Feb. 19, 2010 Spec article:

A preliminary environmental assessment showed cleanup costs could range from $3.3 million to $37 million.

However, more detailed study subsequently brought the estimate down to $3-5 million. From a May 8, 2010 Spec editorial:

(it's worth noting that remediation costs, initially feared to be as high as $37 million, will be more like $3 million to $5 million

I'm trying to figure out why the Mayor, who was actively involved in last year's stadium debate as the downtown councillor, would be aware of the former estimate but not the latter.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-09-01 13:41:30

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 01, 2011 at 13:37:47 in reply to Comment 68889

the only person I've heard say $37 million is him. $3-$5 was always the number given by staff.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted September 01, 2011 at 13:12:17 in reply to Comment 68889

Can anyone cite any published staff reports that make this cost estimate?

You know, this reminds me of the 'Oh, that'll cost too much!!!' response to de-amalgamation.

"Umm... How about we use some actual figures, then we can have an actual conversation. Actually."

If it's worth discussing, then it's worth having at least well-estimated figures. And if it's not...then let's not insult ourselves by using fake ones. (In both instances.)

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-09-01 13:12:53

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 01, 2011 at 13:25:46 in reply to Comment 68890

let's not insult ourselves by using fake ones. (In both instances.)

Are you suggesting that the $3-5 million estimate actually published by staff after inspecting the site and the Mayor's back-of-the-envelope $35-40 million estimate are both fake?

Let's not insult ourselves with false equivalence, either.

Edit - I may have narrowed down the source of the Mayor's estimate.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-09-01 13:42:32

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted September 01, 2011 at 13:42:01 in reply to Comment 68892

Are you suggesting that the $3-5 million estimate actually published by staff after inspecting the site and the Mayor's back-of-the-envelope $35-40 million estimate are both fake?

Uh, no. (And I'm surprised that you took that from my point.)

What I am suggesting is that in order to discuss this properly (again, both discussions, de-amalgamation and West Harbour, but obviously in this instance, West Harbour) , we need actual figures. Not rough guesstimates, not hearsay. Because we're talking about something far more important than the weather, or the estimated cost of gold, or whether ballroom dancing is making a comeback. This is a pivotal aspect of Hamilton's development...and I resent someone in authority being lax with the dissemination of information. Especially when they're not actually the steward of it.

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-09-01 13:42:43

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 01, 2011 at 13:43:54 in reply to Comment 68896

Sorry for misunderstanding you. I wasn't sure what you meant by your parenthetical "(In both instances.)" and I appreciate you clarifying it.

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By Shakey (anonymous) | Posted September 01, 2011 at 12:58:45

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted September 03, 2011 at 10:35:48 in reply to Comment 68887

insult spam deleted

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 01, 2011 at 13:22:44

How about a multi-purpose facility like Red Rocks in Denver... soccer, concerts, theatre, trade shows, sporting events etc..... show off our views of the harbour like they show their views of the red rocks. http://static.travelmuse.com/docs/artwor...

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By Art Brut (anonymous) | Posted September 01, 2011 at 15:10:12 in reply to Comment 68891

Red Rocks Amphitheatre’s striking backdrop conceals the concession made to its 9,500 capacity.

• http://goo.gl/ho6l0
• http://www.redrocksonline.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=fw6Cldx79Xc%3d&tabid=76

Also, Denver's mad for venues. In addition to Red Rocks, they have INVESCO Field (71,000 capacity), Pepsi Center (17,000-20,000 capacity) and Coors Field (50,000 capacity) -- all within a two-mile stretch of each other. You could fit a quarter of the city's population in those four facilities.



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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted September 01, 2011 at 15:57:44 in reply to Comment 68906

I think an Ampitheatre would be amazing. I think we need to push something Arts related personally. Not sport although if an arts facility such as an Ampitheatre could spark cleaning up these lands, than possibly we could afford to move Brian Timmis to the area to create a soccer facility in the neighborhood.

At the end of this video I put together during the stadium debate, I talked about a House of the Arts.

We need to as a community, gather up some contacts of our own and sell this stuff ourself.

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By PaulS (anonymous) | Posted September 01, 2011 at 13:26:56 in reply to Comment 68891

Good idea Jason! This could serve a number of needs and would help leave a lasting legacy from the games that will actually physically change the city for the better.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted September 01, 2011 at 14:40:48

So...um...

Going back to another time, when I was Mr. Ideas but didn't have my facts straight...

Who owns Scott Park presently?

I'm asking because...I mean...

Seeing as we're doing a complete rebuild of IWS, and the Ti-Cats have to find a place to play while they don't have IWS...if the previous owner of Scott Park...the 'college' person (I'm being ambiguous for my own reasons)...could be convinced to sell...why couldn't the new stadium be built roughly where Scott Park is now, and then everything relocated within this 'super-property'?

Just curious.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted September 01, 2011 at 16:40:59 in reply to Comment 68904

Privately owned. Haven't heard much of late as to progress of the proposed community centre, but I like the idea of some private interest around the stadium and us not counting on taxyper dollars to build the entire stadium district.

I also don't want to see anything jeopordize the existance of Jimmy Thompson Memorial either. I say the Canadian Football Hall of Fame co-exist with teh community centre. I found out the other week, it was originally where Scott Park School is now. You learn something new every day. :)

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted September 01, 2011 at 23:49:32 in reply to Comment 68912

I would desperately support any initiative that brings down Scott Park School (or Jail if you prefer) and it's windowless, overwhelmingly ugly, blot out the stadium aura. Take it down, and replace it with a new multi-use recreation and athletics facility that links to Jimmy Thompson and Scott Park arena.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted September 01, 2011 at 16:51:50 in reply to Comment 68912

Privately owned.

Um, yeah...

But considering last year we were talking about that college and how it was a shame it was 'in the way'... No offense to the current entrepreneur, but things change.

And who said anything would jeopardize JTM?

Here's the thing I've learned about Hamilton: we look at things we love and believe they have to stay the same because any other state or configuration would seem sacrilegious. Until we examine the history of the place.

It's a school. Nothing more. (And not an architecturally-significant one, at that.)

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted September 01, 2011 at 15:09:42

So how hard was it to resist calling it Brian Timmins just to irritate the Mayor?

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By rednic (registered) | Posted September 01, 2011 at 16:37:04 in reply to Comment 68905

that was me ... quite easy actually ... stupid of me ... gave him an out ...

Comment edited by rednic on 2011-09-01 16:40:12

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted September 01, 2011 at 15:28:14 in reply to Comment 68905

This was the very first question and response:

11:03 [Comment From Nic Nic : ] How has amateur sport benefited from all this ? The only tanganble seems to be the removal of Brian Timmins stadium for a parking lot .. Where is the benefit ? Will the 'new' Ivor Wynne be available to users of Brian Timmins for a reduced cost or should they look to Oakville or some other out of town destination ?

Thursday September 1, 2011 11:03 Nic
11:06 BB: Thanks for the question. First of all, not to be nitpicky, the stadium was named after the famous Brian Timmis, not the northern Ontario town. The benefit will come in large part with the introduction of soccer and related training and game opportunities on a FIFA approved soccer surface. I can't speak to costing right now, but rest assured that more soccer fields are in our future, not less.

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted September 01, 2011 at 15:45:01

I think it's a catch-22, if it could be redeveloped for Timmis stadium then the land becomes "too valuable" for a small statium/park... The more this plays out, the more I believe the conspiracy of the mayor trying to devalue the land for someone to purchase (i.e., Darth Vrall) for a song.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted September 01, 2011 at 21:32:17

Allow me to respectfully take issue with this proposal for two main reasons:

  1. The stadium and velodrome are a better fit at the west harbour site than they are at the Ivor Wynne and Mohawk College sites;

  2. Equally important is that there is already a dearth of sports parks in Ward 3. The removal of Brian Timmis Field and possibly Scott Park to accommodate the Tiger-Cat stadium at the Ivor Wynne site will eliminate the main community soccer park and possibly three baseball diamonds in Ward 3. The west harbour area already has quite a good inventory of outdoor soccer fields and baseball diamonds in the vicinity.

West Harbour Site (Bay St. N. and Barton St. W.) 1. Victoria Park- 1.5 kms- 19 minute walk 2. Eastwood Park- 1.9 kms- 22 minute walk 3. HAAA Grounds- 2.1 km- 25 minute walk

Scott Park 1. Gage Park- 1.1 km- 11 minute walk 2. Montgomery Park- 3.2 km- 39 minute walk 3. Mahony Park- 3.8 kms- 46 minute walk

Combined with the short sighted Board of Education policy to close Delta Secondary School, the only Ward 3 high school in the public system, Ward 3 will soon become no place to raise a child.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-09-01 21:32:45

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted September 02, 2011 at 10:06:58 in reply to Comment 68926

If Delta gets knocked down, I guarantee you that in 30 years once people have flooded back into dense old cities because of high gas prices (and Ward 3 has thus re-entered the middle-class), people will look at pictures of that gorgeous old building and ask "WTF was wrong with those idiots back then?"

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted September 02, 2011 at 10:23:32 in reply to Comment 68952

If they tear down Delta I'll be ticked. They have dones some substantial renno's on the front exterior at least. Not sure about inside.

I do not agree with one closure. Especially Parkview and Delta. Rent out office space or shop space or whatever to local businesses. Use that empty space for alternative uses so that when you point out Pxtl, that the density returns, we have the schools there because otherwise we are going to sell all this land, will have no land for schools, and substancial funding will be needed to build enough schools to carry the demand.

Our desire with the proposed LRT and such is to curb urban sprawl and build density below the mount. So why wouldn't we prepare for that? This article in today's Spec tells me we need to look at frivilous spending instead of continuing the way we are and closing schools to make up for our funding shortfalls.

Control needs to be handed to the teachers who are in these schools each and every day and the board should simply report on what the educators are telling them.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 01, 2011 at 21:53:03 in reply to Comment 68926

what?? Delta is closing?? That school is legendary. Perhaps once the board moves to the mountain we can start a new board of ed that will pretend the lower city exists.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 00:04:03 in reply to Comment 68927

Yeah...

Having played Football for Westmount in my youth we had stories about Delta. Specifically that you never turned your back to their players, in fears of being shived or stuck with a needle. Oh those were good days. Fierce Football team.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2011-09-02 00:04:41

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted September 01, 2011 at 21:53:12

There is nothing to relocate!! It's a grass field with some chalk marks!

Relocate it to John and Wilson then. Just pave over the pavement with turf and roll out the little-league chalk machine.

Some picnic tables and used high-school bleachers and you have Brian Timmis Stadium... but don't forget the 10foot privacy fence to surround it.

Comment edited by TreyS on 2011-09-01 22:02:46

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted September 01, 2011 at 22:20:11

off topic but two above me.... wait, what? Delta is closing? Can we somehow close our local Board of Ed before they close down every neighbourhood school that is not south of the Linc? In effect making it impossible for any innercity neighbourhood to gentrify. Without a school, that kinda is a deal breaker for many young, functioning families to move to an area that we call "CODE RED" that for some reason doesn't have a school.

Let me check that//// scratch my head, we're moving out of Toronto, so that we can afford a 2.5 story 1930 fixer-upper for less than our Yonge/Eg 2-bed rent.? That's about right, there is a reason... first the HWDSB closed all the schools in almost every urban area, (they are now looking to close schools on the 'old mountain'). And you will still commute to your Toronto job, even years after you tried to find a similar job locally, even at half the pay in a city (so-called 504,000 Hamilton), you decide that enough of the commuting is enough, and then it is you realize the reason why the houses are cheap in Hamilton, that's the reason why they are cheap in Hamilton, the reason is why because they are in Hamilton. Keep going down the QEW Niagara and cross the Peace Bridge and see what $80,000 kind of house will buy you. .. A MANSION... but guess why?

Then our 'think-tank-buckets' go, "oh let's analysis our poverty problem for decades and hold Spectator spectacles". They look like they are trying, trying to 'drill down' trying so hard to find out what could be the heart of the problem.. My gosh, effort after effort, round table after round table, symposium after symposium, gawsh darnit after gawsh darnet, we'll get to the bottom of this if it takes ten more community councils and 100s more meetings and round tables... but we'll find out.. mark my words... we'll get to the bottom of this poverty enigma. Yes Terry Cooke that means you, Yes, Dana Robbins that means you, yes CHML Tree of Hope that means you, YOU know why>>> there is a poverty problem in Hamilton. .. jobs. Stop fooling around, we know there is a problem and the reason is obvious. The solution is a much more dangerous issue that no one wants to consider. The people that hold the power to the solution would much rather leave everyone hanging onto the "problem that be" rather than at hand because the next to hold the bag is them.

Our poverty problem, our inner-city problems, the reason why our schools close, is for no other reason than ... JOBS... good paying JOBS, the way it was kinda decent wage JOBS.... 5 new Walmart jobs do not equal 1 lost Stelco job or one Camco job or one Proctor & Gamble Job or one Firestone Job or one IBM job or Royal Bank of Canada or Bank of Montreal or 1 Siemans job or one single Lakeport Job.... does it? But our "statsCan employment numbers continue to rank our employment levels as 'better than average', but for some reason our poverty issue is well below average.

Consider a father of 4 who lost his; Siemens, or- Stelco, Firestone, Lakeport, Royal Connaught, Price-Waterhousecoopers, IBM, AIC, and the list goes on indiscriminately of 'collar color', those lost jobs are the reason for our poverty. Do we really need the smartest people ... like Terry Cooke, like Ryan McGreal, like Harry Stinson to actually tell us these things?

Those families that are fortunate enough to regain employment, or gained employment outside of Hamilton and they moved house, or put their Hamilton house up for sale (to some Toronto suckers) and moved into the GTA or commuted for a life of hell or took a significantly less paying job.

Another note: is why is McMaster one of the highest recruiting undergrad out-of-town Universities in Canada, but also ranks highest among the universities that exports post-grads ??>.

Comment edited by TreyS on 2011-09-01 23:20:32

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted September 02, 2011 at 10:46:48 in reply to Comment 68929

Wow Trey. Good for you man. Good to see we are closing Delta and moving in a Walmart at the Centre and likely in the fairly near future, 900 or so jobs at Stelco will exist no more becuase US Steel won't stick around long and they'll run it into the ground.

Not to mention our old stomping grounds will be gone along with Sherwood and likely all those properties replaced by homes with as you so eloquently put it, no where for their kids to go to school without plopping them on a bus.

My next plea is to Save Parkview or more importantly, do whatever I can to request that council and the board and the province for that matter, seriously considered a new System School as proposed in this document. I believe the desire is to also work on creating a similar environment for elementary kids as well.

We need schools where parents who refuse to take their kids emotions away from them by filling them full of ritalin, can flourish and feel like they fit in. Parkview and Mountain (formerly Caledon/Crestwood), are needed in this city. All schools are needed. How we can we make best use of empty space, while we are buidling our downtown density?

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-09-02 11:39:31

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted September 01, 2011 at 23:39:54

Good points, TreyS and Jason. By the way, here is a link to a Feb 1/11 Spectator article by Nicole O'Reilly reporting that the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board has recommended the closure of Delta Secondary School by 2013. The official decision will not happen until March or April, 2012 but it seems like a done deal: http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-09-01 23:40:25

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted September 01, 2011 at 23:48:58

Wow! just wow!

Let's have tons of "Code Red" discussions to determine how or why certain neighbourhoods are impoverished. ??? Let me just throw this out for discussion... does the "code red" area have a local school?

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By Councillor Brad Clark (anonymous) | Posted September 01, 2011 at 23:56:45

Hi Ryan and RTH participants,

I was asked to comment on the debate regarding the remediation costs of the West Harbour. But first, let me congratulate Mr. Shaker on a well written and timely article. Personally, I am concerned that the Mayor mentioned, in passing, that certain developers are seeing an opportunity to secure these lands. I have no doubt! I am also sure that they want these lands at rock bottom prices. I cannot support abandoning this community to the wishes of a few developers. The land was purchased with the intent of providing some community and sporting amenities. The City must honour our commitment!

The wide variances of the remediation costs is due to the province's rules regarding soil remediation. The City or landowner is required to file a " Record of Site Condition (RSC)", part of the EPA, Regulation 153/04. This regulation requires a Part I and II Environmental Assessment and site specific risk assessments. This simply means that any clean-up depends on the level of contamination and the lands final use. For example, if future use was to be another industry the requisite clean up would likely be less extensive and costly than if the end use was going to be residential.

In this case, the proposed clean-up for the West Harbour stadium was the least expensive with a site specific risk assessment that would mean capping the site for approx $3-5 million. In essence, the proponent would be sealing the contamination in and minimizing the potential migration of surface water through any contaminants to the ground water. The higher estimate was based on a dig and dump, where the contaminated soil would be excavated, rendered inert and dumped in a landfill, $20-$35 million.

That being said, any argument that we cannot use the West Harbour for the velodrome because the remediation would be too expensive is specious. Since, the City now owns the West Harbour lands, we are NOW responsible for the clean-up costs regardless of any Velodrome decision.

I hope this helps...

Brad

Councillor Brad Clark
Ward 9
Office 905 546-2703
cell 906 973-6937

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 03, 2011 at 10:20:43 in reply to Comment 68934

FYI I have confirmed with Councillor Clark that he is the author of this comment.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 10:23:08 in reply to Comment 68934

it does help. Thx for sending this info Brad. Much appreciated. I hope the public will kept in the loop about any potential purchasers for the West Harbour lands. The best way to cement our status as a lame Canadian city would be to take prime waterfront land downtown and put a big box, low density shopping centre there. Cheers

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 00:33:22

So let's put a community soccer field where should be a few 20+storied condos (if the view of the marsh is so great) and mixed-used buildings. In any other city, they would be outraged over a soccer field going there. But in Hamilton we more than welcomed with open arms, hands full of empty envelopes.

Let's rebuild a Lister Block but at the same time lose both sides of its streetwall sides to graffiti masters and to the observing traffic eyes (wow Hamilton looks fantastic). Maybe the relocated Tim Hortons from Right House will bring the sketchpads over.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 02:21:30

I recently heard a rumour that should send a few of you into seizures. Smart Centres has been making enquiries about the West Harbour lands.

I don't like the idea myself, but it would make sense from a business perspective. Wal Mart doesn't have a location in that end of the city.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 08:18:57 in reply to Comment 68939

Let's hope the NEN and Strathcona Community Council are kept in the loop so they can roundly send that ridiculous idea back to plastic penguinville.

The Barton-Tiffany/ WH Master Plan doesn't allow for such uses and would be an easy OMB win. Even easier than the McMaster Innovation Park 'fight'.

Comment edited by jason on 2011-09-02 08:20:12

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 15:55:01 in reply to Comment 68943

You are very nieve if you think anyone at city hall cares about what any community council in this city thinks. They are advisory groups only, they don't make the rules, council does that.

As for the master plan that can and will change many times over the years. I have lived in this city all of my life and have seen numerous plans for this city come and go, I am sure the same would apply for neighbourhood plans. Plans are never set in stone. The OMB, along with Places to Grow and the Greenbelt will be gone after the next election if the Conservatives get elected. It will be wide open for developement.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 10:12:37 in reply to Comment 68943

The Barton-Tiffany/ WH Master Plan doesn't allow for such uses...

Yeah, well we've seen how much our current leadership respects Master Plans developed under previous administrations. Feel the Renaissance!

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 11:48:47

You can follow the Secondary ARC north here. The next public meeting is Oct. 4, but members of the public are also allowed to attend the working meetings, they just aren't allowed to speak.

I agree it would be a devastating blow to Ward 3 if Delta is closed. At the moment the closure of Delta is the board recommendation that must be presented at the beginning of every ARC. At the end of the ARC, the committee and staff both make recommendations to the trustees to vote on. Staff may continue to support the closure of Delta at that point or they may not and even if they do, the trustees may favour the committee's recommendation (assuming the committee does not vote to close Delta).

In other words this is far from a fait accompli, and there is still a chance for the public to influence staff and the committee. And after the committee makes its recommendation, there is a period of time where the public has the opportunity to influence the trustees. If you're going to have townhalls and salons about anything, this should be it.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted September 02, 2011 at 12:01:04 in reply to Comment 68968

Thank you for that highwater. As many issues as we have pending in this city, I would think a town hall focus for the future of our city - our children, would be top priority.

Cheers!

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted September 03, 2011 at 08:49:59

A “thank you” to Councillor Clark for introducing some clarity on the west harbour mediation categories, comparative figures and municipal responsibilities in his recent post on RTH.

Using baseball vernacular in the environmental context, the construction of the stadium and velodrome at the west harbour site would be a “home run” because it would remediate 20 acres of brownfield lands to an acceptable standard for the use contemplated and the stadium and velodrome would be a walkable distance from the major public transportation hubs, Copps Coliseum and other downtown points of interest. The west harbour site carries the smallest possible carbon footprint of any of the other stadium and velodrome sites and would probably lead to some national and international environmental acclaim for Hamilton.

A new stadium at the Ivor Wynne Stadium site and the velodrome at Mohawk College would be a “bloop single”. It is a single because of the reuse of the Ivor Wynne Stadium site. The “bloop” results from the failure to remediate 20 acres of west harbour brownfield lands, the larger carbon footprint in spreading out the stadium and velodrome to two locations several kilometres apart, and the replacement of the amateur soccer pitch at Brian Timmis Field with a parking lot.

A stadium at the east mountain site (60 acre parking lot on or near Eramosa Karst) or at Confederation Park (destruction of dozens of acres of green space) would have been an environmental “strikeout”.

City council is urged to consider the environmental consequences when it makes it final decision on the Pan Am facilities on September 13, 2011.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-09-03 09:45:46

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted September 04, 2011 at 12:50:07 in reply to Comment 69011

Singles can still win games. Stretch it into a double, steal second, hit a couple more singles with other batters... I agree the IWS site as a compromise doesn't provide the biggest bang here, but I think the time for debating location is over and it's time for people to be thinking about what can be done to make the most of this re-investment in a part of town that has seen little of that for decades. The fact it's surrounded by houses is just something to work around.

The velodrome on the other hand - I don't see why that could not work on the West Harbour land. I get the benefit of "partnering" with the school (though that partnership is far from equal, in terms of both investment and benefits), but it could work very well with a Brian Timmis sized stadium on the Barton/Tiffany block.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted September 04, 2011 at 16:35:27 in reply to Comment 69037

The time to revisit the stadium location question is right now.

Circumstances have changed since the January 31, 2011 Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the city and the Tiger-Cats. It was based on the premise that it was less expensive to build half a new stadium at Ivor Wynne Stadium and renovate the north stands than to build a new stadium at the west harbour. That premise has turned out to be incorrect. It was disclosed to the public last week that an entirely new stadium will be built. The January 31st Memorandum of Understanding is therefore outdated and must be amended anyway.

Hamilton city council has a duty to its citizens to take a fresh look at the comparative cost and benefits of building a new stadium and velodrome at the Ivor Wynne Stadium and Mohawk College sites vis-a-vis a co-build at the west harbour site. This information is essential for the city council to make a proper final decision of this magnitude. It could also be helpful to the Tiger-Cats. For example, if the city determines that a co-build of the stadium and velodrome at the west harbour is less expensive than building them separately at the Ivor Wynne and Mohawk College sites, perhaps some or all of the cost savings can be used to add some seats to the stadium.

City council needs to have one or more Special GIC meetings this week to prepare themselves to make the best decision for Hamilton at their council meeting on September 13th.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-09-04 17:14:50

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted September 07, 2011 at 23:07:39 in reply to Comment 69044

The time may have been there in the late spring, when it was found that the north stands could not be adapted as hoped and that a new structure could be built instead.

Now that the RFP is about to go out within a matter of weeks, it's too late. The communication around this whole thing, even within the "team" supposedly planning these facilities, seems to have ensured that.

To be honest though, I'm not sure if having even a couple more months to debate location again we'd be any further ahead on that. It would take a strong leader, with a firm and well supported position, to be able to generate consensus and make a new decision. Do we have that?

Don't anyone answer - that last question was completely rhetorical. ;-)

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By misterque (registered) - website | Posted September 03, 2011 at 12:41:04

It kinda sucks, but I think we should eat the expense and undertake the very expensive full remediation ($20M plus). Cap and pray could leave the space vulnerable to toxic perceptions that may render it less valuable and possibly useless. Regardless of how safe it actually is.

Comment edited by misterque on 2011-09-03 12:41:28

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted September 04, 2011 at 08:52:12

At the Special GIC meeting on Aug 29/11, Mayor Bratina talked about selling the west harbour lands for $10 Million, paying it into the Future Fund and then taking it back out to apply to the velodrome. About an hour later, he said it would cost to $3 Million to $37 Million to remediate the west harbour lands therefore the west harbour lands were an unworthy location for the stadium and velodrome. Based on his figures, Hamilton would take a $20 Million to $30 Million hit by taking that course of action.

Councillor Clark’s helpful post on RTH the other day noted that the high end of Mayor Bratina’s estimate of $37 Million is to do the excavation and removal method of mediation for residential uses and that the low end of the estimate of $3 Million to $5 Million is for the capping method of remediation which would allow the use of west harbour lands for the velodrome (and the stadium, for that matter).

Let’s say the city decides to do the capping method of remediation and build the stadium and velodrome at the west harbour within the next four years creating one of Canada‘s more impressive public spaces stretching from Bayfront Park through Pan Am Park through Central Park to its southern entrance at Cannon and Caroline Streets (which, incidentally, would be directly visible and walkable from the new $150 million Vrancor condo and hotel developments at Main and Caroline and is one block from Copps Coliseum and the Farmer’s Market). Hamilton would continue to own the west harbour land as long as the stadium and veledrome are there, perhaps 50 years or more. Land always increases in value over time. By then, the city could either preserve the public space by renovating the old stadium and/or velodrome, or building a new stadium and/or velodrome, or it could sell the land at a premium price instead of virtually giving it away now. Meanwhile, that impressive public west harbour space could eventually become a draw for new residential developments in the downtown area.

The Ivor Wynne Stadium site has a deep history and many great memories attached to it. But there is an absence of common sense in commissioning a world-class architectural and construction team to build a $152.5 Million stadium on a site that has houses 50 feet away from it on three of its four sides.

Hamilton often has the habit of selling itself short. It seems to be on the precipice of doing so once more. The Pan Am opportunity gives Hamilton a once in a lifetime chance for a team of world-class architects and builders to transform the west harbour area into the one of the great urban public spaces in Canada. Let’s allow them to do it.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-09-04 09:50:08

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted September 05, 2011 at 07:17:23 in reply to Comment 69032

At the Special GIC meeting on Aug 29/11, Mayor Bratina talked about selling the west harbour lands for $10 Million...

...because there is a queue to purchase.

Let’s say the city decides to do the capping method of remediation and build the stadium and velodrome at the west harbour within the next four years creating one of Canada‘s more impressive public spaces stretching from Bayfront Park through Pan Am Park through Central Park to its southern entrance at Cannon and Caroline Streets

I admire your abilities to imagine 'What Might Have Been'. (My own meanderings have the entire industrial strip gone, and the creation of one of the world's most amazing waterfronts taking its place) But with the Ti-Cats as the primary legacy tenant, this ain't gonna happen.

The Ivor Wynne Stadium site has a deep history and many great memories attached to it. But there is an absence of common sense in commissioning a world-class architectural and construction team to build a $152.5 Million stadium on a site that has houses 50 feet away from it on three of its four sides.

This really isn't the issue.

The Pan Am opportunity gives Hamilton a once in a lifetime chance for a team of world-class architects and builders to transform the west harbour area into the one of the great urban public spaces in Canada. Let’s allow them to do it.

I feel like this is a case of déja vu. Weren't we here last year?

Both efforts...the stadium and velodrome...got co-opted. The former by the Ti-Cats, the latter by Mohawk College.

Great leadership requires making cogent decisions based on a solid vision...and sticking to them. (And if it's necessary to walk away from the table...then you walk.) Clearly, we haven't seen 'great leadership' from either this Council...or the last. 'Something's rotten in the state of Denmark', and all that.

Someone elsewhere said it well:

"When you have no target, everything looks like one."

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By misterque (registered) - website | Posted September 05, 2011 at 13:33:17

May I take slight umbrage to the use to the term Pan Am anything in reference to the IWS2 or any other said stadium. The money will be coming from the Pan Am Corporation, but the Athletics event that the stadium was supposed to hold were nixed long ago. The Canadian Athletics association requested that the Athletics portion (track and field) be removed from Hamilton because the TiCats franchise indicated that they would immediately destroy the track once they became the legacy tenant. The stadium may house a few soccer preliminary events, but this money is being used for the TiCats. The reason that Athletics needed a huge stadium is because it is the crown jewel of the Pan Ams. Many world records are set at the Pan Ams because some of the fastest countries in the world compete at this event. Hamilton essentially 'blew off' the most watched, most attended event in the whole games. I am surprised that Hamilton received any monies from the Pan Am Corp for the stadium, since Athletics is what the stadium was being built for. So not only has the TiCats managed to redirect money from the goal of the Future Fund (which might as well be called the FuckYou Fund) they have also redirected money from the goal of the Pan Am Corp as well. These are truly dark times for process.

If one were to direct the future fund towards sports related goals we could see a system of soccer, ultimate, flag football, and rugby facilities that could be used all year long at subsidized rate. The Future Fund could have been used to MOBILIZE our children and create a population of participants in sport. Instead the Future Fund has been stolen to subsidize a private money losing venture that promotes drinking, ass widening, and spectator culture.

So it is NOT a Pan Am stadium. It the Fan Scam stadium. And it is not IWS2, it is WTF2.

Comment edited by misterque on 2011-09-05 13:35:26

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By Jarvii (anonymous) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 14:04:12

http://www.newstadiumnewexperience.com/

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