Word on the Street

Ben Bull sprinkles pixie dust over the city and describes what unfolds.

By Ben Bull
Published November 10, 2005

Word On The Street

With files from Jason Leach, Ryan McGreal, and Trevor Shaw

These weeks, WOTS has a distinctly fairytale feel to it.

Why's that, Ben? You might ask, (if you were in the habit of talking to your computer). Well, it's because we at RTH are finding it hard to believe everything that's going on in this town. It's as if someone has sprinkled magic pixie dust all over the place and made the sleeping giant stir, turned this Hamilton frog into a Prince - and, well, you get the picture.

So let's pack up our picnic baskets, put on our red capes, and wander on down to Grandma's house for this month's venture into the dark forest we like to call - the Word on The Street!

Let's start with 'Once Upon a Time'. The cannon knitting mills store, which has such a rich history in this town, is closing. We don't know if that means the entire building will be empty; we'll have to see.

Suburban Chief Trevor Shaw knows the building well and reports, "The building is incredible. It would make awesome lofts. The ceilings are about 20 feet. The windows are almost floor to ceiling, it has barely any supporting walls, only some structural beams and the floors are entirely hard wood." Can anybody take a hint?

OK, let's get right into the thick of the action and head right up the beanstalk. This month in Hamilton features a veritable fi fie f***load of events listings, so let's get started:

OK, so what's Gingerbread Man Jason Leach been cooking up in his Magical Kingdom of downtown Hamilton this past fortnight? Let's take a look into the WOTS crystal ball and find out:

"There's a numbered company that's been looking to rezone the lands at the southeast corner of Barton and Ferguson," reports RTH's favourite Gingerbread Boy. "Their sign says the site will be 'a range of residential and commercial uses.'" Our confidential source is keeping hush on this, and will only tell us it's "definitely not about scrap (metal)" We've heard it's going to be "retail commercial."

Apparently the property is owned by the Hotz family and they are looking to do a commercial development involving a number of components. The family seems to have appeared before a committee during the downtown secondary plan zoning discussions, but they haven't announced any specifics as yet. Word is they were hoping for an all-commercial designation but the City's Planning Dept insisted on a piece of the property to be for residential purposes, hence the sign.

More from Jason: "G.S. Dunn, the Mustard Festival sponsors, have filed for bankruptcy. Although this will mean more lost jobs - 50 or so - we have to say that we are not fans of their building downtown - it ruins Vine St. This would make a really good site for potential residential/retail use which might become a part of the emerging Chinatown."

OK, so what's Hamilton's Prince Charming Dave H Kuruk up to these days? He's been busy! For starters his mag is featured in the new issue of Utne - very cool. Also, he got a call from CBS news and they want some copies of H mag for an upcoming story.

WOTS Update! Last issue we told you about a rumour circling around Lorne Lieberman's latest venture. Word is that this is no fairytale! Yup, it's all true! Last past the post as usual, the Hamilton Spectator reported last month that Lieberman is in fact going to open up the old CH theatre on King West. There's no word on when yet, but again, we'll keep ya posted.

OK, Let's head into another house of candy and see what's stirring in the witch's pot, as we ladle out yet another potion of - Upcoming Events!

Weird performance artist, Waxmannequin, is set to perform at the Art Gallery of Hamilton this month. Their news release states, "The Art Gallery of Hamilton's current Atelier Series exhibition includes a new installation completed by established Hamilton artist Jane Adeney and her son Chris Adeney. To celebrate this collaboration, Chris Adeney as Waxmannequin will present a unique performance amidst the installation on Thursday, November 17 at 7:00 pm. Admission to the performance is free."

On Nov 17, the Downtown Cultural Centre features the inimitable Jack Street in The Jack Street Show. Jack has quite a line up of performers, including:

No, I've never heard of any of 'em either, excepot maybe that Foley bloke, but I have seen Jack Street and he is one entertaining bloke, that's for sure. Show starts at 8:00 pm, tickets are $15.00 in advance or $20.00 at the door. $3.00 from each advance ticket goes to Hamilton Food share.

The Ontario Smart Growth Network (OSGN) is very proud to announce the launch of its Taking Smart Growth to the Streets Program. They cordially invite you to the session taking place in Burlington on Nov. 15. Their press release states, "The Streets meetings have been created to give you a voice in the future development of your community. By listening and learning from each other, we will work to:

These sessions are free and open to everyone - but we especially want to hear from local citizens who are most impacted by planning decisions. Space is limited, so please reserve your place ASAP by contacting Greg McDonald at or 416.533.1635 ext. 4." Venue is Burlington Central Library, Holland Room (Main Floor) 2331 New Street. Time, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Coffee and muffins will be provided!

OK, we're onto the last page. So what shall we do for a happy ever after? Well, we don't have one. This Hamilton Fairytale ain't over yet, folks. It's barely got started. Send us your event listings, Press releases, and baseless rumours, and we'll paste them all over our site.

And, if the world's worst secret hasn't reached you yet, we might even post them in our upcoming issues of RTH in print! Yes, we've finally gotten off our backsides, well, away from our computers anyway, and put together a print preview issue of RTH.

There are only 100 of them out there and we don't have any left, but don't fret! If you can't get your hands on one, hang on for the next issue, coming along later this year.

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, folks! That's it for another issue of WOTS. But tune in next week, as we bite into yet another poisoned apple of Hamilton happenings - the Word on The Street!

Ben Bull lives in downtown Toronto. He's been working on a book of short stories for about 10 years now and hopes to be finished tomorrow. He also has a movie blog.


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