Chamber: Wait for Full Site Analysis on Stadium Location

By RTH Staff
Published July 15, 2010

Before the last-minute inclusion of the East Mountain site for the Pan Am Stadium, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce came out in support of the West Harbour site. I contacted Richard Koroscil, chair of the Chamber, to ask if the Chamber's position remains in support of the West Harbour.

In his reply, he noted that a full analysis of the two potential sites is still forthcoming, and that the stadium "must be sustainable and will need solid private sector support behind it."

At this time, the Chamber's position is that "we are in the middle of a process and we must let it take its course."

He closed with a commendation to the City and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for their collaboration through facilitator Michael Fenn and expressed "trust that a good solution will be found - one that is a win-win for both parties."


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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted July 15, 2010 at 18:28:42

What they think down the road...

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 15, 2010 at 19:22:02

Not sure about that Star article saying a stadium should be part of increased housing in the area. That's a new one to me but I'll admit I'm no urban planner expert or that. Maybe that's the trend, housing beside a stadium. But it's strange because even as a huge TigerCat fan and season ticket holder, the last place I want my house in next to or near a stadium. But that's just me.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-07-15 18:22:31

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By EnviroTO (anonymous) | Posted July 15, 2010 at 21:23:10

One of the most populated new neighbourhoods in Toronto is City Place sitting right next to SkyDome. Without a neighbourhood with a myriad of activities available to surround the stadium, the area will be a dead zone most of the year. Why spend a fortune on roads and infrastructure to have it remain unused most of the time. Build downtown and build a neighbourhood which is lively and even more so when the Ti-Cats are in town.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 15, 2010 at 22:03:35

Environ, yes, why spend a fortune on raods and infrastructure to have it remain unused most of the time. Build it at or near Confederation Park then.

Ask people who don't live in highrises, say the well to do out in Ancaster or Burlington in fairly expensive detached homes if they want a stadium next or right near them. I think we both know the answer to that one.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 10:03:54

I think that's the difference between people here in Hamilton and people in Toronto.

People in Toronto want to live in tiny units in highrise condos cramming every inch of space around the waterfront/downtown core, including around the Skydome and Air Canada Centre.

People in Hamilton want a two car garage and a front and back yard.

I'm not saying everyone has to live the city life, but I know there ARE people who would like to live in an urban downtown Hamilton, and the opportunities are somewhat lacking.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 16, 2010 at 10:18:54

Here's how I look at it, Robert: the clear message we're getting from trend analysis is that aging Boomers and young people moving out increasingly want to live in lively urban environments, not in sprawl suburbs. There are plenty of reasons for this, including (in no particular order):

  • As available sprawl gets farther away from destinations, it is progressively less desirable to anyone.
  • Traffic congestion has reached the point at which it becomes a serious deterrent to commuting.
  • Fuel prices are historically high and rising steadily. Most people now accept that global oil production is effectively at or near an historic maximum.
  • Young people raised on the internet place a much higher value on network connection, which is hard to enjoy when you're driving but perfect for walking and transit. They just don't see driving as "freedom" the way even my generation did.
  • Aging Boomers want to downsize their houses and be closer to amenities, including health services.

The result of all this and other factors I haven't thought of just now is a massive, slow-motion demographic shift back into cities.

Hamilton can position itself to attract and welcome these two cohorts - the wealthiest and the most creative cohorts in our society - and benefit from their assets and life-long earning potential; or we can miss the boat and continue to languish as an aging, under-performing bedroom community with decaying infrastructure and perpetual revenue shortages.

The West Harbour isn't going to pay for itself; everyone knows that. It may not even generate net increases in spending on entertainment around the site - given a static population model. But it may yet pay for itself by:

  1. Recovering an abandoned brownfield site in a prime location so that compatible uses are willing to locate in the vicinity; and hence
  2. Making Hamilton more attractive as a destination for people looking to move into a city.

That's where the payoff happens: the long-term transformation of Hamilton from a car-dependent suburban backwater fearful and ashamed of its own core into a dense, vibrant urban centre that offers a variety of lifestyle and employment options for people looking to live in a mid-sized city.

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted July 17, 2010 at 00:14:33

Almost all our nice condos in Hamilton are being built in Dundas... there are some downtown but downtown's extremely lacking... we could use our own CityPlace.

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