Media

Anything to Demonize Downtown

By Jason Leach
Published November 13, 2006

Before residents around Centre Mall or Eastgate Square get too anxious and stop going for walks in Gage Park or along Ottawa Street, allow me to clarify a news story on 900 CHML today.

CHML tells us that a man was attacked outside a pizza restaurant and left unconscious in the parking lot of "an East Hamilton mall". Actually, it was at Highway 8 and Grays Road in Stoney Creek.

I'm not even sure where that is, but I know it is nowhere near Centre Mall or Gage Park in East Hamilton. It's in Stoney Creek!

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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By (anonymous) | Posted November 14, 2006 at 11:23:48

News Flash Jason - Stoney Creek is part of Hamilton - has been since 2000. Therefore, technically this incident DID occur in East Hamilton.

This does not "demonize" downtown - it just shows that crime can happen anywhere and usually just as frequently in the supposed "safe" suburbs.

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By Frank (registered) | Posted November 14, 2006 at 12:23:53

The parking lot in question is the location of Star Pizza a notoriously shady hangout for the questionable type. Maybe better lighting would be in order?

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 14, 2006 at 13:49:09

I have friends who live near Main and Ottawa in East Hamilton. I'd be curious to talk to residents who live near this pizza place and see where they think they live. I've never once heard Dundas referred to as West Hamilton. Probably because there are no brutal beatings or gang problems there.

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By Olga (anonymous) | Posted November 15, 2006 at 01:51:50

I have lived in East Hamilton all my life, and I get so annoyed when the media (who should know better) make it out to be a rough area. My family and I have spent 20 years in East Hamilton and never has anyone broken into our house and we have never personally experienced any sort of violence in our neighbourhood. Most of the time trouble comes to those who go looking for it, and no matter where you live in a city there is likely to be some crime. Hamilton, including downtown, is a lot safer than many people make it out to be. I'm not saying anyone goes out looking to be attacked, but from what I've seen, random violence is not very common.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 15, 2006 at 09:20:33

you're right Olga. That frustrates me too....and I hate to say it, but our media plays the role in fearmonger. We've reported many times on RTH about a bar fight at Barton and Sherman being called 'downtown'. Yet they'll refer to Hess Village or Locke Street as 'West End'. Now this sad story out of Stoney Creek - and the far reaches of Stoney Creek now that I've looked it up on a map site - is called 'East Hamilton'. It re-inforces the wrong perception you mention. That East Hamilton is some dangerous hole. Nothing could be further from the truth. I don't live in the east end (I'm even more brave - I'm raising kids downtown!!! yikes!!) but have many friends who have recently bought their first homes in the east end and they love it. Hamilton is about as safe as a big city gets from Dundas to Stoney Creek to the far Mountain.

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By spuzzum (anonymous) | Posted September 27, 2007 at 23:40:13

I wuz in the A&W in Abbotsford today, enjoying a two for 6$ teen. I always look at the photos posted on the inside walls and try to figure where they are. This one shows a london bobby and a promo board with 900 chml Stoney Creek.
I was pretty sure it was in Ontario but thought it was closer to Niagra.

The cars in the picture are from the '50's. Nice to see that the radio station is still on the air. Hamilton is a great place...

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