Sprawl

City to Help ERASE Downtown Waterdown

By Jason Leach
Published September 18, 2007

A report on the city's website notes that Hamilton is giving a $236,480 ERASE brownfield remediation grant to Clappison Five Six Properties Inc. help construct part of the new Power Centre [PDF] at Clappison's Corners (Hwy. 5 and 6). It used to be an industrial site.

So let's get this straight: we can give money to companies like McDonald's and Wal-Mart to ruin downtown Waterdown, but we can't afford to help Opera Hamilton?

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

16 Comments

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Read Comments

[ - ]

By Concerned Observer (anonymous) | Posted September 18, 2007 at 19:04:30

This is indicative of a City with wrong priorities.

Will this loan or grant actually benefit residents in the area? No.

Another question to consider, is there really need in Hamilton for another Big Box Centre? Is this money part of some type of development deal?

Is this proper sustainable community economic development?

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By jason (registered) | Posted September 18, 2007 at 20:15:20

all great questions.

I live downtown, but have empathy for the business folks and residents in downtown Dundas and Waterdown.
Our council is literally surrounding the urban core with mega-box stores. This one will be larger than the Meadowless-lands! incredible. There is absolutely no need for any more of these big box centres. I only hope council ends their obsession over these things once this one is done. Downtown and the central city are the only areas left untouched by box stores. The effects of one of these complexes in the middle of the city somewhere would be very devestating. More than any other ones we've built to date.

Finally, the safety issue of this location at Hwy 5&6 has obviously not crossed their minds....I don't drive this stretch currently, let alone once a billion crazed shoppers are trying to merge into lanes with speeding transports.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Anonymous (anonymous) | Posted September 18, 2007 at 22:24:32

I find this debate fascinating. Here we have a property with environmental contamination within our urban area (as defined by the Regional Official Plan and the Flamborough Official Plan)with numerous threats and you're critising the City for offering assistance to clean it up for the citizens of Flamborough. One project with assistance in Flamborough compared to the numerous projects in Hamilton and the millions spent in the downtown. Let's spread the wealth a little and be fair. People in Flamborough deserve safety as well, they're not evil people for not living in Downtown Hamilton!

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By jason (registered) | Posted September 18, 2007 at 22:46:33

I generally don't respond to anonymous posters, but this project isn't "for the citizens of Flamborough". The citizens and business owners of Flamborough were against this project more than anyone else in the city.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Anonymous (anonymous) | Posted September 19, 2007 at 08:46:24

Wrong Jason, the citizens weren't against it. In fact they love it, no more driving to Burlington and Cambridge to the big boxes to fulfill their shopping needs. It's called retail leakage. I wonder where you get your facts from?? The vocal minority?

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By peter (anonymous) | Posted September 19, 2007 at 11:00:57

i think it's irrelevant whether or not the citizens of waterdown what this project to go ahead or not. the ramifications of a massive big box development on LOCAL waterdown businesses will be horrendous; traffic will be a nightmarish; and the pleasure people receive from these services will be but a fleeting thing. furthermore, the city of hamilton should not be paying off the likes of walmart. if they want to build there then they ought to foot the bill themselves. if anything we should pay them to get lost.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By jason (registered) | Posted September 19, 2007 at 11:40:25

gotta love anonymous posters. Do some reading please:

http://www.omb.gov.on.ca/e-decisions/pl0...

http://www.myhamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/FC...

http://www.westdalevillage.ca/articles/d...

I see only the developers defending their position, not the majority of citizens.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 19, 2007 at 13:56:04

So the city can pay to clean up the land themselves, and NOT allow building of these boxes on top of the newly cleaned land. These boxes WILL be abandoned within our lifetimes!

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Genghis (anonymous) | Posted September 19, 2007 at 19:44:51

See "Brantford"..Donut city extra-ordinare. a Gaping hole of boarded up stores where the high street once was.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By TimJacobs (anonymous) | Posted September 20, 2007 at 13:24:40

Actually, Genghis, as I understand it, Wilfird Laurier University's Brantford campus has stimulated urban renewal in downtown Brantford. It's the outer areas of ribbon-fringe development (gas stations, fast food chains, and shabby strip malls) that will languish in years to come.

A real estate maxim is that everyone returns to downtown eventually (hence, gentrification). That is to say, stately character housing, decent city planning, density, diversity, close proximity to cultural amenities and financial sectors all cause people to return to urban centres.

You'll see it again in Brantford and we're already seeing it with Hamilton. The first wave of urban renewal begins with artist pioneers (New York, San Fran., and London are prime examples). Note the proliferation of art galleries on James ST. North in Hamilton for a sure sign of urban renwal pioneering.

What is there in the suburbs anyway? Box stores will be graveyards in twenty years time, or less--monuments to our cities' greed for the quick fix and instant cash.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By trey (registered) | Posted September 20, 2007 at 14:08:34

I'm not going to feel sorry for Flamborough. They wanted it, then let them get what they deserve. These comments are correct about Big Box retailing is not only at the tail end but will eventually be acres of abandoned ashphalt surrounded by buildings/boxes that have no other retro-fit use or future. This won't have any impact on Hamilton, I'll never patronize the area. I already avoid #6 because I want to live. They spend their life in their cars and it also puts them at a higher risk to be in a 5-car fatality collision. It will only get worse, when 5,000 people are speeding there and back to buy a bag of milk. Have they seen Golf Links on a Saturday afternoon? Residents in the Meadowlands have to fight traffic congestion right at the entrance of their cul de sacs.

The only redeeming area - Waterdown core - will evaporate and then there will be no character left except for a post-peak-automobile-holocaust. Let them try and sell their houses in 20 years. Which is about the time when a 35-45 year old today will need to cash in the house.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By beancounter (registered) | Posted September 21, 2007 at 11:07:03

Thanks, Jason for posting those links.

Pretty scary reading, when you consider the power these developers seem to have to make our city a much less desirable place to live. I liked Peter's comment that we should pay these people to get lost!

Perhaps we ought to press our councillors to declare a complete moratorium on building more power centres.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 21, 2007 at 11:18:35

"Perhaps we ought to press our councillors to declare a complete moratorium on building more power centres."

Councillor McHattie (surprise, surprise) is pushing for a moratorium on new Power Centres until the city has a chance to study their economic viability and effects on existing business districts.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By beancounter (registered) | Posted September 21, 2007 at 11:48:51

Oops! I don't know what happened there.

Thank you, Ryan, for that information on Brian McHattie. He's a real ally for our cause, I believe.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 21, 2007 at 15:01:31

THe waterdown core is barely redeeming. It was overrun by strip malls years and years ago. It has only a handful of historically meaningful buildings and is nothing like "old ancaster" which has at least maintained its identity by keeping the worst developments off its main streets. The entire length of Centre road through waterdown is already a fiasco.. it's virtually a power centre of its own (or at least a 70's era equivalent -- only slightly smaller in scale than today's developments)

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By we4drs (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2010 at 09:36:00

Are you kidding me??? Walmart is an amazing store, the prices are very much welcome and it has created a many job opportunities for local residents. Not to mention its support for the local parade and local organizations. The majority of people I know are very happy that there is a Walmart in Waterdown.

Permalink | Context

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to comment.

Events Calendar

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools

Feeds