Hamilton's Downtown BIA Could Learn From Toronto's

By Jason Leach
Published October 08, 2007

Downtown Hamilton BIA listen up!

The Downtown Yonge BIA in Toronto is bringing back a wonderful Christmas tradition this year.

Their window displays will be decorated for the Christmas season this year and a winning display will be declared in December.

A browse through the Downtown Yonge website shows a markedly different BIA than Hamilton's downtown BIA.

Hamilton has many great BIA's like the International Village (oh, how I would love to fold the Downtown Hamilton BIA into the Village BIA!), Ottawa Street, Westdale, Locke, Concession and many others.

It's a shame that arguably the most important BIA in our most important district seems to have no clue about promoting urbanism and fun in the heart of the city.

Last Christmas they had a wonderful carousel in Gore Park. My daughter hasn't stopped asking about it all year long! Yet the director of the Downtown BIA was quoted as being quite upset about the removal of the deer in order to accommodate the carousel.

Then to top it off, we walked over to the Gore on Boxing Day and everything was gone already.

Let's hope for an infusion of new, young blood into our Downtown BIA. We could start by taking a lesson from the big city up the highway.

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 Frank (registered) | Posted October 09, 2007 at 09:49:34

How do we get new blood into the downtown BIA?

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By peter (anonymous) | Posted October 09, 2007 at 10:56:21

the bia represents cheque cashers and variety stores. it's no wonder they're ignorant.

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By Genghis (anonymous) | Posted October 09, 2007 at 14:31:23

Unfortunatly, if it is a Christian display in any way it will be shot down as " Bigoted" or non inclusive of all other faiths.The PC brigade will be out full force.Dont bother.Christmas is Dead.

I think Seasons Greetings or something more banal like Festivus will have to do.Ill bring the Tinsel.Who is up for the feats of Strength?

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By trey (registered) | Posted October 10, 2007 at 09:42:18

Wouldn't that be great if "festivus" replaces all the generic terms? I think my jewish, christian and muslim friends will all agree with Festivus.

I think Drewitt just has her mind closed and unfortunately is stuck in old, outdated versions of what urbanity should be. It's not just her and the BIA (aren't there term limits?) but the city staff and most council is affected by the same mindset.

Green, toxic, useless lawns, wide roads and parking lots occupies the planning department's public space agenda.

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By Frank (registered) | Posted October 10, 2007 at 10:23:38

What exactly is wrong with the word Christmas? The only place it's actually celebrated as a "Christian" holiday is in Christian circles. Everywhere else it's secularized anyway. Trey you say your friends will appreciate the word Festivus...I say that they won't be bothered by the word Christmas either. It's usually the "PC Brigade" like Genghis was saying that shoot down the use of the word Christmas because they are afraid of being called bigoted. However, having said that, our country was founded largely on Christian principles, and whether you choose to be Christian or not, we fund Catholic schools based on tradition and their contributions to society, I submit that based on the achievements of the founding fathers of this country we should honour the same things they did even if it's in the small 'c' christian way. Of course, if someone chooses not to celebrate Christmas, you could always work the 25th and get paid your normal rate...not time and a half or double time and half... But of course, everyone likes the time off and the extra pay.

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By Frank (registered) | Posted October 10, 2007 at 10:33:05

Our country, being multicultural, is way to interested in pandering to special interest groups for fear of stirring the pot. When a person immigrates to Canada they're becoming a Canadian citizen. Rather than trying to get society to wrap themselves around them, they should be integrating into society. I like to think of society as one of those mosaic things that you make with broken pieces of pottery that are all different colours and shapes... When you add a piece, you're adding more colour and perhaps making the artwork look better (or worse) but the art piece isn't that single piece that's been added, it's the collection of pieces that make the impact. In the same way, one group should never be clamouring for more recognition than the others because it's the collection of the various groups that define us as Canadians.

As a sidebar, if the downtown manger scene or the words Merry Christmas offend you, you could always stay home and close the curtains.

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By Genghis (anonymous) | Posted October 10, 2007 at 16:06:35

FYI, I hope you read into my Sarcasm.Clumsey as it was.

The Islamification of the world will continue unfortunatly or more accuratly, promotion of all other faiths, including athiests, agnostics the expense of Christianity, the founding Faith be default of colonization.

This is Canada in 2007.All PC whiners, jump on the offended bus. it stops frequently.

Happy Festivus... everyone!

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By Frank (registered) | Posted October 11, 2007 at 09:19:04

Haha, Genghis... You're welcome to say that... but I can guarantee, if someone said that to me I'd have to laugh in their face. It is what it is... If you don't agree, then we should change the name of every holiday.

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By Frank (registered) | Posted October 11, 2007 at 09:19:46

But...I don't think that was the point of this article. I think this article was written to try to jar the downtown BIA into doing something during the Christmas holidays....

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