Lister Block

Video: Balfour Building Falls Down

By RTH Staff
Published April 22, 2008

If you know who shot this video, please let us know so we can properly accredit it.

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 22, 2008 at 22:57:42

another slum landlord strikes in downtown Hamilton. we need to find a way to take properties from groups like this who intentionally destroy the public history and fabric of the city. We seized the old Sandbar on King St. Why not these buildings too??

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By Florence (anonymous) | Posted April 23, 2008 at 08:16:56

Jason, I worked with one of our BIA's and if you think the Sandbar with its crime (read murder) history in the core is like a rotting building then you are more studip than your comments suggest!!

And people like you didn't take the Sandbar, the Province took it by following recent laws. You give yourself too mcuh credit, my misinformed friend.
I note from your profile you are a 'youth minister'. Heaven help the youth of our community!

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 23, 2008 at 11:37:12

wow...that's a little harsh. My first thought was to ask for more details re: seizure of sandbar and any possible connections to rotting buildings (if there is any...as a youth pastor, I'm no expert on this), but I think after reading the rest of your post I'll pass.

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By Dame Luck (anonymous) | Posted April 23, 2008 at 12:29:48

Please do it soon Ryan! I'm sick of all the trolls on here lately, we spend all our time fending off attacks instead of working for the betterment of the city.

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By Florence (anonymous) | Posted April 24, 2008 at 09:15:30

Jason said "another slum landlord strikes in downtown Hamilton.
we need to find a way to take properties from groups like this who intentionally destroy the public history and fabric of the city."

And I am being vituperative?

For your information, Jason. The Int'l Village BIA can give you all the info and the history of the Sandbar and the huge efforts it took by them, then Councillor Horwath, the city admin, its Mayors, the police and finally the province to introduce and implement legislation to rid the city of this crime infested location. To liken the Sandbar to a rund down building is just not appropriate. That's all I meant.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted April 24, 2008 at 10:31:36

Ha ha sure, Florence, you weren't being "vituperative", you only felt the need to call jason "studip" (sic). Too bad because you actually have an interesting point but it gets buried under the insults.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted April 24, 2008 at 10:36:13

If that was all you meant, then I'm curious as to why you felt it necessary to call Jason stupid and disparage his ministry. It's always interesting to hear other sides to a story, but you don't do your argument any favours when you attack people personally. Jason was directing his ire at a corporation which is hardly the same thing.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted April 24, 2008 at 10:38:55

Sorry for the redundant post. I didn't see nobrainer's comment before I posted.

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By Florence (anonymous) | Posted April 24, 2008 at 10:41:50

I made a studip (sic) mistake. Sorry Jason. However, he wasn't kind either and I have noticed that whenever others are picked on by people like Jason and some others, they are not reprimanded. So there is a bit of a double standard like theme here. But you are right, Jason is probably a great youth minister but he should make his points without calling people's motives and character into question.
Again, apologies. I actually like reading these opinions. Won't jump in again.

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 24, 2008 at 11:52:01

I wasn't intending on being mean towards anyone. I realize this isn't 1970's Detroit, but the Lister corner is as close to 'slum' as we've got in the Hammer. I then simply asked the question about seizure of property where owners refuse to comply with building standards. But enough about me (and apology is most certainly accepted).

I'm aware of laws in Europe that allow anyone to occupy a building once it has been left vacant for a certain number of years or months.
I wonder if it would work here?? There must be something we can do to put an end to all of this destructive speculation. As Harry Stinson noted when he moved here and was looking to purchase property - nobody wants to sell, nor do they want to do anything with their property.

There must be something that can be done, either through bylaws or high taxes for empty buildings or parking lots etc.....

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By trey (registered) | Posted April 25, 2008 at 08:14:32

Actually I think there might be a parallel between the precedent setting Sandbar and the Lister.

The Sandbar property was 'taken' by the Province because it was ultimately a threat to public safety. I believe that reasoning can be applied to the Lister as well. Although highly unlikely, I like Jason's thinking. We used to call that 'out of the box' now that everyone is 'thinking out of the box' no one is. Except the original (small percentage) of the population that is an independent thinker.... I would call Jason one of the those people. Thanks for opening the discussion and causing us a moment to think about things. That is the point of discussions isn't it?

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By Jon (registered) - website | Posted April 25, 2008 at 11:06:59

That was shot by Ken from the Pepper Jack Cafe across the street. Way better than the lame video the spec had.

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By Jon (registered) - website | Posted April 25, 2008 at 11:12:14

Jason has a good point. Irresponsible property ownership has a negative effect on the wealth and prosperity of the community as well as its safety whether the owner lets a crackhouse operate or just lets the building sit empty and decaying.

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 25, 2008 at 18:46:03

as I mentioned earlier, I am no expert in this area, but I know one thing for sure. We should NOT be giving these guys public money to gradually ruin another corner of downtown Hamilton.

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By RonPlinte (registered) | Posted April 27, 2008 at 07:26:05

Are there minimum building standards that the City must hold owners to? Can the City ensure that vacant buildings have been professionally inspected on a regular basis? Why couldn't there be a bylaw that empowers the City to do inspections, if they are not done, and send the bill to the owner? Perhaps Heritage Committee members could supply info on this.

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By Frank (registered) | Posted April 29, 2008 at 09:17:38

First off....not meaning to open the can of worms again but Florence I happen to be one of the youth that attends the church where Jason is one of the pastors and greatly respect him and his leadership.

Now.... I think Ron, if there were minimum building standards and regular, mandatory inspections on buildings we wouldn't have seen the building collapse in the core last week. I'm going to look into it a bit more, see what I can find. Having worked downtown for a short while, I can't recall how many times I said, "wow that's a cool looking building... I wish I could buy it and fix it up." I'm a civil engineering technologist so looking at buildings is what I do, but how in heck are organizations being allowed to purchase buildings and then let them fall apart? Why not put some kind of legislation in place that says, once you purchase a building, after some period of time there has to be marked improvement on the property?

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