Site Notes


Read this before submitting an article or letter to the editor.

By Ryan McGreal
Published December 14, 2004

We happily accept article submissions and letters to the editor for Raise the Hammer, and would love to hear from you!

Before sending us your work, please bear in mind the following considerations.

Author Information

For an article submission, please also include the following:

For a letter to the editor, be sure to include the following information:


In general, try to keep your article submission around 800 words or less and your letter under 300 words. Remember Strunk's timeless rule: omit needless words. That said, we will consider longer pieces, particularly if they can be published in parts, when the subject matter warrants it.


We will accept articles in plain text, RTF, HTML, ODT, DOC, and PDF format - but PDF makes us grumpy. You get bonus karma if you submit plain text in Markdown format, which this site uses to format comments from registered users.

Proofread, Proofread, Proofread

Please send a polished, final copy. Check and re-check your work before submitting it. Read it out loud and upside-down, and get a literate friend to proofread it for you. We're all volunteers, and we would prefer not to have to edit a rough draft full of spelling and grammatical errors. :)


Generally, we publish articles related to urban revitalization, sustainability, and economic development, though we sometimes publish interesting pieces about a wider range of topics. We are not looking for a particular ideology or approach (in fact, we welcome a variety of approaches), but it should be related somehow to our core theme.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal.


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By MBedek (registered) | Posted May 11, 2009 at 15:38:42

So what is the scoop on the old Studebaker building on Victoria North.

As well, what about the old school on West Avenue.

Looking for recent information.

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By woody10 (registered) | Posted January 26, 2010 at 19:10:12

Ryan, did you ever think about a Q and A section. I know sometimes I have a menial, unimportant question about a Hamilton issue that is buggin me but don't know where to get a simple answer. Then I figured, what better place to ask than the fine people of RTH, lol. Just a thought.

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By ilpo (registered) - website | Posted March 20, 2010 at 19:31:06

woody10 you appear to be looking for an FAQ section

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By kendall (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2011 at 16:54:04

I am the owner and writer of the blog which can be found in the link section of RTH

Recently I emailed a small group of Hamilton bloggers including Ryan about an idea I had to start a blog page of restaurants in Hamilton aimed at those looking for good and affordable eats. The whole rehash of the background story can be found here,

Since then I have gone ahead and created a post within my blog, linked here The goal is to collect enough submissions to give this post it’s own blog. I’ve had some early encouragement from “The Hamiltonian” as a link of the moment and a couple of antidotes and chuckles from two councilors. I’ve broken up the list into Wards for easy gathering.I would love to ad more selections from the "celebs" if I can use the term, and the average joe of Hamilton. What better choice than the readers of RTH who always have their ears to the ground in Hamilton.

Goal of "The Hungry Hamiltonian" I am putting together a list of best places to eat cheap in Hamilton- according to the following criteria. The parametres are broad, all cuisines, all eateries, food trucks. Provide a list of what you ate, take a picture even, and provide the cost. Remember 3 courses under $20.00 or a quick snack or sandwich under $10.00. Lets get a list that gives the little man a shout out, the chains can do that themselves.

Kendall Oliphant

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By Brian Hatch (anonymous) | Posted March 08, 2012 at 09:15:31

The following is an email I sent to City Councillors yesterday. Please let me know if you would like a copy of the orginal with the attachments.


Brian Hatch

To: Councillor Ferguson March 7, 2012
Cc: All Councillors

Dear Councillor Ferguson

I am sending this email to you, my councilor, because I am disillusioned, disappointed and frustrated with the existing Integrity Complaint Process.

In an email to Integrity Commissioner Mr. Earl Basse on February 17th I stated: “I understand that your investigation needs to be thorough and complete in order to be objective and fair but it also needs to be timely to be effective and meaningful.” I filed my complaint affidavit eighty-one days ago on Dec. 19th and since then I have sent Mr. Basse seven emails requesting information on the status of his investigation. (Attached are all of my emails and the three responses from Mr. Basse.)

To date the only progress that I am aware of is that in his email of Feb. 25th Mr. Basse reports he has finally received a response from the mayor. To my knowledge the Integrity Commissioner has not contacted anyone at The Spec, Cable 14, etc. to verify any of the facts in my affidavit.

I have two requests:

First is that council officially request Mr. Basse report on: A) Why is this investigation taking so long? B) What is the current status of this investigation? and C) When will the final report be issued to council?

Second that the current by-law be amended by adding time lines to the investigation process. My suggestion is that the Integrity Commissioner be required to issue interim status reports every 30 days to council with a goal of issuing a final report in 90 days. If the I. C. needs more time then he should be required to ask council for an extension. The existing Integrity Complaint Process is flawed and needs to be amended to ensure it works in a timely fashion to be effective and meaningful. If not amended then it should be eliminated entirely.

I am looking forward to your response.

Thanks and Regards

Brian Hatch

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By transporter (registered) | Posted August 04, 2013 at 13:59:56

This comment is about transportation subsidies. According to Transport Canada, $25 billion goes to automobiles, for road building, yearly. And $7 billion goes to transit. The website that I went to does not indicate how much of that $7 billion goes to road building. Governments take in $12 billion yearly, in fuel taxes. So, I see automobiles being subsidized, at the rate of at least $13 billion per year. - I say, "at least", because I don't know how much of that $7 billion goes to building roads (for buses). I have tried asking that question of other sources, but as yet, have not received an answer. But regardless, I see it as an expenditure that benefits automobile infrastructure only, and other transportation infrastructure (ie, for trains, bicycles & pedestrians) not at all. I don't think this is fair. I think that subsidy should be halved: half should go to automobiles (including buses), and half should go to all the others.

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By transporter (registered) | Posted January 29, 2014 at 14:23:42

This comment is about the cost of construction of lrt systems, compared with the cost of rbt systems. Many people say: "rbt systems are the same as lrt systems, only cheaper. My reply was always: "It's true that construction costs of lrt's are higher, but that cost is more than made up for, by the fact that the trains last a lot longer, so it doesn't cost nearly as much to maintain and ultimately, replace them. But recently, I read an article written by a transportation advocate, Lyndon Henry. He claims, in an article entitled: "Research: RBT can be truly pricier than LRT", that sometimes, the construction costs of BRT's are higher, waay higher, more than four times as much, in fact. I invite you to go to his website, to see how he makes this case.

Automobiles incur other costs that trains do not, such as: Pollution: Tailpipe emissions cause declining health. That costs a lot, in and of itself, in lives, and of course, money. Noise: Trains are quiet, automobiles are not. Some say that street noise is as bad as pollution, causing as much of a decline in health. What does that cost? Car-nage: A report from the Campaign for Road Safety states: "Some 1.3 million people die every year on roads around the world. That amounts to 3500 people every day. Millions more - 50 million people annually - are injured. And those numbers are probably underreported." It also states this: "Road traffic is the leading cause of death for young people between the ages of ten and twenty-four." The Pulitzer Center recently posted a map, called The Roadskill Map, which shows the rate of global roadkill, by country. As an introduction, they state that the annual death toll "has already reached 1.24 million/year, and is on course to triple, to 3.8 million/year by 2030. If I can extrapolate the 50 million injuries/year now, to 2030, that means 150 million injuries/year, by 2030. How's that, for a cost?

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By Brent (anonymous) | Posted February 28, 2014 at 08:34:45

Your home page has no icons or links to social media that I can see. You're missing a huge opportunity to expand the conversation.

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