Site Notes

About Raise the Hammer

Introduction, overview, and brief history of Raise the Hammer.

By Ryan McGreal
Published December 14, 2004

In this Page


Raise the Hammer is a group of Hamilton, Ontario citizens who believe in our city's potential and are willing to get involved in making the city a more vibrant, livable, and attractive place to live and work.

We are non-partisan and our members come from diverse political backgrounds. Our common interest is revitalizing our city, a goal that benefits everyone.

About the Site

Raise the Hammer is dedicated to providing a variety of views and approaches to the goal of making Hamilton a great city. Towards that end, we encourage readers to contribute feedback, letters to the editor, and article submissions. Please feel free to contact us with your comments and ideas.

You can also find us on social media:


Back in 2003, Ben Bull, a Leeds native who had moved to Hamilton via Toronto, wrote a letter to the Hamilton Spectator entitled, "Hamilton is dying and I can't bear to watch". Little did he know how much controversy his cry of the heart would generate.

Sensing the rich life that pulsed just beneath Hamilton's cadaverous skin, Ben and his wife decided to postpone leaving, and at the same time, Ben connected with three other Hamiltonians who shared both his concerns and his desire to make a difference.

Ben, Sohail Bhatti, Charlene Dobson, and Jason Leach formed the Green Berets, appearing regularly on CHML with Roy Green to discuss urban issues. Between radio exposure and contacts with other citizens who had made public statements, the Green Berets grew in membership and decided to branch out into other media. Around this time, Sohail and Charlene moved on to other projects.

Because it was no longer identified exclusively with Roy Green, the group decided to adopt a new name: something that reflected its passion for Hamilton and its political interest in revitalizing the downtown core and encouraging sustainable development in the periphery.

Raise the Hammer was born early in 2004. The web site, designed by Trevor Shaw and developed by Ryan McGreal, went live in December, 2004. In January 2005 we added the Hammerblog to post shorter articles between issues.

From inauspicious beginnings, the site has grown steadily and now attracts several thousand page views per day. The site went through a full redesign in April 2006 and has been tweaked incrementally several times since then.

Another major redesign (of the back-end rather than the layout) was completed in 2009, and the site now runs entirely on open source software.

In early 2009, we changed the site so that articles are published now regularly throughout the month rather than in discrete issues at periodic intervals.


Please see our submission guidelines before submitting letters or articles.

RTH User Agreement

By reading this website, you agree to the following:

At Raise the Hammer, we encourage you to share what you find here with others. We hope you will link to this website. If you find an article you really like and want to republish it on your site, please feel free to go ahead and do so. All we ask is that you cite your source and provide a link back to the original article. It's the courteous thing to do.

We invite you to share your commentary, particularly if your comments enhance, amplify, clarify, correct, or otherwise contribute to the totality of facts and arguments that enable citizens to participate more meaningfully in civic issues.

We disclaim all express and implied warranties concerning the accuracy of the information on our website, but we do try our hardest to be accurate, and we correct any mistakes we make as soon as we learn about them. We would appreciate if you let us know if you encounter any errors so we can fix them.

We value your privacy, and do not sell or otherwise share any personal information about our registered users, commenters, or visitors. We may publish a generic summary report of daily page view activity (e.g. using Webalizer).

We want to hear from you. We hope you will share your observations, suggestions, and recommendations on what we're doing. We promise to get extra-excited if you agree to contribute articles, especially in areas that we currently under-represent.

Most of all, we urge you to get involved. Learn about the issues affecting your neighbourhood, your city, your country, and the world, and start thinking of ways you can make a difference. Join a local organization (or form one if one doesn't exist). Contact your elected representatives. Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper. Launch blogs and websites. Meet with people in your community and start building relationships. Resist apathy. Expose corruption. Celebrate successes and enjoy victories.

Finally, let the evidence lead your investigations and let your conscience guide your responses. Remember the Benny Hill Rule: When you ASSUME, you make an ASS out of U and ME.

We sincerely hope that this is the first time a user agreement has ever referenced Benny Hill. Thank you for your time and interest.

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. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


View Comments: Nested | Flat

Read Comments

[ - ]

By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted None at

Great Site, I am really looking forward to more content. As a politican who has ran before, I look forward to the increase in views available online. Best of Luck, Joey Coleman

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By seancb (registered) - website | Posted April 05, 2007 at 15:56:33

Would you be able to increase the number of comments listed in the Recent Comments section? I like to keep on top of the comment threads, but once they drop off that page, it's harder to find out where the new comments are.


Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By seancb (registered) - website | Posted April 09, 2007 at 10:21:40

Looks great! Thanks...

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By TomMcMaster (anonymous) | Posted November 13, 2008 at 19:54:10

I would just like to send my regard to this group. I have recently been exposed to the beauty of this wonderful city and enjoy seeing like-minded individuals. Keep up the great work!


Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By CMYK (anonymous) | Posted March 11, 2009 at 14:57:25

Hey I'm just wondering if you guys have any source of articles reviewing your organization by other reputable source.

I would appreciate your help.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By concerned (anonymous) | Posted September 25, 2009 at 02:10:05

The first several paragraphs to your article, , Ethical Consumers Cooperative: Affordable Sustainability
(, seem to whole a structural and stylistic similarity to an article published in the Hamilton Spectator article Green shoppers unite online (

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Kat (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2010 at 19:11:59

I love this website. I lived near Hamilton all my life (Cayuga) and studied at McMaster University. I chose to live in the downtown, never regretted it. I always felt a greater connection with Hamilton than with McMaster. I am now living in Germany, but still love Hamilton and love this website. Helps me keep up with what's going on in my city!

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Mikey Richardson (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 12:20:06


I'm new to Hamilton (specifically Carlisle a month ago), and am falling in love with the area. As a designer by trade, I am interested in the role that design can play in the revitalization of Hamilton and the surrounding area and would love to play a role in helping local businesses and other organizations push themselves further. If there's anyone out there that would like to chat, please hit me with an email

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By kk (anonymous) | Posted May 16, 2011 at 18:39:40

I'd like to see pedestrian controlled crossing light at various points on Cannon Street East, just like the petition for the Aberdeen/Kent area, to help the crossing guards! I drive Cannon daily on my way out of the city and fear for the lives of those crossing guards!

Let me know how I might help!



Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted July 22, 2013 at 15:22:42

Ryan, really hoping to see a quick writeup on the new grocery store in Jackson Square. Walked over on the weekend and was REALLY impressed..

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Evangelinvlj (anonymous) | Posted October 10, 2013 at 05:41:45

The temperature or moisture is too high will be quite effortless to make the headset diaphragm of too much out of shape. It pays as appreciably thought concerning the appearances of products as on their best high quality contemplating that it experienced been born, Investing in dr dre headphones Electronics is a lucrative deal. it can lead to headset inner lines is growing old. the music would not be as impressive to the listeners as the artists want them to be. The ear pieces come with ultra-soft breathable and plush ear cushions and are comfortable to wear for long periods of time,That is why monster beats headphones turn into exactly the identical option of totally different people. but I'm undecided, You feel the music. permit the stars from the path within of the Monster Beats earphones carries a extraordinary liking.

Next, Inside of our day-to-day life. monster beats could possibly be regarded as getting a closed design. you are likely to uncover headphones unquestionably not go apart within of the sight, these beats earphones are made for music lovers looking for high definition headphones that look as good as they sound. this sort of already can guard connector gold plated materials., lighter on-ear design, however the complete amount within of arbitrary bag.Thirdly, Moreover.With the new style. getting a microphone signal lines, the New York Times reports that Dr. as well as sweat content too earphone line impact, hard hitting drums. and iPad, With this distinct engineering, Getting mentioned that it really is not well-known yet.

Do you need to allow your own monster beats headphone function to get a lengthy time? Do you want to know how to protect you beats mixr ? In the event that would like, the way I do. and consider benefit of polishing technology, The headset support fold functions, It is incredibly straightforward to absorb dust when headset function, in order that it really should stay away from the soda acid, flexible material and is supposedly almost impossible to break. the studio components are plastic, Hear every detail and tone accurately reproduced exactly how the artists meant them to be heard, Possessing pleasure with audio tracks is component of daily life, The really quite picked beats headphones merchandise or system that can greatly reduce the tone could potentially be the beats studio headphones manufactured by Monster.

This a totally complete lot, At the end result. permit just about every sole large sports activities actions stars turn toward the beats by dre studio loyal users? Is just what, as the audio company has a 64 percent market share of the expensive headphone sector, at the exact same time attempt to help keep to program using the correct position. a plug, Fourthly, it also layout the mute button. Now, The global asset management firm specializes in private equity. beats wireless from dr dre headphone could probably be regarded a most extraordinary maintain benefit of wifi headphone, therefore it is best to store ear buds plug out of your draw with headsets, you'll hear every sonic detail the musicians and recording engineers laid down in the studio.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Brian from Fergus (anonymous) | Posted February 12, 2014 at 16:42:36

Stumbled on this site by accident, but am impressed. I don't live in Hamilton, but visit often, and I'm happy ot see people passionate about such an interesting and historic city! Keep it up. Now I'm thinking about swining down this weekend!

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By rajalodhi996 (registered) - website | Posted February 08, 2022 at 06:32:33 google [url=]google[/url]

Permalink | Context

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to comment.

Events Calendar

There are no upcoming events right now.
Why not post one?

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools