Opinion

Ivor Wynne Is Already a Great Stadium Location

We are overlooking something special about Ivor Wynne Stadium being in the centre of Hamilton's downtown district.

By Larry Pattison
Published July 07, 2010

...loves outdoor football and never wants to go back"

-- Stargazer_Girl, a CFL devotee from B.C.

I think it's safe to say that an outdoor stadium will be built in Hamilton, but what caught my eye within the above quote was the fan's perception of the new/old/temporary B.C. stadium as the fans in Vancouver enjoyed their first outdoor home CFL game in 28 years.

A new stadium: it's a leading debate in Hamilton these days as we find ourselves in the late stages of the design and location selection for a new venue for the 2015 Pan Am Games, a site which is also planned to be the future home of our Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League.

The opening quote is an example of why the fans' input is very important when it comes to major decisions that could have a significant impact on the future of a city, or in this case, a football franchise.

What scares me the most is that people who know little about football, people with a million other issues to resolve significantly more important than a sports franchise, are set to make these decisions for us.

Perhaps some of us (myself included) don't know a lot about the business side of development, the politics or demographics, but if you look at what 50 years of fighting the build of the Red Hill Valley Expressway inspired in that final design, we can be reminded of the good that can come from the fans/citizens, environmentalists, and even the arts community having a say on the future development plans aimed to grow this city for the future.

With the indecision surrounding the location of Hamilton's proposed stadium, the future of our city and our football team are at risk because of a location and physical design focused on one series of events. Our site will play a small part in the overall picture of the 2015 Pan Am games that will span one or two weeks, and then we may be left to sit amongst the stands and forever see a Pan Am vision instead of a football vision - the future of our city vision.

One Site Missing From Consideration

The talks related to the stadium location have mostly focused on a waterfront site in Hamilton's West Harbour, with other lands such as Confederation Park (on Lake Ontario), and the airport (Mount Hope, Ontario), and most recently the East Mountain site at Stone Church and Mud Street.

There is, however, one spot that has not been considered.

For 60 years, a little community in Hamilton's east end has enjoyed having Ivor Wynne Stadium and the Tiger-Cats as neighbours. Perhaps a few didn't realize the stadium might get a little loud at times, but for most, the energy that emanates through the stands and into the east end air is what they love most about their community.

Ivor Wynne Stadium, the current home of Hamilton's beloved Tiger-Cats, has a storied past in itself, but what I think is extraordinary about places like this is the history that lives in the minds and hearts of those who have spent time within its walls.

Here is a quick summary of what Ivor Wynne Stadium means to me, from the games of my early childhood to sharing this very special place with my own children.

History: it's something we embrace and hold onto. We all have one. We have all been a part of it. Our ancestors have lived it. We try to preserve it where we can without getting in the way of positive change where change is necessary. But what constitutes the need to let go of history? When must we realize that history has run its course? That we must take a moment to reflect on what it has meant to us (generations of us), and let go of it and look into the future?

Perhaps we are ready for an emotional goodbye to Ivor Wynne. For a tribute with music, images, videos, fans, and players and coaches past a present, all reflecting on the history of this beautiful east end stadium. Perhaps we are ready for one final party. To take home a piece of history as IWS is taken down piece by piece.

A Chance to Celebrate Rebirth

For now, though, let's put a hold on the touching, teary-eyed farewell and envision the possibilities. What if that tribute was how we celebrated the rebirth of a revitalized stadium where it stands, rather than the destruction? What if we forego all the tears and the drama, and extend that history?

Let the past continue to be a part of us, so the players can remember what being a Tiger-Cat stands for, and so people are not just paying for a ticket to see a football game but are paying to be a part of history. Where even something as small as a ticket stub is in itself preserving a piece of that past.

I grew up on the east mountain, but I have lived in the general area surrounding Ivor Wynne Stadium for almost ten years now. I have made many new and lasting friendships, and have fond memories of the time I have spent below the mount. There is so much character in These mature neighbourhoods from the older style homes, the deep-rooted trees, the animal life, the closeness of the houses and more people sitting on their front porches, that all combine to serve as a recipe for a close, well grounded community.

I believe the fact that the current historical site is nestled amongst the community, is what makes Ivor Wynne Stadium so unique amongst not only the CFL community, but the football community as a whole. This is what we could market to the Pan AM Games committee, to the CFL, and to potential visitors to this city. We promote how Ivor Wynne is a stadium amongst the community, and that the Tiger-Cats truly are our neighbours.

Let's step away from building a waterfront carrot to showcase on television. What does our stadium mean to our city? How does it give back? How does it compliment the area for which it calls home? That is the dream we should be selling the world, when sharing our vision with them.

Let our current stadium live on as a true 'community' venue.

Market the stadium for how it is different, and it how it has and continues to, build and support this community from High School's using it as their home field, to Secondary School playoff and championship games being played there.

A Great Location

I know many are opposed to the east end as a possible location to either rebuild or build a new venue for the Pan Am Games and the Tiger-Cats, but look at the current location. Cannon St, Barton St, Burlington St, Main St, King St, Sherman Ave, Gage Ave - all major throughways that lead downtown and to the 403/QEW. All roads are within a reasonable distance to Ivor Wynne.

Outside of accessibility, how great is the surrounding stadium experience as well, from parking on peoples lawns to the way the locals dress up their houses for the football season. I think IWS offers a game day experience like not other, and I believe we gain much more from this process by utilizing that originality that exists in this city in general, than focusing so much on what others do or say we should do.

This past New Years, I drove eight hours to Boston, Massachusetts to watch a hockey game at Fenway Park. It had been a longstanding dream of mine to see the historical stadium as we slowly see historical landmarks like Yankee Stadium and the Montreal Forum decommissioned and, in many cases, brought to the ground.

Ask the owners of Fenway and the Red Sox why they have chosen to continue to rebuild and upgrade the current site, instead of going the route that many have chosen which is tear down the old, and build a big, fancy new one.

Incorporate History into Our Future

Sometimes we need to create a new history. Perhaps, there comes a time to put history in the past and build a new legacy. Change is good, but if we can preserve history, if there is a way to incorporate that history into our future, I believe it is something we owe 'it'.

Ivor Wynne Stadium has undergone many changes over the years, but the stadium has remained true to the original vision of an outdoor stadium. In fact, it is one of the few stadiums of its kind in North America and is a significant historical and cultural landmark of Hamilton-Wentworth.

-- from Ticats.ca (History of Ivor Wynne)

I look at the above quote, and I cannot help but wonder why the current location is not on the list of possible locations for a new/rebuilt stadium if this is truly how we feel towards Ivor Wynne Stadium? Is there is a way to use adjacent lands to preserve football in the Balsam community? What's happening with Scott Park? Forget 'Pan Am Field' on the waterfront for a moment. What about 'Balsam Stadium' at Balsam Park?

Ivor Wynne Stadium is the site of the largest outdoor video board in the country ... the fifth largest outdoor board in North America.

I think the above quote exhibits how the revitalization of Ivor Wynne, before we won the Pan Am games bid, was going in the right direction. Why can we not continue down that path, perhaps utilizing money from the games bid to prepare the building or the adjacent site, for 2015?

The Individuality of Stadiums

The individuality of stadiums that have a deep-seeded history in their community what truly makes a stadium special and more than just a building. Places like Fenway Park in Boston, Wrigley Field in Chicago, and yes, even Hamilton's own Ivor Wynne Stadium, are examples of why many people love certain sports teams: for the history rather than or just as much as, the franchise itself.

Take away the Green Monster at Fenway, the Ivy at Wrigley Field, being able to reach out and touch a player at Ivor Wynne, and you take a lot away from the game-day experience. Move the Red Sox out of the Fenway neighbourhood or the Tiger-Cats to Mississauga, and suddenly they are just a sports team. The players come and go, but a stadium can continue to be the tie that bonds.

How many City Councillors and local businessmen involved in this project are dedicated, passionate, season ticket holders. Really? Ask yourself are you really fit to make the final call on such an important decision for this city without the input from it?

Let the people who know this game, who love this game, have a major influence on this substantial decision for our city.

Have a look at what the fans have to say on the Tiger-Cats forum. If anyone knows what works, it is the fans that have been going to games for generations. Many of them travel around Canada to attend games, including those that have been to dozens of Grey Cups. These people have a broader vision of what is special about the eight individual stadium experiences across this country.

The Rest of the Community

I would like to see Hamilton stop trying to do what everyone else is doing with a television-driven waterfront design. Stop the 'fix downtown' focus, and think about the rest of the community that's being forgotten. Don't forget, you have to get to the stadium. What about the roads to it?

There is something special about Ivor Wynne Stadium being in the centre of Hamilton's downtown district that has drawn me to it since childhood. Even when the team itself was going through bad times, I still felt the desire to sit among the stands of Ivor Wynne. I think we are overlooking this, or not looking at ways we could make this current site work if we put our heads together.

The waterfront has poor accessibility, the airport is out of the way, Confederation Park and the airport both eliminate any walk-up traffic. The Waterfront still has potential for a 'community' feel, but none of the other sites do. None though, truly offer what the current site does: history.

We don't need to sell why the stadium should remain at the east end site, but rather why it shouldn't continue to exist where it currently stands.

Continue East-End Rebirth

Is the reason the east end hasn't been a consideration because of the 'area'? If this is true, that is not an acceptable reason at all. The new stadium is meant to clean up the harbour, while the east end is already being cleaned up with a revitalized Ottawa Street shopping district and a new Centre (mall), not to mention existing attractions like the very beautiful Gage Park. Let's continue that east end re-birth

The Balsam neighbourhood has had Ivor Wynne and the Tiger-Cats as neighbours since 1950. The minute IWS is tore down, that history is gone and the new building becomes nothing more than a structure. Sure, we can spend the next 60 years creating new memories within the new venue's walls, but I think this city as a whole is trying really hard to preserve more of its history, instead of just knocking it down.

Is there a way to preserve this part of our history? That's all I am asking, and if not why?

Our caretaker, Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young, has asked for the opinion of the fans on theTicats.ca forums where he is known to get involved in the chats. Perhaps as the Tiger-Cats and the city continue to be at odds about deciding on a stadium location, Mayor Fred and his councillors could ask the 'city' community, what we think? What is our vision?

What is your vision, Hamilton?

Larry Pattison is a local blogger, life-long resident of Hamilton, and father to two amazing girls. You can follow his writing at Shaking the Tree.

43 Comments

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted July 07, 2010 at 13:16:12

As much as I do like the history behind Ivor Wynne, I have to politely disagree that it is in a good location. First off, it is surrounding by low to mid income residential development. Now why many fans treasure the stadium, just as many do not. If anything the fact IVS has not been a concert venue for some time due to noise complaints should be evidence of that. The other issue is this development cannot be easily removed to produce tangible economic gain for the city or the community, and indeed would bankrupt the city to attempt due to a lack of private interests to shoulder some of the burden.

The accessibility of the stadium is also quite poor. It is not near any rail lines (proposed or existing), it lacks sufficient parking room, and even the pedestrian access is marred somewhat by the nearby state of decay many it's surroundings display. She is hidden away from major roadways, and thus it comes as no surprise she can't bring in naming rights to somewhat offset her maintenance costs.

Yes I completely agree there is a lot of charm and a lot of history to Ivor Wynne, and it holds a special place in our hearts and memories. However, she is over 70 years old, the cost of upgrading her is nearly the cost of building from scratch and even then, I have doubts that the team that also has a rich history, over 140 years would still be able to sustain itself as IVS. It's time to put the old girl (and the nearby Scott Park) out of their misery and turn the area into a memorial park/rec center with some light commercial areas and parking.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 07, 2010 at 14:19:05

Some valid points for sure Hammer.

  1. I think an Ampitheatre type venue on the waterfront could solve the concert issue
  2. Would not a revitalized stadium/removing Scott Park and cleaning up that area, increase the value of the homes and turn this area around?
  3. I don't have the proposed LRT map handy (if there is one), but is King not the route it would ride on? Even if it's Main (as Jason's article mentions), it's only another block away from IWS. (Great web site by the way re: HLR. Just couldn't find a proposed/detailed map)
  4. I know naming rights help bring in some major funding, but I am not a fan of some big corporation naming our stadium. Plaster there logos all over the interior, but leave the exterior alone. What are the alternatives. I'd like to own a piece of IWS. Even it's only $100 or $1,000 worth. How would the CFL community feel about owning a piece of their league?

You could be right on all points here Hammer. I tend to be a bit of a dreamer. I just love history, including our Cats and IWS. If the city and team are going to abandon it (which obviously they are), I'd like a good write up about why it can't remain where it stands or on adjacent grounds, and some thoughts on bringing as much of that IWS feel to the new stadium as we can.

They can omit the track design or put rectractable seats around it to keep us close to the field for football, and I'll be more sold on some of these possible locations, even if I don't like them. At least I'll like the 'game day' experience.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2010-07-07 13:33:29

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted July 07, 2010 at 15:08:18

Fascinating. I've been wondering why this site was never an option. This stadium facility -in one form or another- has been there since 1930...when it was built for the British Empire Games.

I'm curious about the counter-arguments, the noise, etc... Um, don't these fall on the side of the argument that says the stadium should be 'somewhere out there', away from residential development...which is entirely contrary to the notion of a 'downtown' facility? To me, this sees ANY urban stadium as a negative. So maybe the discussion ends there. (I'm still a little confused about the transit negatives; Barton is within walking distance, Main, too... And wouldn't this be on the LRT route?)

Let's suppose for a second that the Ti-Cats had said 'What we'd like to do is use the 'superproperty' of IVS and Scott Park as the backdrop for the new stadium. We'd like to develop the area in a community-use sense -some green space, some recreational facilities in addition to building the facility that we need, and that the Pan Am Games need.' What then?

Sorry, I'm a little stuck on the bit that suggests that this Hamilton fixture that's been around for the better part of a century effectively needs to go. What if, on another speculative tangent, it has been 'revitalized' ten years ago, and was capable of hosting the events for the Games. (With some modification, let's suppose.) What then?

It's interesting; so much talk about 'bad change' (the general loss of the downtown, the specific loss of The Century, the presumed loss of The Connaught, etc), and yet we're so eager to strip away something that has defined Hamilton for so many years...in favour of a business decision that is proving to be incredibly contentious.

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By OhWell (anonymous) | Posted July 07, 2010 at 15:20:09

100%, it should have been considered a site and many who've I've mentioned my plan to have agreed.

Here's how it would play out in my vision.
1. Day after last game of 2010 season, demolition starts.
2. Spring 2011 site ready for new construction, no Env. Assessment, no purchase/expropriation of property, no need to re-purpose the site, etc.
3. TiCats move to Ron Joyce Stadium at Mac, where the stadiums 6,000 seats are boosted to 13,000 - 15,000 through temporary bleachers.
4. TiCats have a new home for 2 seasons.
5. After 2 years of construction TiCat Season Opener 2013 in new stadium.
6. Pan Am Games can come to town.

As a bonus, the city could reclaim Scott Park (SP) and work a re-use of that property into the development (perhaps Velodrome??). The whole area (IWS, SP & Brian Timmis) could be turned into a sports focused hub - Baseball Diamonds, Jimmy Thompson, Scott Park Arena, new-IWS, Velodrome (or something else on SP School site), a re-configured/purposed Brian Timmis.

Works for me...

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 07, 2010 at 15:34:39

Thanks MyStoneyCreek and OhWell. Also some great ideas. I've been thinking about something simiilar to what you both have talked of. There is a lot of land doing nothing around there/not being utilized properly. I bet the area would love a 'new' Scott Park Arena and we could give the new stadium a bit of the Jimmy Thompson/Fenway park feel with a brick exterior wall.

It's comforting knowing that there are other's out there thinking with their hearts and their love for our city and history (and not being unrealistic in my eyes), and not how 'they' have influenced us to think.

I am not sold on anything whatsover that has been proposed. I am just not feeling it. Something isn't right and a whole lot of stinks. (fishy, even)

Cheers.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 07, 2010 at 15:51:55

some interesting old threads, including an article from Scott Radley on the issue back in 2007.

"Hey, Chicago's downtown is doing OK, and Wrigley Field is 93 years old." Intersting. :)

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread...

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By JM (registered) | Posted July 07, 2010 at 16:38:27

Lawrence,

Thank you for this! Very well written... almost brought a tear to my eye. I'm only 24, but I'm filled with childhood memories and still love the feeling of going to a game (was there 2 weeks ago, and you'll see me again this Saturday!)

It's hard to believe that this has been "forgotten" or "lost" in the whole stadium debate. You should send this article to the SPEC, so all of Hamilton can read it (i.e. those not familiar with RTH).

And well, if the sad day comes when Ivor Wynne is torn down....

  1. Literally take important pieces from it (i.e. Seats, or even all of Box J) and use them in the new stadium.
  2. I would gladly buy a piece of Ivor Wynne.... and I'd still like to get a piece of City Hall marble. Any chance of that?!
  3. What will happen to the "Ti-cat" community around Barton, Balsam, and Beechwood?

Shame it might be "too late" to save.... JM

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 07, 2010 at 16:53:02

Thank you JM. Your commenets mean a lot. Maybe 'everyone' was hoping nobody would bring this up or just buy into the 'it has done it's time' mentality.

I am working on a slideshow to go with this (low budget :), that I hope to post on my blog later tonight that relates to this.

I have to believe it's never too late. Especially the way this process is going so far.

An '11th' our location has already been added to the mix. What about an '11th hour proposal from the fans/citizens.

Great things can be done in large numbers. What are the numbers who truly want to see IWS live on and those opposed, could we fix what they are opposed of with a stadium re-design? Slow concessions, parking limitations (clear out Scott Park School), transit (increase frequency for a few hours before, after, and during games as well as proposed LRT route along Main in the cities plans), on all routes that access IWS.

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By JM (registered) | Posted July 07, 2010 at 17:02:01

Can't wait to see the slideshow, i will look for it later..........

By the way, i forgot to mention. I grew up, and still live on the East Mountain (with the exception of 4 years in Waterloo for School). Unfortunately I'm still living at home with my parents, but hope to buy a home near the waterfront or downtown within the next year.... but even being up here, and being really close to the "compromise" going to a game off the Red Hill just won't be the same! (you know... only walking through a parking lot, rather than seeing and interacting with people on the front porches proudly waving a ticats flag, and laughing at those "crazies" parked on peoples front lawns).

JM

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By jason (registered) | Posted July 07, 2010 at 20:17:13

this is a great article and some great ideas. I'd love to see these sorts of ideas explored before we throw a bunch of money at a far-away stadium doomed to fail.

I'll sure miss going to IWS if we do in fact get rid of it. There's nothing like it.

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted July 07, 2010 at 20:47:30

I, too, wondered why the current site was not considered.

Ivor Wynne is far more accessible than the proposed East mountain site. I can take the bus or bike to IW from the West end of the lower city - not reasonable for the East mountain. And there is plenty of free parking for IW provided you're willing to walk for fifteen minutes to Gage Park.

I'm still a fan of the bayfront site: one bus will get you there from anywhere in the city, and it's got rail. And there's plenty of parking a mere ten minutes walk away.

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By frank (registered) | Posted July 07, 2010 at 21:09:16

That's precisely the sentiment Sam Merulla has. You want a councilor on your side, contact him. Apparently there's already a plan in place to keep IWS in play (pun intended) for another 20 years...

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 07, 2010 at 21:40:05

Thanks Jason, Kenneth and Frank.

Jason, the way the neighbors 'dress' up their houses, dogs, kids, etc is awesome! One of my favorite qualities of the area.

Kenneth, I too love a 'venue' plan for the waterfront. Just not football and not more than probably 15,000.

Frank, I totally forgot about this quote I cut out of a Spec article. I had notes all over the place in preperation for this piece that I have been thinking about for many months now. Here is what Sam said:

"For the area's councillor, Sam Merulla, the differences between James North and his ward's commercial strip are stark.

'I believe Ottawa North is far more prosperous and successful than James Street North is," he said. "Ottawa Street is booming; our entire east end is booming.'

Along with increasing property values, the area has the largest inner-city redevelopment in Canada at the former Centre Mall, Merulla said. It's being transformed into a huge big-box centre." - quoted from TheSpec.com in an article by Paul Morse

And another plan? Intriguing.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2010-07-07 20:49:05

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By WRCU2 (registered) | Posted July 08, 2010 at 08:19:24

There is no common sense amongst our city leaders nor our corporate champions. We do not even need a new stadium for the Pan Am Games, Ivor Wynne is just fine and with a little spit-n-polish from the legacy fund, he would be good as new. But unfortunately, this does not line pockets with golden fleece taken from both me and you.

Mr. Merulla is happy about the East Mountain choice because this will remove the tax burden of stadium operations off the backs of us lower city residents. You will recall that Mr. Merulla was against the games bid from the very beginning. He is thinking of his constituents best interests, but I am not so sure this East Mountain site is best for the city.

Sadly, if Ivor Wynne is mothballed and Scott Park is scratched with another more distant site being chosen, my football fan days are numbered, and the Cats will have to find a new angle for their promotional videos, to get me to the games for an Oskie Wee Wee hosin'.

I am also shocked and dismayed the Ivor Wynne has not been considered as a HERITAGE SITE full of history and our Commenwealth Games legacy. What a crying shame! Look at all the real money that could be saved along with the preservation of a local landmark, which now appears grave.

So much for our SuperHeroes in the Black & Gold, Bob Young has determined that our legacy gets sold.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 08, 2010 at 11:08:44

You touched on something I did not, WRCU2, and that is the Commonwealth Games legacy. That is the reason it exists in the first place. Funding it's revitalization with funds from a 21st century games, would add more to the history and that legacy you speak of, being a venue used on a 'Games' stage since 1930.

"The Civic Stadium was first opened in 1930. The stadium was originally built to host the British Empire Games which was Canada's first major international athletic event held in August of 1930." ~ from the History of Ivor WYnne at Ticats.ca

Canada's first international athletic event. So it's history is Canada wide? Can a national heritage council step in here? Just wondering.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2010-07-08 10:10:17

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 08, 2010 at 11:28:19

Also, aren't Games whether they be Pan Am or the Olmpics, all about community? A world communtiy and bringing us together? Doesn't being in the heart of ours, say something to this?

Great links by the way as well, WRCU2. "Your season is a success, as long as you beat the Argos." Love it! :)

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By IWSFan (anonymous) | Posted July 08, 2010 at 12:13:23

I found an old post (December 2009) on the Skyscraper Forum board that echo's what is being suggested and discussed here, though it seems to have been summarily, and looks like unanimously, shot down by posters on that forum.

See Post 575; http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=135278&page=29

JM, asked above what will happen to the area surrounding IWS, and that question was asked early this week on The Hamiltonian; http://www.thehamiltonian.net/2010/07/ivor-wynne-thing.html

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted July 08, 2010 at 13:22:29

I never understood why people would want to drive to something they're going to drink at.

Always be suspicious when people tell you that repairing something old will cost more than just buying/building a new one. Whether it's an appliance, a gadget, or a building, it raises a lot of serious questions about the proposed quality of what's going to be built new.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 08, 2010 at 14:09:23

Always be suspicious when people tell you that repairing something old will cost more than just buying/building a new one.

Case in point: my hundred-year-old house is in great shape and will easily last another hundred years with normal maintenance; whereas a house built today will be starting to fall apart in two or three decades.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 08, 2010 at 15:04:55

Here is the link to the video I created as part of this article. I finished it finally at 3:30 this am, but it took until now to figure out how to convert from .ppt to .avi. Painful. After testing out three software programs, waiting an hour each time to see how the slide show would transfer, I finally found one that works.

Here it is [URL]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdemQSt5qZc[/URL]

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 08, 2010 at 15:05:50

Here is the link to the video I created as part of this article.

Here it is [URL]"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdemQSt5qZc"[/URL]

Comment edited by lawrence on 2010-07-08 14:07:03

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 08, 2010 at 15:21:46

Hi Lawrence, RTH uses Markdown for comment formatting, rather than BBEdit. To embed a link in your comment, you can use the following Markdown syntax:

[link to the video](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdemQSt5qZc)

It will display as follows:

link to the video

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 08, 2010 at 16:40:06

Thanks very much Ryan. I didn't look at the comment until over an hour later, and then I looked at how you created the link in my profile, but of course it was too late to edit.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 08, 2010 at 17:02:56

Always be suspicious when people tell you that repairing something old will cost >more than just buying/building a new one.

Case in point: my hundred-year-old house is in great shape and will easily last >>another hundred years with normal maintenance; whereas a house built today will >>be starting to fall apart in two or three decades.

My house is only 60 or so years old, but I agree. Not to mention the character of these old homes. I think almost every house on my street is different too.

I try to fix where I can and where I know how, or utilize friends or social networking sites to find people who can help me fix them.

I have two old radio receivers that were staticky when I turned the volume up or down. One friend recommended I open them up, blow em out, and all would be good. They are like brand new now and one is probably from the 70's (with an 8-track recorder), and one is probably early 80's.

One thing not included in the costs of new stadiums, is the cost to the earth of all that garbage tossed into the ground that was once a working thing/stadium/house that could have just used a little of the TLC Ryan mentioned to save it and the earth from such a fate.

Some things need to be thrown away/tore down when they are dangerous and beyond repair, but I think most things can be fixed.

Kijiji is my best friend. I try to get rid of unwanted items on there even if they are free and broken if I think someone else might be able to easily fix them, and to purchase/pick up others cool junk. aka records.

So I put this out to all my social media contacts, how do we 'fix' IWS and save it from the fate we are talking about here?

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 08, 2010 at 17:07:50

JM, asked above what will happen to the area surrounding IWS, and that question >was asked early this week on The Hamiltonian; >http://www.thehamiltonian.net/2010/07/ivor-wynne-thing.html

Quite a conversation going on over there. Although I hate to think forward in the matter of it's destruction, he is right that we need to make sure it isn't vacant for 9 years, and that there is a solid plan in place either way.

Delta High School still needs a home field (they currently use IWS), and I cherich very dearly the handful of times I played there in High School. Do they still hold the annual 'Under the light's high school game there as well?

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted July 08, 2010 at 18:03:56

I believe the feasibility of Ivor Wynne was discussed -- at least, I believe I recall conversations about it on the ticats forums. I love Ivor Wynne -- no better place to see a game. And I know the team understands how much people enjoy the place, and the atmosphere. So, I don't believe moving away from that location would've been taken lightly.

Far be it for me, without a single dollar invested in the team, for me to suggest that they just stay where they are. We all know operating the Ticats hasn't been an easy, or profitable, endeavor. So, I think moving from this location is not just an effort in profit-chasing, I think its a calculated attempt to ensure the viability of the franchise. (Much unlike the moves by the Yankees or Maple Leafs.)

I think we should all ensure that we cherish the moments Ivor Wynne has given us. Do our best to fill the place every game and really experience the ol' gals roar!

See you all Saturday!

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By adam2 (anonymous) | Posted July 08, 2010 at 22:04:04

What's sexier to a politician: maintaining an old building that is a part of a city's history, or demolishing it and building a brand new design by the waterfront?

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted July 09, 2010 at 02:30:12

I read an interesting quote the other day in the midst of a bunch of energy research. To paraphrase, the author basically pointed out that in the last 30 years buildings have become the leading energy user in our society. But we already knew far more than enough about green building by 1980 to have cut this down to a small fraction of what it was then". Unfortunately, I've gone through way too many hours of research in the last few days to remember where it came from, but the point is very valid. Nearly every book I have, or have even seen, on technologies like passive solar design were printed in the 70s.

The "amazing advances in construction" we've seen since WWII have been much more a case of externalizing costs (to home owners and the environment) than any real "progress" in the technologies themselves. New homes breaking down in three decades? I can believe it, but mostly because I've heard enough stories of families having to rebuild half their fancy new Ancaster homes themselves in the first five years.

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By WRCU2 (registered) | Posted July 09, 2010 at 08:06:42

Great slideshow Lawrence, I am disappointed that you didn't get more uppity votes. Ryan got more votes for simply fixing your ill-formatted links and that really stinks! Must be the groupies me thinks.

Thanks for sharing Lawrence, I appreciate the all the effort you put into your slideshow, even if others do not, bro. We'll keep you in mind as Hamilton's new media is beginning to grow.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 09, 2010 at 11:33:12

New homes breaking down in three decades? I can believe it, but mostly >because I've heard enough stories of families having to rebuild half >their fancy new Ancaster homes themselves in the first five years.

It's sad, Undustrial. Very sad. I had a friend go through this as well.

Quantity over quality. Let's hope the same building standards don't apply to the new stadium. 'Pan Am Stadium collapses before old vacatn IWS is even torn down.'

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By Windfall (registered) | Posted July 09, 2010 at 15:22:25

Lawrence Thomas may be all he claims to be, however what he lacks is the knowledge of Hamilton history, pre Ivor Wynne naming, and the fight and passion of residents then, who fought hard to keep and prevent "their" Civic Stadium from being stolen and falling into the clutches of big business. How many of those passionate and civic minded folks are around today, who can relate and testify to the pre Ivor Wynne days when Civic Stadium was in use, sometimes seven days a week, for amateur soccer, football, school sports days, Marion Day events, Highland Games and was really a venue belonging to all of Hamilton's residents. As for demographics, will it come as a surprise for Mr Thomas to realize that the great majority of Hamiltonians have never visited or viewed a Tiger Cat Football game, including many of the people who live in the area around the Stadium. Many reasons for this but most of them are economic. I grew up in the East End and I can recall when on a Sunday my father would walk with my sisters and I, down to Civic Stadium to see "what was going on" and there was always something "going on". The Tiger Cats were not precluded from use in those days, they just didn't have a monopoly on ownership. Is Mr Thomas aware that when paying for artificial turf came before City Council it was defeated due to the outrage expressed by the citizens. Is Mr Thmas aware that Vic Copps and CHML's Perc Allen led a campaign to raise money from business to buy the turf against the wishes of the community, and then rammed it through Council. Is Mr Thomas aware that when the Civic Stadium was renamed, that ninety-five per cent of Hamiltonians had to be informed of who Ivor Wynne was. And finally, does Mr Thomas relize that the great majority of the people who enjoy the game and create the noise in the neighbourhood around the stadium, are the first to cry about noise in their own neighbourhoods.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 09, 2010 at 16:27:14

Today’s Ivor Wynne Stadium is your quintessential neighborhood sporting venue. Nestled among residential streets, a block away from the Barton Street commercial district, and about a mile south of downtown, parking can be found wherever space can be had – on the street, in vacant lots, on residents’ front lawns. The narrow streets around the stadium are bustling with fans before the game, mixed in with street vendors and musical entertainers.

I'd like to first add this link to replying to some of the above. I found this today on Football Ballparks

Surprise more of this data hasn't been worked into the current history of IWS on Ticats.ca. Or some of what Windfall talks of above.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 09, 2010 at 17:47:32

Great slideshow Lawrence, I am disappointed that you didn't get more uppity votes. Ryan got more votes for simply fixing your ill-formatted links and that really stinks! Must be the groupies me thinks.

Thanks for sharing Lawrence, I appreciate the all the effort you put into your slideshow, even if others do not, bro. We'll keep you in mind as Hamilton's new media is beginning to grow.

I'll focus on the positive first, even though I don't think what Windfall said was negative in the grand scheme of things, other than the way it was perhaps ‘said’. I expected more of this kind of commentary by this very animated board. And I mean that in a good way.

Okay. The positive.

Thanks sincerely for your support, WRCU2. I expected worse as I touched on above. That is not a knock at RTH at all because I have great respect for the articles and well informed commenter’s on this platform. Like I said, there are many more important things in this city than football, and that is how I took the lack of response or votes. All you need is one person who shares your vision and who appreciates your efforts, to make it worth while. And you my friend, are one of the ones who have made this a worth while effort for me.

I am relatively new to the writing scene or the arts scene here in Hamilton in general. I have been writing on and off since a child, but it's only been in the past 7 or 8 years that this has become more of a passion that I wanted to pursue further. Same thing with music. I have been playing the harmonica in my living rooms and in my garage for probably 10 years now, with only some Bruce Springsteen and an ‘F’ harp to go with for much of the early days. Now I have 10 harps, moved to Lee Oskers, and joined a band and have done a few gigs as I explore this side of my artist self, but finding my ‘voice’ none the less. Comments such as yours and other’s above, certainly help one gain confidence in their abilities and fuel the desire to keep working at it. There is a lot of negative out there, so you have to learn from it, but focus on the positive.

There were enough shared my vision and fears, to make this a positive for me. I know little about politics although spending quality time on sites like this do help one gain a better understanding of it, and reading magazines like Mayday. As for the history side, I wouldn’t even know where to begin to find what Windfall has talked of above, and what was said I believe is important to this discussion.

I love constructive criticism and embrace being called out when I am wrong. It’s the only way we can be better at want we want to do and be stronger, more informed individuals. What I feel though, is that you can call someone out because they eat meat or drive an SUV and alienate yourself from them, or somehow constructively, lead them in the right direction without being a bully about it, or talk about why you don’t eat meat or that you ride a bike and how you have made these changes work for you and how they have improved your life.

The formal Mr. Thomas thing, well, I felt like I was on trial or something. Perhaps I should be? Some of the facts you stated Windfall, were new to me and I appreciate you pointing these things out and sharing this with me (us). I think what is evident from what I have said/shown, is that I too would like to see the current site continue to be a place for community football, but even more of a community place in general; not just one used by the Cats. As I said, the community that exists amongst the neighbourhood and the fans is what I truly love most about the IWS experience as whey they stunk up the joint, it became more about hanging out there than watching poor football on the field.

As for the noise thing, you could go back to the whole you moved by a stadium debate. How many people have lived there before the north stands put your house in shade or the cannon made your flowers fall off the dining room table? They have taken away the Cannon, they could probably do away with the fly-bys that even startle me those rare occasions I can’t make a game and I can feel them burst by over my shoulder as sit in my yard. They don’t need concerts there to make money either. They just need to, as you touched on, bring it back to more of a community gathering place and utilize it much more.

And the only way civic minded folks ... who can relate and testify to the pre Ivor Wynne days when Civic Stadium was in use, is for those of you who know this history, to share it with us as you have done. Not knock us for not knowing Hamilton’s history.

There are few things that I enjoy more, than listening to my 95 year old Grandfather (who learned more about life through living it having had to drop out of school to raise his family after grade 8), talk about the history of this town. The images of Hamilton he paints of life at home during the war, fighting in WWII, the depression, how the city has evolved, picking berries on lands that now are occupied by 17 story apartments, where the waterfront used to be, taking the train all over southern Ontario trying to make a buck.

As for that fight, I jumped on the Red Hill protest very late in the game, but I have never been a part of anything more beautiful in my entire life. I was able to take part in a Sweat in the Valley before the highway opened up, and I am here to tell you I have not known the peace that fighting to save a place that I once enjoyed as a child, than I did the few months I spent with the natives and the people in this city who Truly care about it’s future and those that reside in it. The music, drums, discussions, prayers, and things like Thanksgiving dinner in the Valley. Fire keepers and enjoying the last of the peaceful calm that existed before progression took that from us.

Yeah, I don't know everything there is to know about this cities history, but I love learning about it. To be honest, I didn't even know we had such an amazing History Room at our library until I went there the other day for a quiet place to write this article. Seemed like a very fitting place to discover, before I sat down to talk a little about it.

I truly appreciate your wisdom Windfall. I just think Further to Mr. Thomas' thoughts, would have worked better than continuing to point a waving finger at my lack of knowledge with a formal Mr. Thomas before each ‘paragraph’. I owned up to the knowledge I lack right in my piece.

Lastly to you once again WRCU2, thanks for keeping me in mind re: new media. Art in general is on fire in this community which is great to see, and being a part of it is something I would be honoured to be a part of. Speaking of which, I am hoping to make it to my third straight ‘Crawl’ tonight.

At the end of the day, IWS is very important to me. Sometimes it’s just a matter of having the peace of mind that ‘I had my say’. ‘I said my peace’. That’s all that I can do and now, I know that I am not alone in my thoughts and fears and my love for Ivor Wynne. This was more ‘This is my Red Hill Valley. Who is with me?

As Slodrive said, there have been many discussions about this topic on the Ti-Cats forums. I just don’t think there has been enough pertaining to the existing site.

As Slodrive also stated, see some of you on Saturday. Looking forward to a fun family day at IWS.

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By Cubically (registered) | Posted July 09, 2010 at 22:37:33

Y do the ticats have a say in where the new stadium should go. I don't think it's their choice!they don't like it they should take their losing team else were

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By Windfall (registered) | Posted July 10, 2010 at 06:15:46

All people are Mr., Mrs or Miss until as a formality I am properly introduced so Mr Thomas in these circumstances is appropriate. I am eighty-nine, younger than your grandfather, but in my own right a grandfather and a great granfather, also a WWII veteran seeing France first at Dieppe and then revisiting for a longer period on D-Day. Like many I fought for my country and returning to Hamilton I fought for a Union in 1946 and I continue to fight against all injustice and I consider anything, or anyone, who steals or whittles away at our common way of life to be a purveyor of injustice. The glitter and sounds of commercialism tends to blind us and deafen us and too often distracts us from the considerations we should be giving to a whole human society.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 10, 2010 at 09:08:28

Well I bet you have many a great story to tell Windfall. 89 years young is impressive. I can only hope I have my grandfather's longevity genes.

I am not a big fan of unions, but I am sure they had their day. 4 generations of my family have now worked @ Stelco from my great grandfather, my 95 year old grandfather, to now my sister. I remember my dad telling us how he watched his friends lose their homes during the strike of the 80's, and what it did to so many people. It definately provided some hard times for my family

Although, perhaps you can now look at US Steel and think that the Union is a good thing?

Anyway, a discussion for another story.

As for commercialism, I was born in the wrong era. I listen to old Jazz, watch old movies, love antiques (espcially old radios), and think the early days of old Blue Eyes would have been a great time to live.

THere is a song by a band named Coldplay, whose lyrics are something along the lines of 'Everybody's changing, and I don't feel the same'.

Change is good on some level, but we are changing too fast and as is evident from comments regarding old houses versus new ones, we have done away with quality and pride in what we do.

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By Windfall (registered) | Posted July 10, 2010 at 15:15:33

Returning to this topic once more to remark on the comment of Mr Thomas, "I remember my Dad telling us how he watched his friends lose their homes during the strike of the 80's and what it did to some people. It definitely provided some hard times for my family". There is nothing romantic about a strike and all workers will contest to that and it is a fact that accompanying hard times are a bye-product, however no one, no one lost their home because of the strike and empirical data from the times will bear testament to that. Many did lose their homes during the strike of the 80's, and I emphasize during and not because, for many others, not attached to Stelco also lost their homes. It was caused by a National phemomenon Mr Thomas, a time when interest rates on mortgages, across the country jumped beyond the charts, in some cases over 20% and creating desperation for those whose terms had expired or were up for renewal and could not afford to pay the astronomical increase. Coincidence prevails here, just as it did when my grandmother broke her leg the day War was declared. Back to the Stelco strike in the 80's, the strike that should never have been "as stated by the media at that time" and prompting one Dofasco executive to state that if he was searching for an example of a modern Robber Baron, the Stelco management had just provided one. For the strike in reality was a well engineered and organized ploy by the company to enforce a lock-out. At the time, Steel was in high demand and Stelco's sales had never been better and they continued to manufacure steel and stockpile steel in locations all over the province. On July 26th? 1980, or to pinpoint another coincidence, the day of the Charles and Diane wedding, negotiations with Local 1005 broke off and after offering the Union a pittance, the Company claimed that there was not another cent in the pot. Three months later and the company's offer in July of 95cents an hour,for wages and benefits suddenly escalated to $7.28, that's right $7.28, the largest settlement in Canada and brought down on the head of Stelco the condemnation of both business and governments, accusing the company of barhaining in bad faith. How did they find another pot full of money? By continuing to sell stockpiles and by having private contractors carry out the modernization of facilities within the Plant and plan for the redundancy of thousands of workers from Stelco and from spin-off industries where livlihood depended on Stelco. I agree with your comments on change Mr Thomas, but not when they are made injustly.For thousands of citizens then, visins of pianos and higher education for their children vanished. I have applauded change and as a wrier was among the first to embrace word processing, even though in composing my memoir I use a fountain pen, writing with both my right hand and my left hand before transmitting to my computer to adapt the wonderful tools of editing and spell checking. However, I digress from what started as a comment on a stadium location and then a dedication to fight injustice and now expanding on Labour history. The virtue of a writer is to walk through a forest of words and find verbs and the conjugation of verbs on every tree, and every tree reeking a story. It also provides an old man with every reason to remain young.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 10, 2010 at 17:40:27

You are right, Windfall. A strike shouldn't be the cause of losing your home. My parents somehow how made it work, but those kind of hard times could certainly push you over the edge if you weren't prepaired for them.

Sounds like I would enjoy an afternoon listening to your stories, as I do listening to my grandfather in his old decaying rocker, tell his lifes story. At 95 he tends to be a ltitle repetitive, but he has an amazing memory and an attention to detail unlike many I know. The good thing about the repetition though, is that it helps those memories of his stories stick in my memory.

I hope to write a story about him one day. Please keep my email, as I would like to be among the first to read your memoir. I had it pretty easy growing up, my mother and father working endless hours to give my sister and I a really good childhood, but as strange as it may sound, I fing myself trying hard to step back a bit to my grandfather's, or even just my parents generation at least, to try and instill in them, as much of the old morals and respect that once existed in the world.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2010-07-10 16:41:25

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By Windfall (registered) | Posted July 10, 2010 at 23:57:18

On reviewing my last posted comment I noted an error. The date of the breakdown in Steel negotiations, and of course on the wedding of Charles and Diana,should read July 1981. The slogan of the strikers by the way was "Fun in the Sun in '81". I reported on all three major strikes that summer, Algoma in the Soo, Inco in Sudbury and Port Colborne and of course the Stelco organization. It was a hot summer!

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By frank (registered) | Posted July 27, 2010 at 16:17:58

I've been in a long discussion all day with Sam Merulla regarding the whole stadium debacle. I throw my hat in the ring for keeping IWS for many of the same reasons everyone else is talking about...so does he. He's adamant about it as well. I've passed along the link to this article in hopes that he'll comment regarding the plan to keep IWS functional should that option be chosen and creating a temporary venue at the West Harbor location to host the Pan Am games using the Future Fund money to clean up the brownfields in that area... Here's hoping he'll post something :)

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 27, 2010 at 17:35:17

Just as long as his vote doesn't throw it to the EM. Surely he acknowledges that the WH is the lesser of the two evils.

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By frank (registered) | Posted July 28, 2010 at 08:33:22

I couldn't get him to admit that... His vote will be for neither location although he did seem interested in a temporary facility with FF money to clean up the brownfields.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 29, 2010 at 12:59:44

His vote will be for neither location although he did seem interested in a temporary facility with FF money to clean up the brownfields.

Interesting. Thanks for posting that Frank.

Surely he acknowledges that the WH is the lesser of the two evils.

I think it is the lesser as well, but now this 2:15 press conference today with the Cats, seems like it will push harder towards the EM.

I thought we were going to see something that would get Bob at least thinking about WH?

If there is nothing, than as far as I am concerend there is no option on the table.

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