In a poignant and bittersweet column for CBC Hamilton, Paul Wilson takes us back to the turbulent summer of 2010 and the passionate Our City, Our Future citizen campaign to build the Pan Am Stadium at the West Harbour instead of a suburban field next to a highway.
Transported by an old OCOF poster still up in the window of a Big Bear convenience store at Wilson (the street) and Wellington, Wilson (the writer) recalls the campaign and the disappointment that followed it:
Yes, that old sign scratched a memory still sore. But, if anything good came out of that hard summer, it was the Our City, Our Future movement. It began with the bloggers at Raise the Hammer and evolved into a site of its own.
Citizens signed on to say why they believed a stadium on the waterfront would be good for Hamilton. They wanted it in the core, so they could walk or take transit. A toxic piece of the beautiful bay would be given back to us all.
I just checked. It turns out ourcityourfuture.ca is still there. Untouched, perfectly preserved. There are 3,495 named supporters, and nearly half have left comments. Not one liners. They are pouring their hearts out.
It's a digital time capsule of dashed dreams.
OCOF was a watershed moment for civic engagement in Hamilton.
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