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, DOCX and PDF formats - but PDF makes us grumpy. You get bonus karma if you submit plain text in Markdown format, which this site uses to format comments.

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. :)

Be Relevant

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.

Don't Be Awful

Raise the Hammer reserves the right to refuse to publish submissions that: incite hatred or violence, use rude or insulting language, are needlessly inflammatory, make provably false fact claims, or abuse evidence and reasoning to defend an unjustifiable conclusion.

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 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.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

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.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

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

woody10 you appear to be looking for an FAQ section

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

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

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

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

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

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.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

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?

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

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.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By BobAceti (registered) | Posted September 16, 2014 at 13:36:36

LRT is the wrong project at the wrong time. A make work project with less transit relief impact than otherwise thought. Hamilton evolved over 200 years. The design of the city and lack of density makes lower city east-west rapid transit planning challenging. We have a car culture and suburban communities within our city limits - the burbs are close-by and do not entail long frustrating traffic snarls that are common in the GTA-City of Toronto experience. The number of cars and people registered in Hamilton suggest that the LRT will not likely have the sustainable volume of users than expected. Reports from "consultants" who stand to make significant profit from a one billion dollar project will necessarily be concocted to emphasize the positive and down-play or reduce negative assessment.

Hamilton is home to many proud and well-meaning residents. But emotional rhetoric guided by biased reports supporting mega-projects that do not offer our city the growth that is assumed should be carefully reconsidered.

Hamilton’s spatial reality is a significant variable: the mountain has a larger population than the lower city and our suburbs and car culture has stimulated reduced urban density that complicates "rapid" transit services. If Hamilton’s past Councils had revitalized inner city neighborhoods to avoid suburban sprawl we would have had higher density that lends itself well to frequent rapid transit services that involve short distances. We had sown the seeds of our current economic challenges in the post WWII era when Councils believed that what’s good for our steel industry was good for Hamilton. But short-sightedness was a common disease in that bygone period when pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and dwindling steel jobs were noticed but rarely discussed in the halls or power or between the front page and sports section of the Spectator.

The best we can do to advance Hamilton's economic prospects is to focus on rebuilding business/residential centres to increase density and return asphalt and concrete neighborhoods that are derelict and gentrified into parks, bike paths, urban-sized forests and a "National Industrial Park" that offers tax incentives underwritten by Ontario/Canada. A National Industrial Park adjacent to our harbour piers should include a design that rehabilitates or removes 19th and early 20th century idle industrial relics that continue to occupy valuable land without returning the jobs and economic growth that was more evident 50 to 75 years ago.

We are in a new economy where manufacturing automation, ICT digital devices, energy technologies, smarter grids, electric vehicles and food processing trumps steel-related industries. Hamiltonians need to let go of the old Hamilton that evolved on the needs of the steel industry and a suburban car culture. We need to focus on this century so that our children and young adults will NOT need to leave Hamilton, as an earlier generation did, to find viable and sustainable ‘white collar’ careers. Hamilton's government, health care, steel and related industries help to support Hamilton's economy. These jobs are either funded through taxes or non-sustainable. Steel industries continue to pollute and emit greenhouse gases. The full healthcare costs associated with working in the 'old' steel industry, or living long-term near the 'old' smoke stacks, was hidden from Hamiltonians for decades until most recently.

The citizens of Toronto would NOT permit a polluter such as a steel industry to occupy its waterfront or anywhere – they’ll refer the company to Hamilton as the City of Toronto’s social services continue to provide advice and bus tickets to welfare recipients to leave Toronto for Hamilton.

If we don't focus on future economic opportunities - i.e.) cleaner higher-value metals processing, incubators of digital economy businesses and other sustainable enterprises, we'll become the invisible shrinking city where layers of unsustainable industries come to play and create a few short-term jobs while delaying our choices to become a contender in the 21st century global economy.

We live in the past. Our memories of old Hamilton start to fade. The 1960s are done. We had over 30,000 men working in Stelco/Dofasco and related steel businesses in the 1950-1970s when Hamilton was about half the population it is today. I predict that Dofasco will not be a significant Hamilton industry in the next 10-15 years. The owners of Dofasco have no long-term deal with our city. Once the next capital investment round is in play, Dofasco’s leaders will likely choose to move steel-making operations to the southern USA where cheap non-union ‘right to work’ labor laws and pollution regulations are lax.

The LRT project is a diversionary distraction: an unsustainable business model that will need subsidies from the get-go and operational commitments to run the trains on schedule. Buses are more flexible and less expensive for our split-level city. Buses will be electrified or operate on clean power fuel cells or hybrid biofuels - a better and more flexible solution to transit than the proposed LRT.

But what’s the big picture question? Is bus or train rapid transit a solution or panacea to Hamilton’s economic status? Or, perhaps, a placebo? I think we need a strategic vision and urban-industrial revitalization plan that informs the right design for our future transit system. Walking backwards into the future is not a viable substitute for focused and well-funded new urban revitalization planning.

Maybe our well-intended citizens and media will start asking the Big Question to mayoral and council candidates: “What is your vision of Hamilton and how do you propose we get there?”

Comment edited by BobAceti on 2014-09-16 13:53:41

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By jim (anonymous) | Posted February 11, 2016 at 05:50:12

no that's not it

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By pcastapremium (registered) | Posted June 29, 2019 at 05:44:20

Due to recent updates or for some unseen circumstance with your Epson Printer like printer not printing, updating your firmware, firewall causing communication error etc. Kindly contact us. Epson Printer Customer Support is there to help you whenever you require. For More Information:

Comment edited by pcastapremium on 2019-06-29 05:45:11

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