By-Law Crawl #2: Spring Cleaning

The Second monthly By-Law Crawl event happens on Saturday, March 6, 2010, starting at 1 PM in Gore Park, in front of the Royal Connaught

By Matt Jelly
Published March 04, 2010

This is a quick message to remind you about this Saturday's second monthly By-Law Crawl event on Saturday, March 6, 2010, starting at 1 PM in Gore Park, in front of the Royal Connaught.

The crawl will end with an after-party at This Ain't Hollywood, 345 James St. North, starting around 4 PM.

By-Law Crawl is an event designed to locate, identify and report properties which are in serious violation of the City of Hamilton's Property Standards By-Law, in hopes of proactively preventing further decay and demolition of Hamilton's building stock, and ensuring that buildings do not pose a danger to the public.

I'll be distributing copies of the By-Law, as well as offering some guidance to participants on what we're looking for, and the proper way to go about spotting these infractions.

Effective By-Law enforcement is the only tool we have as citizens to ensure properties don't fall into disrepair and require demolition, or that vacant/derelict properties don't detract from the communities that surround them.

This isn't just an issue of heritage preservation and public safety, it's also an issue of waste. 30 percent of our landfills are composed of building materials.

Not every building can be saved, but if we proactively enforce certain standards, it's far less likely that an absentee property owner can allow a building to decay to the point that demolition is the only option.

Our first By-Law Crawl event in February was a success. Approximately 75 people braved cold temperatures, and as a result, complaints on 34 properties were forwarded to By-Law staff, and our organization is currently waiting for an update on this enforcement.

I'll be giving an update on this during Saturday's Crawl. You can view an interactive google map of the properties we reported on.

In addition to reporting on By-Law infractions, I'd also like to take this opportunity to encourage people to clean up any litter along the way, actively cleaning up the streets. We'll also be keeping an eye open for instances of rubbish, debris, and illegal dumping, and forwarding those complaints to appropriate staff in Property Maintenance.

To be clear, this event is not designed to crack down unfairly on property owners who are doing their part. The focus of this event is on the worst offenders - properties with a legacy of not meeting minimal standards as prescribed by the Property Standards By-Law.

I invite you to participate this Saturday, and pass along this info to anyone else who may be interested in attending.

If you need any information on the crawl, please visit, or feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Jelly is a local artist, graphic designer and map maker living in Downtown Hamilton, Ontario in the Central Neighbourhood. Matt is an advocate for built heritage, toxic waste eradication and the revitalization of downtown Hamilton.


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By jason (registered) | Posted March 04, 2010 at 15:06:07

somethings gotta be done about the fact that city hall is now covered in filthy sidewalks. The Cottage Living restaurant wasn't allowed to go crazy with the cedar siding downtown. Surely there is a bylaw prohibiting covering a building with sidewalks??

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted March 04, 2010 at 15:11:40

^ At least City Hall isn't covered in filthy highway blacktop. That would be more horribly fitting with there priorities.

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By jason (registered) | Posted March 04, 2010 at 22:29:12

well, we've got the sidewalks...we're only one step away from highway blacktop.

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By MattJelly (registered) - website | Posted March 05, 2010 at 16:04:01

Bring your bikes, your brooms, your bags and your gloves. Is everybody ready to spend a whole day outside again? Tomorrow will be the warmest, sunniest day of 2010 so far. By-Law Crawl II is ready to rock. After party at This Ain't Hollywood, high chance of parking lot frisbee with a side of hacky sack. Woodhands CD release at 9, also at This Ain't Hollywood. Let's have fun in our downtown tomorrow.

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By MattJelly (registered) - website | Posted March 08, 2010 at 10:30:50

What a fun day.

Thanks to Hamilton Live for this great video:

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