Downtown Bureau

Taking Life from the Gore?

Shouldn't the city be promoting the huge potential of Gore Park? Apparently the Downtown Hamilton BIA doesn't think so.

By Jason Leach
Published June 16, 2005

I wrote a piece recently about the wonderful potential staring us in the face at Gore Park. The south leg of King should have been closed to traffic years ago, and I personally would love to see the north side go car-free as well.

This is our piece of Europe, our people place in the heart of Hamilton.

With dozens of friends, I recently enjoyed the Rib Row festival at Ferguson Station in downtown Hamilton. It is a wonderful spot to sit, enjoy music, and drink a coffee. Thankfully, the folks in the International Village BIA are doing their part to bring life back to this part of town with two annual festivals scheduled here. The Mustard Festival takes place on Labour Day weekend.

But what about the Gore? Shouldn't the city be exploiting the huge potential this place has as a pedestrian friendly hub in Hamilton? Apparently the Downtown Hamilton BIA doesn't think so.

The Gore Park Music Festival started a few years ago as a music event during one weekend in July and another in August. I recall telling my wife that I hoped it would be the start of several weekend events each summer in this great people place.

Last year the festival was narrowed to one weekend and now this year it's down to one day. One day! Of the entire summer, there is only going to be one measly day where locals can come and gather in Gore Park and listen to music, check out local artisans and chow on some great grub.

July 16 is the big day and the music only goes from 6-11pm. Hardly the proper way to promote the Gore and make a strong case for a complete closure of this street for the people.

I think it may be time for the International Village BIA to gobble up the Downtown BIA and bring some of their Ferguson Station festival magic to Gore Park. If that doesn't work, is there any way we can bring Gore Park to the International Village?? I wish.

In the meantime, circle July 16 on your calendar. It's the only day of the entire summer that you can enjoy Gore Park without the roaring of buses and cars. Now if only we can do something about the other 364 days.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.


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