Special Report: Education

Moments of Zen: Saving Sanford School Becomes Theatre of the Absurd

This meeting was not about thinking things through. It was about stirring up emotions and hurling accusations to divide a community and protect a blinkered bureaucracy.

By Chris Healey
Published December 05, 2012

I had a Jon Stewart type "moment of Zen" last night at the special community meeting organized to discuss the looming demolition of the 1932 Sanford Avenue School.

Actually, I had several and perhaps that's the best way to report back on what happened. I felt in danger last night of spontaneously turning into a giant insect - or at the very least, that I was viewed as one by many of the Cathy Wever School posse that composed the majority of the over 90 people in the room.

This parking lot brought to you by 1984

I'll start with the moment that stands out for me and will probably haunt me for the rest of my life: A staff member of the Cathy Wever School actually stood up and passionately - emotionally even - defended keeping the east end of the parking lot as her friends "drive to work everyday. Where are they going to park!?!".

She was offended and angry at my idea of putting the proposed soccer field there instead of demolishing a perfectly good heritage building.

My mind unpleasantly expanded then contracted in that instant. Here was a public school staff member advocating tearing down a historically significant piece of architecture in favour of parking.

Maybe the bureaucracy of a school board taking that position is not a surprise, but one tends to hold a romantic idea that individual people in the public education industry would see the intrinsic value in a historic building of world-class design as an ideal environment for young minds - for now and future generations in the community.

But she doesn't think that way. She wants to see it leveled as soon as possible, erased from the landscape of the neighbourhood and the community's memory.

If you wonder where the problem with kids being disengaged from the value of academics comes from, then the culture of the adults working with them in the public school system is probably as good a place as any to start. Actions like this are how attitudes become ingrained in children.

Mitt Romney's campaign strategy works in Ward 3

The next moment of Zen for me was suddenly feeling like I understood Barack Obama's flustered frustrations in debating Mitt Romney's overly simplistic and misleading "I'll give you all jobs" mantra.

Take out "jobs" and drop in "parks for the kids" and you have the position of the School Board staff, City officials and parents, in the face of overwhelming evidence that demolishing Sanford School was not desirable or necessary for the kids to have parks and a soccer field on that site.

We tried to point out that there is no approved funding for replacing Sanford School with anything but an empty lot. We pointed out that a mere 40 parking spots could be moved to get that park, that soccer pitch there. We proved there were parties with the expertise and means to turn the empty school into a vibrant community fixture.

We proclaimed our support for everything the parents wanted for their children - but none of this reality seemed to matter. It fell on deaf ears. It truly was a moment where any meaningful discussion was simply not possible in the face of what bizarrely could be called "park propaganda".

Effectively, all they did was help ensure local kids will likely grow up with another giant, empty lot that acts as another barrier to this area's chances of economic recovery.

Has anyone actually calculated the loss of tax revenue for the City of Hamilton in allowing a development-friendly building to be demolished?

One developer told me property taxes would be "about $150,000 a year". Imagine what that kind of injection could do this for this community. I keep thinking that is one expensive parking lot.

A warbling, sentimental speech about how kids love parks

This was the first moment where many of us looked at each other with incredulity. The chair and trustee of the school board read off a rambling speech about how he grew up in a more affluent area of town where there were parks for the kids.

As a kid, he loved parks. His kids love parks. Kids love parks. Parks are important for kids. Kids here should have parks. Parks for kids is what the kids want. Parents want their kids to be in parks.

This turned out to be perhaps the most strategically clever moment of the entire night - he set the divisive tone to set the two groups against each other.

The Cathy Wever School crowd clung to this "all or nothing / with us or against us / you're for the kids or against the kids" politics that reminded me of the playbook of Vic Toews. They opted for passion over reason, and framed those of us trying to participate in this process as the agents of passion over reason. A neat trick.

Another deft result this long-winded prepared speech had was to eat up valuable time, as the meeting had an expiration date of two hours. Two hours to somehow fight through the noise, and several times our Trustee and Councillor dismissed presented options because they were not "concrete enough".

It was impossible to present what they claimed was needed to earn a reprieve in the demolition of Sanford. This was crazy. Some might call it a sham.

It must also be pointed out that the childhood neighbourhood Tim Simmons waxed sentimental about is Westdale - an area that was allowed to keep their heritage school building. They have green space and bike paths. They have two way streets, with parking spots on them, in lieu of the vast parking lots that are central to the Sanford School debate.

Westdale is an area of town that is one of the best places to live in Hamilton, with a very high quality of life.

Uncovering a conspiracy of lazy neighbours and developers

"You're lying," one parent outright accused us, in response to our claim that our neighbours and ourselves were not provided an opportunity to participate in the consultation process.

This ugly accusation was the tone for the pro-demolition group of school staff and parents in dismissing our concerns, and was presented dramatically enough to warrant being repeated in some news reports of this meeting.

If we think about this for moment, it makes no sense that we are lying about not knowing. I've probably put in more than a hundred hours over the last ten days to this decision, and there are my neighbours and development professionals in the community all expressing alarm at being caught off guard.

Almost ninety people showed up to this meeting precisely because of this public consultation process being flawed from the outset.

I, and almost certainly the rest of the citizens protesting this process, would rather have had a chance to attend a more civil, constructive and publicly announced community meeting before this decision was made.

Claiming we knew this was going to happen all along, and that we knew there was a meeting and simply were too lazy to attend and do anything about it until a Herculean last ditch effort is ridiculous.

But this meeting was not about thinking this through. This meeting was about stirring up emotions and hurling accusations at a community that does not happen to be part of the Cathy Wever School.

These are classic political strategies for dividing a community, isolating the group that disagrees with you and then conquering your opposition.

Why did the chicken cross the road? For every other reason but to get to a park.

The same parent then described how one of her children got hit by a car crossing the street to the extremely close Woodlands Park. This was to demonstrate that there needed to be a park beside the school.

Remember when I mentioned earlier that no one is arguing against having a park or soccer field at Cathy Wever School? Any reasonable position that was not pro-demolition got swept aside by dramatics and emotional statements.

The councillor, school trustree and city officials in attendance did nothing to record the conversation so as to dissuade this sort of distraction.

The vast majority of these parents and children have to cross these dangerous streets twice a day to get to the school and then return home. Many of them cross the vast soccer field at Woodlands Park to get to the school, which is about a one minute walk away.

This also, astonishingly, did not spark the notion for this group that the neighbourhood would be better served by safer streets, including segregated bike lanes. It further eroded the validity of my side's position - we were forced to somehow try to justify small children getting hit by cars or do crazy things to the streets that these people did not care about at all.

Most of the staff and decision makers drive in and out of this community to arrive at an area with an excess of parking. Why would they care about that extraneous, unrealistic solutions we were putting forward?

This is, of course, more absurdity. This emphasis on driving on dangerous, huge streets that are virtual highways in this community is what put this parent's child in danger in the first place, and is directly correlated to the view point that Sanford School needs to be demolished to make a park that is safer for the kids to get to.

No one mentioned the crossing guards who attend the intersection to and from Woodlands Park before and after school. In retrospect, I don't feel like pointing that out would make any difference at all.

Back to the Future ... of Parking

I need to make clear here, as I tried to make clear over and over to the crowd last night, that the core issue here is the city planners not considering shifting 40 parking spots to somewhere else.

They could move the spots to the street, which is huge and under-utilized. They could have the staff and employees of Cathy Wever School and the Norman "Pinky" Lewis Recreation Centre park at one of numerous empty lots close by and save the remainder of spots for clients and parents.

Who has not had to walk a block to work or home after parking? Apparently, the staff of Cathy Wever School find this concept unthinkable. In turn, I find this deeply disturbing and frankly irresponsible.

Did this proposed solution gain any traction? None at all. Did any other option proposed get considered? Nope.

Seems like what we needed was a community developer with a proven track record to show up and present another option that would benefit the community by keeping and developing the school, and with some frank professional criticisms of the current plan that some of the parents and staff may be unaware of.

Michael Clarke, a local lawyer and developer who was involved in key parts of the success of James Street North, did just that.

He was dismissed immediately by the Trustee for his "sales pitch". Yet, his was the message that the school board and councillor claimed was absent that led to the decision to demolish Sanford School.

The only thing he could have done that might have changed some minds was show up with a giant pile of money and perhaps NickelBack to play a pro-Sanford concert on the gymnasium stage while tossing out free bottles of vodka and soccer balls to the assembled crowd.

Clarke was asking for some time to be able to propose a plan - something that was impossible to do given he has had only ten days to prepare and further hindered by the fact demolition can start next month.

I have to list these other obvious questions that were not addressed last night:

A passionate plea for our insurance and bureaucracy heritage

More existential angst-inducing moments have to be credited to the various public officials who offered helpful insights as to the impossibility of simple actions like fixing the broken boilers at Sanford School or spending any of the millions of dollars supposedly earmarked for demolition and expansion on any other option.

If it's not insurance issues, well then it's an issue with the Ministry. Or the bureaucracy is "too big a machine" to change direction on - and the trustee and the councillor could not change anything because there were other people involved.

People who were not there last night and will only hear our side of the debate via the councillor and the trustee. And there is absolutely no way to consider moving parking spaces.

You would think the common threads of elected officials and our tax money might be more important to finding a better solution than not trying at all - but you would be mistaken in this case.

Crouching community, hidden agenda

To me the most terrible aspect of this sordid affair was the manufactured nature of the community consent for demolishing Sanford. When the City and School Board "consulted" the community, they only consulted stakeholders inside the Norman "Pinky" Lewis and Cathy Wever School organizations and not any of the residents who are not part of these organizations.

They are of course supposed to, and there is a mention of a public information meeting in 2010, on paper, but there was no notice posted outside the school and no notices distributed to the community. Not to my house, and not to my neighbours.

Other disturbing facts about this process is that Sanford was declared "surplus" 10 years ago - meaning no developer or organization was even allowed to present any other option for the building. And now, incredibly, the school trustee and councillor claim that there was no interest in it so they had no choice.

It is a fact organizations and developers did approach the school board about Sanford - and they are lining up now to take a shot at acquiring it - but were rebuffed because it was unavailable. One organization was told: "the city has plans for it, so we can't accept any other interest in it".

A few more of my hairs went grey just typing that, and I think I'm developing an eye tick.

One of the victims of this boondoggle is the Cathy Wever Hub - a service provider for this area that wants expanded green space, more basketball courts and more facilities for the kids. They did not advocate destroying our built heritage but sort of got blamed for it by the politics of the situation - the city, the school board and the Cathy Wever School group all point to them as a "community" that were consulted.

The Hub called this special meeting last night to correct this assumption and bring the community - my neighbours and myself - together to talk to the real forces behind these decisions.

When I first spoke, I tried to help clarify this as well by citing Hamilton Community Foundation policy that Hubs are not neighbourhood associations (and neither are school or recreation staff, for that matter). I think that was a tactical mistake on my part - the Hub people thought I was attacking them and the parents / school staff thought I was undermining their place in the debate. It was ridiculous.

To me, the real victims last night are the duped parents and kids of Cathy Wever School who unfortunately think they are getting green space anytime soon. If it happens, and that's a big if, then it would be earliest at 2016 and may take to 2022 or even later.

To me, some of the worst culprits in this misinformation are those who happen not to be elected, or at all accountable to the larger community but exert great influence over the thinking of the parents and kids in attendance last night - the staff of Cathy Wever School. The feedback of the staff at Cathy Wever School, while important, is not a community consultation.

There was no proper community consultation or public notifications. This is kinda indisputable at this point but, in another moment of Zen, simply appears not to matter. The rules of process do not matter here. This is not democracy - this is my local public school.

An apology from the worst culprit of all

That would be me, because last night I allowed the emotion and passion of the immediate situation to affect me. I sneered, I snorted and I quipped out of turn - it was very rude of me and I apologize to everyone there. It did not reflect well on the point my neighbours and I were trying to make, and played into the perception that we were being unreasonable.

There is a saying that you should never argue with an idiot because they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience. I was beat by engaging on a gut reaction emotional level and that compromises any future dialogues with the same groups of people.

Though those who were there from start to finish can attest to the many triggers that led to such emotion, I can only imagine what those arriving half way through must have thought.

A tool for preserving our democratic heritage emerges from the rubble

Incredible. Out of the blue and without any knowledge of the Sanford School situation, a Toronto-based architect phoned me today to help him build a special website.

He is concerned because he is going to help with a new development in a small city and wants to make sure there is communication with the community, and an online forum for tracking feedback on the proposed public project.

Citing problems with public meetings where a few aggressive people can dominate any conversation, he thinks together we can help define a template for developers and a community to engage meaningfully over the course of "at least two years" before the project is started.

Compared to what has been happening here, I almost cried. There are people out there who want the same things, there is hope. Together, we are going to build this tool which may help prevent what culminated in the frustrations of last night.

Perhaps the best part of all is that I am going to name this content management tool for developers "Sanford". This beautiful building may become an empty lot, but the lessons learned here may help other communities. In this way, I will help preserve some of our built heritage the best way I can.

This article was first published on Chris Healey's website.

Chris Healey is an artist and online publishing professional living in Hamilton, Ontario. He has had an interesting 20 years in the art and media scenes of Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. http://chrishealey.me/


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By Steve (registered) | Posted December 05, 2012 at 20:42:50

Well written and heart-breaking.

The Wever Hub clearly doesn't understand the Hamilton Community Foundation's policy that Hubs are NOT neighbourhood associations. On their Facebook page they state they are not a neighbourhood associaton like other hubs; "The Wever Community Hub unlike most Community Hubs is not the local neighbourhood association."

Funny, as a non-neighbourhood association they have positioned themselves as the voice of the community and the go-to group to advise on both the arrival of Mission Services and the demolition of the Sanford Avenue School for that community. Both of which they've supported even when they say they haven't.

Look at their Facebook page where they state they have no opinion on the demolition of Sanford, but then go on at length for the need of more green space and how it will be acheived by the demolition of the school.

Actually, I've changed my mind it's not heart-breaking. It's sickening...

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By j (registered) | Posted December 05, 2012 at 21:20:45

School boards seem to be the only public bodies that have managed to hang on to the 1950s planning mentality. Where their predecessors built walkable, street facing, magnificent schools, they now build sheltered, garden city type cinder block schools set away from the street and surrounded by parking. This premised on that old buzzsaw, 'the best interests of children'. Woe that a child should ever set foot on a city street! Get them in their cars as quick as possible!

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By Greenery (anonymous) | Posted December 05, 2012 at 22:10:48 in reply to Comment 83517

And they eschew from including green space on their properties as that would entail maintenance. If its a park they want, then the should take out the AstroTurf at Cathy Wever and plant grass.

Yeah, like that would ever happen.

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By Sigma Cub (anonymous) | Posted December 05, 2012 at 21:27:48

Councillor Brian McHattie says that heritage advocates need to be more proactive about designating historically significant buildings before they’re in danger of demolition and that he would have thought they would have been out in the streets in protest months ago.

In an ideal world, yes. The facts, however, are against those who care and advocate for our built heritage. The city’s heritage advocates are volunteers. The protection of buildings is what they do after putting in a day of work and, most likely, other volunteer activities. They are passionate but they are restricted by time, bureaucracy and the enormity of the task.

They are also realists, having been hardened and disheartened by the history of nonsupport for their efforts in this city. Bellevue House comes to mind: a protected property that was demolished in 2000. The Dynes Tavern — torn down in 2007 without a permit. The Education Centre: a shameful loss. Other buildings are still with us, although barely. Some very passionate people and groups are working to preserve and restore, with very limited success, Century Manor, the Gate House, Auchmar and others.McHattie notes that there is a long list of “historically significant” buildings in this city. He should have noted that designation does not save a building. Nor do letters, phone calls, petitions or protests.

Heritage activists in the city of Hamilton lack any power or authority: Even the Municipal Heritage Committee is only an advisory body. Other jurisdictions seem to have bodies with more authority to influence political decisions related to heritage matters.

If the city, including councillors and staff, worked with the heritage advocates, we could save some of those buildings and preserve our built heritage for future generations.

Lee Gowers, President, Hamilton Mountain Heritage Society


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By Steve (registered) | Posted December 05, 2012 at 21:39:07 in reply to Comment 83518

Agreed. We pay taxes to pay for others to advocate on our behalf while we earn our own livings.

Unfortunately, we've ended up paying for incompetence, people who represent based on their personal beliefs over the wants of their constituents and for those who are kept in their positions thru voter apathy and voting for the name they recognize.

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By annonymous (anonymous) | Posted December 05, 2012 at 22:07:21

What I dont understand is where where all these people who are wanting to save sanford when Pinky Lewis lost their gym 2 years ago? Where were they when the kids no longer had a place to go and play basketball at night rather then stay out on the streets?
Where are they when all of the events that are being run by volunteers go on in the community? Everybody comes out of the woodworks when an old buildingis getting torn down, but what about the hundreds of kids who have lost essential services in their community...who was fighting for them?

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By anonymouse (anonymous) | Posted December 05, 2012 at 23:08:05 in reply to Comment 83520

Why must you make this into an either/or? Why can't we have both the heritage building and the greenspace? Why does every teacher and staff person need a parking spot, plus spots for the rec centre?

The fact is that buildings like Sanford school make people value their community. If you're such a neighbourhood hero you'd be fighting tooth and nail to save it. You don't save a neighbourhood by building a park. There are lots of dilapidated, empty parks all across the city. You save a neighbourhood by bringing people into it to treasure it.

People are only upset because we've seen the same process unfold across the city so many times, and every time it's a tragedy. Across my street a beautiful school was once torn down and now there's a bunker. You are making a huge mistake!!!!

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By Steve (registered) | Posted December 06, 2012 at 09:56:19 in reply to Comment 83522

I only learned of the gymnasium closure last week from people advocating for the prompt demolition of Sanford.

Where were you and the others for the past 2 years. Apparently, not making noise about the gym closure. Why has the closure of the gymnasium only come to light in the greater community in the last few weeks?

Not trying to be mean. But, in an era with such a developed communication infrastructure why does Hamilton suck so bad at it?

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By Why (anonymous) | Posted December 05, 2012 at 23:28:34

Why do HWDSB employees seem to feel free parking is a God given right?
The Board should fund transit passes, not parking spaces.

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By another (anonymous) | Posted December 06, 2012 at 00:48:32

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By yetanother (anonymous) | Posted December 06, 2012 at 06:52:57 in reply to Comment 83525

Believe me, Mr Butani does not speak for the built heritage community (and there is no comparison between him and Mr Crawford). Also, a building is not "silly", it's what neighbourhoods are made of. You won't think the building was so "silly" once the empty lot has been sitting as a dead zone for years sucking the life out of your community.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted December 06, 2012 at 05:37:19

Did Tim Simmons ever mention at the meeting that a boiler exploded in Sanford School? Apparently it was part of his justification exercise. If a boiler did have either a pressure side explosion or a combustion side explosion whatever the size of the boiler it must be reported to the Technical Safety and Standards Association (TSSA), the regulating body for pressure vessels in Ontario. All explosions are investigated for violations and for proposing possible safety improvements so it does not happen again elsewhere. Not reporting a boiler explosion is a criminal offence in Ontario.

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted December 06, 2012 at 07:29:41 in reply to Comment 83526

Im a costodian for a school and i do have a boiler ... do you know what TSSA whould have told the board .... DO YOU ANNUAL EXPECTIONS it could of have been alot of thing but if you keep up the mantenance you should have nooooo problem maybe the pressure releas vale was jamed

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By GoGo (anonymous) | Posted December 06, 2012 at 08:35:20

If they are so concerned about 'THE CHILDREN" , why are there still TWO 3 lane mine highways running on either side of the school? With the rant one of the mother's gave about her kid getting hit by a car on Barton, isn't concerned about him getting hit on one of those?

I've been in the neighbourhood going on 7 years and it took them until two years ago to put in the yellow flashing lights. Which no one driving down them adheres to anyway! She also doesn't seem concerned about the tractor trailers that go tearing down them either.

This soccer pitch they are earning for will end up a washroom for the neighbourhood dogs... when they actually end up putting in grass in 2016.

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted December 07, 2012 at 23:00:27 in reply to Comment 83534

pretty easy to cross those one way roads with timed lights, just wait until the lights turn red and saunter across the road at your leisure. On Barton with two way traffic it's a lot harder having to dodge between traffic from both sides

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted December 07, 2012 at 23:30:53 in reply to Comment 83607

The reason we focus on 1-way safety is the stakes. If you screw up timing a crossing on a 2-way street with traffic flowing at 40kph? There's some screeching tires and maybe an injury.

If you screw up on a 1-way street with traffic going 60kph? You die. Speed might not seem important since you're focusing on the odds of being hit rather than the damage done, but speed changes an injury into a fatality. Plus, reaction times are shorter and breaking distances are longer. Especially kids occasionally do dumb things like darting out into the street heedless of cars, because they're kids. They get distracted and chase a ball, they get emotional and run... sometimes they just do something dumb and wander out into the street. Everywhere else, the kids would be far away from the highways - the busy highway-like streets would be commercial areas or they'd be fenced off residential surveys, or just the sidewalks would be spaced well away from the road with maybe even a ditch dividing them, or there wouldn't be any sidewalks if it was some rural area where nobody was expected to walk anywhere.

But in Hamilton? 60kph live traffic next to a sidewalk, without so much as a strip of grass or a bike lane between them.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2012-12-07 23:34:20

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By rrrandy (registered) - website | Posted December 06, 2012 at 09:09:57

you have my sympathies, that took courage to face a hostile cars-first crowd, such a disappointing process. The report back is a great piece of writing though, I really feel your angst.

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By 1234 (anonymous) | Posted December 06, 2012 at 09:38:53

My wife and I reluctantly attended the meeting at Sanford and of course were exposed to the same manufactured senerio as described in the article by Mr. Healey. We have seen this over and over again in this city. It is too upsetting for us when we see the priviledge and disconnect. They are untouchable and they know it.
So Sanford will go from beautiful built heritage to a cultural landscape when it's gone. It will only remain in our memory as rituals that ocurred there.
It is a dark age. Future generations will look back on the post war years and ask where is all the architecture, building materials and techniques. How did city streets go from being for people to the exclusive of the auto.
So we try in our own way to lead change, we fix up our wood windows, we ride our bikes, we support local art and businesses. This is the only way we can stay relatively sane.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted December 06, 2012 at 23:33:10 in reply to Comment 83537

1234: Thank you for sharing your most elegant approach to leading change in the midst of chaos!

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"Our modern society has been obsessed with conquering and scientifically controlling the world around us. However, chaotic, nonlinear systems - such as nature, society, and our individual lives - lie beyond all our attempts to predict, manipulate, and control them. Chaos suggests that instead of resisting life's uncertainties, we should embrace the possibilities they offer."

In this groundbreaking book, John Briggs and F. David Peat unfold seven lessons for embracing chaos in daily life:

  • Be Creative: how to engage with chaos to find imaginative new solutions and live more dynamically.
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  • Explore What's Between: how to discover life's rich subtleties and avoid the traps of stereotypes
  • See the Art of the World: how to appreciate the beauty of life's chaos
  • Live Within Time: how to utilize time's hidden depths
  • Rejoin the Whole: how to realize our fractal connectedness to each other and the world.

If you have ever felt your life was out of control and headed towards chaos, science has an important message: Life is chaos, and that's a very exciting thing.

If residents of Ward 3 have any doubts about Briggs & Peats invaluable lessons, please do explore this:

"Jason deCaires Taylor is an internationally acclaimed eco-sculptor who creates underwater living sculptures, offering viewers mysterious, ephemeral encounters and fleeting glimmers of another world where art develops from the effects of nature on the efforts of man. His site-specific, permanent installations are designed to act as artificial reefs, attracting corals, increasing marine biomass and aggregating fish species, while crucially diverting tourists away from fragile natural reefs and thus providing space for natural rejuvenation. Subject to the abstract metamorphosis of the underwater environment, his works symbolize a striking symbiosis between man and nature, balancing messages of hope and loss."

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By And again (anonymous) | Posted December 08, 2012 at 01:13:13 in reply to Comment 83573

Mr.Butani and your heritage pals like Crawford et al are not getting the needs of children over the needs of bricks.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted December 08, 2012 at 12:51:26 in reply to Comment 83610

And you are not getting that it's a false dichotomy.

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By kdslote (registered) | Posted December 06, 2012 at 10:01:07

I recently received a copy of Vanished Hamilton IV. In the forward Margaret Houghton said she never intended to write a fourth volume, but I suppose with more of Hamilton vanishing each year she was able to compile enough material.

Thanks to the HWDSB we can be assured that Vanished Hamilton V will be published in the near future. Sad does not even begin to describe it.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 06, 2012 at 10:07:28

I don't understand why both Sanford and Wentworth aren't 'calmed' by adding 24-7 parking on both sides like Herkimer downtown: http://goo.gl/maps/FvJLp

Traffic is so light on both of these streets it would make perfect sense to add parking on the curbs. And this creates safer sidewalks by having a buffer between pedestrians and moving cars.

I don't have exact measurements, but surely this would add dozens and dozens of new parking spots on both sides of the school.

Comment edited by jason on 2012-12-06 10:08:02

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By GoGo (anonymous) | Posted December 06, 2012 at 10:17:26 in reply to Comment 83541

Wentworth is not so calm during the day at all. I know, I live right on it. It is pretty heavy with trucks and cars during the daytime up until about 8-9pm.

I agree with you that they should both be calmed. I don't know how this isn't a concern for all 700 kids that go to Cathy Weaver on a daily basis. And as mentioned before the yellow flashing lights might just as well be a checkered flag.

I hear it being mentioned that two-way conversion may be in the works for these two streets... unfortunately, I believe they are only to the south... Guess those kids aren't as important as they protest.

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By WalkAbout (anonymous) | Posted December 06, 2012 at 11:35:28

The solution with walking to Woodlands across Barton should be right up the Councillors alley, as he's a recent convert to the concept.


Who's up to calling him on it, or does he get another 20 year pass?

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By Sad (anonymous) | Posted December 06, 2012 at 12:02:59

Just imagine, if this building was the property of anyone wanting to destroy it, what would be their position then ?
You must be very rich to afford to desroy it, or "it's not mine who cares".
To build such building in this neighbourhood will cost so much, so if they destroy it they'll never have anything like that again.
Sadly, if this building was in a better neighbourhood, there would be dance school, crafts and cooking lessons, dentist, salons, etc.
Tough neighbourhood pays their tough price and learn on their mistakes.

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By Steve (registered) | Posted December 06, 2012 at 13:11:15 in reply to Comment 83546

But we don't learn, or should I say the ones that are supposed to represent that tough neighbourhood don't care.

Heck, why should the councillor care it's becoming common knowledge he lives in a condo fronting a marina in Stoney Creek.

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By DollHouse (anonymous) | Posted December 07, 2012 at 10:21:21 in reply to Comment 83547

I am getting slammed here alot, but I still can't see how Morelli living in Ward 4 has anything to do with the good job hr was doing for saving Sanford.

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By RB (registered) | Posted December 06, 2012 at 14:08:07

That's pretty frustrating regarding the level of inflexibility you encountered. No matter where you stand on the subject, to just shut out any and all attempt at an adult dialogue would drive me up the wall. I just can't stand it when people fail to even "consider the possibility of the benefit of the doubt"... it's like reasoning with a child.

Kudos to you for biting your tongue; I don't know if I'd be able to do the same.

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By GoGo (anonymous) | Posted December 06, 2012 at 14:09:45

"The city is conducting a class environmental assessment on two-way conversion of Wentworth Street south of Main. "People have been killed at Sanford and Main, and you've got the turnoff at Wentworth on Delaware to Sanford."

What is with these partial conversions? Why not ALL of Sanford and Wentworth? Oh yeah, the transports have to get past Cathy Weaver to get to Cannon... sorry my bad.

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By truck routes (anonymous) | Posted December 06, 2012 at 14:27:48

Many north south conversions need to take place and Wentworth and Sanford seem logical but as long as there is no viable route from the industrial core to the 403 that doesn\'t include city streets through the north end and city core we are going to be pounding our heads over this. Lots can be done to make life better but much of the traffic seen through the areas disputing need isn\'t going to go away. Certainly truck traffic isn\'t going away without a total ban which I wish you luck if you think its even possible

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 08, 2012 at 09:07:13 in reply to Comment 83553

Breaking NEWS!! We now have the RHVP and Linc that have ramps to/from the 403. Problem solved.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted December 07, 2012 at 17:01:37 in reply to Comment 83553

we have a route. It's Burlington->RHVP->linc or Burlington->QEW

If you had a business at yonge and bloor and your trucks needed to get to the 401 would they go up yonge through the city or would they go to the nearest highway and go around?

The only reason trucks go through this city is because we not only LET them but we encourage it by making it the path of least resistance.

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By TDR (registered) - website | Posted December 08, 2012 at 00:48:39 in reply to Comment 83604

Exactly! They can go around, so can commuters. They don't need to be flying past homes and schools. Both-sides parking on Wentworth - even some reserved from 8 till 5 for teachers - more controlled crosswalks, etc. Then pull up some of that asphalt and put in a mini soccer pitch. Voila.

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By GoGo (anonymous) | Posted December 06, 2012 at 15:00:50 in reply to Comment 83553

There is Victoria and Wellington to use as truck routes and neither of these have a school on either side.

How many highways do we need running north and south?

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By truck routes (anonymous) | Posted December 06, 2012 at 15:12:08


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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted December 06, 2012 at 23:38:44

Hard to believe that in a community, where the main method of transportation for the vast majority of workers is the automobile, there would be a huge demand for parking. At least at RTH, nowhere else but here.

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