Special Report: Light Rail

Hamilton is Not 'Nowhere'

I can't think of a better illustration of the pessimism and civic self-loathing that drives the most ardent LRT opponents than this empty, cynical figure of speech.

By Ryan McGreal
Published September 26, 2016

A spate of recent letters and op-eds published in the Hamilton Spectator have called Hamilton's Light Rail Transit "LRT to nowhere" (May 24), "something that goes nowhere and services nothing" (May 25), "trains through a deserted downtown to nowhere" (June 2), "a White Elephant To Nowhere" (June 7), "LRT from nowhere to nowhere" (June 13), "a streetcar going nowhere" (July 20), "a train to nowhere" (July 27), "a sexy train to nowhere" (September 16) and "a fancy electric trolley to nowhere" (September 21).

I can't think of a better illustration of the pessimism and civic self-loathing that drives the most ardent LRT opponents than this empty, cynical figure of speech.

McMaster University is a world-class research institution with 38,000 students, staff and faculty. It is not "nowhere."

The downtown core is surging after decades of neglect and disinvestment. It is the city's biggest employment centre with 25,000 jobs and growing steadily. It is not "nowhere."

The West Harbour is a jewel of the city's natural environment, a vibrant community, and home to a new GO train station that will provide all-day, two-way service timed to start with the arrival of LRT service. It is not "nowhere."

The LRT also connects Innovation Park, Hunter GO Station, Tim Hortons Field, Ottawa Street, Kenilworth Avenue and Queenston Road, directly serving residents across the city from Ainslie Wood and Westdale right through McQuesten West and Bartonville.

None of these places are "nowhere."

We must not let Hamilton's future be decided by people who see no future for Hamilton.

This was first published as a letter to the editor in the September 24, 2016 edition of the Hamilton Spectator.

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 rgelder (registered) - website | Posted September 26, 2016 at 12:31:25

For what it's worth, I love discovering new "nowheres" in downtown Hamilton and environs. Most recently? Durand Park this past Saturday evening. What a great little nowhere and nowhere community!

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By mdrejhon (registered) - website | Posted September 26, 2016 at 17:31:46

As a Lower City resident, I have had the pleasure of learning there are hundreds of destinations even all the way to the Traffic Circle.

Queenston (Circle) will become an intermodal terminal for existing Niagara GO buses and future T-line BRT/express bus before the T-line LRT is built someday). This will continue even when extended to Eastgate. Even Queenston is far better located than Ottawa's Hurdman BRT (now becoming LRT) starion which is inside the greenbelt.

TriTAG in Kitchener-Waterloo had addresssed the complaint of the Waterloo Region ION LRT "nowhere-to-nowhere" ("mall-to-mall train") with this impressive video:

There are Hundreds of destinations in LRT Nowhere-to-Nowhere.

Comment edited by mdrejhon on 2016-09-26 17:46:14

Permalink | Context

By Haveacow (registered) | Posted September 26, 2016 at 19:26:14 in reply to Comment 120135

Good location is important especially, for LRT stations. However, Hurdman station was the busiest Transitway station on the system not because of its location because it was a nexus for several Transitway routes, cross town surface bus routes and local neighborhood routes. This meant there was always activity and the fact that many large apartment buildings were built just to the south of it was testament to that constant level of activity. Even today the permanent bus loop with its many connecting routes at the Hurdman LRT stop will guarantee constant activity day or night.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By JasonL (registered) | Posted September 26, 2016 at 18:10:54

Just a suggestion, but Chad Collins has gone back on his backroom deal to continue supporting LRT if it is terminated before Ward 5 boundary. So, we should perhaps begin pushing for the route to extend to Eastgate as was originally planned no?

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By RobF (registered) | Posted September 26, 2016 at 19:50:58

I have to agree, Ryan. I've always found it strange that some people see this as a nowhere to nowhere LRT. Of course, the same people insist we need 4 and 5 lane one-way mini-highways thru the core of the city. Really what they want is for it to be nowhere, because somewhere is harder to drive thru ... and somewhere is actually fighting back.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted September 27, 2016 at 08:33:01

The noLRT theme song:

He's a real nowhere man

Sitting in his nowhere land

Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Doesn't have a point of view

Knows not where he's going to


Nowhere Man, don't worry

Take your time, don't hurry

Leave it all till somebody else lends you a hand

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2016-09-27 08:35:23

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