Downtown Bureau

Downtown Update

Everything's coming up Millhouse! Amid all the frustration and despair of crumbling buildings, faceless bureaucrats and clueless politicians, it's good to see evidence of great happenings in Hamilton.

By RTH Staff
Published April 30, 2008

HLR Public Meeting: BRT or LRT?


Hamilton has a critical decision to make: when we build our new higher order transit systems, will we choose bus rapid transit (BRT) or light rail transit (LRT)? What's the difference? Which choice is better?

Jillian Stephen will present an overview of the rapid transit initiative and explain how to contribute to the public consultations. Then Nicholas Kevlahan will show a presentation on LRT.

Keynote speaker Becky Schlenvogt will briefly discuss Waterloo Region's evaluation criteria and explain the differences between BRT and LRT.

A panel discussion will follow, during which the presenters will take questions from the audience.

There may never be a better opportunity for Hamilton to build a modern transportation system and enjoy the benefits of increased ridership, new investment, and improved quality of life.

Please come out to this important meeting.

Cosponsored by Hamilton Light Rail and Transit Users Group.

Rapid Transit Public Meetings

The City of Hamilton's public works department is organizing two public meetings to present the rapid transit feasibility study and solicit public input into the decision making process.

The same information will be presented at both meetings. A presentation will begin at 7:00pm on both nights.

Please visit for more information about the Rapid Transit initiative.

Metronauts Activate!

The bizarrely named but infectiously upbeat Metronauts, a group of citizens who "care about the future of our cities and the role transportation has in our lives", are organizing a series of conferences across the GTA+Hamilton.

The next conference, Metronauts Hamilton: An Unconference About the Future of Transportation, will take place on Saturday, May 3, 9 AM to 5 PM, at Kenneth Taylor Hall, McMaster University. Make sure to register your attendance before the event.

Doors Open Hamilton

This weekend marks Doors Open Hamilton, hands down the best opportunity you'll get all year to explore the wonderful buildings this city has to offer. The promotional material reads:

The Doors Open program seeks to celebrate, educate and inform citizens and visitors of the importance of the architectural, cultural and historical sites in Hamilton by allowing visitors free access to properties that are either not usually open to the public, or would normally charge an entrance fee. Many locations organize guided tours, displays and activities to enrich the visitor experience.

Get a site list [PDF], a city map [PDF], and start exploring your city!

Kirkendall Food Drive

This Saturday, a city bus will be driving through the streets of Kirkendall, picking up non-perishable food items from the porches and driveways of local residents. You should have received a flyer in your mailbox by now advertising the event - remember, stick the flyer on your food donation so that volunteers on the bus will be able to see it!

Alternate drop-off locations for the food drive are:

All donations go to Mission Services food bank. They are especially short on canned tomatoes, pasta sauce, pasta, fruit, veggies and beans.

Volunteers for the drive are still welcome. Meet at 9:15 am on Saturday at the end of Studholme avenue, adjacent to the Chedoke Golf Club

St. Lawrence School

North End Neighbours has put out a call to the community to attend a public meeting on May 5 at 7:00 PM at Cathedral High School on the fate of St. Lawrence School. Come out and support keeping this community school open.

Cootes to Escarpment Conservation and Land Management Study

This community forum will help guide the direction of the Cootes to Escarpment Conservation and Land Management Strategy. The strategy will determine how best to conserve and manage about 1,550 ha of natural lands between Sydenham Road and Brant Street from the Niagara Escarpment to Cootes Paradise and Hamilton Harbour. Potential themes for discussion include: natural functions, range of activities and management approaches.

Space is limited. To participate, contact Kathy Trotter, Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan Office by fax: (905) 336-4906 or email to: and indicate in the subject line “Cootes to Escarpment Forum Registration”, providing the following information: your name, affiliation (if any), mailing address, telephone number, and dietary considerations.

Climate Change: Shifting from Awareness to Action

Hamilton Green Venture, Environment Hamilton and the City of Hamilton are partnering to address climate change through a new program called "Awareness to Action".

The Awareness to Action program will be piloted with four businesses, schools, and/or institutions over the summer to help develop an Action Toolkit. This toolkit will be used following an official program launch this September to support 20 other institutions in developing their own action plans over the following year.

A symposium will be held in October 2009 where the City and participating institutions, businesses, and other community organizations will report on their successes.

York Blvd Bike Lanes

Cyclists who brave York Blvd between Hamilton and Burlington will cheer this announcement: Hamilton is putting bike lanes on this treacherous, high speed road and lowering the speed limit to 50 km/h starting at the High Level Bridge.

Beyond the bridge, the highway is reduced from four lanes to two to accommodate the bike lanes to encourage more citizens to use alternate transportation.

East Escarpment Stairs

Speaking of connective infrastructure, the city is also building a new staircase up the escarpment to Mountain Brow Blvd at Margate Ave. The stairs are in place but not yet finished, so don't try to walk up them just yet. The city expects the project to be completed in early June.

CBC Update

Ted Kennedy from CBC has this to say about the ongoing campaign to start a CBC radio station in Hamilton:

After the report [recommending funding a CBC radio station in Hamilton] was released by the Standing Committee, the gov't has 150 days to respond. That would take us up to the end of June or thereabouts. While they are doing that, we are working behind the scenes informing them.

At this stage, the Local Radio Plan is all tied up with the other 149 recommendations in the Report. It is very important to us, but if we received the 7 year funding cycle and the increases the Committee recommended, then we could do the Radio Plan on our own.

Yes it does seem like it dropped off the radar, but there's activity below the radar's sensitivity level


The Pearl Company is in the midst of its first Opus Mundi Festival, a major multi-disciplinary arts celebration that brings together the work of a vast array of performers and visual artists. If you haven't seen it yet, the festival runs until May 4. All shows are $10.

Transit Gallery is hosting John Kennedy's series Surface Issues from April 29 to June 1, with a reception on Friday, May 2, 7-10 PM. The gallery is also showing recent additions to Michael Allgoewer's Contingent Series.


Drowning Girl, an indie rock band from Toronto, plays at the Casbah on Saturday, May 10 (tickets $10 each).

Russ Weil, a pianist specializing in '60s and '70s pop rock, plays Three16 Lounge, 316 King St. E. (near Wellington), on Friday, May 2, 9 PM to midnight. No cover.


Brian Prince Bookseller is hosting Paul Quarrington, Emily Perkins and David Adams Richards on Monday, May 5 at the Leander Boat Club, 50 Leander Dr (at the bottom of Bay St. N). Tickets are $10 each.


Melrose Movies is screening "The Fight for True Farming" (Eve Lamont, 2005) on Friday, May 9 at 6:30 PM at Melrose United Church, Locke Street and Homewood, followed by a group discussion.

In this documentary, crop and animal farmers in Quebec, the Canadian West, the US Northeast and France offer solutions to the social and environmental scourges of factory farming. Driven by the forces of globalization, rampant agribusiness is harming the environmemt and threatening the survival of farms. The proliferation of GMO crops is a further threat to biodiversity as well as to farmers' autonomy. In Europe as well as North America, a current of resistance bringing together farmers and consumers insists that it is possible--indeed imperative--to grow food differently. The Fight for True Farming is a film of grim lucidity but also irrepressible hope.


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By jobseeker (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2008 at 13:51:32

Hi, I was just wondering how I would go about applying for a job at the new London Taphouse in Hamilton. If anyone has any information I would love to hear it. My email is Any information would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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By jobseeker (anonymous) | Posted May 08, 2008 at 10:00:52

Thank you very much, Ryan! I appreciate it =)

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