RTH Coverage Has Blind Spots

By Ryan McGreal
Published August 03, 2007

I'm not sure if anyone writing for RTH even knew about the Dynes Tavern until its owner demolished it to make room for a housing development.

A search of the Hamilton Spectator archive turns up an article from May 14 by the indomitable Paul Wilson and a July 17 report by Nicole MacIntyre on a last-minute heritage assessmenet which neighbouring residents hoped would put the planned demolition on hold.

Bill Dunphy reports in today's Spec that the city is planning to charge the owner, Anthony DePasquale, for demolishing the building without a permit.

Of course, in exchange for the million dollars riding on the land sale to Branthaven homes, even a $200,000 fine is still a bargain.

However, while the issue has appeared in the news, no one here was primed to pick up on it the way that we picked up on, say, the fate of the Lister Block.

That fact is that RTH tends to focus on downtown and southwest Hamilton to the exclusion of other areas. We report on the areas in which we live, the areas most likely to affect us.

This is a problem. Hamilton is a big place, and the fates of its various neighourhoods and wards are connected.

Unfortunately, we don't have the resources to dispatch reporters and support columnists the way a daily newspaper does. We function through the volunteer efforts of our contributors and readers.

We would love to extend our coverage and analysis across more of the city, but to do that, we need people who are willing to cover those areas.

If you live in the North or East end, or the East Mountain, or Stoney Creek, or Dundas, or Ancaster, or Glanbrook, and would like to contribute, please get in touch with us.

We'd love to hear about more such events before it's too late to do anything about it. On a more basic level, we're eager to expand our perspective and focus aso RTH is as honest, fair and comprehensive as possible.

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.


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By jason (registered) | Posted August 03, 2007 at 14:03:23

I was quite livid at this whole Dynes thing. It's summertime so I didn't have time (or bother) to write a piece. I've been there several times. A great spot on the beach.

This clown should be fined $1million to teach him a lesson and take away his fat payday. A rather lively discussion on the issue has been taking place on and on Nicole Macintyre's HallMarks blog.

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By jperry (anonymous) | Posted August 05, 2007 at 13:33:16

When I first visited Hamilton a few years ago, I knew that my ancestors' hotel by the lighthouse was long gone, but I was pleased to find their rival,Dyne's, was still in business.
Just this May I was in the area, had a nice walk from the Brant Museum to the Beach Strip, as stopped at Dyne's for lunch. I had no idea that I was getting in just under the wire.

It was more a historic site than a heritage building, I believe. But that developer's conduct is intolerable.

John Perry
Victoria BC

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 05, 2007 at 14:25:24

Hey John This is one of the main reasons why your city of Victoria is considered so beautiful and historic. They appreciate history. Hamilton loves to knock down our historic sites and replace them with parking lots or cardboard boxes that will fall apart in a few decades.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted August 07, 2007 at 09:49:44

The city should rezone the property to disallow the developers plans and erect a monument at the expense of the owner.

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By Architectual Observer (anonymous) | Posted August 07, 2007 at 13:13:43

On the subject of blind spots, when our City Hall nearly met the demolition ball without a permit in the form of a voters mandate, RTH was strangely silent on that issue. While we may not think much of the people we elect to work there, the building that belongs to the citizens of this city is a little more significant than a dumpy and ignored boarded up tavern.

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