Comment 86709

By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted February 25, 2013 at 08:26:52

It is nice that meetings have recently been held to allow residents of the Ivor Wynne neighbourhood to discuss ways to improve and enhance the stadium precinct and many good ideas have been generated. Unfortunately though, the “big picture” has already been painted and framed. The neighbourhood residents never asked what they wanted to see happen on the old Ivor Wynne Stadium site before the decision was made to build a new stadium there. And the neighbourhood had next to no input on the stadium design or use before the end product was unveiled in October, 2012. Most of the ideas coming out of the recent neighbourhood meetings are achievable with or without a stadium on the Ivor Wynne site.

Had the original west harbour Pan Am stadium plan come to fruition, the old Ivor Wynne stadium site would have been a wonderful place to accommodate a new education and amateur sports hub. A new secondary school. A new community centre and swimming pool. A grass soccer/football field. Roughed-in plans for a new single pad or twin paid hockey arena when funding became available. And three or four baseball diamonds across the street where they are now. This would have been the city-building initiative to reinvigorate Ward 3 and begin to make it attractive again for families with children to live there.

As fate would have it, the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board is closing Delta, Parkview and Sir John A. Macdonald secondary schools and it is looking to build a new one. The Board has explored the former Scott Park Secondary site as one possible option but the current owner wants $9 Million.

As it stands, the residents of the Ivor Wynne neighbourhood and Ward 3 at large face uncertainty as to where the new secondary school will be located, and they have an 85 year old swimming pool, an incrementally renovated 70 year old hockey rink, and no community centre.

An astute acquaintance of mine refers to the decision to build the Pan Am stadium at the old Ivor Wynne Stadium site instead of the original west harbour site as a “one hundred year mistake” because a once in a lifetime city-building opportunity to construct a signature multi-purpose west harbour stadium and public space connecting the harbourfront to the downtown by 2015 has been lost forever. It now appears that a potential once-in-a-lifetime city-building opportunity for the Ivor Wynne neighbourhood and Ward 3 at large has also been missed.

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