HAMILTON ONTARIO | CANADA | Anniversary Issue | MAY 2012 | urbanicity.ca
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THE EVOLUTION of URBANICITY
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Designing for A DIFFERENT ERA STALA 88
BEASTS in the BUTCHER SHOP CAN MEMORY BUILD A CITY? CHILDREN of AUCHMAR
How deeply does graphic design inform us of the period and culture it was created for? What can be learned from examining a movie poster from 1961? According to Greg Vickers: quite a lot. p.6
Deep in a secret basement workshop, filmmakers Christopher Harrison and Phil Pattison, along with special effects artist Carlos Henriques, spend their time planning and producing horror films. Surrounded by blood, guts, and equipment, these three have taken 'cutting' film to a new level. p.7
Signed to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as a free agent in 2009, Dave Stala has become a staple of the team, and a fan favourite. Recognised as a hometown boy, Stala was born in Poland, but grew up in Hamilton's east end. He recently sat down with urbanicity to talk football, food, and Hamilton. p.21
What does the restoration of the Lister Block mean for Hamilton? Is it really about the bricks and mortar? Or is there a deeper significance to the preservation of heritage buildings in our city? In a double-page spread, Graham Crawford offers an argument for the value of heritage properties based on more than age or architecture. p.10
Hamilton's other grand old estate sits derelict at the top of West 5th Street. What might such a majestic old mansion look like through the eyes of high school students? This month, Andrew Vowles take us into Auchmar with a photography class from Westdale High School to view the estate through the eyes, and lenses, of a new generation. p.16
HAMILTON ONTARIO | CANADA | Published Monthly | MAY 2012 | urbanicity.ca | one year anniversary
urbanicity [ur-buh-nis-i-tee] - noun 1. The premiere interactive forum of constructive, thoughtful, provocative, and local ideas, issues, and experiences in the bay city.
It has now been a full year since we began publishing urbanicity. In the last 12 months, we have printed over 150 features and articles in 120,000 copies on a total of 1,400,000 pages. The issues have been read an estimated 500,000 times. We are working hard to achieve our vision: To be the premiere interactive forum for constructive, thoughtful, provocative, and local ideas, issues, and experiences. Thank you all for participating in this ongoing conversation about our city. Moving into our second year of publication, we are excited for what is ahead. The issue you are reading is #13. It is the largest and most ambitious issue of urbanicity to date, but it is indicative of where this magazine is headed. This past year, we have worked very hard to make our mark as a high-quality urban magazine. Gradual design changes, the dropping of section titles, and a reorganization of our advertising space have all been steps in this process. Looking forward, you will continue to notice further signs of evolution and growth. Such signs include the launch of a new, comprehensive and interactive website on May 18. We're also planning to keep expanding our page count and our circulation. Additionally, keep your eyes open for the new urbanicity car - a tiny, white Scion iQ with the skyline of Hamilton wrapped on it. To celebrate a year of urbanicity, please join us at Acclamation on James North on May 18 for our One-Year Anniversary Celebration. The informal event will run from 5 PM onward, with a small program (including the unveiling of an exciting special addition to the urbanicity presence) scheduled to take place at 8 PM. Come to meet writers, advertisers, fellow readers, and friends. We look forward to seeing you there! Onwards and upwards. Thank you for reading. MARTINUS GELEYNSE | Publisher + Editor
FORUM Is the EcoScene Festival that desperate for attention? I was quite shocked to see such an overtly sexual and sadly misguided advertisement promoting the Eco Film Festival in the April issue of urbanicity. Not only did it remind me of something I might expect to see in the back pages of the VIEW, but I also was confused by its message. How does a mostly topless woman wearing leather chaps and cowhide, while holding guns, have anything to do with a festival that usually is so positive and intelligent? Was this just a desperate attention grab? I hope that neither this festival or advertising in general has actually come to that. Sincerely, Liz Wong | Dundas ON ECOSCENE RESPONSE:
Each month, the FORUM section will display letters to the Editor. In order to be accepted, letters must include valid contact information and the full name of the writer. Send your letters to: email@example.com Letters are printed as received, without editing. In the spirit of dialogue, it is urbanicity policy to offer space for a reply by the writer of the original article being addressed. The ideas, opinions, and views presented in urbanicity are not necessarily those of its Editor, Publisher, Distributors or Advertisers. We welcome discussion!
is a strong leading force in the world of photography and recognized by his incredible show. The image that is shown in our poster is one of Dan's images and we felt best suited his style. It's an incredible image. In order to make our workshops stand out, we wanted to attract attention by creating a powerful poster. We have not had one complaint about it yet and it has appeared all over Ontario. Kindest regards, Maggie Dee ECOScene Film and Arts Festival Producer Photography Awards/workshops www.ecofestival.ca/workshops/ IS HAMILTON CURSED?
EcoScene Film and Arts Festival is an environmental film festival. A few years ago we introduced the photography competition aspect of the festival and it has grown in leaps and bounds. This was our most successful year. The photography side promotes images that are sending a strong environmental message. There is no way to raise money with these events, there is no entry fee, no charge for the final showing. So we wanted to create an event that we did charge for and the net proceeds would go to the cause. The cause is to raise funds for the arts, directed at producing environmentally driven films. We created the workshop section, it's an all day event featuring top local photographers. We wanted a keynote guest photographer, again promoting Canadian Talent, we chose Dan Couto, creator of the award winning "Naked in the house". He
In the early 1900's, the city of Hamilton did an outstanding job attracting big name companies to town and with it came a population boom. People were moving to Hamilton because it was one of the top locations in all of Canada for employment opportunities. Hamilton attracted world class companies to town like Firestone, International Harvester, Proctor & Gamble and Westinghouse. Many other companies and businesses also got their start in Hamilton like Canadian Tire and Tim Hortons. Hamilton was considered by many to be a "great city." By 1930 Hamilton had peaked and lured McMaster University to town from Toronto plus became hosts to the very first Commonwealth Games. If someone from then were able to travel to presentday Hamilton they would be shocked. Right away questions would arise like, “What happened to our street cars? The Incline railways? The Grand
PUBLISHER + EDITOR CREATOR + DESIGN
martinus geleynse reg beaudry
Theatres we use to have in the core? The Royal Connaught Hotel?” “Where did all the good paying jobs from our industrial north-end disappear to?” “What happened to Hamilton?” In a recent Canadian Business magazine article they had a listing of the Top 800 corporations in Canada. Forty three of them, by my calculations, were situated in the southern Ontario region. Hamilton only had one on the list (OK, two if you count Winona). Our next-door neighbour, Burlington, a town with a quarter of Hamilton's population has ten. The area dubbed as the "technology triangle" consisting of KitchenerWaterloo, Cambridge and Guelph collectively are home to 16 corporations from the list. Their companies include Toyota, Home Hardware, Lear Canada Ltd., and Research In Motion. Also, keep in mind that we are in direct competition with these towns all around us, an ECONOMIC BATTLE...and from my vantage point it's a battle that Hamilton is losing badly. Some would suggest there's a "bad cloud" hanging over Hamilton. We all know about our missed chances at a National Hockey League club. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman wants the NHL to be perceived as "Big League" and he does not see Hamilton as a “Big League City”. Add to the fact we have infighting down at City Hall. The perception from outsiders looking in is a dysfunctional City Council, and nobody wants to do business with dysfunctional people! We even have a Mayor, Bob Bratina, who cites the Pan Am stadium as one of his biggest achievements. Everyone knows about all the delays regarding the final decision of where to build the new stadium and funding for it. When everything was said and done, the new stadium will be built at the current location where Ivor Wynne stadium is currently, instead of the better location: the west-end waterfront. The new stadium
will also have around 7,000 less seats than what Ivor Wynne stadium has now, down to 22,500 from 29,600 seats. The whole soap opera surrounding the new Pan Am stadium for Hamilton gave the city a lot of bad press right across Canada, something the city could have done without. You don't think the NHL was watching? Bad press like this hurts the city and scares off wealthy investors. Getting back to what I started with, however, Hamilton in the past was considered to be a "great city" by many. We would have to go there to find out from the various movers-and-shakers what made this city tick. What made it fly? The city back then had many people who dared to DREAM BIG, were not afraid to follow up on their dreams with ACTION, and therefore got the positive RESULTS they were aiming for, and they ACHIEVED many great things...and Hamilton benefitted because of it. There are many greats from Hamilton's past. My personal favorite is Sir Allan Napier MacNab. A Canadian political leader, Prime Minister of Canada before Confederation (1854-56). The only Canadian Prime Minister to come out of Hamilton. Not only was he a politician he was also an entrepreneur responsible for the construction of the Great Western Railway, which was a major contributing factor towards Hamilton's growth in the early years. Also note that at 14 years of age he fought in the War of 1812. Dundurn Castle was his home and this was the part of Hamilton I grew up in. Now, Sir Allan Napier MacNab, the only Canadian Prime Minister that Hamilton has ever produced, was originally buried in 1862 on the Dundurn Park grounds between Dundurn Castle and Castle Dean on the corner of Locke Street and Tecumseh Street. In 1909, his body was removed and taken to Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in west Hamilton. No stone marks his grave
there. Are you kidding me? The ONLY Canadian Prime Minister this city has ever produced and no stone marks his grave? Any other Canadian city would be shouting from their rooftops and telling everyone how their city was once the home of a Canadian Prime Minister. Unfortunately, not here in Hamilton. Furthermore, it's not just Sir Allan Napier MacNab. George Hamilton, one of our City's founders, and the man who this city was named after, passed away on February 20, 1836. The monument (tombstone) that now sits at the Hamilton cemetery wasn't put there until 1894. His remains are not even there at the Hamilton cemetery. His body was buried at the family burial plot on the family's farm. It is now part of Mountainside Park. No stone marks his grave either. Is it any wonder this city is cursed? Why do we not have any stones or monuments marking the graves of George Hamilton and Sir Allan Napier MacNab? Why were the remains of Sir Allan Napier MacNab moved to another location and away from Dundurn Park? We need to rectify this as soon as possible! First we need to find the remains of Sir Allan Napier MacNab and return them to their original resting spot at Dundurn Park, and mark his grave there with a tombstone or monument. Secondly, we need to find the remains of George Hamilton and mark his grave with a tombstone or monument as well. The sooner we do this, the quicker we will all benefit from it; we just might improve Hamilton's fortune. I believe we'll finally be able to lift up that bad cloud hanging over our city. We in Hamilton need to take action on this—we need to lift the curse now! -Rick Cordeiro | Toronto ON
karen da costa
DISTRIBUTION | QUANTITY: 10,000 copies per issue | 12 issues per year | DATE: First Friday of each month | COST: Complimentary | DISTRIBUTION LOCATIONS | Downtown Hamilton, International V illage, Ottawa Street, Locke Street, W estdale, Village of Ancaster, Town of Dundas, Village of Waterdown, Stoney Creek, Concession Street District, Selected Hamilton mountain locations, GHA | AD INQUIRIES | firstname.lastname@example.org | urbanicity.ca | 905.537.5928 | PRINTER | Canweb Printing Inc. | FRONT COVER Collage of urbanicity covers | FRONT PANEL Breakfast at Tiffany's poster | Dave Stala, photograph by Reg Beaudry | Christopher Harrison, photograph by Reg Beaudry | A day when the Birk’s clock dominated the south-east corner of King and James in Hamilton ON | Model Nicole Clarke, photographed by Caleb Siu
Breakfast At Tiffany's remains an endearing film that speaks to a very brief and specific point in our recent past. It reflects an era that would soon change into something bolder and brighter, and yet, ultimately, far darker. HAMILTON ONTARIO | CANADA | Published Monthly | MAY 2012 | urbanicity.ca | Anniversary Issue
DESIGNING FOR A DIFFERENT ERA Holly Golightly and the progressive face of 60’s graphic design |
Examining the past will always be an avocation of popular culture. A current fascination with all things early 60's, thanks to popular television shows like Mad Men and Pan Am, has cast an eye on a largely ignored and somewhat forgotten era of modern history: that brief period of years from about 1960 to 1965, a stop-gap between the white picket fences and suburban explosion of the previous decade and the ramping political and social unrest that would culminate in the flower power generation. The graphic design of this brief era is in many ways a reflection of this time, and to best reflect on it we need to first understand the greater social undercurrents that influenced it. People were hungry for change. Women were on the cusp of burning their aprons along with their bras; men were just as eager to toss aside their grey flannel suits and grow some sideburns. There was an air of promise and potential in the air, a wave of social, political, and technological innovation and change that was spiriting forward the new decade. As more and more people became urbanites, the culture and lifestyle changes afforded them by their new allocation would bring new opportunity and experience – changes that would define not only the individual, but also society as a whole. At the same time, the new highway system had opened up the nation to a new form of urban expansion: suburbia. The commuter was born, one who would, arguably, have the best of both worlds. This growing population was eager to redefine themselves and their lifestyle around city living, yet still possessed healthy ties to the traditions and conventions that had proven indomitable, and in fact profitable, in the post-war boom. Reconciling and marketing to this seeming dichotomy would prove difficult for advertisers and artists alike. The popular Audrey Hepburn film Breakfast At Tiffany's, Blake Edwards' 1961 adaptation of Truman Capote's seminal novel, was in many ways an innovative portrait of the changes that were riding the crest of that era. The journey of Holly Golightly from reformed farm-girl to self-invented urbanite was a direct reflection of the greater societal changes taking place. In this context, Holly is thoroughly modern, and this seeming contradiction perfectly reflects the face of that era's larger sensibilities. Holly's journey spoke to everyone, whether as simple fantasy or a mirror of the shifting times – a breathing portrait of the need for the past and the present to reconcile and forge the new future. The poster for Breakfast At Tiffany's is a perfect depiction of this leitmotif, and it's remarkable that so simple a design can so effectively capture the very themes that form the complex campaign of Capote's then-revolutionary character. We see Holly on her own: isolated, yet remaining as confident in her femininity as she is in her modernity. She's all class and elegance in her black cocktail dress and diamond necklace, if somewhat of a princess in her tiara, her elbow gloves and cigarette holder conveying a sense of the cultured, even exotic. Her eye is cast towards the city skyline, where life in the big city offers her the chance to live and love in the fashion she desires. The waifish Audrey Hepburn appears larger than life here, her tiny waistline as thin as her cigarette holder but her determined personality as big as the actress herself. A perfect icon for the blooming women's movement, and a momentary figurehead for the growing youth population that would, in just a few short years, largely reject Holly's material desires. The design was done in a style that was popular in the early 60's, when film posters followed suit from book covers and print advertising. The designer is Robert McGinnis, whose work is synonymous with the era and probably best associated with the early James Bond films. It is significant that the poster is handpainted rather than making use of a photo-image, and McGinnis makes bold use of negative space (a trick borrowed from Saul Bass, no doubt), as well as making no bones about being painterly. It's also a nod to the pulp paperback cover (for which McGinnis was also well known), as well as the illustrative style of advertising for high-end retailers to which the title of the movie refers. The strong use of type and colour references Reid Miles's pioneering style from the same time period, whose album covers for Francis Wolff are now regarded as hallmarks of that era's design sensibilities. Our massive billboards today, filled with over-photoshopped cartoons and bombastic typeface, make Robert McGinnis' poster for Breakfast At Tiffany's look quaint by comparison. And yet, he manages to tastefully succeed in his execution where much of modern design fails. In his simplicity, he uses theme to portray Holly Golightly as both of her time and for her time, her character embraced in all of her complexity and contradiction. His bold use of colour and type, his minimalist approach to layout, and his effective deployment of negative space all reflect the post-modern era. It seems positively progressive by today's standards, which rarely allows designers to employ such conceits, and seeks to meet the demands of audiences for a blunter and more immediate visual style. Breakfast At Tiffany's remains an endearing film that speaks to a very brief and specific point in our recent past. It reflects an era that would soon change into something bolder and brighter, and yet, ultimately, far darker. Change would lead to upheaval, evolution to revolution, protest to unrest, and while much ground would be gained with each step forward, some things would be lost. The hope and self-determination of Holly Golightly, like the stylish simplicity of the poster that advertises her tale, remains a unique memento of its brief era. GREG VICKERS is a graphic designer and musician living and working in Hamilton ON | gregvickers.com afternoonsinstereo.com Partial movie poster for Breakfast At Tiffany’s
HAMILTON ONTARIO | CANADA | Published Monthly | MAY 2012 | urbanicity.ca | Anniversary Issue
“It was my father that got in me into horror films. He would love to watch them, but could not do it alone. So he would wake me up and tell me I could watch a scary movie with him. Of course I jumped thinking he was being a super cool dad, but we all found out years later that it was him who left the hall light on at night.” - Chris Harrison
“After watching Creepshow as a young boy, my bedroom became a museum of the macabre — crammed with horror posters, books, magazines, monster masks and gory props! From there on, I was sold. I was going to create monsters for a living no matter what!” - Carlos Enriques
“I guess you can say my passion for the genre takes me back to the best times of my life... being a kid. While all my school mates were out on Friday and Saturday nights losing their virginity and getting drunk for the first time, I was popping The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead into the VCR.” - Phil Pattison
Chris Harrison, Carlos Enriques, and Phil Pattison | photograph by Reg Beaudry | graphic design by Phil Pattison
BEASTS of BLOOD IN THE BUTCHER SHOP ON ELM STREET When local filmmakers Christopher Harrison and Phil Pattison refer to gore, they aren’t talking about the park at the centre of downtown Hamilton. For the two Hamiltonians, “the gory details” are all about fulfilling their dream of producing horror films. Together, they operate Nictophobia Films, a production company specializing in gruesome, grisly, and ghastly. With several films to their credit, including an adaptation of Stephen King’s The Man Who Loved Flowers, Harrison and Pattison are now working together on their first major motion picture, the Mummers, scheduled for production in 2013. In the meantime, they are releasing Devil's Night, starring Danielle Harris (Rob Zombie's Halloween, Hatchet II) and Shawn Roberts (Resident Evil: Afterlife, Diary of the Dead). Currently, Nictophobia Films is continuing their history of collaboration with Hamilton special effects artist Carlos Henriques (owner of The Butcher Shop) on a live theatrical production of the horror epic, Night of the Living Dead. George A. Romero, the writer and director of the original cult classic is executive-producing the play, along with co-writer John Russo and producer Russ Streiner. The curtain rises on Night of the Living Dead Live in Toronto in 2013. They plan to tour the play with its final run in Hamilton. Updates and information about the play can be found at www.nightofthelivingdeadlive.com. To learn more about the dynamic duo behind Nictophobia Films, visit their website at www.nictophobiafilms.com. The Butcher Shop and its gross-out guru Carlos Henriques can be found online at www.thebutchershop.ca
WAR of the WARDS As recently as this past April, members of Hamilton City Council were falling over each other in selfcongratulatory pronouncements and back-slapping camaraderie while celebrating 16 months of a political love-in apparently only exceeded by their collective enmity towards the titular head of council. Some observers might be excused for remarking that it is all too easy to link arms around the council chambers in a rousing round of political kumbaya when you have been avoiding anything close to controversy since the handling of the area rating issue. It was no surprise then that this past March this same council quietly voted to defer any consideration of a ward boundary review until, in effect, sometime after the next election in 2014. The justification, as subsequently articulated by Councillors Whitehead and Duvall, ironically representing the two wards that experience the greatest inequities in the current ward boundary alignment, was based upon three concerns. First was the cost of a ward boundary review. Second was the timing of the review in terms of projected population growth in Ancaster, Glanbrook and Stoney Creek. Third was the contention that the existing population disparities within the current boundary alignment does not represent a threat to effective representation as cited in the Supreme Court of Canada’s Carter decision. In the staff report to the Council’s Governance Review Sub-Committee of February 6, 2012, it was suggested that the total cost of conducting review of the ward boundary issue would cost in the area of $250,000 and yet other municipalities have been reported as able to do it for considerably less – ranging
from $100,000 to $150,000 in the cities of Waterloo, London and Windsor. Councillors Whitehead and Duvall argue that “population growth has not met provincial projections, nor is the population growth happening in the predicted areas as quickly as anticipated”. Their very argument against the timing of the review is, in fact, undermined by their own evidence. What better time to conduct a review of boundaries than while population is relatively stable and growth is less likely to undermine a realignment of ward boundaries? For the sake of argument, let’s grant them their point for a moment. The Supreme Court of Canada’s Carter decision stated that more than population should be considered when looking at the fundamental right to representation on which democracy is built. In a democracy there is an obligation to provide effective representation. This means that all residents are entitled, by law, to reasonable access to their elected officials. According to the Supreme Court decision, the criteria to consider when looking at ward boundary changes are as follows: “Communities of interest and neighbourhoods: It is desirable to avoid fragmenting traditional neighbourhoods or communities of interest within the City; Consideration of representation by population: To the extent possible, and bearing in mind the requirements for effective representation, wards should have reasonably equal population totals; Consideration of present and future population trends: Insofar as possible, the ward structure should accommodate growth for at least 10 years; Consideration of physical features as natural
| Christopher Cutler boundaries: Wards should have a coherent, contiguous shape and the boundaries should be straightforward and easy to remember”. Former Mayor Larry Di Ianni, and the last mayor elected from the suburban communities, made the specious argument that the petition was an antisuburban gesture. Hardly, given the very clear direction given by the Supreme Court that “it is desirable to avoid fragmenting traditional neighbourhoods or communities of interest within the City” and the incredible continuing importance of agribusiness to the Hamilton economy. Surely if any community of interest met that standard it would be Ward 14 with its largely rural and small village population. Indeed, given the same Supreme Court ruling, Waterdown, Dundas and Ancaster have little, if anything to fear from a full and rigorous debate of the issue. It appeared to some that the current council acted as if they had no idea that citizens had recourse to the right of petition as provided for under Section 223 of the Ontario Municipal Act, or that as few as 500 signatures would suffice to activate a process with relatively tight timelines within which all of the players; city staff, councillors and citizens would need to act. Nonetheless, the right of recourse to these remedies by the public was outlined in the staff report to Council’s Governance Review Sub-Committee on February 6, 2012. In fact, most of these same councillors were reminded by City staff of the option of petition and referral by the public to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) during discussions in 2007 and 2008. Councillor Merulla had been an early proponent of a more representative redrawing of ward
boundaries even before 2007. In fact, both Councillors Duvall and Whitehead had been supporters of a more representative alignment of ward boundaries upon their election. Petition re: wards 223. (1) Electors in a municipality may present a petition to the council asking the council to pass a bylaw dividing or redividing the municipality into wards or dissolving the existing wards. 2001, c. 25, s. 223 (1); 2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 97 (1). Number of electors required (2) The petition requires the signatures of 1 per cent of the electors in the municipality or 500 of the electors in the municipality, whichever is less, but, in any event, a minimum of 50 signatures of the electors in the municipality is required. 2001, c. 25, s. 223 (2). Council was all too aware of the fact that any one of the signators to this petition would be able to appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board directly if they failed to act on the issue of fair representation. The problem with the filing of the petition with the OMB is that it triggers a timeline far more aggressive than anything recommended by staff to ensure completion by December 31, 2013 and be reflected in the 2014 municipal election. Haste doesn’t necessarily make for the best considered decisions and given that any changes in ward boundaries need to withstand the potential scrutiny of an appeal to the OMB sober second thought is the order of the day. Failure to act (4) If the council does not pass a by-law in accordance with the petition within 90 days after receiving the petition, any of the electors who signed the petition may apply to the Ontario Municipal Board
to have the municipality divided or redivided into wards or to have the existing wards dissolved. 2001, c. 25, s. 223 (4); 2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 97 (2). The obvious challenge posed by the relative silence of council on the issue of fair and equitable representation in the distribution of ward boundaries was the fear that there was no way of assuring the public that the same thing would not happen again during the next term of office. Only a real commitment reflected in funds set aside in the city budget and a timeline adopted to ensure a broad and comprehensive review with full citizen engagement beginning in this term of council and culminating in recommendations reflecting fair and equitable ward boundary reform during the next term in-time to be implemented for the following municipal elections will meet that test. This was similar to what council finally ended up adopting with some success on the issue of area rating and bears applying to this issue In a world of robocall-tainted elections and perceived conflicts of interest everywhere, the presence of a process seen to be fair in measuring and implementing the public will on ward boundary reform is more important than ever. Otherwise it’s like winning a game on a penalty shot granted by a referee’s bad call against the other team. You won the game but you’re still left with a bad taste in your mouth. CHRISTOPHER CUTLER is a community activist, Co-Chair of the Ward Boundary Reform Working Group and a past member of the board of directors of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)
“After a long love affair with the car that started a century ago and took off after World War II, planners and municipal leaders alike now recognize that a city street – and the community that lives on and around it – cannot live on vehicle lanes alone.” - Terry Cooke HAMILTON ONTARIO | CANADA | Published Monthly | MAY 2012 | urbanicity.ca | Anniversary Issue
Terry Cooke |
COMPLETE STREETS |
And the End of a Love Affair
Calgary, Alberta | photograph courtesy of ewingteam.ca
Lately everyone seems to be talking about "complete streets". From keynote speakers at economic talk fests, to engineers and planners at transportation summits, a broad consensus is emerging that city streets need to meet everyone's needs, not just the imperatives of automobile traffic. After a long love affair with the car that started a century ago and took off after World War II, planners and municipal leaders alike now recognize that a city street – and the community that lives on and around it – cannot live on vehicle lanes alone. Cities around the continent and across the political spectrum are investing in making their centres people-friendly: walkable, welcoming and wealthy. Mix a variety of people and uses and connect to the rest of the city through high-quality transit, and you can provide great quality of life that improves living conditions and attracts new residents and businesses. Last month, my travels took me to Brooklyn and Calgary. Such trips can't help but shape your impressions of the city to which you return. In their own ways, both cities have embraced complete streets and reaped the benefits of lively, productive centres. Discussions about the NYC economy inevitably turn around the vast and lucrative financial industries in Manhattan, but Brooklyn is really worth a visit. While Manhattan's finance-heavy job market took a beating in the recent global economic crash, Brooklyn's relatively recession-proof focus on education and health care fared much better. Property values stayed relatively resilient and the economy as a whole was less affected than NYC's other boroughs. Once an industrial centre based around shipbuilding, Brooklyn's economic base shifted from industry to professional services and niche manufacturing after the manufacturing sector declined in the 1970s. Brooklyn itself is a case study in high quality urbanism. At 2.5 million residents, it's the most populous county in New York and the second densest county in the USA (after Manhattan). Unlike many urban centres, its population has been growing since the 1980s after a steep decline between 1970 and 1980. Brooklyn continues to attract people and businesses, due in part to its proximity to Manhattan, but also due to its sheer livability: its distinct neighbourhoods, diverse cultures, gorgeous brownstones, the stunning Olmsted-designed Prospect Park, and more delights than I can list here. Though Brooklyn's streets were already enviably humanfriendly by national standards, the city committed more forcefully to a complete streets policy under Mayor Mike Bloomberg and tireless NYC Department of Transport commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, which ultimately inspired a
new 2011 state law committing cities to ensure they are designing and building complete streets. Calgary, on the other hand, has traditionally been a more horizontal, sprawl-based city. But even there, an extensive Light Rail Transit system and a vibrant, walkable downtown go against the suburban grain. During a time when many cities have watched business flee to the suburbs, Calgary has actually increased the number and density of corporate head offices in the downtown core. This is not least because of the C-Train, once derided as "Little Ralphie's Train" when then-Premier Ralph Klein supported it on its opening in 1981. Defying the naysayers, the C-Train has been a tremendous success and carries a daily ridership of 263,000 in a city otherwise known for being conservative and car-dependent. While other cities vacillate over whether to invest in LRT, Calgary under the leadership of Mayor Naheed Nenshi, is forging ahead with several expansions, including a West Line scheduled to open in 2013. Calgary's downtown is tall and dense, a forest of gleaming skyscrapers featuring the charming Stephen Avenue Walk, an extensive pedestrian mall framed by historic buildings and featuring excellent shopping, dining and entertainment options. Without a coherent downtown and a comprehensive rapid transit system to feed it, Calgary's economic centre might instead be more dispersed and less effective. Yet even in a Western economy fueled mainly by the oil industry, the urban economics of density and proximity serve Calgary well as an economic powerhouse. So what lessons can we draw? Brooklyn and Calgary are much different places from Hamilton, but they're also different from each other and yet both share urban traits common to all great cities. They also both played against the odds: Brooklyn managed to reinvent itself after its industry declined, and Calgary managed to build a tall urban core at the centre of a sprawling western city. That took vision from city leaders: bravery in Brooklyn to believe that Manhattan's poor cousin could pull out of its postindustrial funk and rebuild its economy; courage in Calgary to believe that an overwhelmingly car-dominated culture could accept and host a teeming downtown core best accessed on a commuter train. TERRY COOKE is a former Regional Chair of HamiltonWentworth, and is currently the President & CEO of Hamilton Community Foundation. email@example.com
The restored Lister Block | photo by Graham Crawford
WE WERE WRONG + THANK GOD! Frank Rocchi |
On April 13th last, the phoenix that is the Lister Block rose from the myth of a decaying core. That is to say, the idea that Hamilton's core is still in decay is dead. The vibrancy of the art crawl, surmounted by the opening of Lister to great public acclamation, sent an energy through the area that that hasn't been there for a long time. That energy might never have occurred if a great number of us had had our way six years ago. We wanted the Lister blight to be cleansed from the core, and the city. We believed that razing the building to the ground was the only way to go. We went to City Hall and made delegations to that effect. We spoke passionately to the issue both in private and in public. Last-minute interventions, looked upon unkindly by we demolitionists as a usurpation of our civic voice, saved Lister from us, and from itself. Now the transformation is done. The artisanship of LIUNA has restored a hidden treasure, one that was hidden from us for too long. This success underscores a vision of what could be, as opposed to what had been suggested. The simple fact is
Lister restored looks a hell of a lot better than any of the visions of what 'SHOULD' have replaced it. SO, let me be the first of many who should say 'I WAS WRONG'. We were wrong for many reasons, but they were good reasons, reasons grounded in prior experiences. Chief amongst them was the reason that we had no faith left in the City's ability to get this project done. That faith had been shattered countless times before by myriad instances of infighting, meddling, incompetence and bureaucracy. We who have spent our working lives in the core have earned the right to our skepticism. Finally, that faith has been restored, by LIUNA and the people of Hamilton themselves. In at least one instance, this reward is well worth a personal 'Mea Culpa'. FRANK ROCCHI has worked in the core for more than twenty-five years. He's been a regular participant in, and an observer of Hamilton-Wentworth's municipal agendas over that time. He constantly marvels at the number of fascinating people he's been able to meet in the bay city.
HAMILTON ONTARIO | CANADA | Published Monthly | MAY 2012 | urbanicity.ca | Anniversary Issue
A corner that only exists in memories: Looking east at James Street North and King William Street, Hamilton ON
After years of shocking neglect, Hamiltonians made a deal to purchase and to restore the Lister Block. Now, in a poignant turnabout, the Lister Block is helping to restore Hamiltonians. It's as if the building literally and figuratively represents the bricks and mortar of our civic memories and that of our growing civic pride and optimism. It's as if the building at the corner of James Street North and King William symbolizes our own journey as Hamiltonians. The ongoing journey of building our city. The current Lister Block was built by local entrepreneurs in 1924 after a fire destroyed the building they owned on the same site the year before. It was built using the latest technologies. Built to withstand another fire. Built to make a statement about the Lister family and about commercial development in Hamilton. The Lister nearly didn't make it. Fortunately, it defied the odds. Came back from the brink. Surprised and now delights those who knew it. Those who had grown up with it. Even those who had only ever known it as a boarded up and beaten up eyesore. With its re-opening comes a re-imagining of how to use the Lister Block. Sue Monarch of Tourism Hamilton was kind enough to give me a tour of several of the floors upstairs as well as the basement level the day before the official opening. What struck me was not only the fact that life had returned to these storied floors, but that modern thinking had gone into how certain spaces would be used going forward. For example, the space on each floor that rounds the corner of James North and King William has been used for a small lunchroom. Nothing too fancy. But not at all shabby. In the past, that prime space would have been used for the office of the most senior person on each floor. Today, that prime space has been given over to every single employee, regardless of title or tenure. They can bring lunch to work, or bring lunch back to work from a local eatery, and sit and look out
over the city they serve. Well done. In the basement, there is a Wellness Centre. It includes some exercise equipment. Again, nothing fancy, yet functional. Each employee who uses the Wellness Centre has a small locker and access to a shower in the both the Men's and Women's Locker Rooms. Simple. Not lavish. Just modern. Healthy and happy employees not only enjoy their jobs more, they also do their jobs better. This kind of re-thinking and re-purposing speaks to some modern thinking on the part of the City of Hamilton. Not only do I not begrudge our employees these small gestures, I celebrate them and hope to see much more evidence of this kind of organizational thinking. I think the re-building, re-purposing, and reexperiencing of the Lister Block raises some important questions we should ask ourselves as we continue to build and revitalize our city. 1. Is our downtown better or worse off for having saved the Lister Block? 2. Is Hamilton better or worse off? 3. Are you better or worse off? If you answered “Better off” to all three questions, a next logical question is, “Why better off?” After all, isn't the Lister Block just an old building we fixed up and into which we have inserted new people? I think that depends on how you view the contribution the past makes to how we live our lives today. Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us - Oscar Wilde Past is, by definition, memory. Memory is comprised of facts, and episodes within which those facts took place, and feelings that surround those episodes. As a result, memory is detailed, complex, and emotional. Without memory, each day would be new, never
enriched by the facts, episodes, and feelings of the days that went before. We need memory to make sense of our present and to imagine and to build our future. A “fresh start” is only meaningful as a concept if it's preceded by memories of dead ends, of disappointments, of unrealized dreams. Great can only be measured if you already know what good feels like. A sense of loss relies on the memory of having once had, or held, or loved something or someone now gone. You need one to have the other. Perhaps your own memories are becoming less clear as time passes, like a Polaroid photograph developing in reverse. Perhaps some are painful and filed away and marked Do Not Open. Others may be as vivid and as joyous today as they were the very day they happened, tenaciously held in your mind, and in your being, as one of the defining moments in your life. On April 18, at a speech he gave in Hamilton sponsored by the Hamilton Community Foundation, Governor General David Johnston said, “Space defines us.” He said this to the many hundreds of guests sitting in what had been the departure hall, directly above the arrival hall, of the old CN railway station, now LIUNA Station. Grand. Important. Imposing. Finely detailed. Overflowing with memories of coming and of going. Of a gateway to a new life for thousands of immigrants, including my parents, my sister and me. At night. In a new country. In a new city. I'm glad it still exists. I, the downtown, and the city, are all better off because it lives on as part of our built heritage. As part of our built memory. God gave us memory so we might have roses in December - James Matthew Barrie I heard the following memory on April 13, the day Tourism Hamilton opened their new visitor centre in the Lister Block.
“We owe it to the worms and the trees that the buildings we cover them with will stand as promises of the highest and most intelligent kinds of happiness.” - Alain de Botton
“Space defines us.” - Governor General David Johnston
“I remember going to the Lister Block to buy sheet music from Ann Foster's when I was learning to play the piano as a kid. Downtown was such an exciting place.” Fact: sheet music Episode: going into the Lister Block and Ann Foster's Feelings: downtown was such an exciting place This memory existed before the Lister Block fell into disrepair. Before the debates about whether or not to save it or knock it down. It's a memory that exists today as the Lister Block sparkles after its restoration. I believe it's this kind of memory that helped to save the Lister Block from demolition. Memories caused people, both politicians and citizens, to care and to act. It wasn't just an old building to people who shared this kind of memory. It was a piece of built heritage that housed tens of thousands of personal and selfdefining memories for Hamiltonians. Not only about who they are as individuals, but also about what we are as a city. Tourism Hamilton estimates over 5,000 people came through their new visitor centre between 9:00 AM and 11:00 PM on April 13, the same day as the April art crawl. Yes, over 5,000 people! Why did they come? Why did they hang around? Why were they smiling? What was the true catalyst? A new Tourism Hamilton office? With all due respect, not likely, even though the new facility is very impressive and most definitely worth a visit by Hamiltonians and visitors alike. No, they came because they remembered. They remembered a moment in their lives, in a part of town, in a building, in a store, doing something that was important for them. It was those personal memories (facts, episodes, feelings) that brought many of them downtown on a Friday in April literally to see their memory. To be reunited with it.
Many with whom I spoke had not been downtown in years. In some case, many years. Yet, there they were. Smiling. Remembering. And experiencing their city's progress, and pride, and proof that what was good then can be just as good now. As a result, they were creating new memories that once again included the Lister Block. Whether it was a new memory of walking through the restored arcade. Or seeing how Hamilton was being showcased by Tourism Hamilton. Or standing in line to order a grilled cheese sandwich from the Gorilla Cheese truck and talking to the person next to them, or of buying a cupcake from the Cupcake Diner truck. Or walking along King William and into one of the restaurants. Or meeting up with people they hadn't seen in years. In my case, that person was Don Graves, someone I had not seen in over 40 years. We're getting together again in a couple of weeks. Thanks to the Lister Block. A new memory will emerge from celebrating an old one. For me, there's so much more to this story than a great old building being restored and reused. In and of itself, that's a very good thing. But what makes this a great thing, I believe, is that the Lister Block represents how we want to see as ourselves as Hamiltonians. About how we want see our city. About how we want others to see us. We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us - Winston Churchill Our built heritage is our built memory. Built memory is one of the foundations we use to see, at once, the past and the future. Even family stories are often told as stories of place. At a dinner table. On a family picnic. On a street. On a bus. In or near a building. In a store. With people. Built memory helps to provide context for our stories. The phrase, “Meet you under the Birk's clock.”
“God gave us memory so we might have roses in December.” - James Matthew Barrie
“Architecture begins where engineering ends.” - Walter Gropius
“Memories caused people, both politicians and citizens, to care and to act. It wasn't just an old building to people who shared this kind of memory. It was a piece of built heritage that housed tens of thousands of personal and self-defining memories for Hamiltonians. Not only about who they are as individuals, but also about what we are as a city. ” - Graham Crawford
CAN MEMORY BUILD A CITY? Graham Crawford |
for many conjures up place, and time, and people. And feelings. Perhaps a first date. Meeting a friend for lunch. Regrouping after time spent shopping or walking downtown. The clock hung on a building. The building sat at the entrance to Gore Park. The people stood under the clock. They smiled when they met. They talked. They discussed what they would do next. Where they would go. The Birk's Building is gone. Replaced by a generic, largely featureless office tower. Blah instead of beautiful. Can you even remember what the new building looks like? I suspect you can remember what the Birk's Building looked like, even though its been gone for decades. Better or worse off? If a built memory is torn down, what role does it play in our future memories? Does it become just a memory of loss. Of what used to be. Of what things were like then. If then was unpleasant, the sense of loss may be more of a relief. But, if then was positive, vital, engaging, the sense of loss may be unsettling. Sad. Even depressing. Yet, when a built memory is maintained, perhaps repurposed and/or restored, it becomes the memory of a life lived so far and of a life to be continued. Memory becomes a bridge to the future. It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards - Lewis Carroll While it's almost impossible not to remember, it is possible to ignore what you do remember. You can choose to not mine memories for knowledge, understanding, and meaning. You don't really need memory if you only want to see new. In fact, for those who prefer to see and to value only that which is new, memory can be a distraction, a sentimental barrier to what is perceived to be progress. Such proponents, too often dismiss heritage advocates as wanting to live in the past.
They offer their ubiquitous admonition, “We can't save every building.” Of course, they're correct. We can't. Nor should we. What we should do is fight to try to keep, to re-use, to re-imagine built heritage that has helped us to construct our built memory. This isn't just nostalgia. This is about respecting, embracing, and caring for the tapestry of our lives as citizens in a place we call home. I believe our built heritage and our built memory should be used in tandem to help us to evaluate whether destroying a building is in the best interests of our city and of our citizens. What if a developer said they wanted to knock down the Royal Connaught and build something along the lines of the CIBC towers that replaced the old CIBC (and Bank of Hamilton) building on the western end of Gore Park? There is no question that the Royal Connaught building, and all that it represents, is a treasure trove of personal and civic memories. Should we permit the loss of what is for likely hundreds of thousands of people the physical catalyst for rich, life-defining memories? Should we treat it as just bricks and mortar? Is replacing it with blue glass towers progress? Or, do we take our understanding of the value and the power of built memory through built heritage and say let's think more deeply about whether to replace or to renovate? Back to the three simple questions I raised at the beginning of this piece. 1. Would our downtown be better or worse off for saving the Royal Connaught building? 2. Would Hamilton be better or worse off? 3. Would you be better or worse off? Lest you think I'm unaware of the fiscal side of the equation, renovating is not the same as restoring. A designated building must be restored. An important piece of built heritage that remains undesignated, does not. The Royal Connaught, for example, is not
How Hamilton’s past can renew our spirit about our future
designated. It can be repurposed. Design elements, such as a marble staircase, can be kept if that makes economic sense. In this case, economic sense can be viewed in at least two ways. One, can we afford to repair the marble staircase? Two, would having the marble staircase repaired make the space more attractive to potential tenants and their customers? If you factor the power of built memory into the equation, the answer may very well be to repair rather than to replace. Architecture begins where engineering ends - Walter Gropius Not all buildings are of the same quality, from a materials and construction perspective and from an architectural perspective. Some are merely engineered boxes. Others, are more works of art than works of convenience. Some were built to last. Others, were built last and designed to have a short shelf-life. Old schools are examples of buildings of higher quality - both materials and design. As a result, they can be renovated and continue as schools, or be repurposed and used for things such as offices or residences. Delta High School is a good example. The proposed Hamilton Wentworth District School Board's new headquarters on the mountain is not. The current Board of Education building at 100 Main Street West is the kind of built heritage that is part of our built memory. Not only for how it was designed, but also for what it represented about our city and its citizens when it was built. It spoke of civic pride. Of the important role education played in our future. Of the status of our civic government. It will be replaced with an engineered glass box that will become known as the McMaster University Family Medical Clinic. The Board of Education building could be adaptively re-used by McMaster, just as the citizens of Hamilton did with the Lister Block. The very
“It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.” - Lewis Carroll
“We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us.” - Winston Churchill
same Lister Block that in a single day welcomed over 5,000 people who came by to be re-acquainted with it. Instead, McMaster's first order of business will be to flatten the Board of Education building. Better or worse off? When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough - Maurice Maeterlinck The effects of built heritage are cumulative. The more you have, the richer the experience and the memory. A single old building surrounded entirely by new, glass boxes may stand out to the eye, but may not have much impact on the memory. Think of Paris. Madrid. Prague. Contrast them with Dubai. Zhengzhou New District (in China). Lavasa (in India). The first three fiercely protect their built heritage and, therefore, built memory. The second three are brand new, or on their way to becoming brand new cities. Invented, versus evolved. If you had to pick one to live in, which one would you pick? Why? Why wouldn't you pick the other ones? My premise is not anti-change. Nor anti-progress. Nor one of save every building. No, my premise is prothoughtfulness. Pro-quality. Pro-memory. Hamilton may never be Paris. Or Madrid. Or Prague. But it doesn't have to be turned into Mississauga either by simplistic and short-sighted thinking and actions by civic leaders and civic staff. The more buildings of quality we lose, the more we destroy our uniqueness. The more we create memories of loss instead of memories of celebration, of pride, and of principle. As we continue to make decisions about the development of our city, I'd like to suggest we include the following questions in our decision making process. I'm quite sure many additional questions can be added to this list.
1. Will what replaces our built heritage create even deeper, richer, and more lasting built memories? 2. Will this site, this city, and its citizens be better off for having replaced this piece of built heritage and built memory? 3. What other ways have we considered to realize the financial, political, and organizational benefits this new project proposes to deliver. 4. What are the implications of destroying this built heritage and built memory; in what way are these implications more beneficial to the site, the city, and its citizens? 5. What are the implications of maintaining, renovating, or re-purposing this built heritage and built memory; in what way are these implications more beneficial to the site, the city, and its citizens? Surely it's not asking too much to ask a few questions to ensure real, sustainable, and high quality progress is in fact the outcome, and not simply a new building and a few short-term construction jobs? If you haven't been by to celebrate the new Lister Block, be sure to do so just as soon as you can. Your memory will thank you for it. We owe it to the worms and the trees that the buildings we cover them with will stand as promises of the highest and most intelligent kinds of happiness - Alain de Botton GRAHAM CRAWFORD owns and operates Hamilton HIStory + HERitage, Hamilton’s ﬁrst storefront museum. He recently completed his term as the 138th Chairperson of the Hamilton Club. firstname.lastname@example.org
“When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough.” - Maurice Maeterlinck
“Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us.” - Oscar Wilde
“Wouldn't people recharge themselves for moving forward by reinterpreting, if not reinventing, their role in their own destiny? In short, why shouldn't we develop the courage to become the creator of our own future?” - Karen Da Costa
HAMILTON ONTARIO | CANADA | Published Monthly | MAY 2012 | urbanicity.ca | Anniversary Issue
THE GOD of YOUR OWN LIFE | Karen Da Costa
Helping you create and realize value in your business. Right here in Hamilton.
Leaving the crowded dance floor at the popular downtown pub, Gallagher's, one raucous Friday night, I encountered the surprised and delighted stare of a wonderfully creative, respected friend I'll call Greg. His enthusiastic, if startled expression surely mirrored my amazement and pleasure, as we hadn't run into each other in far too long. As regulars around us finished drinks, we leaned back against the bar. But what might have been merely a brief, superficial catch-up chat took a more serious, heart-to-heart turn when Greg mentioned, clearly only half joking, that he thought he'd been experiencing the dreaded “mid-life crisis”. The reflections we subsequently shared in that far too short, yet deep exchange continued reverberating in my own thoughts for hours, even days, after we parted. And though there's doubtless nothing new or even particularly profound in what we expressed to each other, just the random sparks from empathetic hearts, it may be that other like-minded searching souls might also glean some insights – or even be moved to share their own – from this recollection of our limited musings. After all, as Greg and I reminded ourselves, many people, if they're honest, admit to at least one experience of acute anxiety, if not a sense of crisis or even despair, when considering their lives. It can happen to younger adults, facing drastic change as they transition out of an existence regulated by parents and habitual educational routines, or experience the demise of a first long-term relationship, or when an early career attempt falls flat. They're overwhelmed at confronting independent decisions and choices about a suddenly unscripted, vague and cloudy future. Certainly, it's also a common experience for our more mature peers. With youth and the first half of our lives behind us, branded with the stillburning scars of professional and economic reversals, divorces and deaths, we can find ourselves wondering if there's meaning to life besides amassing disappointment. For many, it becomes depressingly difficult to believe that anything but additional disillusionment, losses and lingering suffering await us in the lengthening shadows. Regardless of where or why we've stalled on life's highway, when a creeping sense of anxiety and doubt paralyzes us, we all need helpful options to address our inertia: can we regain a confident, optimistic sense of productive forward momentum? Pondering this question, Greg and I agreed that finding ways to grasp a realistic perspective was a helpful beginning; we had benefitted from finding convincing assurance that in fact, we were not alone in an impossible catastrophe that no one else understood. As we talked, an ancient, clichéd analogy, kept reoccurring to us both: life really is a long journey. And on any extended road trip, there are times when the best move is no move. There are times when the navigators must simply stop, get their bearings, check the available maps, and seek advice. Just as experienced, practical travelers feel no particular embarrassment, shame or guilt at such moments, in life too, we can also use common sense and give ourselves permission to get help. Isn't that precisely what reliable friends and family members are for? Isn't that the purpose of trained experts, such as counselors, therapists and psychiatrists as well? That's also why there are support groups, and self-help, inspirational, and motivational publications and speakers. That's why programs by Oprah, Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, (among others) became so popular. They're available resources filling real needs. Pausing in our discussion, we watched the talented live band, The Brothers Du Monde, smilingly nod, wave, or reach out to shake hands in acknowledging greetings and praise from fans passing the stage as they exited the pub. Noticing these surroundings redirected our line of reflection, and we were
once again immersed in our own lively exchange. For after all, everyone present was undeniably, inexorably swayed by the musicians' free-spirited interpretation of covers, seamlessly mixed with their own catchy original tunes: The moods of those smiling as they drank and conversed along the bar or at tables was clearly buoyed. Others were gradually drawn closer to the band to watch as well as listen; whether seated or standing, people unconsciously moved to the beats. Some sang or clapped along to favorite songs, while still others filled the dance floor with exuberant physical expression of the power that two guitars, a drum kit, a keyboard and impassioned voices can exert. So couldn't individuals introduce fresh vigor into their lives by creative experimentation…? Maybe part of liberating ourselves meant freeing ourselves from perceived rules, regulations, criticisms, expectations and thus limitations of those outside ourselves, and even from our own inside doubting Thomas or over-anxious Martha. Maybe each person needs to practice really listening for and responding to the evidence of what truly enhances his or her personal long-term health, contentment and general wellbeing, which by extension promotes the freedom of loved ones and communities to be similarly empowered. So maybe what we really need when we feel most unsure of ourselves and our decisions for the future is to practice honestly considering and evaluating the quantifiable evidence of our own personal needs, skills and preferences. Maybe we need to shape and guide our choices, then actions, by the chorus of these authentic muses – our own inner trinity of truth. The more we followed this thread in our conversation, the more reasonable it seemed than an increased sense of fulfillment and an improved likelihood of confidently choosing suitable personal direction could result from consciously and proactively investing in ourselves the way musicians and other artists practice their crafts. Individuals can see what they have right now as their own raw material to improvise with, engaging in a process of adjusting, revising, and experimenting to work out the patterns, routines and rhythms that produce their own most joyfully harmonious life. Wouldn't people recharge themselves for moving forward by reinterpreting, if not reinventing, their role in their own destiny? In short, why shouldn't we develop the courage to become the creator of our own future? “You know,” I eventually concurred. “I guess that really can be pivotal to our adult identity; we can start seeing and seizing opportunities to try to reshape and recreate our lives… Yeah, why shouldn't you be the 'god' of your own life?” Greg stared at me, clearly struck and impressed by this succinct summation of our rambling discussion. “That's it! That's it! Wow… 'Be the god of your own life!’ Man, you know, we should have been writing this stuff down!” Laughing, we suddenly became aware again of our surroundings; it was definitely time to leave. While we were absorbed by our intense exchange, the band had already finished packing equipment that now lined the floor along the small stage. The pub's staff, attempting to clean the tables and floors, was now pointedly reminding the few clusters of stragglers that the bar was now closed. So with one last, warm embrace, my friend and I finally parted. We strode out into the chilly darkness, uplifted by the spirits we'd imbibed, the intimate ambiance of the pub, the irresistible energy of the band, and the chance opportunity to motivate each other. KAREN DA COSTA lives and works in Hamilton, ON. She holds a Master’s Degree in Modern Languages from McMaster University and has spent the last ten years of teaching and/or tutoring English skills at Hamilton’s Columbia International College. She is currently exploring opportunities in freelance copy-editing and writing.
Upcoming urbanicity profile Shelley Kidwell in the fields of Upper James, Hamilton ON | photograph by Reg Beaudry | shelleykidwell.com
AN AMERICAN BEAUTY IN HAMILTON “My ex asked me for a cigarette. I said, ‘These cause impotence. Here...Take three.’” - Shelley Kidwell, from her comedy act
“Acquired by the city in 1999, the property at Fennell and West 5th has largely been left to decay despite its heritage designation. Call it the neglected cousin to those downtown grandes dames. What can these young eyes see in this old, decrepit place that's worth capturing through the camera lens?” - Andrew Vowles
HAMILTON ONTARIO | CANADA | Published Monthly | MAY 2012 | urbanicity.ca | Anniversary Issue
CHILDREN of the AUCHMAR MANOR HOUSE | Andrew Vowles
No six-year-old rides her pony up and down the halls today at Auchmar. One youngster did once – but more on that in a moment. This morning the visitors are students from Westdale Secondary School. No horses in sight: they've been driven up here with cameras and wardrobe props to capture themselves in and around the decaying manor house for their Grade 11 photography project. It's as if Canadian Gothic Revival were to meet a tame version of 90210. Many of these teens likely know about the Whitehern and Dundurn estates below the mountain. For most – likely all – of them, this is their first visit to Hamilton's mountain heritage estate, the one built in 1855 by merchant and politician Sir Isaac Buchanan, and last tenanted by a sisterhood of nuns who added the modern extension at the back. Acquired by the city in 1999, the property at Fennell and West 5th has largely been left to decay despite its heritage designation. Call it the neglected cousin to those downtown grandes dames. What can these young eyes see in this old, decrepit place that's worth capturing through the camera lens? Plenty, it seems. By the end of the morning, most will have snapped hundreds of images of each other pirouetting over parquet floors, sitting in sills of arched windows and pausing in imagined grandeur on the ornate wooden staircases at either end of the long vaulted halls. Even the building's decay becomes an artful subject for Sydney Gardner, who pauses to record the cracked and peeling paint on a corridor wall. Beside her, Harmonie Standen says, “I like the architecture. The basement is really creepy.” Says Gardner: “It's cool to imagine people living here…” “… or imagine what went on down there,” adds Standen. Yes, it's falling apart and the lack of furnishings makes it less than homey. Still, it's beautiful, says Ashley Terdik. “You don't see windows like that anymore and big rooms,” she says. “It's a part of our past.”
In a ground-floor room with panelling, wall sconces and wide light-filled windows, Jocelyn Fairman has donned a black Gothic number and dyed her hair green to model for the camera. She loves Auchmar. “It's beautiful. I like the old look of it. It's the history. I know most of Hamilton is tearing down its history and putting up new things, it's kind of sad. ” What's so important about a falling-down place built so long ago? “It defines what Hamilton is. A lot of people outside know Hamilton is Steel City. We don't need that. We need history to come back in.” As she twirls across the room, Ward Shipman follows with his camera – click-click-click-click. Shipman teaches art and photography at Westdale High School. Now 53, he grew up near here, on West 32nd Street. He remembers the nuns alright. “They used to chase us off. We used to ride our bikes here, jump the fence and go through the grounds as kids.” He grins through his beard. “The nuns are gone, and I'm still here.” Last year, Shipman had been taking photos on the grounds when he met Anna Bradford, now acting Director of Tourism and Culture for the City of Hamilton. Their meeting led to Shipman bringing last year's photography class here. He's been back with three groups this spring, about 60 kids in all. They have a to-do list: so many interior shots, so many of the grounds, and so on. Some of last year's results appeared in an exhibit at the McMaster Innovation Park on Longwood. Shipman hopes to show this year's photos there, too. Says Bradford: “I was really supportive of it. They're recording something through their own eyes, coming from their own perspective.” Taking away photos is one thing. More significant are the images the teens will carry away in their heads. That includes the intangibles, she says: the stories, the what-ifs. Most Hamilton school kids likely recognize the names of Sir Allan MacNab and Thomas McQuesten. But what about Buchanan, an immigrant who named his original 86-acre spread for the family estate back
in Scotland? He helped form the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, and helped bring the Great Western Railway and the Crystal Palace to the city. As an abolitionist, says Bradford, “he was a supporter of black equality. He had at least one Emancipation Day picnic at his property. He was a champion of all men.” The property was sold after his death, but one of his sons bought it back in 1900. In 1926, it was sold to the Young family. Recently, Bradford visited the house with Gwendolyn Young. Now in her 90s, Young lived there as a youngster – a rather naughty one. Said Bradford, “All she wanted to do was slide down the banisters, never did she walk down the stairs.” The family kept a stable, still there along with the original gatehouse. Gwen was crazy about horses. Her parents travelled a lot. She waited until they had left, then hopped on her pony and headed for the house. “She would go in one door and ride that pony through the central hallway and through the front door.” Bradford has also escorted some of those nuns through the place. “They asked what I planned for the addition. I said we had no plans. They said, 'Tear it down.'” They've been working on Auchmar. Tenders are out for a new roof. They've refurbished two chimneys, and the front doorway is being fixed. Outside they're restoring the grounds. The city has an Auchmar fund and allies in the Friends of Auchmar. But Bradford says more is needed. That's why she welcomes the teens with their cameras. They embody something else. “Hope. If I could sum it up in a word, I would say hope. The way they're recording, I think they see a snapshot in time. But there's a future.” ANDREW VOWLES is a full-time writer and sometime musician, artist and actor. A lifelong Hamiltonian, he lives in the Delta East neighbourhood with his family. email@example.com
7 1. Photographers Celine Huot and Emma Barrette (top) 2. Years of neglect take their toll on a mountain estate 3. Model Nicole Clarke, photographed by Caleb Siu 4. Model Julia DeBruyn-Smith, photographed by Bailey Thom
8 5. Model Jessica Fortier, photographed by Theresa Chung 6. Model Kathlene Shanks, photographed by Karianne Matte 7. The manor house features vaulted hallways from end to end 8. Jocelyn Fairman poses for Westdale photography teacher Ward Shipman in a main room of Auchmar.
HAMILTON ONTARIO | CANADA | Published Monthly | MAY 2012 | urbanicity.ca | Anniversary Issue
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THEY DON’T CALL IT A PARTY FOR NUTHIN’! Reinventing the Tupperware party www.facebook.com/Mr.TupperwareLady
URBAN TAVERN ON GEORGE
FINE FOOD | WINES | MARTINIS | NIGHT LIFE A 21 + establishment
RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc., Brokerage firstname.lastname@example.org 905.304.3303
Finally, a place for grown-ups in Hess Village
905.524.1040 | www.urbantavern.ca
Maxima Tours presents
BUFFALO ARCHITECTURE TOUR
Saturday, July 14th, 2012 | $79.00 per person ~ all in TOUR HIGHLIGHTS Deluxe motor coach transportation tour* 3 hour Buffalo Architecture tour* Lunch on own at Pearl Street Grill and Brewery* 1 hour tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House* CONTACT MAXIMA TOURS FOR MORE INFORMATION 905.561.5444 | email@example.com
HEALTH IN A CUP
AFTERNOONS IN STEREO
Our three-year-old company is on a mission, spreading the knowledge of healthier coffee to the four corners of the world. By using our cost-effective network distribution system to deliver these delicious products, more of every dollar is shared with our growing family of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate consumers worldwide.
Afternoons In Stereo hosts Urban Modernists every Thursday night at 10:30 PM on 93.3 CFMU FM. Spinning the best in jazz, funk, soul, afro, and downtempo.
Producer | Remixer | DJ
“The coffee that makes you feel good.”
New single 'Driving To Montenegro' out soon on Timewarp Music. www.afternoonsinstereo.com | www.urbanmodernists.com
Healthy coffee. Free samples. And get paid to drink it. ED LUCY | Healthier coffee consultant
TRUSCOTT, BROWN & DWYER FUNERAL CHAPEL
firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com www.ez-simple-coffee.com | www.OGShow.com | 905.902.6373
www.tbdfuneralchapel.com | 905.549.2417
Serving Hamilton’s east end from the Delta since 1958
HAMILTON BACK CLINIC
DR. LOMBARDI + ASSOCIATES OUR SERVICES: Auto Injuries Physiotherapy Medical Acupuncture Chiropractic Care -
CHRISTOPH BENFEY |
FASHION + MUSIC + ARCHITECTURE
Photographer & Director
www.lowkeystudio.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | 289.682.7489
1600 Rymal Road East, Hamilton ON hamiltonbackclinic.com | 905.692.4222 facebook.com/hamiltonbackclinic
“Committed to personal service”
ANITA TAYLOR B.A. LL.B.
Barrister, Solicitor and Notary Public Real Estate | Mortgages ONE Hunter Street East, ground floor Hamilton, ON, L8N 3W1 P. 905.524.2000 | F. 905.524.2088 *Office hours by appointment
SUKI GARSON, DCH, MBA | HYPNOTHERAPY Remove unwanted behaviours and habits
905 - 3000 Creekside Drive | Dundas | 905.741.8504 | email@example.com
HAMILTON ONTARIO | CANADA | Published Monthly | MAY 2012 | urbanicity.ca | Anniversary Issue
HOMESIGHT PROPERTY MEDIA INC. Your One-Stop Shop for Property Media!
THE SUPERKID PARTY COMPANY
Hamilton’s best in quality children’s party entertainment!
We specialize in quality architectural and real estate media, offering photography, virtual tours, video production, web + print design
SuperKid offers party entertainers for every occasion! Everything from princesses and popstars to magicians and clowns. superkidparties.com | 289.396.4613
Proud Sponsors of Doors Open Hamilton | homesight.ca | 905.906.1158
HAMILTON ARTS COUNCIL The Hamilton Arts Council is reviewing applications for available Board Positions. Deadline for receipt of applications is May 21, 2012. Your Hamilton Arts Council serves to advocate, mediate and communicate on behalf of the arts community in Hamilton. Applications are available online at artshamilton.ca or hamiltonartscouncil.ca We encourage people from all walks of life to apply. For more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 905.481.3218
BRYAN PRINCE BOOKSELLER Proudly independent since 1989
Sandwiches, coffees, bagels, and personal service!
1060 King St. W. ~ in Westdale www.princebooks.net | email@example.com
Located in the heart of Jackson Square under the Stelco Tower
Great books. Excellent booksellers. Special order service. Fantastic author events.
905.525.7111 | www.decosdeli.com Exceptional catering available
Want the motorcycle, but can’t afford the insurance?
RED HILL SCION
We can help!
Offering a new line of vehicles for the urban individual
Proud suppliers of the urbanicity iQ
2333 Barton St East Hamilton, ON, L8E 2W8
STATE FARM INSURANCE
Contact brand manager: Mike McGuigan firstname.lastname@example.org 905.66.SCION
CALL: 905.522.3276 CLICK: www.jamesclarkson.ca COME IN: 267 Dundurn St. S., Hamilton ON
THE HAMILTON24 FESTIVAL 2012 | JUNE 1-8
Calling all Filmmakers: Put your skills to the test to produce a short film in only 24 hours! Thousands of $ in prizes will be awarded! Check out www.h24.ca for information about public screenings and online team registration
THE CARNEGIE GALLERY
A not-for-profit gallery and shop specializing in sales of regional fine art and craft MEET YOU AT THE CARNEGIE! Tues Wed Sat ~ 10-5 | Thurs Fri ~ 10-7 | Sun ~ 1-4 | Free Admission 10 King King St. W., Dundas @ Artists’ Way | carnegiegallery.org | 905.627.4265
*10% discount in shop and gallery with membership
Phase II of The Atrium, beginning spring 2012!
BRAD CHICHAKIAN, B.A. |
HERITAGE REALTY INC. 256 Locke Street South | Hamilton ON, L8P 4B9 Office: 905.522.2222 | Cell: 905.512.0009 haltonheritage.com | email@example.com
HAMILTON ONTARIO | CANADA | Published Monthly | MAY 2012 | urbanicity.ca | Anniversary Issue
Number 88, Dava STAAALAAAAAA! Proudly wearing the black and gold of his hometown, Tiger-Cat Dave Stala is glad to be home. After playing for the Alouettes, Stala is now pushing his fellow Cats for Grey Cup success. A former Cathedral High School athletic star, Dave Stala took a few minutes out of his schedule this past month to speak with urbanicity.
| STALA 88
Dave Stala in the Hamilton Ti-Cat locker room | photograph by Reg Beaudry
ON EATING HABITS
My career began right here in the city at Cathedral High. I started playing football when I was about 15. That’s touch football, and that was until I met Mike Carubba. He saw me out in the park and asked if I’d be interested in playing organized ball and that he would help me out. So it began. I stopped playing other sports to concentrate on football (volleyball: glad I stopped that). Everyone knew that Cathedral was the powerhouse back then and that we won everything. I was a part of three football championships and part of the 1998 OFFSSA championship basketball team at Cathedral. I tried to go down south on a scholarship, but I guess I wasn’t good enough. So in 1998, I moved to the east coast to attend and play ball at Saint Mary’s University. Oh yeah, Halifax was great, not only did we win back-to-back Vanier Cups in 20012002, but it got me drafted to the Montreal Alouettes in the last round (and yeah, Hamilton passed on me five times in the draft). So at 23, I played and lived in one of the best cities in Canada. I had my breakout year in 2005, recording over 1000 yards on 83 catches. In ’07,’08, I broke my foot three times, played only two games, and started contemplating my career: what to do? I got back on my feet and called a few teams including Hamilton after I asked for my release from Montreal. Then the best thing for my career happened: Hamilton signed me to a contract. I have been here for three years now and have had the best three years of my career. Going into my 10th season, there’s only one thing missing, and that’s a Grey Cup ring. I have enjoyed every moment and cherished each season as it’s my last, since I know this game won’t be here forever. I‘m glad I got to play this amazing game for this long. For me, football is life, but it’s the relationships and friendships I have made that will last forever.
I grew up near Barton and Sherman after my family moved to Canada from Poland in 1987. My brother and I attended Stinson, St. Ann’s and Cathedral High School. So we lived where we lived, it wasn’t the best or the safest, but it worked for us. We acted like we were from there and got into some trouble from occasion to occasion. After leaving to Halifax for school and then off to Montreal for football, my career has brought me back to my roots, 11 years later. I'm definitely happy to be back. Hamilton is a tough, hardworking, rougher looking city, but that’s what makes it. It depends where you live. Some people don’t even come downtown, but I’m glad I grew up right in the midst of it. If you want to be entertained just go for a walk through Gore park or take a drive down Barton St; you may see some strange things. I remember me and my boys used to. It’s awesome how everyone thinks it’s so rough here, but if you’re from here it’s just the way it is. I’m proud to be from Hamilton.
I guess it all always comes back to football. After breaking my foot in 2008 and getting older, it started becoming harder to shed weight. The biggest thing was that if I lost weight it would take pressure off my feet. So I decided to change my lifestyle a little and become more conscious of what I eat. For the most part, I thought I ate well, until I met with my nutritionist (Scott Suter, Catalyst Sante). Over the last three years, it has become a lifestyle not just a diet. I stopped eating dairy (milk, cheese, and yogurt, etc.), breads and sugars, and I also try eating gluten-free. Since going on this diet, I have lost 15 pounds and feel a hundred times better. The reason I’m telling you all this is because you can cut out a few things from your everyday life and have a healthier lifestyle. I always get the question, “How do I lose weight?” Well, if you can eliminate sugars, dairy and breads, that would be a great start. I believe the sugar intake is the biggest problem for majority of the people. Try this: add up all the sugar you have throughout the day (on average it seems to be five to six teaspoons), mix with half a cup of water and that’s what you put in your body on a daily basis. This makes it really hard for your body to break down food and it really slows down your metabolism. The average Canadian consumes three to four times more sugar than they are supposed to. Remember, there are substitutes for everything: sugar: agave sweetener (plant-based), milk: rice or almond milk, pasta: rice or corn pasta (corn is my choice), liquor: gin or vodka are best (clear spirits), chocolate: dark 60% or higher. I can go on and on. If you want to feel and look better, just take some time to learn about what to put into your body. The way I look at it is that my body is what keeps me going and I’m gonna play ball as long as my body lets me, so that is why I watch what I eat.
STRANGULATION BY BUREAUCRACY The hospitality industry in Hamilton, in spite of the millions of dollars it contributes to the local economy, is being faced with strangulation by bureaucracy. A new bylaw has been proposed that will irrationally place upstanding licensed establishments under suspicion, requiring them to suddenly prove their legitimacy after years of exemplary operation. At the April 17th meeting of the City's Planning Committee, the Committee supported a formal liquor license application review process for any new or expansion liquor license applications. The proposal also includes a plan that, prior to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) processing the application with all of rigour they are known for, the City would have the opportunity to 'scorecard' the application through a series of questions. Then, regardless of the results of the 'scorecard', and under the new proposed bylaw, the local ward councillor would be given the opportunity to state his/her
objection or support of the application. All of this would happen before the AGCO even has a peek at the application. When did our ward councilors become authorities on liquor licensing? There is minimal precedent for this type of process in Canada, as only the City of Kitchener has something similar. However, even in the case of Kitchener, a dedicated committee, not simply a city staffer and the rubber stamp of a local councillor, runs the process. In Hamilton, under the proposed matrix used to gauge the validity of the application (and under the guise of being in the "public's interest"), the process unfairly labels upstanding licensed eateries as being questionable, and as a result restricts that licensed eatery from operating in the current normal practice that they enjoy today. Essentially, longstanding establishments are being considered guilty until proven innocent, despite years of exemplary operation.
The 'scoring' within the matrix actually penalizes operators who have been in business for more than five years, (Acclamation has been located on James St. North for 10 years this October) and rewards those that have been in the business between one and five years. Furthermore, it discourages anyone from attempting to revitalize and reopen a former restaurant which may have a checkered past by unfairly placing 'ownership' of the previous dealings of the establishment on to the new owner. The matrix uses the location rather than the proprietor as the primary scoring parameter. Reading between the lines, it appears that the City is of the opinion that no one would willingly take over an unsavory location without the intention of keeping it that way. How will this flawed process support the positive renewal of former problem locations? To illustrate this point, let me use my restaurant, Acclamation Bar and Grill on James St. North, as a
| Patricia Raposo sample case. We will assume that I am applying for an extension of my license due to a new banquet space that is being built attached to it. Because of this expansion, I now have the ability to increase my seating capacity, which requires me to apply for an expansion of my current liquor license. Under the new proposed bylaw, and following the 'scorecard', Acclamation would come in with a score of 44, which under the rules of the 'scorecard' would mean that I would have to attend a liquor license review already eight months into our first operational year. This is hardly a positive message of confidence in the current manner in which this establishment is operating today. We are not new to this business, and have a decade of excellent service under our belt. Reviewing other restaurants in Hamilton, it has been discovered that similar locations rank with much higher scores (lower is better in this process); thereby placing significant restrictions on their ability to
continue to operate in the manner they do today. All of the locations reviewed are sound, positive, and active in the community. They have little to no current issues with the City or Police, and yet, under the proposed bylaw, they will now be put on a list as a place that may not be in the "public's interest", even though they have been successfully operational for many years previously. As a city that claims to be “Open for Business”, we would do well to start working with the businesses that are already operating here. We have been committed to our downtown for years, through good and bad times, and we look forward to City Hall's cooperation sooner than later. PATRICIA RAPOSO A life-long Hamiltonian, Patricia is the owner and General Manager of Acclamation on James Street North.