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Old May 4th, 2008, 01:26 AM   #121
Melbnovo
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Great pics of a previously unknown city to me. Hamilton has some really great buildings and exceptional neighbourhoods. I like some grit with my cities, but perhaps there is a bit too much going on. Why have so many buildings been abandoned?? Was a there a collapse of jobs?? I there much chance of an economic revival?

The one thing that strikes me in these photos and also other North American urban photos is the apparent poor quality of some footpaths and roads. I'm not sure if iut because of the light grey colour of your roads, but they look old and of poor quality. Just an obversation.
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Old May 4th, 2008, 05:51 AM   #122
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Thanks for the pics, Flar!! They are great, as usual. If I can get into either church I will!!
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Old May 4th, 2008, 11:56 AM   #123
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Flar!!!! Post #103, Twilight of the Industrial Age. If that was a book, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. They are brilliant photos of a magical era in Canada, and a Hamilton that we may slowly be losing. Your snapshot is a fabulous documentation of it.



I don't think I've given one of those out yet. Taller, if you read this, you deserve one too though! If you go, there's this huge bingo hall right on the main drag, I believe King Street. I hope it's still there. Don't miss it. That place is right out of 1970's New Jersey. I stumbled on it a few summers back and my jaw dropped. I thought I'd just fell down the rabbit hole.

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Great pics of a previously unknown city to me. Hamilton has some really great buildings and exceptional neighbourhoods. I like some grit with my cities, but perhaps there is a bit too much going on. Why have so many buildings been abandoned?? Was a there a collapse of jobs?? I there much chance of an economic revival?
Hamilton, or as some of us affectionately call it, 'The Hammer' was the Steel City. It is still the epicentre of steel production in Canada, but like other industrial cities in this part of North America, it's economy was dealt one body blow after another starting in the early 70's. Have you heard of the 'rust belt' that describes the American midwest stretching from eastern Pennsylvannia, through Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin and the adjacent regions of southern Ontario? Well, Hamilton is a great example of a rust belt city.

Many rust belt cities have never recovered, but Hamilton is slowly emerging from all that carnage. Some of the photos are testament to it's blue collar past and to the power and wealth that once resided here. Hamilton is growing again, and seems to be at the cusp of a renaissance. Its ideal geography, solid built form, cheap real estate, and top notch university are some of the key assets that are helping Hamilton recover.

Hamilton is going to surprise many Canadians. I sense another golden age in its history rapidly approaching. I just hope it doesn't lose it's irreplaceable charm in the process.

Lots of love for The Hammer.

Last edited by isaidso; May 4th, 2008 at 12:30 PM.
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Old May 4th, 2008, 02:58 PM   #124
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It is true.. the Hammer really grows on a person! Today's little jaunt is with my friends, so it will be pretty much just the cathedral and Dundurn Castle. When GO bus allows bikes I will go and do a thorough nosing-about-town to discover some of these nabes that Flar has shown us!
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Old May 5th, 2008, 12:39 AM   #125
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Hope you had a good trip to the Hammer

Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
Hamilton, or as some of us affectionately call it, 'The Hammer' was the Steel City. It is still the epicentre of steel production in Canada, but like other industrial cities in this part of North America, it's economy was dealt one body blow after another starting in the early 70's. Have you heard of the 'rust belt' that describes the American midwest stretching from eastern Pennsylvannia, through Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin and the adjacent regions of southern Ontario? Well, Hamilton is a great example of a rust belt city.

Many rust belt cities have never recovered, but Hamilton is slowly emerging from all that carnage. Some of the photos are testament to it's blue collar past and to the power and wealth that once resided here. Hamilton is growing again, and seems to be at the cusp of a renaissance. Its ideal geography, solid built form, cheap real estate, and top notch university are some of the key assets that are helping Hamilton recover.

Hamilton is going to surprise many Canadians. I sense another golden age in its history rapidly approaching. I just hope it doesn't lose it's irreplaceable charm in the process.
Good synopsis


For the next tour we head into a more urban neighbourhood with plenty of variety...
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Old May 5th, 2008, 12:49 AM   #126
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CORKTOWN



Corktown is a neighbourhood southeast of downtown Hamilton, bounded by James, Main, Wellington
and the base of the Niagara Escarpment. Many of Hamilton's early Irish settlers lived here and worked
on the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway that passes through the neighbourhood. The letters "TH&BRY"
can still be seen on the railroad overpasses and the fomer terminal now serves as the Hamilton GO
Centre. Today Corktown is a high density neighbourhood comprised of tightly packed houses and 1960's
high rises. The neighbourhood also features the St. Joseph's Hospital campus, a commercial area
on John St. and a pub district on Augusta St., which is where the tour begins:






























































































































































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Old May 5th, 2008, 04:17 AM   #127
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Nice pictures once again. I guess "Corktown" is a common name for Irish neighborhoods? There's a Corktown in Toronto as well, correct?
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Old May 5th, 2008, 04:20 AM   #128
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Taller, Better hit the Hammer today! Got a few pictures to show later!
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Old May 5th, 2008, 05:22 AM   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flar View Post
CORKTOWN

Victorian houses, Rationalism and Modernism, International Style from the 60's; remembering somehow Global Channel's slogan,....we could also say Corktown's got it!

pd: Those HSR units do cover Route 26 or 25, right?. The picture captured a recurrent scene.

Flair !!

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Taller, Better hit the Hammer today! Got a few pictures to show later!
To be posting them soon!
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Old May 5th, 2008, 05:31 AM   #130
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[QUOTE=isaidso;20322742 If you go, there's this huge bingo hall right on the main drag, I believe King Street. I hope it's still there. Don't miss it. That place is right out of 1970's New Jersey. I stumbled on it a few summers back and my jaw dropped. I thought I'd just fell down the rabbit hole.

[/QUOTE]

It used to be a Kresges and quite a busy going concern as was all of downtown in it's prime. I have a huge soft spot for Hamilton but I cringe whenever I see all of those strip malls, drive-thru restaurants and parking lots on the drive in along Main Street. Fortunately, one doesn't have to look very hard to find so many Georgian and Victorian gems that should be the envy of most Canadian cities.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 08:54 AM   #131
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I just remembered something. We were famished, and stopped at a diner downtown for lunch. I nearly fell over backwards upon discovering my cheese/bacon burger platter with fries was only a grand total of $3.95!! LOL! A couple that went with us was in shock that their combined lunch tab was a princely $13.50!! Timewarp prices!!
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Old May 5th, 2008, 09:01 AM   #132
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nice
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Old May 5th, 2008, 04:18 PM   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xzmattzx View Post
Nice pictures once again. I guess "Corktown" is a common name for Irish neighborhoods? There's a Corktown in Toronto as well, correct?
Yes, there is a Corktown in Toronto, east part of downtown. It's a very common name for old Irish neighbourhoods, I think many larger cities have a Corktown.


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pd: Those HSR units do cover Route 26 or 25, right?. The picture captured a recurrent scene.
That's John St., 25 & 26 run along there. There are 12 bus routes in total that run on that section of John St.


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It used to be a Kresges and quite a busy going concern as was all of downtown in it's prime. I have a huge soft spot for Hamilton but I cringe whenever I see all of those strip malls, drive-thru restaurants and parking lots on the drive in along Main Street. Fortunately, one doesn't have to look very hard to find so many Georgian and Victorian gems that should be the envy of most Canadian cities.
You do have to drive onto the side streets to experience Hamilton's architecture and beauty. So many of the main roads have been pillaged, visitors get a bad impression of Hamilton from just driving through.


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I just remembered something. We were famished, and stopped at a diner downtown for lunch. I nearly fell over backwards upon discovering my cheese/bacon burger platter with fries was only a grand total of $3.95!! LOL! A couple that went with us was in shock that their combined lunch tab was a princely $13.50!! Timewarp prices!!
There's a place on Barton called Duarte's where you can get a submarine sandwich for an even $2. I heard the owners won the lottery and don't care if they make a lot of money, just as long as they break even (I don't know if that's true!)
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Old May 5th, 2008, 04:28 PM   #134
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The one thing that surprised me is my timing to catch the apple blossoms in the orchard behind Dundurn was completely off- they are just starting to come out into leaf and are probably a week or two from blossoming. I was under the impression that Hamilton would be a bit ahead of us for spring development, but the trees/plants seem to be a bit behind. I thought the escarpment would give a bit of a protective micro climate.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 04:45 PM   #135
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Dundurn is on a high bluff at the head of the Lake so it gets some cold harsh wind. Dundas, Westdale, and the areas of Hamilton and Stoney Creek right under the escarpment (basically south of Main St) are the areas with the good microclimate, and have had blossoming trees for a couple weeks now.

Here's a picture in Corktown I took over the weekend:
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Old May 5th, 2008, 05:46 PM   #136
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Corktown and Irish people in Hamilton have a very rich history in Hamilton. During the Industrial Revolution in Hamilton Irish people settled to Hamilton for jobs and a better life, as Ireland was going through a famine. Some of the Irish people also settled into Toronto as well.

Than in 1832 several immigrant ships arrived in Hamilton Harbour filled with cholera. Racism was high against the Irish and got worst when George Hamilton relocated all the sick at Burlington Heights. Nearly 500 died. The mass grave is at Hamilton Cemetery, across from Dundurn Castle.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 07:16 AM   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaborandi View Post
It used to be a Kresges and quite a busy going concern as was all of downtown in it's prime. I have a huge soft spot for Hamilton but I cringe whenever I see all of those strip malls, drive-thru restaurants and parking lots on the drive in along Main Street. Fortunately, one doesn't have to look very hard to find so many Georgian and Victorian gems that should be the envy of most Canadian cities.
Thanks for the information. I can't get that place out of my mind and often wondered what it used to be. A Kresge's makes sense. Is it still being used as a bingo hall?

As far as the strip malls and drive throughs, what was there before? It would be a shame if something significant was lost. That is what my biggest fear for Hamilton is going forward. There's an immense quantity of pre-war buildings in Hamilton that have fallen on very hard times. It would be a tragedy if locals didn't see the potential in them and let developers tear them down in favour of generic sterile buildings.

There are plenty of vacant lots that development could go on first. Even the industrial infrastructure should be saved. If steel making ever ceases at the Dofasco and Stelco facilities by the lake, they shouldn't be demolished, but re-developed in the same fashion as has happened elsewhere. The Gooderham and Worts Distillery in Toronto is now a fashionable area full of artisans and skilled trades people. A power plant in London is now the Tate Modern Museum. Dofasco and Stelco are part of Hamilton. It's a legacy that should never be thrown to the scrap heap.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 02:01 PM   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
Thanks for the information. I can't get that place out of my mind and often wondered what it used to be. A Kresge's makes sense. Is it still being used as a bingo hall?

As far as the strip malls and drive throughs, what was there before? It would be a shame if something significant was lost. That is what my biggest fear for Hamilton is going forward. There's an immense quantity of pre-war buildings in Hamilton that have fallen on very hard times. It would be a tragedy if locals didn't see the potential in them and let developers tear them down in favour of generic sterile buildings.

There are plenty of vacant lots that development could go on first. Even the industrial infrastructure should be saved. If steel making ever ceases at the Dofasco and Stelco facilities by the lake, they shouldn't be demolished, but re-developed in the same fashion as has happened elsewhere. The Gooderham and Worts Distillery in Toronto is now a fashionable area full of artisans and skilled trades people. A power plant in London is now the Tate Modern Museum. Dofasco and Stelco are part of Hamilton. It's a legacy that should never be thrown to the scrap heap.
There is still a bingo hall there.

Regarding what used to be in Hamilton, there are currently three volumes of the "Vanished Hamilton" series of books. The architectural inventory that has been lost is better than what remains. If you look just at downtown, I would guess that less than one third of the historic building inventory remains. Entire blocks and streetscapes are gone. The superblock with Jackson Square, One King West, Thompson Building, Copps Coliseum, Standard Life Centre, Sheraton Hotel, Library, Market and Hamilton City Centre was downtown. Entire blocks and streets were erased to build the superblock. The same thing happened across King Street where the Fairclough Building, Commerce Place, Convention Centre, Art Gallery of Hamilton, and Hamilton Place are. All that remains on that block is one church, the Pigott Building and Sun Life building. Also the site where City Hall is was a massive expropriation. Tons of mansion were demolished in the north part of Durand in the 60's and 70's for all those commie block apartments; same deal in Corktown above where we see all those high rises. York Blvd. used to be a bustling street lined with businesses, now it's a monster road lined with empty lots. Here's what York used to look like:


All of that was expropriated and demolished in one fell swoop, and replaced with nothing.

Since I've lived here, numerous buildings have been demolished and replaced with parking lots. About half of Downtown land is used for parking lots. Suburban Hamiltonians actually complain about lack of parking!?!

The most recent loss was the Balfour Building, which collapsed due to neglect:



The building itself was not that amazing, but it was part of one of the few remaining intact streetscapes. Now several other buildings on that street have been destabilized and it is feared that they will also need to be demolished. Here is what the streetscape looked like until two weeks ago:



Many people in Hamilton, including political leaders, just don't care about Hmailton's built form. I think it's Hamilton's major asset. There are only two places in Ontario that have an urban, city-like built form: Hamilton and Toronto. Here are some other large buildings that face uncertain futures:

The Lister Block, its owners want to demolish it:


The old federal building, sitting empty with the back wall completely open:


The Connaught Hotel, a former grand hotel that was open until 2004, then has sat empty and exposed since then, with fires, deterioration and grafitti. Harry Stinson is trying to buy it:
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Last edited by flar; May 6th, 2008 at 02:18 PM.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 01:30 AM   #139
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There is still a bingo hall there.

Many people in Hamilton, including political leaders, just don't care about Hmailton's built form. I think it's Hamilton's major asset. There are only two places in Ontario that have an urban, city-like built form: Hamilton and Toronto. Here are some other large buildings that face uncertain futures:

The Lister Block, its owners want to demolish it:
Good to know the bingo hall is still there.

I'm always amazed at how oblivious Hamiltonians are to the value of their buildings. If they are blind to it, there doesn't seem much hope. Two generations from now, they'll be shaking their heads in disbelief at the destruction that took place. They'll be pointing their fingers at their grandparents and wandering what they were thinking. Hamilton's built form is it's best asset. I wouldn't visit if it looked like Mississauga.

The owners of the Lister Block should be jailed and charged with vandalism if they knock that down. That's potentially some of the best retail frontage in the city. In New York, buildings like that attract the high end boutiques, not the middle of the road or the junk. Some people have no respect. I understand the importance of property rights, but their should always be limits to what owner's can do. We need to be protected from rich powerful people with no sense.

People sometimes only understand the value of money. The solution seems to be in having people tell them they would have paid twice as much for that condo if it wasn't new, but the original building restored.

Last edited by isaidso; May 7th, 2008 at 01:36 AM.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 03:04 AM   #140
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Had no idea Howard Johnson does not operates the Connaught any more.
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