Top 50 Statements of Support
Linda Hall says,
I remember the vibrant and exciting place that our Hamilton downtown became when the world cycling championships were held here a few years back. The streets were filled with people, our stores and restaurants were busy, there was excitement in the air everywhere, AND the television cameras loved our breath-taking cityscapes - the Tiger Cats would photograph beautifully on national television against a stunning Hamilton Bay and our landmark, picturesque bridge, Bob.
You just need to give people a reason to come to downtown Hamilton and it will happen, as seen by the crowds that flock to Copps Coliseum and Hamilton Place for entertainment and to Bayfront Park for recreation.
Already the waterfront area is jamb-packed with sailors, walkers, cyclists, and rollerbladers summer, spring and fall, and a new outdoor skating rink will be operating this winter to keep the people coming. The one little restaurant down there has lines of people snaking through the doors every weekend morning, winter included. Don't tell me, that businesses can't "make it" in that area!
The current reconstruction on York between Queen and James, including the library and market areas, will soon make this a more open and inviting place. This, too is a key area of our downtown because it links the core to the vibrant "arts scene" on James north.
All the pieces are in place to bring the core of our city back to life, except for one - the west harbour stadium. Let's get those brownfields and that post industrial rubble out of there, and create a continuous flow of people friendly places from the Gore to the Bay. This is Hamilton's future, and the west harbour stadium is a vital piece for our city's continued growth!
As many have said before, the building of this Pan Am complex is about more than the Tiger Cat football club. It is about city building - our city! Councillors, you absolutely MUST muster up some courage and vision to use our tax money wisely, and to decide that west is best!
Mark Richardson says,
This city is being hijacked yet again by insiders/business interests. The West Harbour site was decided on by our city council as having the best long term benefits for Hamilton, stick with the plan and don't give in to Bob Young's extortion!
Christopher Ryan says,
As the civic right and duty of any citizen, I felt the need to vocalizes what most agree on. I feel that I represent the sentiments of the future of a collective Hamilton that aspires to be something more than a failing city. We can see where we went wrong; never having developed prime real estate (being the waterfront for starters) is one grave mistake. Our city has become the antithesis of a destination for every Canadian because of bad choices built upon more bad choices.
Investing in the long term (football team or no football team) means investing in the development of the waterfront; a GORGEOUS part of our DYING CITY that will be a catalyst (in tandem with ratification of commercial property tax) in attracting private sector to invest in Hamilton once again. Unfortunately an east mountain stadium will not.
Thankfully Hamilton's waterfront is the most socially, culturally and geographically appealing part of the city which makes it a prime destination. Location is key and creating a "destination" is paramount. When has waterfront property not been a sought after as a focal point to any city for commercial, residential, and entertainment purposes? Unless the East Mountain has something to compete with our lovely waterfront? Where is the east mountain lake I never knew existed or an east mountain downtown that needed development so badly it was called "the arm pit of Canada"...Perhaps the east mountain has things to do once after a Tiger-Cats game? What to do for a night on the east mountain? Catch a wedding at a banquet hall, buy a car, get some fast food, or watch as our IQ shrinks while staring at strip mall after strip mall in one of the most aesthetically unattractive, culturally void and pedestrian unfriendly parts of Hamilton. Don't get me wrong, we need a place for farm land, an airport, and car dealerships but this does not equate to a destination.
I guess we could ask ourselves why our successful neighbours down the highway (Burlington, Oakville, Toronto) have so many of their prime entertainment districts, cultural centres and top tier residential and commercial spaces on their waterfronts? Advocates of the Mountain idea must know something they don't and I'd like in on their secret. When I read the allure of real estate I usually read tags like: close to parks, shops, and restaurants. These are usually in reference to places that are not on the east mountain like Pier 4, Locke street, James street, Westdale. I've never read close to banquet halls, steps away to the airport, or a stone's throw away from your nearest strip mall. Could it be private interests fuelling east mountain advocates to petition their cause for the greater good of themselves?
Many of my good friends who spend millions in Hamilton on business, real estate, and leisure would never even consider jaunting up the hill to a barren wasteland void of culture and community unless it were absolutely necessary. Thank god a sports team in a stadium will never elicit a necessity for me, nor will it ever result in a massive progress for this city...Creating a destination, however, will and can make a city attractive again. The WATERFRONT IS THE RIGHT CHOICE!
Tom Ciancone says,
I am a Ticat fan and a citizen of Hamilton. What is good for me in both cases is a wonderful stadium in the heart of the city. Even though I live on the mountain, I would much rather take public transit or even walk to a new downtown stadium. But it's not all about football. It's having a beautiful and alive city.
Since I have part-time work in downtown Toronto, I have recently been taking the GO Train to reach there. I love it! All the years, I have fought traffic on the QEW. Yes, I'll still drive my car to Toronto, but during rush hour, or for a big sports event, the GO transit is the only way to go. From what I understand, Premier McGuinty's policy is to promote "smart growth" and public transit. So why is the government offering the Mountain site when it contradicts the policy of the premier? I am asking Minister Aggelonitis to stand up for Hamilton and let the premier know that he is on the right track with "smart growth". He would be on the wrong track if he does not support downtown renewal and public transit.
My father worked for 43 years at Stelco - at Ontario Works in west end and lived on Ray Street - right where West Harbourfront development is. He later lived, as I do, on central Mountain. I am sure he would be proud, if living today, to see that the area where he lived and worked had become a beautiful cultural and entertainment centre.
We, in Hamilton, have always identified with Pittsburgh in the U.S. From what I read and hear, Heinz Field, a downtown stadium, has helped in the revitalization of that city.
All the arguments in favour of the downtown site are solid - good for people and the environment. The arguments for the suburban site are pretty flimsy. In fact, promotion of more cars and urban sprawl seem to be downright contrary to common sense.
Is Hamilton culture going to be symbolized by:
* great tailgate parties -10 times a year ? or ...
* a lively entertainment district with sporting events, concerts, restaurants and people enjoying the streets and neighbourhoods of downtown Hamilton - 365 days a year ?
Every time I see our central core, knowing that our politicians' decisions destroyed the historic city hall, Birks building, Century, Palace, Tivoli, etc., I cringe. Please do not continue to make stupid decisions that further ruin our beloved city.
Do the right thing. Follow a comprehensive plan of urban renewal.
Fred Lex says,
I grew up in the heart of Montreal. Following MBA graduate school I moved to Ontario to pursue my next career position in healthcare sales. My territory covered East Hamilton and the Mountain. More than 25 years have passed taking me to corporate management by way of the U.S.A, Europe and locations in Canada. I have closely seen many cities. I fell in love with the heart of Hamilton over 2 decades back then and have remained a fan of the city ever since. Why? Well as I have often said to others Hamilton reminds me more than any other city in Ontario, and perhaps in Canada, of my boyhood home, Montreal. The neighborhoods with well worn buildings, the industrial roots, and the rawness of it's heritage. Only those of us from the core of a city like Montreal or dare I say a borough of New York and of course Hamiltonians themselves, understand the beauty of Hamilton. It is beautiful in this way, but it has waited to be even more so. It is time for an even more attractive Hamilton. The roots are there. Do not blow it. Stop dithering. Hamilton will hopefully draw my teen daughters to McMaster, keep the cream of young professional living in and building the city, and bring entrepreneurs and intellectual capital to a well placed centre. Few cities have the potential Hamilton has. A world class downtown must be realized. The stadium must be downtown.
alex pierson says,
Hamilton is LONG over due for some leadership that will start re-investing in the city's core! Everytime I come home to see my family I am disheartened, embarrassed to see the hollowed shell of a city that was once so full of promise. My grandfather, Joe Pigott, built much of Hamilton and advised against many projects ie; dismantling gore park and building Jackson square. His input was ignored time and again and look at the city now. He would whole heartedly back this stadium being built in the West harbour. The "mountain" has been the focal point for far too long and its growth has come at the expense of a downtown core that has been woefully ignored.
I invite this city council to get its collective head out of the sand before my beloved Hometown is destroyed forever!
Marcia Kash says,
This is a city that has made very unfortunate choices in the past and is paying the price on all sorts of levels. As everybody knows Hamilton is in desperate need of its core/downtown to be returned to past glory. Here is an opportunity to do that--and more. We cannot let future generations shake their heads in shame at another botched decision. The Future Fund is OUR FUTURE. The Ticats are a part of this city but should not be holding it hostage for its own needs. This stadium and all its ancillary benefits belongs to the citizens of the city of Hamilton. Be forward thinking and don't be intimidated.
April Jankowski says,
The West Harbour site is the only site that should be supported...it offers so many more value added pluses... like the support for our Downtown, James St north, the overall waterfront, it will bring economic spin off's to the downtown, make downtown a more vibrant place, spur economic revival,it will be linked to the coming LRT, reduce car emmisions, clean up a brown field site, parking is NOT an issue but a red herring of the Ti-Cats as the city moves 25 to 30 thousand persons in and out of Bayfront/Pier 4 parks for Canada Fireworks event...in 2 hrs....not disimilar to the current Ivor Wynne stadium site....there is parking downtown as well and with shuttles and parking along Strachan Ave and Eastwood Park there is plenty of Parking for the area ( Despite Mr. Turkstra wanting to keep this beautiful oasis to himself) Change the Hwy signage along the QEW to the York Street Blvd off ramp...to identify the new stadium and cahnge York St to Ti-Cat Way....as well as the QEW to Niagara at Burlington Street off ramp...you cant get lost....keep going west on Burlington Street and you come right to the new Stadium....and the total amount of vehicles on these 2 stretches of Hwy every day is approximatley 240K vehicles daily....lost and lots of expposure....as it relates to Naming Rights....this can be offered to the Ti-Cats...which is more than enough compensation to them...in addition to the 60 M from the municipality and taxpayers....if it is not....then I for one....would be compelled to say goodbye to them....as they should never have put the citizens of this Great City....in this kind of situation to begin with....simply appalling and underhanded to pull this hardball position at the 11th hour....if that is the type of integrity of the Management and Ownership of the Ti-Cats.....I say....LET THEM GO....we dont need selfish persons like this who are not demonstrating any Community understanding and are small minded men....
Andreas Link says,
It is depressing to think we would make the same mistake that so many american cities have made, locating a major facility outside of the downtown with no transit access.
An open air stadium is not a wal-mart and should be an integral part of city building.
I collected Hamilton Ti-Cat cards as a child, attended games with snow and sleeping bags, with many different players, management and owners. The stadium and the team is an integral part of the downtown.
The downtown, much like the Ti-cats and Ivor Wynne has seen better days. That said, there is energy slowly coming back to Hamilton. This choice to continue to revitalize the downtown would add to these efforts.
A stadium on the outskirts of Hamilton is a risky endeavor. Canada and Ontario does not have the same tailgate friendly ways that which have given Buffalo Bill's Ralph Wilson stadium its unique atmosphere (ie. open alcohol). Current Ti-cat fans walk from their backyard bar-b-Q to the games. Also a very enjoyable experience. The east mountain site will have a tough time attracting 20-30,000 car driving fans that are used to entertainment in their homes.
This stadium should be built for more than ten CFL football games a year. Attracting events outside of the Ti-Cats to this new stadium might equally pose a problem. Why play a show out on the mountain, when you can play at Copps, where most acts and fans will me used to?
Everyone claims to have the best interests of the public or the fans, but there are many aspects of this decision.
I would appreciate your comments to some of my concerns. That said I fully support the West Harbourfront site.
Rosemary Paventi-=Hill says,
I have lived in Hamilton my entire life (48 years). I love this city and strongly believe the stadium should and MUST belocated at the West Harbor!!! Decisions were made months ago by the Pan Am Committee and the City of Hamilton, money was spent on consultants, testing of the site etc...IT WAS DECIDED!!!!!
The Tiger Cats will not have my support and I will voice my opinion loud and clear this CANNOT happen. Our downtown is alive with Art and Culture and it desires to keep the
positive energy that it has been experiencing the last 5 years, and for many many more decades.
Politics and business people that have there own agenda involving only their personnal gain our behind the East Mountain, Bob Young has been quoted as saying buying the Tiger Cats has been the worst business decision he has ever made. What will stop him from pulling out of the East Location after it's built?
The only people who will benefit from the East Mountain stadium are people with a lot of money who can afford the cars and gas, the increased ticket prices, parking fees, overpriced food/beverages and may not consider the polluation and enviromental impact....you need a car to get there period.
Lets make the right choice for ALL the Hamilton citizens.
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