Top 50 Statements of Support
Mike Colyer says,
The proposed stadium is to be built for the people of Hamilton as a whole, not one minority player. In that regard, the West Harbour site makes sense on so many levels. Hamilton is in the process of shedding it's image as a grimy industrial centre and slowly but surely acquiring a well deserved reputation as a progressive city with an envied art community and a beautiful waterfront development. Recently, an artist friend of mine from Northern Ontario was in town taking part in an art show and sale. After a day or two, he confided that he hadn't been looking forward to visiting, but was amazed and impressed with what a beautiful city he saw developing and hoped to return as often as possible. How on earth is more suburban sprawl, an undesirable relic of a bygone era, going to spread the word that Hamilton is a wonderful, dynamic place to visit and live? How will it support the urban renewal so vital to the 21st century? How is it going to make our city look? I applaud our mayor and council for initially supporting the West Harbour site and dearly hope that they have the collective fortitude to stick to their guns.
Curtis Biehler says,
I am a north end resident and I support a west harbour stadium. I envision a beautiful stadium with an LRT and GO train stop outside the stadium. Restaurants, entertaiment facilities and condos would soon follow creating a huge step in downtown revitilization. I am against any type of urban sprawl. We need to create a society and city that reduces the use of cars while maintaining or increasing our quality of life.
Mark Shurvin says,
As submitted to the City of Hamilton's website.
The fundamental premise of municipal taxation is that when property values go down relative to mine and/or the tax base shrinks, my taxes go up and vice versa. Putting emotion and quality of life issues aside, every Hamiltonian who wants lower taxes and every Councillor who claims to want to "run the city like a business" should favour the West Harbour location for a new stadium. It's simply a matter of assets, expenses and revenue. Developing the municipally-owned land in the west harbour into a major drawing card will enhance the value of countless businesses in the downtown, create new ones and broaden the tax base. Buying land on the east mountain that has the potential to generate significant commercial assessment (witness Leon's etc.) and turning it into a non-taxpaying municipal property that draws people away from downtown, solely for the Tiger-Cats, does the polar opposite with the compounding effect of BOTH shrinking the tax base and devaluing the properties downtown. It's most probable that the Tiger-Cats net "rent" wouldn't even equal the forgone taxes of a commercial development. What business would increase its expenses, decrease its revenue and fail to utilize an existing asset? What business would do that to its shareholders? Simply put, vibrant downtowns reduce everybody's taxes, degraded downtowns do the opposite. But downtowns can't be sustained by local residential development. They need attractions like shopping, work, government, culture, entertainment, recreation AND a way to get there. We can have it all; the Pan-American games, a vibrant people place adjacent to downtown and the harbour, connected to bikepaths, trails, LRT and GO, literally six minutes from Highway 403 (check Mapquest) and bounded on east and west by two four-lane streets. All we need is people who can look beyond a self-serving and patronizing threat and see the future for what it CAN be, not what it used to be. I can see it. Check OurCityOurFuture.ca
P B says,
While many in this community are (were?) Tiger-Cat fans for 10 days a year, we are Hamiltonians for 365. For this reason, words cannot express the frustration and disappointment many of us possess regarding Council’s seemingly overnight change of heart with respect to the Pan Am Stadium location.
- This city has recently attempted to stop the drain of young, educated professionals from the city; perhaps sadly and pathetically, even studies and surveys have been conducted. It does not take a rocket scientist (or surveys) to discover what young professionals are looking for in a city; young professionals are looking for progressive, modern, interesting, pedestrian-friendly URBAN communities. A suburban sprawl stadium, humourously and fittingly located behind a Home Depot, will do very little to convince young URBAN professionals that this city is on the right track. Even McMaster students, who have historically been disinterested in this city and often have very little desire or reason to stay upon graduation, have put their support behind the West Harbour stadium! These young professionals are the future of this city, the ones you must be convincing to stay. LISTEN TO THEM!
- Against all common sense and logic when it comes to sustainable and progressive urban planning, we have allowed ourselves to be bullied and threatened by private interests. Making matters worse is the paltry sum (fifteen million “vague” dollars) we are potentially being bought out for. Are we really willing to risk the future health, character and sustainability of our city for fifteen million dollars? Are we that desperate and pathetic?
- The East Mountain location also fails to adhere to the criteria of BOTH the Future Fund and Places to Grow vision. How could you possibly justify using these monies to build an urban sprawl parking lot for Bob Young and keep PJ Mercanti happy? (PJ Mercanti?! HA) These monies are to be used for city-building, not city-destroying.
- How does this city expect others to invest in its downtown core when the city itself may choose to ignore such an opportunity? Every 6 months in this city there is a significant project proposed for the downtown core that inevitably fails. Is this yet another demoralizing defeat and loss for the downtown, the city, and its citizens?
I ask that you please consider the long-term impacts of your decision. A decision to build a sprawl stadium will confirm what many citizens already suspect: that Hamilton is well on its way to becoming a soulless, car-centric, sprawling Toronto suburb interested only in “driveway to driveway” experiences. Many of the downtown’s small successes over the past few years will have been for nothing, and you will further perpetuate the stereotype that Hamilton is a regressive, dated, and backwards city (is it a stereotype if it’s true?).
The right decision is obvious, and the citizens of Hamilton are counting on you to make it. Not that one individual matters to any of you, but a decision to build a suburban stadium in the year 2010 (may I remind you that this is not the ‘60s!) will be all that this cynical Hamiltonian can take; the final lost opportunity of MANY. As a young urban professional who has moved downtown to become a part of Hamilton’s renaissance, it will signal to me that there is very little hope that this city will ever become anything more than what it sadly already is. I will refuse to live in a community that puts private interests before the public good, and I will be taking my tax dollars to a community that knows what to do with it. Thank you.
Julio Garcia says,
I Been sittin on the fence for a while and not for lack of support for the west harbour but more as a fan of the team but enough is enough and this a a copy of an email I sent to the commis address earlier on and perhaps encorage more people to do so.
"Dear Mr Cohon I am former Ticats season holder (and only due to the ticats mismanagement on the field I have made My ticat game appearances only on a few selected games) I don't want the Tiger-Cats to leave. I love them! But enough is enough!I love my city more, and I resent the fact the Bob Young and now your self are pitting the city against the Tiger-cats. But consider this my letter of resignation of support for the ticats and the league, I will take my little money that I'm sure it will mean nothing to you or your teams interprises and further more I will discourage my kids from ever cheering for any cfl team as they are of age were they have discover their love for the game and encourage them to join me and enjoy MLS games as I'm a season holder for Toronto FC and perhaps make more trips to buffalo to watch some NFL games.
Absolutely disgraceful the way the city has been treated by Mr. Young and now your self.I hope the Ottawa Tiger Cats as a good ring to it since Roughriders is already taken.
Shame on the Tiger-Cats and shame on the commissioner!
sincerely J. Garcia"
how dare you threaten us sir and hold us hostage with 50 million of our money with team and a league that thinks they can bully their way into our pocketbooks and call the shots.
Rita Bailey says,
The Pan Am stadium should be built where it will benefit Hamilton the most, and that site is the west harbour. If Bob Young wants to build his own stadium on the east mountain, that's great. Just don't pay for it with my tax dollars!
This stadium is about more than a football team that plays at home 10 times a year. Given the health of the CFL, will it even exist in 10 years?
Hang tough with your original decision. Call Bob's bluff!
Tom Robertson says,
How successful would the CNE grounds in Toronto be if it was built out in the suburbs off the 401 and not on the waterfront that is served by passenger rail and intensive public transit. Not only is the CNE is held there but the Royal Agricultural Fair, the Car show, the Boat show as well as countless trade fairs generating tax dollars and private sector revenues. On this Site was the Old stadium that was home to, concerts,the Argo's and the Blue Jays until they moved to another urban stadium. Presently on site is BMO Field home of MSL soccer and the Ricoh Centre home of the Toronto Maple Leaf AHL team. Spun off from this location is Ontario Place on the waterfront and is very successful. It would be absurd to expect all this development overnight but Council now has the opportunity to plant the seed to let it flourish. If any Councilor votes against the West Harbour site it shows they have no vision for the City except for turning a fast buck over to Bob Young to deposit in his USA bank account.
"They took all the trees, and put em in a tree museum
And they charged the people a dollar and a half to see them
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone
They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot"
- Joni Mitchell
Laura Jenkins says,
I live in Westdale and am looking forward to riding my bike along the waterfront trail to go see a game.
Rather than arguing the logistics of parking, we should be encouraging people to get out of their cars. The west harbour site is walkable, close to the GO and bus stations and can help to revitalize the downtown core.
This debate just seems like a no-brainer.
Tony Powell says,
Downtown redevelopment over urban sprawl should win every time.
George Vance PhD says,
For anyone who appreciates Hamilton's environmental endowment --waterfront, waterfalls, trails, RBG and HCA -- and the benefits of a strong urban core, the West Harbour site has to be the preferred site.
The Hamilton Tiger-cats have demonstrated that a winning team can fill a stadium in the core regardless of access or parking. If they won't come to the West Harbour then sell them Ivor Wynne for a buck and let them succeed on their own merits.
Finally, the Ti-cats can never be more than a tail, a tail that should never wag the Dog.
George Vance, Ph.D.
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