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Hamilton LRT (Metrolinx/City of Hamilton, Revived)

mdrejhon

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Alistair J Morton ‏@brundle_fly
NO LRT glues their logo on Canadian flags placed in honour of Nathan Cirillo. SHAME.
[blasphemy clipped]
Scandalous.

To me as chair of the Hamilton LRT Citizen Advocacy (one of the proLRT groups), it saddens me about the vitriol going on between #yesLRT/#noLRT crowds. I can engage diplomatically with many, but this specific move by an unknown individual is... just scandalous.

The NoLRT group has mostly been self-destructing themselves, alas. There are sensible talk and individuals, and areas of concern -- but they have too many toxic individuals that are ruining things. Things like fear mongering -- Flaming Lac Magentic trains -- and desecration of war memorials -- and I witnessed a single individual illegally slip 100 NoLRT leaflets (with fear-mongering items) behind windsheld wipers at a LRT consultation event. They are turning more people against them while trying to grow their ranks one by one. It just all means I'm just going to focus on other important advocacy matters, rather than 'directly' addressing these extreme individuals.

BTW, I had a hand in verbally advising on modifying the design of the #yesLRT buttons (and I'm happy DC83, to include your Gage Rd station, in addition to Delta!) that's now going around. We had a private multi-advocacy discussion on the design, and Cody Lanktree had the winning design that had the most votes)...

Csw1V09VUAAnutw.jpg


And my city councillor Matthew Green just (unexpectedly) donated a print run of the #yesLRT posters that also contain our advocacy group's online feeds at the bottom.

(Mind you: Our group turns down government funding for reputational's sake -- but this is an unexpected donation-in-material in the form of a free print run. And multi-advocacy/group and we'll just have to welcome the wonderful surprise!...)

Ct8dbO7WIAAty0z.jpg:large
 
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DC83

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No kidding, it does seem Wentworth-King southern side (and the corner buildings) are going to need to be expropriated to make room for the Wentworth station.

Asking others who ARE familiar with THAT intersection -- I am encoutnering very mixed opinion on this -- it is a very depressed block and could use a refresh, according to many. There are those who would like to see the rundown buildings gone -- but on the other hand many (even residents) are wanting an opportunity to refresh. I admit I'm mixed. (In a similar vein, many people were mixed about RHVP plans, but wanted it built anyway. Big benefits for the general public and the City as a whole, etc.).

Now, I am seeing heritage buildings at big risk. Ouch. At least, it does appear they are trying to save most buildings on one side of the street for this intersection (North edge). So a full block of facade (except for a couple of corner buildings) is at least being saved.

I don't think this is an area we can use advocacy to prevent, even Scott Park-versus-Gage Park is a more doable advocacy.

P.S. Final feedback October 6th. Submit yours! https://www.hamilton.ca/city-initiatives/priority-projects/community-engagement-lrt

If you're "mixed" on the plan, then I direct you to the Lister Block. Look how saving/rehabilitating a "depressed block" kick-started a development boom (new builds and historic renos) along King William making it the most vibrant stretch in the city of Hamilton -- yes more vibrant than Locke, James North or Hess Village!
 

DC83

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Scandalous.

To me as chair of the Hamilton LRT Citizen Advocacy (one of the proLRT groups), it saddens me about the vitriol going on between #yesLRT/#noLRT crowds. I can engage diplomatically with many, but this specific move by an unknown individual is... just scandalous.

The NoLRT group has mostly been self-destructing themselves, alas. There are sensible talk and individuals, and areas of concern -- but they have too many toxic individuals that are ruining things. Things like fear mongering -- Flaming Lac Magentic trains -- and desecration of war memorials -- and I witnessed a single individual illegally slip 100 NoLRT leaflets (with fear-mongering items) behind windsheld wipers at a LRT consultation event. They are turning more people against them while trying to grow their ranks one by one. It just all means I'm just going to focus on other important advocacy matters, rather than 'directly' addressing these extreme individuals.

BTW, I had a hand in verbally advising on modifying the design of the #yesLRT buttons (and I'm happy DC83, to include your Gage Rd station, in addition to Delta!) that's now going around. We had a private multi-advocacy discussion on the design, and Cody Lanktree had the winning design that had the most votes)...

Csw1V09VUAAnutw.jpg


And my city councillor Matthew Green just (unexpectedly) donated a print run of the #yesLRT posters that also contain our advocacy group's online feeds at the bottom.

(Mind you: Our group turns down government funding for reputational's sake -- but this is an unexpected donation-in-material in the form of a free print run. And multi-advocacy/group and we'll just have to welcome the wonderful surprise!...)

Ct8dbO7WIAAty0z.jpg:large

Thanks? Nice to see Gage Ave on the button, but it means nothing until I'm on a new Gage Bus connecting me to that LRT stop.

Also, I have a feeling the Pro LRT side is trying to keep the demolitions on the down low.
Matt Green was pretending not to know what I was talking about until I asked him straight up "Are you aware of the planned demolitions and are you ok with that?"
Sadly, his answer to both was (eventually) "Yes" :(

I'm clearly Pro LRT myself, but I'm more so anti demolition. Hamilton has lost SO many historic structures (aka our character), and to lose even just six more is a complete failure on the part of Metrolinx.
Problem is this is just one intersection. There are many more planned demolitions along the route.
 

DC83

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Hamilton's most recent new builds (thanks again to Google streetview):

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Is that the kind of crap (stucco, pre-fab adult lego, etc) we want lining King St and our Rapid Transit corridor?! Like honestly though.
 

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mdrejhon

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There's a fair share of crude crud -- as you've so eloquently posted. To be fair to this thread, let's introduce items like Templar Flats, Empire Times, Lister Block, and other recent Hamiltonian improvements (and part of why downtown is undergoing a major resurgence in recent years & booming housing market) -- most of which are more recent than all the above.

This is the type of heritage renovations that the LRT corridor should attract.

It does look like many buildings can be saved, with the LRT corridor strategically shifting position slightly to allow buildings to be saved. But there will be quite a number being torn down. There will definitely be a lot of strong advocacies by many locals to ensure various buildings get preserved, but some battles will clearly need to be picked as not all will be saved, and demolitions wouldn't be able to be reducible to zero.

For those outside of Hamilton, unfamiliar in this thread, here's some Hamiltonian beauts:

Empire-Times.jpg

(credit: coreurban.ca)

TemplarFlatsJuly2016-PhotographyBy-Martinus-Geleynse.jpg

(credit: templarflats.ca)

5856f786-d864-4738-8d31-f295fe1355ed_500.jpg

(credit: https://twitter.com/kellyrbennett/status/576530920351518720)
(backstory: https://raisethehammer.org/blog/2416/the_lister_reborn:_have_we_learned_a_lesson )

I've left out many others preserved heritage buildings, like LIUNA Station, Stinson School Lofts, etc.
 
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DC83

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^ All the "good" developments you show are historic retrofits. The exact thing that won't happen if we tear down those character buildings.
 

mdrejhon

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^ All the "good" developments you show are historic retrofits. The exact thing that won't happen if we tear down those character buildings.
Actually, while mostly true, this isn't entirely. Some examples:

1 -- Templar Flats was built from scratch. It was a gap between two buildings on land formerly owned by LIUNA. It looks heritage, but it's a newbuild from scratch.

2 -- Also, not as well done (and needs more distinctive storefronts) but also built from ground up, is the still in-character is 123 James St N (FHT building -- the one with the big H logo).

3 -- Facade preservation is also a compromise too. There's also that James St N facade being stored (the gap north of Lister Block building) -- it's going to be put back brick-by-brick as the facade in front of the new student apartments being built north of Lister Block and behind the other facades too, in that L-shaped lot ending in the gap north of Lister Block.

So breakthroughs are finally happening after years of demolitions.

There are travesties like the lingering battle on the facades at Gore Park, that is still an ongoing saga. This is a warning signal that we have to work real damn hard in preservation efforts...

My sense is that construction quality is gradually improving locally and they are increasingly now respecting the area effect (e.g. adjacent buildings need to now stay more "in tune" with their surroundings), we need to lobby for rule changes even as they consider things like microbreweries along the LRT corridor.

You will observe that they appear to have managed to preserve the much larger quantity of storefronts on the north edge of King between Wentworth and Ashley.

Observe the north edge:
img_6161-png.87808


The corner buildings may need to be modified or demolished, but the ones in between are full of heritage-quality facades (imagine how beautiful it can be with a Lister Block style renovation). (To many people, it looks somewhat rundown now, but so was Lister Block too -- and see how it looks now)

Assuming this success of preserving the vast majority of the north edge (a possible future advocacy goal in coming years, or a friendly team, etc), this will kind of encourage the south-side of the street to stay in tune with the existing heritage of the area. Hamilton is slowly starting to set better precedents in the 'area preservation effect' -- seeing James St N and King William.

Not giving excuses, and not justifying the demolitions, but I'm just pointing out recently Hamilton has set new precedents contrary to what you're saying. Since the demos will be adjacent to facades that likely can be preseserved, there is the potential to generate a heritage preservation area effect in many sections all the way between downtown and Gage Park. I do see densification like stepped-back condos, while still respecting the area much like the new construction on James St N and King William is -- moreso than the construction pictures (mostly late 90s and early 2000s stuff) you've posted, which are all older pieces of work than what I've posted.

Many in Hamilton once wanted to tear down Lister Block and such, and there will be loud fuss about heritage buildings when the specific expropriations finally get publicly announced. Some facades can be saved (sometimes stored brick by brick -- like one of the facades on James St N that is currently being stored for a condo project) and then moved backwards or rebuilt a few feet back. Those facades pictured are far less complex than the ones on James St N, for example.

Again, what I am saying are no excuses, but possible targets of advocacy (including petitioning bylaws for area heritage preservation, requiring new buildings to blend into area heritage).

From what I hear, Jason Thorne is assigned to some of the future LRT corridor redevelopment & long-term planning, and I think he's a great individual to help work our way through many compromises. But -- yes -- many Hamltonians have a lot of hard work to lobby really, really hard for the best outcome, prevent developers from demolishing facades, while building sensible corridor densification.

And my overall post definitely does not discourage the need to work on this. Many locals will have to start advocacy efforts, with lots of city councillor support, some of them with loud community aplomb of current or past campaigns such as #YesWeCannon #casiNO #yesLRT etc. (successful Cannon cycle track)

At the same time (addressing concerns about gentrification and socially disruptive displacement of residents) there's simultaneously also needing a place for affordable housing elements like the new Indwell apartments at Kenilworth-Main, which while very far from heritage look, can work and blend-in very well in the various openings like parking-lot gaps and the non-heritage facades. There's so many issues to advocate over... I predict a huge number of advocacies will suddenly boom up once action (construction, demolitions, roadwork, etc) begins in LRT preps.

The sooner the extremist NoLRT sideshow (especially illegal actions, flag desecration, etc) would go into the rear view mirror, the more time we can focus on initiatives like helping businesses survive construction and heritage/preservation issues...

When LRT happens even if you are against it, wouldn't you want tweaks to the city's benefit, support campaigns to help businesses survive, etc? I can discuss LRT cordially with respectful residents against LRT. We can't let positive advocacy elements get bogged down.
 
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mjl08

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Fair appraisal of Hamilton's architecture. Most of the recent new build developments are mediocre-to-awful, while most of the heritage restorations have been successful.

The Templar Lofts example is a terrific example of a 'new build' development that successfully accentuates local heritage.
 

DC83

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Fair appraisal of Hamilton's architecture. Most of the recent new build developments are mediocre-to-awful, while most of the heritage restorations have been successful.

The Templar Lofts example is a terrific example of a 'new build' development that successfully accentuates local heritage.

Now if only Core Urban (developers behind Templar Flats) would buy up every one-off empty lot along the B-Line corridor.. which won't happen.

We're more likely to get a few decent-looking renos in addition to dozens of pre-fabbed junk, even a few speculator lots which will never develop.

I guess someone who grew up far away from the city and only recently moved here doesn't appreciate the amount of loss Hamilton has suffered when it comes to heritage and character.

Losing the iconic Delta Block at King & Main will forever destroy the character of that intersection. It's like replacing the Masonic Temple at Yonge & Church with Aura :/
 

mdrejhon

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Losing the iconic Delta Block at King & Main will forever destroy the character of that intersection. It's like replacing the Masonic Temple at Yonge & Church with Aura :/
Hope not, I agree the "wedge" is classic. That might be a pyrrhic victory to some.

There is flat land (grass, church lawn, parking lots) north of Delta Station for the full length of Delta station plus leadouts, that could be expanded into to create station room while preserving the wedge, so it is probably an easier area than, say, Wentworth.

Winter 2016 PICs will be telling...
 
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TransitBart

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Not everything that is old is worth saving. Old does not automatically equate with attractive or useful.

Some people like old cars. I think they are old - and unreliable. I wouldn't have a classic car for all the tea in China.

With the proper municipal encouragement, new buildings can be functional and attractive too.
 

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drum118

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mdrejhon

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