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ShavedParmesanCheese Feb 3, 2021 1:37 AM

I found this picture of some road construction in Edmonton and it gave me Deja Vu, it looks like an alternate reality King St. W, just before MacNab.

that tower in the background looks like First Place, too.

This got me thinking. It wouldn't be impossible to salvage Jackson Square's streetscape from the mess it's in. Imagine something like Brookfield Place. A shopping mall with seemingly separate facades at the sidewalk, not unlike the buildings that used to be at this point in the street 60 years ago. Am I crazy? Probably. If nothing else, this street will automatically improve with the LRT, and having lane capacity halved will in turn lend itself to a better streetscape by itself.

Dr Awesomesauce Feb 4, 2021 1:22 AM

^It could be better, a bit better.

But I do think there are limits to how friendly and attractive that stretch of road could be made. It's a wind tunnel and it's very dark. I think the best we could hope for is that the buildings get tarted up but making it a vibrant people-friendly spot is very unlikely.

Dr Awesomesauce Feb 4, 2021 1:26 AM

^My fantasy has always been to raze the mall, plow a couple of the streets through as they once were - Market and MacNab perhaps - and create a new Market Square. If money were no object, that's what I'd like to see.

shoelessjoe Feb 4, 2021 2:18 AM

...on the right in the Edmonton picture is the Edmonton City Centre (former Edmonton Eaton Centre) -- specifically that's the Hudson's Bay store (former Eaton's) - built 1980s - currently in the process of closing. HB was founded in Edmonton -- as recently as the early 90s had 3 major downtown department stores -- Hudsons Bay, Woodward's and Eaton's

ScreamingViking May 23, 2021 10:22 PM

Some nice ones from a Spec "175" story about the Pigott Building.


Postcard from the same era:

Some of the accompanying text... I never knew about this:

His name was Willie Thompson and he is remembered for having worked as the elevator operator at the Pigott Building. Willie started at the Pigott in 1946, making a name for himself as the kindly fellow with gold-trimmed green jacket with matching pants who piloted people up and down the 18 floors of the building.

In its heyday, the Pigott was filled with doctors, lawyers, architects and other office workers, and Willy was a busy man moving them all from floor to floor. In the bad times — the 1980s in particular, when the building was derelict and vacant — the elevator was turned off and he lived in the basement.

He was quoted in The Spectator in 1994: “Some people think I’m daft. But I am a happy, contented man. I’m actually quite proud of myself.”

He told Hamilton Magazine in the early 1980s he didn’t mind living in the big building all by himself. “Now, you know, when you’re here late at night and there’s no one else about, you hear all sorts of funny things. You think there’s someone behind you, or someone on the staircase. Oooooo, it’s a spooky sort of place, this is, at night. Like a graveyard.

“Now, one night I was in the elevator at about 11 o’clock. Just me alone, and all of a sudden I hear this voice coming up the elevator shaft and it says, ‘Wait for me, Willie, I’ll be there in a minute.’ And you know, it was the voice of a man who had died in the building a year before.”

According to local historian Margaret Houghton, “Willie vowed that he would stay in the Pigott building forever, even after he died.”

Haunted Hamilton’s Stephanie Cumerlato says Willie may have succeeded in his wish after dying about a decade ago. “People who live in the building often tell us that they are all too familiar with Willie. He has been spotted walking through the halls, perhaps still residing at the place he loves.”

410001661 May 16, 2022 5:16 PM

I was under the impression that this area was a mass grave of people that died coming to Hamilton via ship and Cholera. When you look at the one picture just north of the sunken gardens the grounds just steep towards the Bay once you leave what is now York Blvd.

What happened to these graves? You go to the area now and there is a small 4-5' berm down from York Blvd but the ground is now level to the grave of the unknown soldier?


Originally Posted by Ahatmose (Post 6338484)'t believe how much they had to fill in.

It still looks like the City is looking after the area as the area appears to be getting the grass cut. Who know with the work they are doing on Gage Park they might just decide to reopen this great feature for the entrance to Hamilton one day.

I am certain that little white dot in the middle of the large green area is the grave of the unknown soldiers of 1812.


ShavedParmesanCheese May 16, 2022 6:08 PM

When they built the 403 they had to do a lot of landscaping here, so the bodies had to be moved. Apperently it caused quite a stir then. The bodies were supposed to have been re-interred at the municipal cemetery, but the details are foggy. Staff are unsure where that was, if they were even interred there at all.

This isnt the only mass grave along York actually, when it was expanded from a street to a boulevard, more bodies were discovered during the demolitions. Records for all of these are difficult to come by, especially considering that when the last one came through in the 1850s, the city had barely been incorporated as such for 10 years.

It's a pity the sunken gardens have been neglected for so long. All the formal gardens in the city have been, really. :shrug: But, at least they haven't let this area become completely overgrown, it still has potential to be a great entrance to the city. In fact, even in it's current state this site is still seeing use, its a popular vantage point for Canada Day fireworks over the harbour.

410001661 May 16, 2022 6:14 PM

Beautiful Building
Back in the 1980's we did electrical work in that building and on the west side of the building there is a vehicle entrance that curves up to the second floor. Always thought that would be a cool studio apt and that I could ride my motorcycle into my living room - LOL


Originally Posted by Dr Awesomesauce (Post 6405726)
I heard somewhere that the original Crappy Tire was housed in this building on Main E. Does anybody know whether or not that might be true?

matt602 May 17, 2022 3:15 AM


Originally Posted by 410001661 (Post 9626392)
Back in the 1980's we did electrical work in that building and on the west side of the building there is a vehicle entrance that curves up to the second floor. Always thought that would be a cool studio apt and that I could ride my motorcycle into my living room - LOL

I remember the old Hamilton Motor Products building at Main and Bay had a similar design, a big ramp for moving cars inside the building and up to the roof. I had never seen something like that anywhere else before.

ScreamingViking Sep 20, 2022 5:22 PM

Here are some old photos and images from postcards.

Catch a glimpse of Hamilton’s bygone days at this weekend’s antique postcard show
Postcards from the past — this Sunday around 750,000 vintage postcards will be on display at the 35th Annual Antique Picture Post Card Show on Hamilton Mountain

By Mark McNeil
The Hamilton Spectator
Tue., Sept. 20, 2022


This Sunday an estimated 750,000 vintage postcards will be available for viewing and buying at the 35th Annual Antique Picture Post Card Show at the parish hall of the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Resurrection on Upper Wentworth Street.

And thousands of them will feature scenes from Hamilton. They’ll be front and centre because in this city they’re the ones that buyers are most interested in.

Jon Soyka, president of the Golden Horseshoe Post Card Club that is hosting the event, says there will be about 25 dealer tables and he expects more than 200 people to attend. It will be the 35th show since the club began in 1985. The event has taken place annually, except in 2020 and 2021 because of COVID.


Soyka — who has been president of the club for more than 15 years and has published a couple of coffee table books about Hamilton postcards — has a personal collection of 75,000 cards with 3,000 featuring Hamilton.


Postcard image of the Hamilton and Barton Incline Railway at the foot of James Street from the turn of the century. The incline opened in 1892 and lasted until the 1930s.

Postcard image of the "Human Fly" climbing the side of the Bank of Hamilton building at King and James streets in 1918.

Postcard from the early 1900s promotes iconic locations in Hamilton.

Gore Park fountain in "real photo postcard" from the early 1900s.

Postcard shows reservoir and James Street incline in turn of the century image shot from the edge of the escarpment.

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