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  #1  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2011, 2:44 AM
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Post Canada's Forgotten City (Part 2)

Part 1 is better, you can view it here: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=193664

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Last edited by flar; Jan 17, 2012 at 1:48 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2011, 3:01 AM
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God, this is great stuff.
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  #3  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2011, 3:05 AM
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While I'd argue there are many cities forgotten on the Canadian landscape (QC, 'Peg, Edmonton, SK cities, NB cities), no large city seems as off the radar for most Canadians as Hamilton for some reason. I think it has a lot to do with the GTA being literally next door.

I can definitely see why Toronto urbanites are finding Hamilton attractive. It's much more affordable, yet still has lots of potential to live up to some of the great Toronto neighbourhoods. I can tell through your photos there is also quite a lot of character.

Have you noticed any changes for better or worse to Hamilton since moving? Maybe it was the areas you were photographing, but Hamilton looks more cleaned up for some reason.

Lastly, as usual, fantastic photos.
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Old Posted Sep 14, 2011, 3:10 AM
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  #5  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2011, 1:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ue View Post
While I'd argue there are many cities forgotten on the Canadian landscape (QC, 'Peg, Edmonton, SK cities, NB cities), no large city seems as off the radar for most Canadians as Hamilton for some reason. I think it has a lot to do with the GTA being literally next door.

I can definitely see why Toronto urbanites are finding Hamilton attractive. It's much more affordable, yet still has lots of potential to live up to some of the great Toronto neighbourhoods. I can tell through your photos there is also quite a lot of character.

Have you noticed any changes for better or worse to Hamilton since moving? Maybe it was the areas you were photographing, but Hamilton looks more cleaned up for some reason.

Lastly, as usual, fantastic photos.
I didn't go into the gritty areas on my visit, I mostly stayed downtown.

There are small improvements, mostly individual efforts, but they're adding up. More and more houses seem to be getting cleaned up, especially yards and gardens. Stinson, Corktown and Strathcona stand out to me (I didn't go to the North End, which I hear is doing well). There are more little independent shops downtown. Good to see Treble Hall and the Lister Block being renovated.

There were some streets converted from one-way to two-way, which is a big improvement. The market and library were renovated and there seem to be some small condo projects that are actually getting off the ground. McMaster University and the hospitals are expanding like crazy. Locke Street South, James North, and Ottawa Street continue to gentrify.

King East, Main East, Barton Street and the eastern part of the lower city in general are totally dilapidated. Empty stores and boarded up windows everywhere. No improvement at all. Low income people still vastly outnumber middle class people downtown.

Buildings continue to be demolished (or collapse) at an alarming rate!

There is still no decent downtown hotel, you can't get a flight to Hamilton. No decent modern conference facilities. No attention from major retailers. No corporate investment downtown. VIA Rail still passes through Hamilton without stopping. Despite having many things that could be attractions, there is virtually no tourism in Hamilton. The Royal Connaught Hotel is still sitting abandoned. Despite having a long way to go, and the city is still taking steps backwards, it is overall slowly moving forward.
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Old Posted Sep 14, 2011, 3:37 PM
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Wow, Hamilton looks great. I've never been there, though I always admire it as I drive through to Niagara. It is definately one of the most underrated cities on this forum.
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Old Posted Sep 15, 2011, 2:54 AM
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Little Bastards Revue and Punk Rock Skateboard Circus Extravaganza is going to be held in Hamilton this year. I am really looking forward to Long Boarding down the Escarpment into downtown again. That was truly epic. That and dinner at Le Chinois. Hamilton reminds me of Oakland. Awesome scene and pretty women. Quite a scene there.....
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  #8  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2011, 3:19 AM
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Nice pictures. I actually like this one over the first thread. It appears that there are some duplicates though (#16 & 38 for example).

Where was #30 taken?
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  #9  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2011, 3:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flar View Post
I didn't go into the gritty areas on my visit, I mostly stayed downtown.

There are small improvements, mostly individual efforts, but they're adding up. More and more houses seem to be getting cleaned up, especially yards and gardens. Stinson, Corktown and Strathcona stand out to me (I didn't go to the North End, which I hear is doing well). There are more little independent shops downtown. Good to see Treble Hall and the Lister Block being renovated.

There were some streets converted from one-way to two-way, which is a big improvement. The market and library were renovated and there seem to be some small condo projects that are actually getting off the ground. McMaster University and the hospitals are expanding like crazy. Locke Street South, James North, and Ottawa Street continue to gentrify.

King East, Main East, Barton Street and the eastern part of the lower city in general are totally dilapidated. Empty stores and boarded up windows everywhere. No improvement at all. Low income people still vastly outnumber middle class people downtown.

Buildings continue to be demolished (or collapse) at an alarming rate!

There is still no decent downtown hotel, you can't get a flight to Hamilton. No decent modern conference facilities. No attention from major retailers. No corporate investment downtown. VIA Rail still passes through Hamilton without stopping. Despite having many things that could be attractions, there is virtually no tourism in Hamilton. The Royal Connaught Hotel is still sitting abandoned. Despite having a long way to go, and the city is still taking steps backwards, it is overall slowly moving forward.
Interesting. Thanks for your insight. I think it's quite stupid that Hamilton doesn't have VIA service. It's quite surprising, actually. How do you go through a major city without stopping at it? At least there's GO.

Edmonton's downtown doesn't sound a lot better. There are many major retailers in the downtown mall (City Centre), but on the streetfront there isn't much aside from fast food and a few sit down restaurants (Subway, Tim Hortons, Ruths Chris, Swiss Chalet, Boston Pizza, A&W, Second Cup, etc.). There is a Sobeys urban style, and a growing independent shopping scene (sounds like Hamilton). The idea is that the Arena District under consideration will really change things around as there are rumours major chains have been waiting on what happens with the Arena District before jumping in. Maybe that's what Hamilton needs, a huge catalyst to really change things drastically.

At least Hamilton still appears to have a lot of great historical architecture, even if as you say much is demolished or just collapses. Edmonton and Calgary had this problem (more demolishes than collapses), but there was a lot less historical architecture to start with, so now there is barely any.

Hopefully Hamilton goes the route Winnipeg and Edmonton have gone in the past decade with their downtown's, which was reinvesting (which Hamilton from the sounds of it has started) and stop moving backwards (which Hamilton as you say hasn't) and begin slowly moving forward. It looks like the old part of the city, the "lower city" has heaps of potential, and I would love for Hamilton to reach that, as I would like to see for the Prairie metropoli.
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  #10  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2011, 10:56 AM
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I like it!
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  #11  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2011, 12:40 PM
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Great photos. Lots of potential.
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Old Posted Sep 15, 2011, 4:53 PM
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I think this one is even better than the first part. Good job!
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  #13  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2011, 3:22 AM
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Great angles and captured moments. The Hammer is definitely a city of underrated architecture. So many historical gems.
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  #14  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2011, 4:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xzmattzx View Post
Nice pictures. I actually like this one over the first thread. It appears that there are some duplicates though (#16 & 38 for example).

Where was #30 taken?
#30 is King St. in Dundas.

There might be duplicates because I moved some photos from part I, it was a bit confusing to sort them all.
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Old Posted Sep 18, 2011, 7:43 AM
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Interesting. Thanks for your insight. I think it's quite stupid that Hamilton doesn't have VIA service. It's quite surprising, actually. How do you go through a major city without stopping at it? At least there's GO.
The VIA tracks pass along the escarpment north of Dundas and stop at a siding called Aldershot on the north side of Hamilton Harbour. It's also a GO stop, but not much of a real train station.
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Old Posted Sep 18, 2011, 12:24 PM
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The train also stops in Grimsby on the far east side of Hamilton. So while there are two stops within Hamilton's metro, they're both in surburban areas. That's symptomatic of Hamilton's troubles. I think it's just sad that there's no stop downtown, especially since photo #4 is the former train station.

Photo #9 shows the other downtown train station, which currently has limited GO train service. There used to be a VIA stop in Dundas as well, but it's long gone.
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  #17  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2011, 5:08 PM
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Great shots Flar. Driving in this city sure is a headache though.
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  #18  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2011, 1:57 AM
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Great pics!..I've only been to Hamilton a couple of times, and I thought I said this before on this forum somewhere.....What I noticed about Hamilton is that it never seemed to get sucked into Toronto's vortex...Really is a stand - alone city with it's own feel..Lots of cites near the g.t,a get kinda sucked in as bedroom communities,and have no idenity..Not the Hammer!.
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  #19  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2011, 4:39 PM
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Great pics!..I've only been to Hamilton a couple of times, and I thought I said this before on this forum somewhere.....What I noticed about Hamilton is that it never seemed to get sucked into Toronto's vortex...Really is a stand - alone city with it's own feel..Lots of cites near the g.t,a get kinda sucked in as bedroom communities,and have no idenity..Not the Hammer!.
I agree. However, it appears as though Hamilton's current political leaders and developers are doing their best to change this. Plans for LRT lines within Hamilton along key corridors have been all but killed in favour of increased transit to Toronto, and new developments within Hamilton are primarily marketed towards Torontonians and commuters. Because of its history, Hamilton will never be the typical, generic GTA suburb (Mississauga, Brampton, etc.), but I think Hamilton is well on its way to becoming more and more connected with, and dependent upon, Toronto; it's within an hour of Toronto, it lacks its own economy, and real estate prices in Hamilton are ridiculously affordable when compared to Toronto.

Last edited by MPK; Sep 22, 2011 at 11:36 PM.
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  #20  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2011, 9:30 PM
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I was just in Hamilton for the first time this last summer and I loved it. Interesting city, kind of reminded me of Newark in a way.

Thanks for posting these!
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