Monthly Archives: February 2013

Song: Wonderful Hamilton

Have a listen to this 1960’s promotional song titled “Wonderful Hamilton”.

The song was made for CKOC (Oldies 1150) and it mentions many of Hamilton’s attractions, destinations, and institutions.

Catchy, isn’t it?!

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February 26, 2013 · 10:54 am

Part One: A “Portrait of a City” then and now

Over the last 67 years much has changed in Hamilton. In the 1946 promotional video “Portrait of a City” there is a lot to compare between Hamilton’s past and present. Here, in this three part series, is a timeline breakdown of the video:

1:47 — Dundurn Castle is one of Hamilton’s most visited and notable sites. It was home to Sir Allan MacNab – one of Canada’s first Premiers. Before the castle was erected, the British used the site as a military post during the War of 1812. Later, when English architect Robert Wetherall was designing the building, MacNab had him incorporate some of the military post into the overall design. The castle was constructed between 1832 and 1835.

3:14 — Did you notice the streetcar on King Street? Believe it or not, Hamilton used to have streetcars (hence, the term “Hamilton Street Railway”). They were in use until 1951, when changes to the city’s transportation infrastructure began and streets were being converted from two-way to one-way. Over 60 years later, with a big push from former Mayor Fred Eisenberger and the support of the Provincial Government, LRT talks were back on the table in Hamilton (although these talks have since stalled).

3:30 — Hamilton still has a prime geographical location in the centre of the Golden Horseshoe. Here is a current list of cities and their proximity to Hamilton, via Hamilton Economic Development.

4:46 — Liuna Station, located on James St. North, is a train station turned banquet hall that was designed by Canadian National Railway architect John Scholfield. Built between 1929 and 1930, the station is of a neo-classical architectural design. The southern façade, a beautiful feature of the building, has a deep portico, with Doric columns that pay homage to Parthenon. Liuna Station was in service until 1993 and sat abandoned until 2000, when it was renovated and converted into a beautiful banquet hall that hosts some of the most distinguished balls and benefits in the city – a great example of heritage preservation.

5:19 — Hamilton’s port lands are slowly receding into recreational waterfront – which is important for the future development of Hamilton – due to the city’s shrinking industrial economy. However, there is still plenty of activity in the bay. For example, the ongoing remediation plan for Randle Reef, which proposes more commercial space, as well as some pedestrian-friendly amenities.

Stay tuned for the second instalment…

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February 25, 2013 · 1:43 pm

Video: Portrait of a City

Check out this video called “Portrait of a City”. It’s a promotional video for Hamilton from 1946.

Notice anything significant? For example, how we used to have LRT?

I will be writing a piece about this video later this week, comparing Hamilton’s past with it’s present and future.

Stay tuned.

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February 17, 2013 · 5:13 pm

If you build it, they will come

2013 looks to be a very promising year for the City of Hamilton. From the West End to the East End we will be seeing a lot of new developments gracing the city’s skyline.

Among these new developments are:

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Urban West – 427 Aberdeen
Aberdeen Ave and Dundurn St. S
KNY Architects
New Horizon Developments
Starting at $233,990

Urban West is situated at the corner of Dundurn and Aberdeen. Sitting near the Niagara Escarpment, it offers a beautiful view of the city.  At grade the exterior of the building is composed of stone, followed by two floors of brick, as well as stucco accents that run vertically to the top of the building. The building also has plenty of glass, offering more natural sunlight and panoramic views.

This seven-storey complex consists of two floors of parking space, seven units for the next four floors and five larger penthouse units on the seventh floor. The location of Urban West is one of the best in the city. It is close to a number of amenities including Locke Street, McMaster University and the downtown core.

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City Square Parkside Condominiums
Charlton St and Park St. S
KNY Architects
New Horizon Developments
Starting at $206,999

City Square has been one of the hottest new additions to Hamilton’s real estate market. The Square will consist of three towers (the first one is selling out quickly). This complex is situated in the heart of Hamilton’s historic Durand District. These condominiums are beautifully designed by KNY Architects. The architecture is Art Deco-inspired, consisting primarily of stone and glass with a stucco finish, accented with a steel mansard style roof.

All three condominiums will be nine-storeys, with 75 units. There will be underground parking provided on site, as well as some surface amenities. City Square is also adjacent to Durand Park and within walking distance of Locke Street, James Street, and the city’s core.

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Homewood Suites by Hilton
Main St. W and Bay St. S
DCYSA Architects
Vrancor Developments

Homewood Suites by Hilton is being built in the heart of the city and right across from McMaster’s new Downtown Health Campus. The hotel is also just a stone-throw away from Hess Village, Copps Coliseum, Hamilton Place, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, and other amenities in the downtown core.  Built on the lot that once was occupied by HMP Motors, these suites promise to be a major boost for Hamilton’s core.

The hotel will feature a post-modern architectural design. It will be 15-storeys, with 182 rooms and suites. The hotel will include retail shops at street level, a restaurant, a gym, and a convention centre for meetings.

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Filed under Architecture, Development, Economy