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Monday, February 27, 2017

With Paul Johnson- on The Bay Street LRT Stop

Enjoy our chat with LRT Project Director Paul Johnson, on the topic of the possible Bay Street stop. 

In August 2016, The Hamiltonian interviewed officials from Portland Oregon to get some insights into their LRT experience and lessons learned. This exchange could be seen here: http://www.thehamiltonian.net/2016/08/a-portland-perspective-on-lrt_23.html

When asked specifically about lessons learned and things to watch out for, one of the pieces of advice is quoted below:

"Probably the biggest lesson I've learned, is as we build extensions to the line, be careful of how many stations you put in. The number of stations and the travel times...so, it's a combination of how often do you stop and how important the stations are. We basically have a very long line and to get from one end to the other takes you a long time. So, be careful about the number of stations you put in. I think you need to find a balance between what's there today, what can you imagine can be there in the future, what are great bus connections, ...but everybody wants a station and you need to be frugal with those as you look at that extension. Make sure you're smart about when you're putting those in. Because it's really about high capacity transit. It's not a bus. There's a tool for every kind of transit.

In light of this, and assuming LRT proceeds, and in the context of a contemplated Bay street stop, can you list for us the most compelling reasons why Bay street should get a stop. Can you also list the top risks of doing so.


The request for a Bay Street stop came from the business community. Please see the letter from the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, agenda item 8.1 at the link below.

http://hamilton.siretechnologies.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=1090&amp%3Bamp%3Bdoctype=AGENDA

The LRT project team was directed by Council to report back on the feasibility of adding a stop at Bay Street; we did not complete a benefits case analysis and did not make a formal recommendation.

Having said that, there is a potential for economic uplift and the stop would connect to key destinations like First Ontario Centre, Standard Life building, David Braley Health Sciences Centre, City Hall, etc. The goal of connecting riders with key destinations is in keeping with the City’s vision for Rapid Transit.

Adding a stop would increase the project budget and the impact on property. Those are the two key risks in my mind. The estimated cost of construction is $2.6M and at the moment we do not have an estimate on the property acquisition costs.

What do you say to those who are worried about scope creep and cost containment, relative to the Bay street proposed stop?

We certainly understand those concerns. If Council were to approve the Bay Street stop it would still be subject to Metrolinx approval and would be contingent on the project budget. Overall, however, it does not pose any significant challenges to completing this project in the timeframe we have committed to.

If the Bay St. stop goes forward, what is the estimated expropriation costs?

We do not have a cost estimate at this time but an additional stop at Bay Street would require partial property acquisition from four properties totalling approximately 0.13 acres, as well as full acquisition of one additional property (approximately 0.24 acres).

What criteria is being used to make stop selections? For example,why Bay over McNab? Why Mary over Bay to this point?


The majority of the LRT stops have been planned since the 2011 Environmental Assessment process which included significant public consultation. The only changes are as follows and are based on community and stakeholder input: 

The Gage Park/Delta stop was initially removed by the project team but was added back in after we received significant community feedback during our Public consultation in September 2016.


Moved two stops to bookend the International Village (stops at Mary and Wellington)
Staff was directed by the LRT Subcommittee to review the feasibility of adding another stop at Bay Street.

Stops are strategically located along the route for access by walking, cycling and north-south bus routes. They also are designed to help connect riders to key destinations.

It is important to note that most urban LRT systems incorporate closer stop spacing in the downtown area. Currently our spacing in the downtown area averages just over 600m between stops. The addition of a Bay St. stop would lower our stop spacing to an average of 450m in the downtown area which is consistent with urban LRT systems. Outside of the downtown area our stop spacing averages around 880m which is again consistent with urban LRT systems outside of the downtown area.

Thanks Paul for engaging with Hamiltonians on The Hamiltonian. 

Picture of the Moment – 15th Living Rock Soupfest

Click on Pic to Make it Bigger
Our Food for Thought columnist, Alex Bielak, will be one of the foodie judges for the 15th Living Rock Soupfest tomorrow, Tuesday February 28th, 11:00am-9:00pm at the Hamilton Convention Centre by Carmen’s. There’s entertainment, and local celebrities and politicians come out to serve soup and help with the event. Proceeds from this popular event support youth-at-risk and tickets are available at the door: opening ceremonies are at 11:45. Drop on by to support a great cause.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Classic Rock Show- Hamilton Place

Quite possibly, The Classic Rock Show is the best classic rock show on the planet. Starting off strong with Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love the eight piece band made up of two male and one female vocalist, two lead/rhythm guitarists, a bass player, keyboard player and drummer, churned out masterful renditions of classic rock standards. 

Song after song was executed precisely as initially recorded, virtually note for note. The band's accuracy was so exact that they demonstrated an uncanny ability to play songs in perfect sync with the songs' originals videos that were often projected during the song. 

There were multiple standing ovations and priceless moments too numerous to mention. From the hard hitting Texas rock of ZZ Top's La Grange  to the epic Bat Out of Hell, the band energized the audience throughout.  Simmering down only for a moment to deliver an unplugged version of Led Zeppelin's Going to California, the band proved that they in fact are masters of the alphabet of classic rock. A show well worth seeing. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

LRT- an Oh My moment?

LRT continues to present a myriad of conversations and challenges, in a way fairly typical of a project this large. To date, in the face of these challenges, camps have become apparent and tough questions continue to be asked by some. 

Is it unusual that something this big would cause angst, divisiveness and deviations from original plan? Not really. It would be remarkable and arguably impossible to think otherwise. 

And while the camps are clear and there appears no sign of individuals becoming dislodged from their entrenched positions. today, as reported in the Hamilton Spectator (click here to go there or purchase today's print copy), Clr. Merulla has indicated that he plans to bring forward a motion asking Metrolinx to estimate the latest cost to the city if the project were abandoned. 

Your thoughts? Do you support the Clr.'s intended query and are we at a place that we need to understand this sooner than later, or do you remain confident that LRT will prevail in Hamilton? 

Please note: The Hamiltonian will not publish comments that are not professional, that seek to name call or attack others or that are otherwise not in keeping with the spirit of the intent of this publication. Click here for further details.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Media Release: HCA 2016 Photo Contest Winners Announced

After a yearlong contest and nearly 1,000 entries, the top prizes have been awarded for the Hamilton Conservation Areas 2016 Photo Contest.

The complete gallery of winning photos can be found by
clicking here. 






Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Hamiltonians


The photos above are of great Hamiltonians who added colour, passion, honour  and spirit to our great city.  

Whenever publishing a tribute of this nature, there is always a risk of having missed someone. The collage above is by no means all inclusive. Please feel free to add names of people you'd like to see mentioned. 

In honour and in memory of these, and other great Hamiltonians who left us too soon.