Fall means change, but perhaps not as much as we’re used to. As members of Council learned from environmentalists in October, longer summers mean fewer changes to the colours of the leaves on trees, making it harder to observe the usual seasonal transitions between summer, fall, and winter.
But there have been many other changes of note in the North End. On September 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, I had the honour of speaking at the opening of All Our Relations, an installation designed by Indigenous artist Angela DeMontigny, which now has its home at the waterfront at James Street North and Guise Street.
Final touches are being put on the surrounding stairs and plaza, and the area should be open for all to explore soon. I encourage you to spend time there, especially near sunrise and sunset, when the exhibit’s 7,700 glass beads are lit up in all their glory.
October marked the completion of the long awaited tree replanting on Strachan Street East and in Jackie Washington Park. As you may recall, some trees were removed along Strachan Street East earlier this year in order to complete track widening and utility installations. Since then, I have been working closely with CN Railway, Metrolinx, and City staff to ensure trees were replanted as soon as possible. Between funds donated by CN and those in reserve for tree planting by the City, we were able to plant more trees than were removed which will help to keep the North End green, increase shade and cooling, decrease airborne pollution, and provide a natural barrier to the rail line.
October also saw the completion of sidewalk repairs throughout the neighbourhood. This took place across Ward 2 and is part of an effort to repair as many sidewalks as possible in each of 6 neighbourhoods during this term of Council. When I knocked on doors during the election, I heard from residents about the poor condition of Ward 2 sidewalks including tripping hazards and the fear of injury. I promised to do something about it and I’m keeping that promise by allocating as much as I can to these important repairs. Everyone deserves to be able to get around safely and I’m committed to improving things for all who use our downtown sidewalks.
As you may have heard, the Hamilton Alliance for Tiny Shelters (HATS) project has been paused. While many are disappointed, HATS completed their due diligence on the Strachan Street East site and decided it wasn’t feasible. I share everyone’s concerns about those forced to live outdoors during the coming winter, but I think it’s the right decision under the circumstances.
The North End Town Hall scheduled for November has been moved to a new date and location. We will be holding the meeting on Monday, November 13 from 6:30pm to 9:00pm in the Hamilton Room at the Central Branch of the Hamilton Public Library on York Boulevard.
I recognize that this venue is not located in the North End but in listening to feedback from North Enders and City staff I heard that it was important, that the meeting be held at an accessible City facility with excellent audio and visual equipment. The Hamilton Room has a capacity of approximately 150 people but we will also livestream the meeting so that you can watch and participate from home. The agenda for the meeting has been circulated on social media. The meeting will not include a discussion of the paused HATS project, as it will not be proceeding in the North End or elsewhere at this time. The Neighbourhood Town Hall in the North End, like the others I have held this year, is open to all Ward 2 residents. After an initial presentation from me about the issues impacting Hamilton, Ward 2, and the North End, there will be time for questions and answers. I look forward to seeing you there.
In the meantime, and as always, please reach out anytime at Ward2@hamilton.ca or through our office phone number at (905) 546-2197. The Ward 2 Team is in the office Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:00am to 4:00pm; Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00am to 8:00pm; and Saturdays from 10:00am to 2:00pm.