All Candidates Meeting - HWAD Provincial
Thursday May 19th 2021
7:00 - 9:00 pm
(in person or virtual
"All Candidates Meeting"
for the Riding of Hamilton West, Ancaster, Dundas.
Thursday May 19th at 7pm
Dundas Baptist Church 201 Governors Road, doors open at 6.30pm.
Or view on You tube https://youtu.be/lt0yv5QToXQ
SUBMIT Questions by May 12th : send via email to email@example.com
More info Call 905-627-4498
Wearing of masks is required, Thank You
Roundtable 13 - Intensification in Dundas
Tuesday May 4th 2021
7:00 - 9:00 pm
(stay at home)
To frame the discussion:
1. Should Hamilton freeze its urban boundary?
2. What would intensification look like in Dundas?
Roundtable 12 - Neighbourhood Connection, Community Engagement
Thurs March 25th 2021
7:00 - 8:30 pm
(stay at home)
The participants of this roundtable discussed how to create well represented neighbourhoods within Dundas to build connection, community and engagement for a strong and resilient whole. It featured a presentation by Brian Baetz,
Roundtable 11 - The Virtual Pandemic Version
Thurs Feb 11th 2021
7:00 - 8:30 pm
(stay at home)
To frame the discussion:
1. During the pandemic, what strengths and weaknesses have you observed in our community?
2. What changes would you recommend to rebuild a stronger, more resilient Dundas?
Kitchen Table Talk on Climate Change and the Environment
Dec 12-16, 2020
three choices of session
(stay at home)
Alex Wilson, Constituency Assistant to our MPP Sandy Shaw, is excited to host a Kitchen Table Talk on Climate Change and the Environment. There are three virtual sessions set up depending on your availability: Sat Dec 12th from 2-4 pm - Wed Dec 16th from 1-2 pm or Wed Dec 16th from 6-8 pm
Please see Alex's poster and you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the link to participate.
Oct 07, 2020 during COVID-19 Our Fall 2020 Update
Hello everyone, we hope you are well. We would like to give you an update on where we are at present.
1. Dundas Works Public Forum: Online Discussion Thread
2. Dundas Public Spaces Inventory
3. Dundas Builds: Update on Local Development
4. Dundas Rides: Update on Cycling Infrastructure
May 28, 2020 Dundas Works encouraging community campaigns Dundas Works in the news!
Thanks to Craig Campbell for interviewing Jim and Bob via Skype:
May 07, 2020 Our Public Forum is now online!
At this time of COVID we are unable to hold face to face group meetings.
We have developed an online public forum with draft mission statements for Environment, Development and Democracy and examples of possible actions for each. These are not intended to be “the final” word on the topics but to begin to stimulate discussion. It is our hope that these inspire you to join in, to help articulate and prioritize one or two action-oriented goals for each area. https://dundasworks.wixsite.com/public-forum
The groups that are established will determine and define the mission, goals, parameters, strategy, resource needs, timelines and communication of progress for their area of focus.
May 01, 2020 Can Dundas answer "Yes" to these 10 Qs? The Strong Towns Strength Test
A Strong Town should be able to answer “yes” to each of these 10 questions.
Take a photo of your main street at midday. Does the picture show more people than cars?
If there were a revolution in your town, would people instinctively know where to gather to participate?
Imagine your favorite street in town didn’t exist. Could it be built today if the construction had to follow your local rules?
Is an owner of a single family home able to get permission to add a small rental unit onto their property without any real hassle?
If your largest employer left town, are you confident the city would survive?
Is it safe for children to walk or bike to school and many of their other activities without adult supervision?
Are there neighborhoods where three generations of a family could reasonably find a place to live, all within walking distance of each other?
If you wanted to eat only locally-produced food for a month, could you?
Before building or accepting new infrastructure, does the local government clearly identify how future generations will afford to maintain it?
Does the city government spend no more than 10% of its locally-generated revenue on debt service?
Apr 14, 2020 Tuesday 7-9pm Salvation Army, King at John (TBC) Postponed: DW Community Action Meeting #1
Through our ten public roundtables, we have identified three community priorities upon which to focus: Development, Democracy and Environment. We are developing a mission statement for each priority and possible example goals.
We will encourage the citizens of Dundas to stand up for one of these priorities and develop “SMART” Goals to actively pursue as a team, goals that are Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, Trackable. Together let's Walk the Talk and Move the Needle.
Feb 29, 2020 Minutes RT #10: Climate Change - Minutes
Thank you for joining us to discuss how our community will be affected by Climate Change and how it might change our current visioning, planning and priorities.
Click on the link to read the minutes. Stay tuned for our next public meeting which will be Next Steps: Community Actions.
Feb 11, 2020 Tuesday 7-9pm Salvation Army, King at John Community Roundtable #10: Climate Change
We discussed how our community will be affected by Climate Change and how it might change our current visioning, planning and priorities. Many of us are experiencing a range of feelings about the current climate situation - confusion, anxiety, frustration, even grief. It seems there is no shortage of information about our predicament. While it is encouraging to hear about the many individual actions people are taking, there is less conversation about actions being taken on a community-wide basis. The topic for discussion is how we as a community can take action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030. We hope that the roundtable will identify ideas where we can work together as a community to make a significant difference.
Corporate Goals and Areas of Focus for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
Jan 17, 2020 Friday 7-9pm St. Mark's United Church Climate Change: Understanding the Science and the Solutions
EcoWHam is hosting an event at St. Mark’s Church, Dundas, 7 p.m. on Friday January 17th. Tina Di Clemente from Elders for Climate Sanity, 350.org will be the guest speaker. See poster attached below. This is a wonderful local opportunity for our community to increase their collective knowledge. Hope that you can attend. This will be followed in February with a DW roundtable to discuss ideas on Climate Change.
Jan 15, 2020 9:30am, Hamilton City Hall Council Chambers Video Presentation - General Issues Committee Meeting - Wentworth Lodge
Here is the video of the meeting for all to watch. Click to the timing of 36:34.
Jan 15, 2020 9:30am, Hamilton City Hall Council Chambers General Issues Committee Meeting
At the November 2018 Dundas Works Potluck we took a survey to see what priorities we have as a community. The top two issues were Development and Democracy. James Chase, one of the immediate neighbours of the affected land, will be speaking at City Hall to the General Issues Committee about the public consultation process regarding the Wentworth Lodge Lands. The meeting starts at 9:30am at Hamilton City Hall Council Chambers, and he is Number 8.1 on the Agenda: https://pub-hamilton.escribemeetings.com/Meeting.aspx?Id=72e6f412-0640-4262-81e0-e5006793fef3&Agenda=Agenda&lang=English https://www.hamilton.ca/council-committee/council-committee-meetings/general-issues-committee
If you are able, please plan to attend and show your support, it makes a difference when the Councillors see the community stand together.
Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday 7:30-8:30pm Salvation Army Dundas DW Community Meeting: Wentworth Lodge Public Lands: Develop talking points
As a followup to RT#9 roundtable discussion, we hosted a brief meeting that used the executive summary of our last Roundtable to focus the discussion with the aim to develop three “talking points” that would be read out at the November 18 public meeting.
Oct 29, 2019 Tuesday 7-9pm Salvation Army Dundas Community Roundtable #9: Wentworth Lodge Lands: An opportunity for the creative reuse of public land
Come and share your views on how this land should be developed
Tuesday October 29, 2019 from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Salvation Army, 150 King St West (at John), Dundas
Dundas Wentworth Lodge vacant land still being reviewed by city staff - Municipal site considered for seniors' affordable housing - Feb 28, 2019 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News
Wentworth Lodge is one of the largest pieces of public lands in urban Dundas that has been declared surplus by the City. As such, public consultation is very important, not only with the local neighbours of the site but for all of the greater community. We hope you can make it. Please invite neighbours you know that live close to this area. We look forward to seeing you on the 29th!
Oct 15, 2019 Watch the HWAD All Candidates Meeting
Canadian Federal Election 2019 - All Candidates Meeting Riding of Hamilton West - Ancaster - Dundas (HWAD) Ontario held October 15th, 2019, Dundas Baptist Church
Part 1 of 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K44u2L0q9W8&feature=youtu.be
Part 2 of 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUknPTf1bQI&feature=youtu.be
Opening statements followed by ten questions on a variety of topics were asked of each candidate in a Q&A style. Candidates then gave closing statements.
Candidates: Victoria Galea, Green. Bert Laranjo, Conservative. Yousaf Malik, New Democrat. Daniel Ricottone, People's Party. Filomena Tassi, Liberal (unable to attend, representative sent to speak on her behalf).
Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, 7-9pm Dundas Baptist Church All Candidates Meeting for the Federal Election Hamilton West – Ancaster – Dundas Riding
All Candidates Meeting for the Federal Election - Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas Riding Tuesday October 15th, 2019 from 7pm to 9pm. Doors open at 6pm. Location: Dundas Baptist Church, 201 Governors Road, Dundas, Ontario.
Sponsored by the Association of Dundas Churches and Dundas Works
Please submit questions via email to email@example.com that you would like to have asked of the candidates. The deadline for questions is October 1st. Your questions should be short, clear, concise and not of a personal nature. The sponsors will compile the questions in advance of the meeting and will be able to ask between 6 to 8 questions of each candidate.
Jul 16, 2019 Tuesday, 7-9 pm, Salvation Army (King and John St.) Dundas Works Development Committee Meeting
Dundas Works Development Committee Meeting
Tuesday, July 16th, 2019 from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Salvation Army, 150 King St West (at John), Dundas
We talked about the progress of our new DW Development Committee at the most recent roundtable on June 11th. The committee's third meeting is next week. As we mentioned, others are invited, if they would like to contribute.
We have been working on a set of values to underlie development plans for the Town on Dundas, and continue to move towards our thoughts on a secondary plan, as a way of focusing on issues about development. And we are not interested only in the downtown area, but the other neighbourhoods of Dundas as well.
Minutes from the previous sub-committee meetings can be found on our website:
Jun 11, 2019 Tuesday, 7-9 pm, Salvation Army (King and John St.) Community Roundtable #8: Action on Development, Democracy and Cycling
We cordially invite you to our next public event:
Dundas Works Community Roundtable #8: Action on Development, Democracy and Cycling
Tuesday, June 11th, 2019 from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Salvation Army, 150 King St West (at John), Dundas
1. Development Subcommittee. Update from Tim Leslie followed by roundtable discussion
2. Democracy. Update from Jim Sweetman followed by roundtable discussion
3. Dundas Rides: Cycling update from Michelle Chin et al.
Very sorry about the short notice, but we hope you can make it and look forward to seeing you there!
Jun 01, 2019 100in1Day - Cycling Priorities
Happy 100 in 1 Day! On June 1st, Dundas Works supported Dundas Rides' critical mass ride through the streets of Dundas. We installed pop up bike lanes in front of Horn of Plenty to raise awareness about cycling infratstructure.
Bob created a sample letter advocating what infrastructure would serve the Dundas cycling community. Click the button to access the letter.
Thanks so much to Craig Campbell of the Dundas Star News for his article on these efforts!
Jun 01, 2019 Saturday, 10a-1p, Horn of Plenty Celebrate 100in1Day!
Happy 100 in 1 Day! On Saturday June 1st, Dundas Works group supports Dundas Rides in promoting safe and healthy transportation via cycling in Dundas and Hamilton.
Join us in supporting Dundas Rides' critical mass ride through the streets of Dundas. Saturday June 1st, 11am. The gathering spot has been changed to the parking lot at Market and Mill Street.
Visit our pop up bike lanes in front of Horn of Plenty from 10am - 1pm! Learn more about cycling routes and sign a registry for our councillor promoting Key Priorities for Cycling in Dundas.
May 31, 2019 Cycling Priorities in Dundas
Ask your Councillor to support the growing acceptance and enthusiasm for cycling in our town. Dundas Rides and Dundas Works are asking for your help in promoting cycling infrastructure in Dundas. Some improvement is already happening with the new bike lanes being built on Governors Road this summer, and the pedestrian-activated light coming at the Rail Trail and Old Ancaster Road.
The Transportation Master Plan lists three other priorities for cycle lanes in Dundas:
1. Creighton Road between Hatt Street and Governors Road
2. Hatt Street lanes, from Main Street to Market Street
3. Lanes on Dundas Street, from Main Street to Cootes Drive
In addition, there are two other bike-related projects which we feel need to become priorities:
1. Ogilvie from King Street up to the Rail Trail
2. The Five Schools Project, joining the Rail Trail across Spring Creek to Highland Park Drive. This suggested route would allow for a car-free access by many students to the three schools on Governors Road (SWO, DVSS, St. Bernadette's), as well as Dundana, St. Mary's and the Montessori School. It would reduce the need for car and bus transportation, and encourage activity in our youth. Part of the Rail Trail would need to be paved to permit all-year use.
Please ask our councillor to have these completed soon, for the safety of Dundas cyclists of all ages!
May 01, 2019 Wednesday, 7-9 pm, Salvation Army (King and John St.) 100 in 1 Day Workshop
Learn how to transform your ideas for a better city into action! Join many Dundas community members for an ideas to action workshop on May 1st. Salvation Army Dundas (King At at John) 7pm.
What is 100 in 1 Day? It is a city wide festival of civic engagement! Community members will be activating their neighbourhoods, streets and parks with 100+ urban interventions that will transform our cities into more resilient and vibrant places.
This workshop will help participants transform their ideas into a 100in1Day action! You don't need to have an idea to attend, come with an open mind and our workshop process will help guide you to creating one!
For more information about 100in1Day Hamilton, visit: https://www.facebook.com/100in1DayHam/
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dundas Rides and Dundas Works are community partners with Green Venture for the "100 in 1 Day" Event on Saturday June 1st, 2019.
Mar 26, 2019 Tuesday, 7-9 pm, Salvation Army (King and John St.) Community Roundtable #7: Education - new date and location!
Mark your calendars for Tuesday, March 26th, 7-9pm at the Salvation Army, King and John St. in Dundas
We are delighted to welcome our newly elected school trustees for the HWCDSB and HWDSB, Phil Homerski and Paul Tut, who will share their thoughts on the current status of education in our Ward, the challenges ahead and how we as citizens can be more involved.
This will be followed by a roundtable discussion where everyone will have an opportunity to comment. Two questions that will be raised are:
1. How can we ensure that our local schools stay open?
2. How can we most effectively make use of schools as community hubs?
Feb 19, 2019 Tuesday, 9:30 am City Hall Planning Committee meeting re: 264 Governor's Road
David and Carol Moffat are spearheading a public submission at City Hall regarding this development. Request. Please click Details button for more information.
Jan 12, 2019 Community Potluck - Vision Priority Vote Results
The results of our November Potluck are in. Thanks to Jim Sweetman for tabulating and compiling the comments.
The most pressing concerns by a considerable margin were...
1. Development - An Urban Design and Secondary Plan is needed for ALL Dundas. Its core and its neighbourhoods.
2. Democracy - Increase public input through a democratically chosen Community Council.
Jan 07, 2019 A Catch article Explaining the infrastructure Deficit
Jan 05, 2019 An interview by Craig Campbell In the news!
Happy New Year everyone! Dundas Works will be getting back into gear early January to start planning the next steps for the group. The results of the ranked ballots from our November 27th potluck will be published soon. Stay tuned.
In early December the Dundas Star News interviewed Jim and Bob about Dundas Works:
Dec 06, 2018 Thursday, City Hall University Plaza Area Residents Association Inc Nov 27, 2018 Tuesday, 6-9 pm Dundas Museum, 139 Park Street West Community Potluck Night
Dundas Works Community Potluck! We decided to have a more informal and social community gathering this time around. The agenda is P.V.P: Potluck. Vision. Priorities.
P: We cordially invite you to a Potluck gathering: Please bring a finger food to share, it could be an appetizer, dessert or non alc beverage. Please bring your own dishes, picnic style. This will also be our last meeting of the year so any non-perishable food donations for the food bank would also be appreciated. We are inviting the Mayor, Ward 13 Councillor and candidates, Public and Catholic Trustees and candidates, for some informal conversation.
V: We will present our long term Vision for Dundas based on the six previous Roundtables (10 minutes tops).
P: We will be asking you to help Prioritize the goals in the vision to inform the future direction of Dundas Works. Attached is our vision pamphlet for you to consider until then. We will try out a "ranked ballot system" to determine the priorities.
Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, Dundas Town Hall Dundas by Bike
DUNDAS BY BIKE
NOVEMBER 20, 2018 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Upstairs Auditorium, Dundas Town Hall, 60 Main St, Dundas.
Tuesday, November 20, 2018 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Come Learn About: Upcoming Infrastructure - School Travel Planning - Bike Parking - SoBi - And Much More! This is a drop in event, all are welcome to attend.
Oct 09, 2018 Tuesday, 6-8pm Ward 13 (Flamborough-Dundas) All Candidates Debates
Ward 13 (Flamborough-Dundas) All Candidates Debates
Tuesday, October 9th, 2018 6:00pm
Dundas Town Hall Auditorium 60 Main St, Dundas, ON L9H 1C6
hosted by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Dundas Division
Sep 30, 2018 In the news...
Thanks to Craig Campbell and Samantha Cragg for their coverage of the All Candidates Meeting.
Sep 26, 2018 Watch the Ward 13 All Candidates Meeting
All Candidates Meeting for Ward 13 Councillor, Hamilton Ontario September 25th, 2018
hosted by DundasWorks.com supported by the Association of Dundas Churches
Special thanks to the folks at Dundas Baptist Church for videotaping this public meeting.
Total run time: 2 hours (for all six parts) - apologies for the lack of editing!
The 7 candidates each had time for
- Opening remarks and answering - Question 1 on Development - Question 2 on Affordability - Question 3 on Transportation & Connections - Question 4 on Public Spaces - Question 5 on Democracy - Question 6 on Priorities and Issues - Closing remarks
Video name: Ward 13 ACM 2018-09-25 Part 1 of 6 : https://youtu.be/nEtRv5Cl2p0
Video name: Ward 13 ACM 2018-09-25 Part 2 of 6 : https://youtu.be/OGNMHMRMUlU
Video name: Ward 13 ACM 2018-09-25 Part 3 of 6 : https://youtu.be/tU4cUA6H5-Q
Video name: Ward 13 ACM 2018-09-25 Part 4 of 6 : https://youtu.be/BaIqagIWQuQ
Video name: Ward 13 ACM 2018-09-25 Part 5 of 6 : https://youtu.be/BNdtoO7Kvdg
Video name: Ward 13 ACM 2018-09-25 Part 6 of 6 : https://youtu.be/MMlWLCM-K9k
Joey Coleman's website will have podcasts for the councillor and trustee candidates available on October 1st.
Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday 6:30 - 9:00 Dundas Baptist Church All Candidates Meeting Ward 13 hosted by Dundas Works
All Candidates Meeting, Ward 13
hosted by Dundas Works in collaboration with the Association of Dundas Churches
Dundas Baptist Church, 201 Governors Rd, Dundas, ON L9H 3K1
Tuesday, September 25th 2018 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm doors open 6:00 pm
Please submit questions that you would like to have asked of the councillor candidates. The deadline is September 15th. Your questions should be short, clear, concise and not of a personal nature. Dundas Works will compile the questions in advance of the meeting and will be able to ask between 6 to 8 questions of each candidate.
Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, 8:30 am Ward 13 Candidate Bike Ride
Join Dundas Rides on September 20th, 8:30 am at the parking lot behind the library to ride with the candidates. They have planned a 30 minute ride around Dundas to see some of the cycling infrastructure, some planned changes, and some places for improvement. Afterwards, we hope to have a brief discussion at Grupetto about what we have seen. Raindate Friday Sep 21, 8:30 am.
Jul 12, 2018 Our Preliminary Vision and Roundtable Summaries
Margot, Jim, Bob, Tim and Michelle have been busy taking all of the information gathered at the Roundtables to create one page summaries for each topic and distill them further into a one page vision that will help us to develop questions for a municipal All Candidates Meeting we plan to host on September 25th.
We invite you to join us on Wednesday July 18th 7pm at the Salvation Army (King at John) to give us input into our preliminary draft, you can also contact us by email. Our hope is to launch the vision at the Cactus Parade and use it as a tool for discussion at our All Candidates Meeting.
You can also finds links to the minutes of each roundtable on our Home Page
May 25, 2018 Thanks for a great season of roundtables!
Thanks very much to everyone who participated in our 2017-2018 Community Roundtables. We covered some pretty thought provoking and relevant topics en route to developing a long term vision and learned a great deal.
1. Dundas Values: What you love about Dundas
2. Public Spaces: Valuing Public Space in Dundas
3. Transportation & Connection: Walkability, Bikeability, Accessibility
4. Development: How can we help to shape it?
5. Housing Affordability: Will our grandchildren be able to live here?
6. Democracy: How can we make our voices heard?
Over the summer months we will draft a one page summary of our 6 roundtables, to inform an all-candidate meeting which we plan to host on September 25th before the October 22nd municipal election. Have a great summer!
May 24, 2018 Thursday, 7-9 pm Dundas Museum, 139 Park Street West Community Roundtable #6: Democracy
Dundas Works Community Roundtable - Democracy
Is there a Democratic Deficit? Do we have a democratic gap in Dundas? What positive steps can we take to connect with those who make decisions on our behalf?
Apr 28, 2018 Dundas Works hosts roundtable on democracy
Thanks to the Dundas Star News for publishing on-line:
Dundas Works hosts Roundtable on Democracy
Dundas Works invite the public to discuss democracy at their sixth Roundtable on Thursday, May 24th from 7-9 pm at the Dundas Museum. "It has been a difficult journey since amalgamation to have just one local representative at City Hall, among fifteen others who do not have to live with the myriad of decisions they make about our town," said Margot Carnahan, one of the group leaders. "One of the reasons Dundas Works exists is to get ahead of the decision making curve. We hope to frame the conversation proactively with a comprehensive long term vision for the Valley Town."
The group will discuss concepts surrounding democratic structure and principles, engagement and positive steps to have community voices heard.
"Democracy literally means "rule by the people." It's quite natural for people to want to have a say in the decisions that affect their daily lives," said Carnahan. "It is the basis of our society."
For more information, visit www.dundasworks.com
Apr 30, 2018 Article Dundas bike lane projects planned over next 3 years
Dundas Works has recently formed a Cycling Sub-Committee. Thank you Art Heidebrecht amd William Oates for heading the effort!
Apr 12, 2018 Letter Are we racing to the bottom to avoid our fear of heights?
Thanks George Sweetman for supporting Dundas Works and writing such a thought provoking piece. https://www.hamiltonnews.com/opinion-story/8377456-letter-are-we-racing-to-the-bottom-to-avoid-our-fear-of-heights-/
Apr 12, 2018 Letter Housing Affordability topic of Dundas Works roundtable
Thanks Dundas Star News for publishing and supporting Dundas Works:
Michelle Chin is grateful to be living in Dundas. “I feel very fortunate to have moved to Dundas in 2006 when prices were more reasonable,” said the Park Street resident. “Nowadays, a modest 700-square-foot cottage in Dundas can list for $425,000. “Had my family faced today’s housing prices, we likely would have moved to a different town. I hope that my kids will have a choice of where they want to live, not just where they can afford.”
Housing affordability was the topic of a recent Dundas Works roundtable. Chin said that over the past 10 years, there has been a significant increase in the cost of homes in Hamilton. Prices in Dundas have risen over 20 per cent since 2016, she said.
“If you do the math, home ownership for young people in their mid 20s is almost unattainable,” said Chin. Those in attendance at the roundtable discussed ways to make future housing in Dundas more affordable. One way was to increase the supply through infill and develop more mixed use zoning with commercial spaces at ground level and modest residential spaces above.
Another idea was to allow for conversions of large homes to create basement apartments and granny flats. Many people in attendance at the roundtable agreed future development needs to be sustainable net zero buildings, where the total amount of energy used by a building is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site, which would reduce the monthly utility bills of the residents.
The next roundtable is being planned for May.
Mar 22, 2018 Article Dundas urban design guidelines to be reviewed by volunteer working group Mar 20, 2018 Tuesday, 7-9 pm Salvation Army, King St W @ John Community Roundtable #5: Housing Affordability
Thanks to everyone who came out to our Roundtable #5 on March 20th at the Salvation Army. The focus of this discussion was "Housing Affordability in Dundas: Will our grandchildren be able to live here?" See article below.
We hope to issue the minutes shortly, Here are the rough draft minutes.
Dundas: Who can afford it?
Over the past ten years, there has been a significant increase in the cost of homes in the GHA. Prices in Dundas have risen over 20% since 2016. The Social Planning Research Council of Hamilton reports significant demographic shifts: the number of seniors in Hamilton has now surpassed the number of children, a declining working age population and many millennials opting to delay child rearing due to financial insecurity. Vital Signs Hamilton has stressed the importance of balanced demographics, diversity and multi-generational neighbourhoods as key to the vitality and quality of life of communities such as Dundas.
Dundas Works wants to discuss housing affordability at their next Roundtable on Tuesday March 20th from 7-9 pm at Amica on Hatt Street. "As our children and grandchildren enter the housing market, affordability is becoming a major barrier for those who want to live in Dundas," said Tim Leslie, one of the group leaders. "High demand and low vacancy rates have driven prices beyond the reach of many young families. If we want Dundas to be a community that has a wide demographic of incomes and ages in the future we will have to tackle this problem together."
Nowadays, a modest 700 square foot cottage in Dundas can list for $425,000. "I feel very fortunate to have moved to Dundas in 2006 when prices were more reasonable," said Michelle Chin. "Had my family faced today's housing prices, we likely would have moved to a different town. I wonder if my kids will be able to choose where they live. Home ownership for young people in their mid 20s is almost unattainable. Add job insecurity into the mix and you're in for a rough ride."
"High rent and mortgages affects every age group and can trickle down to other societal issues," said Leslie. "People have less income available to put toward food, clothing and health. Others must take on extra work to make ends meet. We need to figure out ways to meet more than just basic needs and give our lives quality and purpose."
Feb 13, 2018 Tuesday, 7-9 pm Dundas Museum Community Roundtable #4: Development
The focus for this discussion was "Future Development in Dundas: How can we help to shape it?"
We have some guest experts lined up to give us a basic framework:
George Sweetman described the Hierarchy of Ontario's land use planning system - click here for diagram.
Allison Maxted presented "Approaches to Intensification in Historic Communities" - click here to see presentation.
We then broke into working subgroups to discuss these questions:
** Where is development going to occur?
** What will it look like? What are the pros and cons of intensification?
** How do we attract development that contributes to a liveable Dundas?
The Valley town has seen many significant changes in the past decade, including the completion of the District Lofts and Amica, revitalization of Dundas Central School playground, creation of Matilda Park and Creekside Parkette, renovations at the Driving Park, Dundas Museum, the old post office and DVSA, and the closing and demolition of Parkside High School. Other projects have been drawn out, including 24 Brock Street, 71 Main Street, Dairy Queen and Tammy's Restaurant.
Dundas Works is hosting the fourth in a series of public roundtables on Tuesday, February 13 from 7-9 pm at the Dundas Museum. The focus for this discussion will be "Future Development in Dundas: How can we help to shape it?"
"We are very excited to have guest experts and presenters on hand to provide a basic understanding of the development process and facilitate our smaller group discussions," said Michelle Chin, one of the founding members. "Given that the OMB defers to the provincial policies for intensification in Dundas, the community needs to be involved at the planning stages. We hope to share our ideas with the City and make a meaningful, informed contribution to the Secondary Plan for Dundas."
"We want to be proactively for something, rather than fighting against something in the 11th hour," she added. "To do that, we need to define what is important to us and what we'd like to see in our built world. We must think about best locations for intensification and create our community vision for smart growth. The trick is how to work with planners and developers to attract projects that preserve the character of the town and contribute to the livable Dundas that we love." For more information, visit www.dundasworks.com
Photo: Parkside High School was closed in 2014 and demolished in 2017. Preliminary plans for a cemetery are underway. Source: Hamilton Community News file photo
Nov 30, 2017 Dundas Star News DW Transportation Article Jan 01, 2018 Results of Roundtable 3: Transportation
Happy New Year everyone, may 2018 be very good to you and your community!
Attached please find some detailed minutes of our spirited talks on
Walkability - click here Bikeability - click here Accessibility - click here.
We hope to summarize and consolidate in our "spare" time...
Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, 7-9 pm Salvation Army Main Room Community Roundtable #3: Transportation
Bob has prepared an introduction and then we will be breaking into three working subgroups on the topic of Transportation to brainstorm and generate some ideas for local projects/ wish list. Please bring a non-perishable food item for the food bank and pass this invitation along to your friends and neighbours. See attached article about the next roundtable.
Taking Shape: Dundas Works Generate Vision
After two public roundtables, the people of Dundas have identified its built and natural world, heritage, small town social connection and demographic diversity as key to its quality of life and survival. These values are leading Dundas Works to host the third in a series of public discussions on Tuesday, November 21st from 7-9 pm at the Salvation Army. The focus for this roundtable will be "Transportation and Connection: Walkability, Bikeability and Accessibility" which is one of many key topics necessary to develop and detail a positive, proactive and effective long term vision for the Valley Town.
"At our last roundtable on Public Spaces we celebrated what we have today and now wish to identify possible improvements to our local infrastructure," said Bob James, one of the founding members. "In this meeting we plan to break into working sub groups based on interest. The roundtable format will continue in those smaller groups to give everyone a voice."
"Future topics include Affordability and Development, Public Assets and the Democratic Deficit," James added. "We invite everyone interested to send in their ideas to email@example.com." For more information, visit www.dundasworks.com
Nov 10, 2017 Results of Community Roundtable #2
Thank you for coming to the second in our series of public roundtable discussions. We have since added to the public space map on our website and created an inventory database.
We debriefed over two meetings to carefully determine the next steps for the group. Details in the article for Roundtable 3.
Sep 19, 2017 Tuesday, 7-9 pm, St Paul's Church Community Roundtable #2: Public Spaces
Thank you for coming to the second in our series of public roundtable discussions. We debriefed and are compiling the minutes which will appear here when they are ready. It was held September 19th from 7-9 pm at St. Paul’s United Church gym. The topic: "Tell us about a great public space in Dundas. Why is it special for you?" This time around, we want to develop a comprehensive inventory of public spaces in Dundas and understand their importance in peoples' lives. We invite everyone to email us a picture of themselves in that space and why it is special, so that we can incorporate it into an interactive map resource. We have already started a map on our website. Save the date Tuesday November 21st, we hope to host a third roundtable in November.
Jun 07, 2017 How would you envision Dundas in 20 years? What do you value about Dundas?
Thanks to everyone who participated in our Roundtable on June 6th. You can still contribute to the conversation! "What do you value about Dundas? How would you envision Dundas in 20 years?" Contact Us
Jun 06, 2017 Tuesday 7:30-9:30 pm, at St Paul's Church Community Roundtable #1: Dundas Values
On this journey to developing a long term vision for Dundas, we plan to host a series of Community Roundtables. Our first is set for Tuesday, June 6th from 7:30 - 9:30 at St. Paul's United Church (Park @ Cross). The focus of this roundtable will be, "What do you value about Dundas? How would you envision Dundas in 20 years?"
May 29, 2017 Doors open 7:00, starts 7:30pm Dundas Works Hosts Community Roundtable Series
Tim Leslie is passionate about Dundas. Earlier this year, the life long resident said, "Dundas is a great place to live. Our town is historically attractive and has the right amenities and scale to foster the sense of pride that we feel. It is a real community where people can casually meet one another in a wide variety of shared spaces in a spectacular geographical setting. We need to build a shared commitment to ensure that Dundas will be a vital place in the future that meets our changing needs."
He, along with Bob James, Margot Carnahan, Michelle Chin and Jim Sweetman have formed Dundas Works. They are driven by a love of their community to help develop a positive, proactive and effective long term vision for the Valley Town.
Dundas Works is hosting a series of public roundtable discussions. The first kicks off on Tuesday, June 6th at 7:30 at St. Paul’s United Church. The topic: "What do you value about Dundas? How would you envision Dundas in 20 years?"
For them, the journey is as important as the result. "In a roundtable format, we literally go around in a circle and listen to each person. This is key to ensure that everyone who takes the time to participate has a voice," said Michelle Chin.
For more information about Dundas Works, visit their website at www.dundasworks.wixsite.com/completecommunities.
Mar 06, 2017 Synopsis of our Feb 7th Meeting
Dundas Works: Summary of Minutes from Community Meeting #1
Tuesday, February 7th, 2017, Winchester Arms
Hosted by: Jim Sweetman (moderator), Tim Leslie, Bob (Robert) James, Michelle Chin, Margot Carnahan
Present: Chris Krucker, George Vance, Diana Kenel, Patrick Rowan, Theresa Picone, Brian Baetz, Dave Wilson, Marc Risdale, Dave Carson, Harriet Woodside, Rob Bell, Sage Pearson, Bill (William) Curley, Diane LaFrance, Rev. Rick Spies
Regrets: Joanna Chapman, Tanya Jenkins, Alison Maxted, Frances Neufeld
Thank you to all our friends in the community for spending your time with us at the first community meeting held by Dundas Works recently. At the meeting, we were seeking your thoughts on possible future directions for Dundas Works. We are intent on creating a vision for Dundas and would like to be proactive in decisions affecting our public and shared spaces.
We began with short talks by five members of our group:
1. Jim Sweetman: Present Process Precludes Positive Public Participation
2. Michelle Chin: Complete Communities/Secondary Plan
3. Margot Carnahan: Happy Cities/Loss of Public Properties
4. Bob (Robert) James: Compassionate Communities/ Smart Growth
5. Tim Leslie: Project for Public Spaces
Then, we asked for your ideas and feedback. The following is a synopsis of the group's discussion:
-The 5x2min and round table format of the meeting allowed for meaningful discussion, since everyone had multiple opportunities to contribute.
-Enthusiasm and positive ideas were expressed by all, even those who have not known Dundas for a long time, and a strong consensus that Dundas is worth protecting. Our community spaces should be welcoming to "all" community members, all ages, all incomes, all backgrounds.
-It is apparent that there are/have been a number of community groups in existence with Dundas' best interests as their goal.
-It was noted that we should remember that churches are public spaces.
-There was discussion of creating a Secondary Plan for Dundas that may give strength to zoning and property issues.
-The concept that there is power in numbers/groups was shared by several speakers, and that elected officials are more likely to act on ideas if many voters present with a platform. Community decisions need to be discussed publicly, not behind doors.
-Gathering community support for Dundas' vision could be possible through meeting at public places and/or by a block captain concept. Need to keep momentum for the vision to stand the test of time.
-We discussed the need to be specific about the issues that we are discussing. While it is important to create a broad overall plan, we need to be clear about the point that we are talking about! This will help us to be proactive, rather than reacting to decisions that have already been made.
We are very grateful for the thoughts and experiences shared by such a caring group of citizens! We feel that it is time to explore the possible elements of a vision for Dundas, which we are starting to work toward. We plan to host another round table in the coming months to discuss what could become a framework for our shared vision. If you wish, we will contact you with future developments.
For more information, please visit our website: http://dundasworks.wixsite.com/completecommunities
Thank you again! Dundas Works
Feb 08, 2017 HCA Dundas Valley 50 year vision
Michelle, attached are the report and appendices for the Vision document prepared in 2009. There has been a lot of work to follow up and prioritize activities – some of this can be viewed on the HCA web site at http://conservationhamilton.ca/dundas-valley-50-year-vision-and-strategy/
Here are the main themes
Dundas Valley Themes, Goals and Strategies
Protect and Enhance Dundas Valley Lands
1. Protect and enhance the Valley’s ecology and natural areas
2. Maintain and protect the Valley’s cultural heritage and historical features
3. Promote sustainable passive recreational opportunities within the Valley’s green spaces
4. Ensure conservation area facilities are accessible and convenient
Enhancing the Economic Sustainability and Vibrancy of Dundas Valley Communities
5. Promote the natural assets of the Valley to the neighbouring business communities
6. Instil agricultural stewardship, protect the viability of agriculture and encourage local food production in the Dundas Valley community
7. Ensure development best practices that are compatible with the natural environment
8. Ensure pedestrian, bicycle, and transit friendly Valley communities
9. Promote sustainable tourism in the Valley Infusing Education and Stewardship in the Community Culture
10. Ensure the community values the Valley’s ecological and cultural features
Financial Sustainability and Partnerships
11. Secure long-term, sustainable financial resources
Regards, Dave Carson
You cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet
“it isn’t a choice between a healthy economy or a healthy environment. It’s about preserving the environment so we can have a healthy economy.”
Feb 07, 2017 Michelle's two cents
Complete Communities and Vision for a Secondary Plan For Dundas
My family moved from Montreal to Dundas in 2006. With small children and aging parents, we wanted to be closer to our extended families. We were looking for a place to live, work and play, with good neighbourhood schools. We absolutely love the walkable vibrant downtown, the local arts, culture and heritage. The green space is amazing! And the bonus - the eclectic array of neighbours who are inspiring, invested and engaged, many of whom are in this room! Dundas is a wonderful home base to serve as a backdrop to our lives. Generally, a Complete Community meets peoples' daily needs throughout their entire lifetime, with local jobs, a wide range of housing, goods and services, education and recreation. You can easily walk, cycle or hop on a bus. We inherently know Dundas is a pretty complete community but have not formalized it as a mandatory framework for decision making.
A Complete Community ensures that we leave a lasting legacy for future generations. Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship are balanced with Social Responsibility and Economic Vitality to support a high quality of life. But it is also vWhat I didn't know then was that we were looking for what is now called "a Complete Community."
ery unique to different towns and geographical areas, so each community must sit down and define what it means to them.
During my brief time in Dundas I've seen many initiatives consistent with a Complete Community, but also decisions that are not. Defining our town in this way would allow us to assess what we have, what we value, and what we need - or don't need. My hope is that we can develop this vision into a Secondary Plan for Dundas. Secondary Plans are adopted into the Official City Plan to ensure that their intent is legally binding.
Feb 07, 2017 Jim's two cents
My two minutes is brought to you by the letter P: "The Present Process Precludes Positive Public Participation."
Present Process - problems narrowly defined and alternatives developed by consultants. It's like watching Jeopardy - "here's the answer, please formulate the question". Few options for citizen-led challenges. OMB is heavily biased.
Precludes - problem definition, analytical thinking not shared in any detail. No context in which to consider opportunities.
Positive - citizens always reacting and therefore appear to always be against something, not for something.
Public participation - Consultant-led sessions are push-communications. 400-foot radius reinforces NIMBY.
Feb 07, 2017 Tim's five cents!
Project for Public Spaces
I went to a city planning meeting last week to discuss the fate of the King Street bridge across from the District Lofts….On the way I thought about what I might say, how I might put it…
When I got there, instead of the chairs and the microphone that I was expecting, the room was filled with information panels in a neat semi circle, with “experts” hovering around them. We were directed inexorably to the culminating panel, where a group of people shouldered their way to the front to see …“The Preferred Solution”.
Wandering around the room, not knowing what to do, (not wanting to do what I was meant to do) I met a women who had come, expecting like me to have a chance to share our views, and hear what others thought. Rather than that, the two of us stood dazed in the corner… talking about the state of our community life.
Maybe this idea city planners have… that… imposing order on us will make our lives better …is not necessarily true….
I was listening to a radio program the other day and this guy was talking about the value of messiness and creativity or something, when in the middle of the interview I heard him say…..
“We feel angry, …..sometimes we feel physically unwell – if control over our own space is taken away from us.”
In preparing this talk I found this quote from Jane Jacobs,
“Cities will have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
This idea runs throughout her work. She wrote that cities with life were those that involved citizens in their planning. Funny, she also incorporates the creative-messiness thing….. she says that great places are “organic, spontaneous, and untidy.”
Jacobs had no professional training in the field of city planning, nor did she hold the title of planner. (Ironically, she is revered as one of planning’s foundational thinkers!) Instead, she relied on her observations and common sense to show why certain places work, and what can be done to improve those that do not.
Her writings have inspired an organization in the US called “The Project for Public Spaces”. They have been working for 40 years developing a process that enables communities to transform their public spaces into “places” that have abundant life.
They talk about the grassroots process they have developed as “placemaking”…
this is from their website….
Using “Placemaking (as a tool), shows people just how powerful their collective vision can be. It helps them to re-imagine everyday spaces, and to see anew the potential of parks and downtowns,….plazas and neighbourhoods, …..streets and markets, and …campuses and public buildings.”
The untidy part of this whole thing is that we have to work together in order to achieve this. We all see things in our own, unique, way. But the fact that we see things differently from each other actually makes us stronger. If we don’t shy away from the tension, but do the hard work of listening, …“the preferred solutions” that we come up with will be resilient, complex responses to the problems that we face.
I’ll leave you with another quote from Jacobs….
”The powerless should not accept their powerlessness. They may not succeed in getting power but they can fight for it, and if enough fight for it, it makes it very difficult for the people with the big sticks.”
Feb 07, 2017 Bob's two cents
Compassionate City and Smart Growth: Different ways to approach a new way of working towards a vision of our "community life"
One way of considering this is through compassion: “A compassionate city is an uncomfortable city! A city that is uncomfortable when anyone is homeless or hungry. Uncomfortable if every child isn’t loved and given rich opportunities to grow and thrive. Uncomfortable when as a community we don’t treat our neighbors as we would wish to be treated.”
― Karen Armstrong, Founder of the global movement, The Charter for Compassion
She is really talking about the golden rule, which is central to most, if not all, ethical and religious constructs.
Compassion means to "suffer with". In this case, it suggests that the needs of all inhabitants are recognized and met; people are all treated with respect. How does this affect planning? To start with, it would mean that the needs and desires of local residents would be considered above those of the developers. It would mean that the town would be accessible and friendly to seniors, pedestrians, cyclists, and so on, as well as to motorists. There would be available and affordable housing, recreation space - both outdoors and indoors - for residents. Sidewalks would be wide enough for two people to walk side-by-side; laneways and other public spaces would be protected; posties and Meals-on-Wheels folk would check up on people, and not just deliver the meal, or the mail.
The four phases are:
Discover and Assess
Focus and Commit
Build and Launch
Evaluate and Sustain
Another construct is that of "Smart Growth". There is an organization called "Smart Growth Ontario" which helps to coordinate efforts towards more complete communities, with better walkability scores, than we now have.
We can look at things which are hurting our community: poor housing, bad transportation choices, air pollution, prejudice, poor education choices, lack of public spaces. Then we can begin to focus and work to develop a vision for the Town of Dundas.
Feb 07, 2017 Margot's two cents
Happy City and Loss of Public Spaces
I am here because I love Dundas. I love the way it is. It’s not that I don’t expect things to change, it’s that I would like changes that will preserve the wonderful character of Dundas and its small town feeling.
Many of the characteristics of the community of Dundas are the ones that acclaimed urban planners recommend. They say that “happy cities” need a mixture of residential, recreational and commercial to be vibrant and to maintain low crime rates. They require public transportation, walkability, and bikeability.
That type of urban planning needs to be proactive, otherwise development will take the path of least resistance, which caters to car traffic and profit-seeking investors. Dundas’ loss of self governance in recent years, having only one councillor at a table of 16, has rendered us vulnerable to unhealthy decisions regarding our community.
Dundas has lost some public property to private ownership recently, for instance: District High School, Pleasant Valley School, University Gardens School, Central Park School, and The Post Office. Other properties that may be lost in the near future could include: parts of the Parkside High School property, Yorkview School, Fisher Park, and well-used public alleyways, to name a few. Public meeting spaces like Grafton Square and Market Square also must be preserved and could possibly be enhanced.
There is a Greek Proverb: A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
I would like to “plant the trees”, so to speak, that will allow Dundas to remain a great place to live for us and our children and beyond. For me that means taking an active part in decisions that affect the future of Dundas.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this/our vision and how we can be part of the decision-making process.
Feb 07, 2017 The Need for Vision: An Invitation
Save the Date!
Please join us on Tuesday February 7th from 7-9pm to share your time and ideas on how we, as citizens of Dundas, can lead the development of a meaningful vision for our town, and how we can proactively participate in decisions about the public and shared spaces in our community. Location to be confirmed.
Dundas is a great place to live.
The public and shared spaces in Dundas - parks, schools, library, Town Hall, arenas, roads, etc. - contribute significantly to our quality of life. We feel we need to move towards a more complete community that treasures its public spaces.
The process that resulted in the demolition of Parkside High School did not allow for meaningful participation of the citizens of Dundas. That process is a serious threat to our public and shared spaces and the social and compassionate community we all love.
We, the citizens of Dundas, will always be reacting to decisions made by those outside our community until we have vision for our public and shared spaces.
--- Bob James, Jim Sweetman, Margot Carnahan, Michelle Chin, Tim Leslie ---
--- Dundas Works, January 18, 2017. Revision 3 ---
Nov 17, 2016 It's about Democracy
It's about Democracy
Re: City awards contract to demolish Dundas' Parkside, Nov. 10. - Dundas Star News
A cemetery expert from Oregon was consulted and suggested that preservation over cemetery space was irrational, based only on nostalgia or fear of death. Being a 10 year resident of Dundas with no connection to Parkside, I did not get the opportunity to personally love the school. I believe that although a cemetery is not the worst option, there is a much greater potential for this public space.
I have asked myself many times over the years what makes Dundas a special place. My family moved here because we believe in walkable towns with a vibrant core, a place where we can live, work and play. Decisions about this town need to be tested to see if they add to or detract from a complete community. Especially long term decisions about a large public space minutes from downtown.
There have been numerous petitions regarding Parkside over the years with hundreds of signatures and numerous ideas - our trustees and politicians at various levels have chosen to ignore the public outcry. They were presented with options only to turn their backs, rather than allow residents time to fully develop business cases. I implore our elected leaders not to make the same mistake again.
Neighbours within only a 400 foot radius of the school were invited and presented with two possible options for the property, a nine story condo or a cemetery. A full town hall with all residents of Dundas brainstorming and exploring options together should have occurred but did not. Appropriate infrastructure and land-use decisions require active and inclusive community participation in long term planning, particularly when trying to meet local needs with limited community assets.
The take away should be the fundamental need for meaningful discussion with all community members. Preserving the best of existing elements and design of the new in society must be based on an engaged local democracy.
Michelle Chin, Dundas
Nov 09, 2016 Parkside land should be held in trust
Parkside land should be held in trust
RE: Mayor Fred, please don't tear down Parkside (Oct. 31)
To Penny Lynne Scholey's question, " ... is true democracy alive and well in the communities of Greater Hamilton?", my response is, "No."
The Parkside school property was previously owned by the public school board, which is funded by the taxpayers. The city purchased the property from the school board with, you guessed it, more of our tax money. Other than a few neighbours within 400 feet and City of Hamilton staff, the community at large was not consulted on the future of the property.
With its location nestled under the escarpment, next to the Driving Park, and within a five-minute walk of the Dundas core, this is four acres of extremely valuable public land. It should be held in trust while community consultation takes place to decide its future ... hopefully to remain in public hands.
To preserve the strong and successful community that Dundas is today, and acknowledging its partnership within amalgamated Hamilton, future development will require careful planning and input from all community members. Like Penny Lynne Scholey, I am requesting a more democratic approach by our councillors and mayor to public decision-making, one which includes consulting ... us.
Margot Carnahan, Dundas
Nov 08, 2016 RE: Mayor Fred, please don't tear down Parkside (Oct. 31)
RE: Mayor Fred, please don't tear down Parkside (Oct. 31)
I agree with the writer's request to stay the demolition of Parkside High School in Dundas. If the process to arrive at a decision is flawed, it follows that the decision itself may be flawed.
The failure to implement a community-wide consultation process missed the opportunity to develop and consider many more alternatives than the currently planned cemetery. Whether the demolition contracts have been let or not can be managed. We have many examples across Hamilton where public projects have been delayed or cancelled.
When you realize you are travelling down the wrong road, it's never too late to turn around. Transferring Parkside High School to the landfill is travelling down the wrong road. Now we need to turn around.
Jim Sweetman, Dundas
Oct 31, 2016 Mayor Fred, please don’t tear down Dundas Parkside
Mayor Fred, please don’t tear down Dundas Parkside
By Penny Lynne Scholey October 31st, 2016 Hamilton Spectator
Dear Mayor Eisenberger:
On your watch as our independently elected mayor, is true democracy alive and well in the communities of Greater Hamilton?
My own first-hand experience is in Dundas where I have owned my part of the planet for 18 years. Prior to "amalgamation," Dundas residents made it clear that we strongly preferred to remain an independently governed town. We had many concerns, particularly that as part of a larger "municipal shuffle," important changes would be made to our community's geography, both the landscape and the landmarks, at arm's length without sufficient opportunities to voice our concerns, questions and suggestions even though we would be the ones living with the results. Taking his lead from our survey results and other means, our Conservative MPP Tony Skarica resigned when his government pushed through amalgamation. His ethical action was representative government in action. And even though I had not voted for him, I very much respected that he kept his word.
Now it is the autumn of 2016 and in regard to Parkside Secondary School, located in the core of our historic town, a significant change is in the process of being arranged. We have been kept informed through news stories in the Dundas Star and our councillor's informative column and monthly community gatherings available for residents free of other commitments. But, has this permanent change been decided in a truly democratic way that has genuinely and generously included citizens of Dundas from the beginning of decision-making? Mostly, we seem to have been notified rather than included as a whole community before conclusions were arrived at, votes were cast, a motion was passed and a "fait accompli" was delegated to the appropriate departments for implementation.
At the Hamilton city council table how can our representatives (i.e. our councillor, other councillors, our mayor) consider and advocate for us without essential knowledge about what matters to us? When Hamilton was given the opportunity to purchase the Parkside property, why wasn't the first step in decision-making the creation of a community-wide survey available through both electronic and print means to all residents in Dundas? Did we as a community want the property purchased to keep it in the public domain? How did we want the property used to benefit residents? How many residents supported the property being added to the Driving Park? Were we open to any residential development in that part of Dundas? Nobody knows what responses we would have given, both the majority and minority opinions, because as a whole community we were never asked.
Notification is not participation. However, there is still a small window of opportunity for a more democratic approach. As our mayor, please do the following:
1. Stay the demolition of the Parkside building. Respectfully provide the time requested by the heritage committee to further investigate this "culturally significant" building.
2. If the presence of asbestos is the reason there has been no serious consideration of adaptation for other community purposes, please clarify how this space has been a safe place for generations of Dundas students. Otherwise, arrange for a serious community-wide consideration re: adaptation and reuse. Doesn't our city strongly encourage and support recycling?
3. Release for publication information re: Parkside requested some time ago by the Dundas Star under the Freedom of Information Act.
4. Invest some time getting to know your constituents at the "grassroots " level in each of Hamilton's communities. In Dundas, with Arlene Vanderbeek, arrange and co-chair a town-hall meeting open to all residents of Dundas, using a question-and-answer format, perhaps on a Sunday. Ask us: What is our response to Parkside decision-making so far? Then listen. Provide a written survey as an addition and an alternative for residents not able to attend.
Please respond in kind through an "open letter."
Respectfully, Penny Lynne Scholey, one Dundas grassroot
Apr 07, 2016 School closures aren't helping with fitness
School closures aren't helping with fitness
RE: What happened to the idea of walking to school? (The Spec, April 7)
Thank you for this article in the Spec about the significant drop in numbers of walkers among our youth. However, you overlooked one of the major factors in this change. Both of our local boards of education have systematically worked over the last quarter century to close local schools and amalgamate into mega-schools. This is happening at both the elementary and the secondary levels. And, while it is fuelled by changes that Mike Harris' government brought into change the boards' funding bases, it reflects the short-sighted and unimaginative approaches our representatives have had. Most research has shown that children, and their parents, will walk if the distance is less than 750 metres, but will not if it is more than that.
And the more people walking the routes, the safer they become. So parents' safety concerns about their children will also lessen.
Robert James, Dundas
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