Checking in on the Connolly

My Saturday op-ed on the Connolly and James Street Baptist, the partially demolished former church in downtown Hamilton. Print: “Checking in on the Connolly,” February 13, 2021, A17 | online: “Hamilton’s infamous church facade: a check-in on the Connolly,” February 12, 2021 With thanks to Paul Wilson, Lucasz Wywrot, John Wilcox of Vitreous Glassworks, Samantha…

Rachel Braithwaite nominated for WOD Award

Congratulations to Rachel Braithwaite on being nominated for a YWCA Hamilton Women of Distinction — Courage of COVID Award! It was an honour to nominate Braithwaite in the Community Champion category, for the excellent work she does in the Barton Village community. You can read more about Braithwaite in Paul Wilson’s 2019 article. Launched in…

A labour of love in glass, brick, and stone

I interviewed local residents about the former St. Giles in east Hamilton. The city’s first United Church, it was designed by architects Stewart & Witton. The 1912 church is at risk of demolition by its owner, the United Church of Canada. Update: New team announced Feb. 11: KPMB Architects and Savira Cultural + Capital Projects…

Save the last dance: Hanrahan’s, a 2020 story worth remembering

Hanrahan’s made the Spectator’s year-end list of “True grit and other Hamilton headlines.” After working for many months to “make some noise” and save the former Hotel Hanrahan, it was an honour to see the Hanrahan’s story featured alongside other news of the year — including the Terry the Turtle saga. Delaney Caulfield highlighted Matthew…

Designation in the core, demolition in the east: whose history matters?

My Saturday op-ed on church conversions as affordable housing and community spaces, and the former St. Giles in east Hamilton. St. Giles is at risk of demolition by its owner, the United Church of Canada. Print: “Let’s not bulldoze the plague saint’s church,” December 12, 2020, A19. With thanks to Howard Elliott. Vonny Sweetland comments…

Stardust

Front page of the Friday arts section: I interviewed producer Matt Code about the new David Bowie movie, Stardust, which shot in Hamilton. Online: “Hamilton stands in for Hollywood in new David Bowie biopic streaming Friday,” Nov. 26, 2020 | “Next stop: Hamilton in David Bowie biopic,” Nov. 27, 2020, G1 With many thanks to…

Good news for the Long & Bisby

A success story for heritage advocacy and adaptive reuse: the Long and Bisby, the at-risk Sanatorium building that I wrote about in August, will be restored by the owners. Developer Valery Homes plans to refurbish the 1920 nurses’ residence for use as its company headquarters. Update: City councillors have voted to give the Long and…

Going to bat for Old Cathedral

Old Cathedral is front-page news today in The Hamilton Spectator. I spoke with Teviah Moro for his story about the former Cathedral Boys’ School, which is owned by the Diocese of Hamilton. Designed in 1928 by local architects Hutton & Souter, the neo-Gothic high school building was expanded in 1951 with the addition of the…

Little Fires Everywhere

My op-ed about fires during quarantine, the Long and Bisby building on Hamilton’s west Mountain, and how city council’s delays threaten Hamilton’s built heritage. With thanks to James Charlton, Diane Dent, Hamilton Fire Department Assistant Deputy Chief Carla MacDonald, and Const. Lorraine Edwards. The Hamilton Spectator (est. 1846) is published by Metroland Media Group, a…

Guest of Honour: Interview with Atom Egoyan

Front page of the weekend Spectator: I interviewed Atom Egoyan about his latest film, Guest of Honour, starring David Thewlis as a Hamilton food inspector. With many thanks to Atom Egoyan, Marcy Gerstein, Ankixa Risk, Jacob Tutt, Kim Adrovez, Nathan Fleet, Kate Parkes, Olivia Nasner, Jeff Day, and Aviva Boxer. David Thewlis’ comments thanks to…

Gothic Revival Meets Urban Decay

My op-ed about Claremont Lodge, the Auchmar gatehouse. With thanks to Paul Wilson, Candy Venning, and Robin Gleadall. The Hamilton Spectator (est. 1846) is published by Metroland Media Group, a division of Torstar. Photos: Candy Venning (2020) and Scott Gardner (2015). The Hamilton Spectator | read online | read in print

Hanrahan’s in the News

Hanrahan’s owner Konrad Sit led a media tour for The Hamilton Spectator and CBC Hamilton last week. Cathie Coward and Samantha Craggs report. Spectator print edition: “Behind the curtain at Hanrahan’s” (Feb. 28, 2020, A6) | CBC Hamilton: “Take a look at the spooky underground vault of the former Hotel Hanrahan” (Feb. 29, 2020) Scot…