Meeting re the Future of Binkley United Church

Community members are invited to join a discussion about the future of the Binkley United Church property at 1570 Main Street West.  We are asked to “RSVP ASAP”; contacts and more information below.


Thursday October 4, 9 am to 1 pm

From: Project Team – Binkley United Church
Re: Property Redevelopment of 1570 Main Street West

Binkley United Church is currently engaged in contacting local community members, service providers, stakeholders and municipal representatives to help us explore community needs and possibilities as we consider options for the redevelopment of our church property at 1570 Main Street West in Hamilton. Our project team is hoping that you would like to be involved in discussing with other community partners the local and municipal needs and potential impacts this redevelopment could address. We invite you to join us for a Community Roundtable at Binkley United Church on Thursday, October 4th, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Congregants are keen and committed to collaborate and explore our options with the community and stakeholders. There is a strong heart within the congregation to continue having a church, sanctuary and community presence with a renewed mission that meaningfully serves current local needs, priorities and partners.

If you would like to meet with members of our project team, to gain more information and participate in the dialogue, please contact,

Mark your calendars now for the morning of October 4th
Please let us know if you can attend ASAP
Contact Brian Snell at or by phone at 905-525-9696. Or Jane Farrow at or call 647-500-0385.

Blessings from the Binkley Project Team:

Rev. Glenn Baker, Ian Gordon, Wayne Bishop, Bob Bryant, Ross Judd, Kathleen Cruickshanks, Karen Snell, Kathy Ouellette, Margaret Lomas, Rosemaire Patak, and Brian Snell

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Message from Councillor Johnson at AWWCA 2018 AGM

The following letter was read by the Ward One Councillor’s Executive Assistant, Cindy Stranak, at the AGM on behalf of Aidan Johnson.

Dear friends,

Sadly, illness prevents me from attending our AWWCA AGM tonight. But I wanted to send a few words of report.

First of all: Thank you to our hard-working AWWCA executive, and particularly our leader, Ira Rosen, for a great year of service. The AWWCA does tremendous work, and we cannot thank our executive enough.

It has been a great year for Ward 1, and for Westdale and Ainslie Wood specifically.

Last fall, a majority of Council members approved a new map of ward boundaries, which cut Ainslie Wood in two, putting Ainslie Wood North and part of Ainslie Wood South into the Dundas ward. I fought against this measure, and voted against it, but Council was determined. If implemented, this change would have wrecked a lot of hard work over many decades, by groups like the AWWCA, in building up our community.

Happily, Council’s map was stymied by the Ontario Municipal Board. Many Ainslie Wood and Westdale neighbours, including Ira and other AWWCA members, and including student leaders from MSU, sent letters to the OMB, or testified at the day of relevant OMB hearings. These neighbours made the argument for the integrity of Ward 1, and for not severing Ainslie Wood.

Happily, the OMB listened. Our passionate community testimonies on the unity and solidarity of Ward 1 were cited by the board in its written decision, as evidence for the need to leave Ward 1 untouched. As a result of this great work by our community, Ward 1 is the only ward in our municipality whose borders have been left unmodified by the OMB re-alignment.

Thank you to all of you for making this achievement possible.

We’ve executed some fabulous projects in Westdale and Ainslie Wood this past year, through the Ward 1 participatory budget process:

The new playground at Dow Parkette is about to be unveiled.

The natural playground at Canadian Martrys School is attracting children and families from all over the ward.

Planning for our new playground at the City Housing Hamilton complex on Main West is under-way. When complete, the playground will provide recreation and health to some of the most marginalized children in our community.

Plans are also under-way for completion of the Raoul Wallenberg Walk at Churchill Park. At the next council meeting, I will be moving a motion for negotiation of the relevant contract for completion of the walk with Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG).

As many of you will have seen (and heard!), the bald eagles have returned to our Westdale Cootes Paradise lands in significant numbers. It is wonderful to see the birds in action. Anyone interested in hiking into Cootes to try to catch a glimpse of the bald eagles is welcome to do so. However, please stay a respectful distance away from all nests.

In other news: LRT is on track! We are planning a multi-modal transit hub for Mac campus and the neighbourhood, at Cootes and Main, incorporating HSR, LRT, and GO. This will be the first LRT stop (or the last, depending on how one looks at the system).

From the Mac stop, the train will proceed up Main West. We are planning a second stop at Longwood and Main (close to MIP, Columbia College, and Westdale Secondary). After Macklin, the train will proceed on a ramp-bridge across the 403, across Cathedral Park, to King Street and Dunurn — the third stop. From there, the train proceeds up King to Queen — our final Ward 1 station stop — and from there into Ward 2 and beyond, all the way to Eastgate, with special connection to Hamilton Airport and the Mountain via the stop at King and James.

I am full of hope that LRT will proceed. Thank you to all of you who have provided thoughtful feedback about how to make the project a success.

Significantly, a major change will come to our neighbourhood, specifically as a result of bringing the LRT trains to the proposed train-barn site at Frid Street (where the trains will “sleep” at night). That is the re-construction of our decaying Longwood Bridge (the bridge to MIP).

In order to accommodate the trains, Longwood Bridge will be expanded, to permit good car flow, two lanes for trains, protected bike lanes, and expanded, protected sidewalk for pedestrians. As many of our young people and bicyclists use Longwood, and complain rightly about the unsafe conditions on the bridge, this change will come as a welcome relief.

Serving as chair of the LRT Implementation Sub-Committee has been one of the most challenging and rewarding parts of my term on city council. It is wonderful to see the project moving ahead.

Some of you will have heard the news I announced in July, that I am not running for re-election. Instead, I am serving as director of our two Niagara social justice legal clinics — Niagara North clinic and Justice Niagara. The clinics are set to merge in October, creating the Niagara Community Legal Clinic — one grand clinic, to serve the human rights and poverty-law needs of low-income families and individuals in Niagara region.

I am continuing to serve as councillor until the end of November.

The decision to accept the position in Niagara was difficult, as I love my work for Ward 1 very much. While I am sad to be moving on, I am confident that I will be still be serving social justice and community development in key ways, in my new role.

Many of you have reached out to me with kind words regarding my transition, and for these I thank you.

Being councillor for the community in which I grew up has been the greatest privilege of my career.

As I prepare to go, I am consoled by the knowledge that I am not going far.

Helen Keller wrote: “All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” In this sense, West Hamilton will always be with me, and I will never actually be away.

Finally, I would like to thank our two amazing Ward 1 executive assistants, Nikola Wojewoda-Patti and Cindy Stranak, and Cindy’s great predecessor, Dale Brown, for their years of hard work and service. They are as much invaluable as they are irreplaceable.

I wish you all the best for a good AGM. If you have any questions or concerns on ward or city matters, please do not hesitate to be in touch with my office.


Aidan Johnson

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McMaster Homecoming Street Festival @ Westdale Village

Homecoming Street Festival

Homecoming Street Festival

McMaster and the Westdale Village BIA will hold the inaugural Homecoming Street Festival in Westdale Village on Saturday, September 15h starting at 10 am.

The street fest will feature live music and a DJ, along with free give-a-ways from McMaster Athletics, MSU Campus Events and the McMaster Alumni Association. In addition, the street will be lined with tents offering students goodies and samples from a host of vendors.

Licensed patios will be open up and down the street, and multiple themed photo booths will be on site.

There will be live music at stages at King @ Sterling (in front of Westdale Cupcakes) and King @ North Oval  (in front of Judy Marsales):

  • 11-3pm Midtown
  • 12-4pm Bill Craig
  • 1-4pm Avery Raquel

This is also the first year in which Homecoming has been scheduled to coincide with SuperCrawl, so we may well see a very different pattern of festivities than in past years.

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McMaster releases revised proposal for Main West residence

Revised proposal for McMaster residence on Traymore

Revised proposal for McMaster residence on Traymore

McMaster and Knightstone presented their revised proposal for a student residence on Traymore and Main West between Dalewood and Forsyth on September 5th (to the board of the AWWCA) and the 6th (to the general public).

See the slides from the presentation.

The gist is that Mac is still planning to house 1,400+ students on the site. They’ve lowered the main mass down to 10 stories from 12 (plus a mechanicals penthouse), pulled back some mass from Traymore, and added an 18-storey tower at the south-west corner.

People at the meeting on the 7th expressed concerns about:

  • the sheer number of students
  • the chaotic foot traffic
  • the impact of 4 – 6 large trucks per day entering from Traymore
  • the 18 storey tower

Improvements over the previous proposal include:

  • the height of the bulk of the building reduced
  • below grade loading and waste bays
  • 23 parking spots instead of 4 (19 for graduate-student townhouses)
  • ineligibility of undergraduates for street parking
  • a broad walking path on the West side of Forsyth, including a pedestrian bridge over the hospital parking ramp

It seems that many people were caught off guard by a reconfiguration without any reduction in capacity

One resident asked about putting housing at Main & Cootes instead, above or near the new transit terminal. Roger Couldrey, McMaster’s VP Admin, said that he would look into the possibility.

The AWWCA continues to oppose the development as currently planned, does not oppose a smaller development at the same location.

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20th annual AGM Sept. 17th @ McMaster Innovation Park

The annual general meeting of the AWWCA will take place Monday, September 17th at 7pm at the McMaster Innovation Park on Longwood Road.

Our theme this year is Future Developments in Ainslie Wood and Westdale.  We will have presentations on the development plans in the West End from City LRT and Planning staff and on McMaster’s proposed Traymore residence and other plans from University senior staff.  There will be a Q & A period after each presentation.

A member of the Hamilton Police Service and a number of Ward One candidates will be in attendance for discussion following the meeting.

Doors open and registration at 6 pm.

Presentations begins at 7 pm; association business follows.

Complete agenda and draft of 2017 minutes here.


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On Tuesday, the MSU will be hosting a Provincial Candidates Debate on campus in the MUSC Atrium from 2-5pm. The HWAD candidates from the Green, Liberal, NDP, and PC parties have confirmed they are attending. The debate is open to the public

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Information about proposed Mcmaster residence on Traymore / Main West

Arial view of proposed McMaster residence on Main Street West.

We have up-to-date information on McMaster University’s proposed 1,500-bed residence between Main Street West and Traymore Avenue, including links to media and site plans.

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The AWWCA’s 19th Annual General Meeting

The AWWCA’s annual general meeting will be Monday, September 18th, at St. George’s Church, 134 Emerson Street.

Click for the full AWWCA 2017 AGM agenda.  Highlights follow.

6:00 Registration

6:45 Welcome, presentation of agenda Ira Rosen

6:55 Ward 1 Councillor’s Report / Aidan Johnson

7:10 Animal Control updates for West Hamilton / Brad Potts, City of Hamilton

7:20 McMaster’s Planned Main Street West Residence / Gord Arbeau, McMaster University

7:30 Panel discussion: The changing West Hamilton real-estate landscape

8:00 Association Business

Feel free to invite neighbours, newcomers, and friends.

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The AWWCA’s 18th Annual General Meeting

The AWWCA’s annual general meeting will be Monday, Sept. 26, at Adas Israel Synagogue, 125 Cline Ave. South. There is free parking on the premises.

5:30-6:30 p.m.: Registration and membership renewals if due
A representative of the Hamilton Police Service will be present if you have any questions or concerns

6:30 p.m.: Guest Speakers

  • Brief reports from
    • Ward 1 Councillor Aidan Johnson
    • Balie Tomar, Director, SCSN, McMaster Students Union
    • McMaster’s Director of Communications Gord Arbeau

Main topic: Light-Rail Transit and Transit within Hamilton and the AWWCA Area

  • Andrew Hope, director, Hamilton LRT at Metrolinx
  • Trevor Horzelenberg, manager, LRT for the City of Hamilton

Brief intermission

Question and answer period

AWWCA business: reports from the president, treasurer, and membership secretary; approval of last year’s minutes; any other business that may arise

The meeting will be over by 8:30 or 9:00 p.m.

Feel free to invite neighbours, newcomers, and friends.

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“See & be seen” and “Operation Bike Guard”

See & be seen

As part of a cycling education and safety project, Hamilton Police Service officers will be stopping cyclists near the university for Highway Traffic Act infractions – including those riding in the dark without lights.  The McMaster Students Union and the Ainslie Wood / Westdale Community Association have provided sets of front and rear lights for officers to give out to cyclists who don’t have any.

button cell batteryThese LED lights are long lasting and use replaceable button-cell batteries (available at dollar stores, for example).

Operation Bike Guard

HPS Bicycle Identification Form - thumbnailBike theft is a maddening fact of life, unfortunately.  The police recover thousands of stolen bikes each year, but often have no way of identifying the rightful owners.   As part of Operation Bike Guard, the HPS has a Bicycle Identification Form (fillable PDF) which you can fill out – before your bike is (heaven forbid) stolen! – and submit if you need it.



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