The cost of crime on Ottawa Street

The cost of crime on Ottawa Street

by Michael Carruth, Curbside Grill

Ottawa Street North is thriving, attracting people for food, antiques, and textiles. New businesses bring new customers and a good vibe to a street that is once again a Hamilton destination. Unfortunately there’s been a corresponding rise in crime. With the rash of break-ins over the past few months, merchants are left wondering what can be done.

These crimes affect us at multiple levels. On the financial side is the cost of the damage and the loss of stolen property. Owners work hard to make their shops into viable, successful businesses that provide a return for the investment. And of course there is emotional trauma after a break-in.

Discussions include possible solutions to curtail the occurances. There are things owners can do to help protect their property. Things like cameras and motion detectors are obvious but there are also little things such as not leaving cash on site. We have a good BIA that is working with merchants to seek solutions. Local police have been very helpful and have made themselves available any time there are questions or concerns.

But things have a way of slipping through the cracks.


Read the rest of the story with your copy of The Point coming April 1st.

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Angels on Earth at Ladybird Animal Sanctuary

Angels on Earth at Ladybird Animal Sanctuary

Photo by Raina Kirn

By Kathryn Shanley

Once in awhile my life is touched by people I believe are like angels on earth. You’re probably thinking “what a cliché”, and if I told these wonderful people what I thought of them, they’d modestly tell me they’re just like everybody else. But they aren’t. These angels are people like Lisa Winn, Melissa McClelland, and Janine Stoll, the co-founders of Ladybird Animal Sanctuary, who are saving the lives of countless abandoned animals in high-kill shelters. Without the love and dedication of these selfless women, hundreds of helpless and neglected animals would have lost their lives.

The three best friends were singers recording and touring together across Canada as Ladybird Sideshow Project. These compassionate women saw a need to help abused and abandoned animals they just couldn’t ignore. Refusing to sit back and wait for someone else to fix the problem, together they started an animal sanctuary in Hamilton. Since 2011, Ladybird Animal Sanctuary has rescued 865 animals from shelters with a euthanasia policy. Though their music careers have moved in different directions, their friendship and love of animals has remained strong. I had the privilege of speaking with Lisa Winn, one of the sanctuary’s co-founders.

“We started with one cat named Oliver and one foster home,” says Lisa. Little did sweet Oliver know what a major role his rescue from an animal shelter would play in the formation of a charitable organization that now has over 30 foster homes.

Continue reading “Angels on Earth at Ladybird Animal Sanctuary”

One Brave Night

One Brave Night

I would like to introduce myself. I am Amanda Longboat and I have lived in Crown Point for six years. This neighborhood is pretty amazing and I can’t imagine raising my family anywhere else.

I will be participating in this year’s One Brave Night Challenge by staying up all night posting hourly updates to my Facebook page so supporters can follow my progress.

The Center for Addiction and Mental Health’s (CAMH) One Brave Night challenge is one in which participants raise donations and stay awake all night on April 6th to support those suffering from mental illness. Night time can be hard for those struggling with mental illness because that tends to be the time they feel most alone.

The CAMH is one of the largest hospitals for mental illness in Canada. Operating central clinical and research operations out of Toronto, and with nine other locations across the province–including one at 20 Hughson Street South, CAMH provides support to those in need.

I’m looking for community support to help me reach my fundraising goal of $1,000.00.

Every person that donates will be entered into a draw to win a gift basket. I will be drawing a name at the end of my #OneBraveNight challenge on April 6th. The winner will be contacted via Facebook. Please click the link to read my story and donate. Every little bit helps.

Feel free to share my link. As long as people are talking about mental health we are breaking the stigma.

Support the CAMH One Brave Night challenge.

The contractor owns your house

The contractor owns your house

“Contractor plasterer” TAFE SA TONSLEY is licensed under CC BY 2.0

by Darrell Jennings

We all know that if we don’t pay that bill the mechanic won’t give us back our car and the repair shop won’t give us back our toaster. They will hold it and then, after a time, sell it to recover their expense. Most people understand this process and its relationship to relevant Ontario legislation.

What many don’t seem to realize is that those rights apply to any person or company who supplies things to, or makes any improvement on, your property. They have a legal right against the ownership of your property the moment they enter it or deliver supplies to you and, in some cases, the moment you sign a contract. So in legal fact, that guy under your sink actually does own your home, at least in part.

Here’s some Ontario history. In the late 1800s the term “mechanical arts” referred to all manner of blue-collar workers, including typographers. In 1872 the Toronto Typographical Union went on strike for a nine-hour workday. Many were imprisoned as union activities were illegal. This strike, though unsuccessful, laid a foundation for the Canadian labour movement. In 1873, the Mechanic Liens Act was passed giving even the lowest worker meaningful security to get paid.  It also spelled out how many different persons, or classes, could have a claim against the same property or article at the same time. That law evolved into what we know as the Construction Liens Act, recently amended in May 2017 to become the new Construction Act.  

A lien is a claim upon the property of another person to ensure payment.


Read the rest of the story with your copy of The Point coming in February.

The Point is a community-driven volunteer effort supported through advertising. See the links on the left to learn more.

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POINTS FROM THE PAST: Brian Linehan

POINTS FROM THE PAST: Brian Linehan

Photo courtesy of the TIFF Film Reference Library

by Brendan Oliver

Of all the people who have called Crown Point home, the most famous would surely be Mr. Brian Linehan. Through hard work and determination Brian became Canada’s most respected and distinguished celebrity interviewer.

Brian Richard Linehan was born at home on September 3, 1943 to parents Sadie (Kotur) and Les Linehan. Brian grew up on Gertrude and Northcote streets and attended Memorial and Lloyd George elementary schools.

His childhood was a turbulent one with family violence being the norm. Police were regularly called to the Linehan house which often led to the arrest of his father.

The Linehan children found relief from home by attending many of Hamilton’s great movie theatres. At the Avalon Theatre on Ottawa Street, Brian and his sister Carole would often sneak in through the back door to save a few cents on admission.

Brian attended Delta Secondary School where he found pleasure writing for The Omnia, the school newspaper. He also wrote for the Hamilton Spectator covering Hamilton’s high school scene. In the evenings he worked at Dingwall’s Hardware on Barton Street.

Brian’s most cherished teacher at Delta was Mr. Ed Hocura, a local entertainment critic for the Hamilton Spectator. Ed Hocura was the primary influence on Brian’s famous style of meticulous research.


Read the rest of the story with your copy of The Point coming in February.

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A greenhouse for the winter blues

A greenhouse for the winter blues

by Bev Wagar

Our home-before-Hamilton was an old wooden farmhouse on an acre of land intended to fulfill my pastoral dream, which included a whole lot of gardens and a greenhouse. My greenhouse was small, unheated (although I did try, and fail, with natural heat from a manure pile) and inexpensively built from a garage kit. I was proud of building that thing—the cross-bracing, the vents, the automatic temperature-controlled window. I always worried it would blow away with every storm (it never did) but I loved that greenhouse, especially in April. Eventually, I learned how to keep the seedlings warm at night and it was a wonderful place of refuge on cold sunny days.

After moving to Crown Point I was happy to have a “real” greenhouse a few blocks away in Gage Park. Like a Victorian museum, it had a lot of stuff crammed into a small space. There were caged birds and palm trees trying to burst through the ceiling. For me, greenhouses are functional: places to grow plants for a garden, not heated jails for exotic tropicals in a foreign land. Despite its weirdness, the Gage Park greenhouse became a welcome refuge when winter had outstayed its welcome. I was intrigued by it—a structure once reserved for nobility who wanted to eat cucumbers in December, quietly hiding out in east Hamilton.

Gage Park is a century old. A year after acquiring the land in 1918, the City of Hamilton began constructing the greenhouses to grow flowers for the city’s many public parks and monuments. As well, an affluent, ambitious industrial town needed grand public spaces and awe-inspiring gardens. It may be difficult to imagine the civic pride, duty, and even competitiveness that motivated council members and industry leaders at the time.

When I spoke with Ward 3 councillor Matthew Green about the greenhouse reconstruction project, his enthusiasm suggested that this kind of civic spirit was still alive and well.


Read the rest of the story with your copy of The Point coming in February.

The Point is a community-driven volunteer effort supported through advertising. See the links on the left to learn more.

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Lights! Camera! Action! at the Hamilton Film Centre

Lights! Camera! Action! at the Hamilton Film Centre

Photo by George Qua-Enoo

by Tyler Fish

Aspiring young actors, presenters, and film aficionados in Hamilton can finally learn the essentials of acting at the Hamilton Film Centre.

The HFC is the brainchild of two Crown Point residents: Juno Rinaldi and Shaun Smyth. Juno came up with the content for a six-week acting course while working as a shoe-shiner in Toronto between acting gigs. Held at the Theatre Aquarius gym and presented by Luke Brown, the course sold out quickly, showing the considerable demand for this type of programming in Hamilton. Juno and Shaun first met through a mutual friend at a Christmas party. When they ran into each other again at the Stoney Creek pool, they agreed to partner and run the new HFC.

They certainly have the experience. Juno, who had her first leading role while still in Grade 12, currently stars as Frankie on the new CBC hit Workin’ Moms. Shaun has more than 20 years of acting experience spread over a wide variety of shows and plays. He stars as Theo Fleury in Playing With Fire, an award-winning one-man show that is performed entirely on skates.


Read the rest of the story with your copy of The Point coming in February.

The Point is a community-driven volunteer effort supported through advertising. See the links on the left to learn more.

Want to get the electronic version? Subscribe.