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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Ontario > SSP: Local Hamilton > General Discussion

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  #1  
Old Posted May 24, 2008, 1:48 PM
DC83 DC83 is offline
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Chris Ecklund: Hamilton Booster Extraordinaire

WEEKEND INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS ECKLUND

Hamilton booster does his duty

Meredith Macleod
The Hamilton Spectator
(May 24, 2008)

Chris Ecklund is an entrepreneur who has built his wealth on a Hamilton-based process-serving company, Canadian Process Serving Inc., that delivers summonses, subpoenas, warrants and court documents. He's 45 and grew up in Hamilton.

He's known for organizing charity events, fundraisers and parties for his own neighbourhood, Allison Park, and donating a tricked-out RV to the Tiger-Cats as a promotional vehicle. Now, he wants to take that bus on the road to promote Hamilton.

He estimates he has about 20 websites, including chrisecklund.com and sites dedicated to Auchmar, Hamilton's Santa Claus parade, NASCAR and his newest one, cityofwaterfalls.ca.

He is an unabashed Hamilton booster. His Mercedes sports the plate FLYYHM (the airport code for Hamilton International).

What is your vision for the Team Hamilton bus?

You would travel across Canada. At one end would be Vancouver, at the other end, St. John's, all connected by the TransCanada. Then, right in the middle would be Hamilton, the city of waterfalls. It would be an art form and tell a story. Why aren't we shouting from the rooftops that Hamilton is the waterfall capital of the world?

Team Hamilton could include a corporate lawyer, banker, chamber members, politicians, business ambassadors. We could go to chambers of commerce (in the United States) and present a one-stop shop for bringing business to Canada. We could go to Hollywood and talk directly to directors.

What is your message about the future of this city?

What everyone has to be aware of is the (Hamilton Economic Summit) was the absolute end of the way we do things.

The old world died that day. The new way of economic development and doing business was born that day. It was a war call.

What would you like to tell fellow Hamiltonians?

The first thing we need to accept in this city is that citizens need to realize that they are a part of this. It's not 16 people at City Hall who will decide how things will be and where the city is going.

We've got 500,000 people here. The future of this city is with each person.


What are you committed to doing?

I can make millions and millions more dollars, but it's a duty -- I believe this as an ex-military guy -- it's a duty I have and other entrepreneurs have.

Business people have to carry this city forward.

Is the bus going to hit the road?

I'm not looking for anyone's permission. (City staff have turned down getting involved with the idea, according to Ecklund). We are doing it.

You're either with me or you're against me. We've been putting an unfair burden on council and city hall.

We need this kick in the derriere.

What do you envision for Hamilton?

A new stadium for the Tiger-Cats on the waterfront, condos, shops, theatres, more restaurants. The waterfront would be a true destination. Trains would stop to drop people off. Downtown could be an overnight transformation if people would just walk their talk and renovate buildings. I see nothing but good things for this city.

Do you believe naysayers and pessimists have held this city back?

I know they have. It's happening as we speak. They are people who will go out of their way to destroy people and their ideas because they want to remain in control. We have to stop that in this city.


What's next for Chris Ecklund?

A new real estate venture is ready to go, Ecklund Estate Homes. We'll be recreating the 1800s look of old Ancaster with two homes on Mineral Springs and Sulphur Springs Road. It will be Gothic Revival style with limestone block. No one has done anything like it. It will be truly spectacular.

http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/374373

Last edited by DC83; May 24, 2008 at 2:06 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted May 28, 2008, 3:03 AM
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awesome, thy name is chris ecklund.
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  #3  
Old Posted May 28, 2008, 5:40 AM
NuclearNerd NuclearNerd is offline
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I appreciate Eklund's initiative, and I'm happy to see he's getting positive media coverage of Hamilton development issues. But he's making the noise in part because he wants to run for mayor in 2010.
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  #4  
Old Posted May 28, 2008, 6:23 AM
highwater highwater is offline
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Given that he's all palsy-walsy with Di Ianni, I'd have to question just how progressive this guy truly is. He's got some serious distancing to do before he'd have my vote.
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  #5  
Old Posted May 28, 2008, 12:39 PM
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He doesn't seem very progressive or knowledgeable about urban issues at all, but at least he's passionate and right about Hamilton's image problem.
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  #6  
Old Posted May 28, 2008, 1:00 PM
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I noticed this week that he sponsor's the flower bed on King at Hughson.
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  #7  
Old Posted May 28, 2008, 1:01 PM
DC83 DC83 is offline
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^^ Ya, I don't think people are going to vote for a guy as Mayor just b/c he drove around the country in a Hamilton/Tiger Cat RV!! haha But this is Hamilton afterall and I'm sure if Matt Hayes ran for mayor he'd probably win.

DiIanni actually has a "pro-LRT" article on this guy's website. I'd post it, but that would advance DiIanni's cause (running for Ham East-SC in the next Fed Election)... so we'll let people find it for themselves (if they really care to read it). hahaha
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  #8  
Old Posted May 28, 2008, 1:22 PM
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Oops, double post.

Last edited by ryan_mcgreal; May 28, 2008 at 1:35 PM.
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  #9  
Old Posted May 28, 2008, 1:32 PM
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Here's the link to Larry Di Ianni's column:

http://www.chrisecklund.com/diianni_column.html

(The awesome 800x600 banner must be seen to be appreciated.)

It's great to see politicians from across the political spectrum expressing support for light rail. Larry Di Ianni adds his voice to that of the Mayor, several councillors, Terry Cooke, the Spectator editorial board, the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington, and several neighbourhood associations, not to mention a large majority of citizens who responded to the city's public consultation.

Some reflections on Di Ianni's argument:

* Di Ianni thinks the LRT should connect all of Hamilton's communities so it can achieve broad political support. This will have to be balanced against affordability. It may make more sense to take a phased approach: build phase one and then use its success as an argument to extend it. How this plays out will reflect the political compromises among council, staff, Metrolinx and the federal government.

* Di Ianni argues that the mountain line should run along the Red Hill Valley Parkway. I think this is a bad idea from a TOD point of view, because the expressway limits a) pedestrian and bicycle accessibility to the stations, and b) potential for new property development on the transit corridor. I've written more about this here: http://raisethehammer.org/blog/761

* He writes about "the disruption to car traffic that an LRT system would naturally cause". However, LRT on dedicated lanes would actually reduce congestion by carrying more people than an equivalent automobile lane could carrry.

Last edited by ryan_mcgreal; May 28, 2008 at 2:00 PM.
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  #10  
Old Posted May 28, 2009, 3:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan_mcgreal View Post
Here's the link to Larry Di Ianni's column:

http://www.chrisecklund.com/diianni_column.html

(The awesome 800x600 banner must be seen to be appreciated.)
effing hilarious...
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  #11  
Old Posted May 28, 2009, 12:48 PM
markbarbera markbarbera is offline
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In today's spec:

Quote:
'Shocked' philanthropist cuts city off

Paul Morse
The Hamilton Spectator
(May 28, 2009)

Hamilton businessman Chris Ecklund says he's so shocked over comments made about him in a city subcommittee that he has pulled the plug on his municipal philanthropy.

"I don't have any ulterior motive with any of my philanthropy anywhere in the city," Ecklund told The Spectator last night. "And to have my integrity questioned is totally improper ... It's an extremely sad day for the city."

Ecklund's reaction comes two days after a member of the city subcommittee on accountability and transparency criticized two councillors for joining Ecklund in a private box at Ivor Wynne Stadium during a Tiger-Cats game.

Joanna Chapman told her fellow committee members that it amounted to being able to privately lobby the councillors. She also suggested Ecklund may be running for mayor. Ecklund denies any interest in running for public office.

Chapman could not be reached for comment last night.

"This individual has done nothing but give and never asked anything in return from the city," said Councillor Terry Whitehead last night. He said Ecklund donates tens of thousands of dollars a year to city-enhancing projects.
People start asking (legitimate) questions about the propriety of councillors being invited to Ecklund's private box for Ticat games, and he picks up his ball and goes home in a huff. Would a true philanthropist behave in this manner?

For the benefit of clarity, a philanthropist is a person who participates in the act of donating money, goods, services, time and/or effort to support a socially beneficial cause, with a defined objective and with no financial or material reward to the donor.
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  #12  
Old Posted May 28, 2009, 1:04 PM
FairHamilton FairHamilton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Ecklund
Sadly ... I was to make a major donation at 2 p.m. announcing, at the headquarters of the Hamilton Conservation Authority, a multi-year philanthropic donation covering the next 30 years ... This donation would in its entirety have exceeded $1 million in value."
No call for that comment. Shows a lack of maturity and professionalism. I've viewed Chris Ecklund's promotion of the cities waterfalls more as boosterism than philanthropy.

Not that boosterism is bad or wrong, just very much different than philanthropy.
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  #13  
Old Posted May 28, 2009, 1:09 PM
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He's not a philanthropist, he's a self-promoter.

Would he ever give money as "anonymous"?.... NO. He wants the world to see he 'great acts of charity'.

He didn't make the Conservation Hamilton donation, BUT still thought it was necessary to say what he was GOING TO DO.

Ecklund, go the Falls. You can annoy them intead.
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  #14  
Old Posted May 28, 2009, 2:02 PM
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Whatever his motivation, the fact is he's someone who's made significant charitable donations. He will probably consider to do so, after cancelling one or two to make a point.
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  #15  
Old Posted May 28, 2009, 2:36 PM
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I sure could use a "donation"
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  #16  
Old Posted May 28, 2009, 2:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realcity View Post
He's not a philanthropist, he's a self-promoter.
I agree with that as well.
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  #17  
Old Posted May 28, 2009, 3:52 PM
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This is all about silencing Joanna Chapman.
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  #18  
Old Posted May 28, 2009, 3:54 PM
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So he has money. So he 'donates' back to the community. He wants everyone to know it and i feel that he has an agenda. Like for eg. the contribution to Conservation Hamilton, he's trying to buy his lame-ass branding "The Waterfalls Capital City of the World", with his donation -- over 30 years -- to get help with his brainwave stupid brand.
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  #19  
Old Posted May 29, 2009, 2:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realcity View Post
He's not a philanthropist, he's a self-promoter.

Would he ever give money as "anonymous"?.... NO. He wants the world to see he 'great acts of charity'.

He didn't make the Conservation Hamilton donation, BUT still thought it was necessary to say what he was GOING TO DO.

Ecklund, go the Falls. You can annoy them intead.
I do not know much about Mr. Ecklund, but based on what I do know, I actually agree with realcity... except for the part asking him to go away.
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Old Posted May 29, 2009, 2:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realcity View Post
So he has money. So he 'donates' back to the community. He wants everyone to know it and i feel that he has an agenda. Like for eg. the contribution to Conservation Hamilton, he's trying to buy his lame-ass branding "The Waterfalls Capital City of the World", with his donation -- over 30 years -- to get help with his brainwave stupid brand.
Honestly, I think that the whole waterfalls thing is a bit lame. Some of the falls in and around Hamilton are pretty neat, but I do not really care about tiny little spitters --- even if there are 100+ of them --- and I cannot imagine that too many other people do either
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