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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Ontario > SSP: Local Hamilton > Urban, Urban Design & Heritage Issues

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  #41  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2009, 6:17 PM
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great -- a committee *ahem* charrette


a horse designed by committee


I hope the result is better then the stupid 'curved doors' art.
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  #42  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 1:11 PM
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New vision of city from James North

Mixed Media co-owner sees sustainability as key
February 25, 2009
Jeff Mahoney
The Hamilton Spectator
(Feb 25, 2009)

There's a growing sense that the things that are changing are not coming back. At this point, with economic aftershocks on a daily, even hourly, basis, everyone seems united in simply wanting the ground to solidify under their feet again. As Tom Waits sang, "We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull."

Hamilton is steeled to this pace of seismic change more than most cities, and the arts community here even more yet. And as we all wait for a new "normal" to set in, David Kuruc may be someone to watch. He's uncomfortable with the "leadership" tag, but it's one that people are going to stick on him, like it or not. He reluctantly admits that perhaps he does have a kind of "ambassadorial" role when it comes to the James Street North revival.

When he and his wife, Teresa Devries, opened their art supply store Mixed Media (and it is so much more), the place quickly became a community hub.

You have to understand Kuruc to understand the energy of Mixed Media, 174 James North, right at the corner of Cannon. He is tireless in his enthusiasm for a renewed Hamilton; well-spoken, open-faced, hard not to like and a community builder. At his own expense he puts out a newspaper -- H. For Hamilton.

He represents a growing cadre of Hamiltonians who believes in a model of this city different from the one that various incarnations of city council have short-sheeted us into during the past 30 years -- urban sprawl, car-based planning, development friendly.

The view from where Kuruc stands has elements of Jane Jacobs and Richard Florida, but without the pseudointellectual cocktail chatter. It's stripped down for Hamilton realities. Essentially, the renewing comes down to re-old-ing. A return to the inner core. Bringing out the architectural beauty and efficiencies of existing buildings. Re-energizing neighbourhoods. Building the city up, vertically, rather than out, horizontally, as has happened, the superseded farmlands of yesteryear trussed up in silly-looking suburban corsets. Less money, more barter.

"We've done things a certain way," says Kuruc. "Now we have to look at a different way. Every day I meet people who are moving here and it's not for the box stores, but for the architecture here, the night life, the characters."

It's about pulling together, not apart as traditional development does. He sees the James Street North area sewing itself together slowly over time, not by sinking millions into big projects, but by letting change soak into existing ethnic communities.

He sees creative industries, such as production companies, which don't need huge spaces in industrial parks, integrating themselves with farmers' markets, hardware stores, restaurants, galleries, residential and green spaces.

Kuruc is leading by example. Mixed Media's new building at Cannon and James is century-old. He and his wife restored it from near-derelict condition, and are renting out the adjoining spaces. But they waited until they found the right fit. You can't rush things, he believes, and he means it.

Beside Mixed Media now are a cycle shop and the White Elephant, which sells handmade goods. Mixed Media itself is stocked with products Kuruc and his wife choose themselves -- many made in Canada, none made in sweat shops.

Fairly priced, he says, and environmentally kosher.

It's about sustainability, says Kuruc. The money he makes at the store he spends in the neighbourhood.

He watches what goes on in the rest of the city. The Pearl Company issue, for instance. "I follow it closely," he says. "What happens there affects us here. It's interesting how when people build houses illegally without a permit, the city says, 'There's nothing we can do.' But when an art space has a nonconforming use it's a different story. It's a head-scratcher. Are they really working for the city?"

He and Theresa have a baby now. Kuruc dreams about what his son will see in 10 years when they walk up and down James Street North together, in the old, new city of Hamilton. He dreams. Then he wakes up and tries to make it happen.
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  #43  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 1:54 PM
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  #44  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 3:36 PM
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Dave is a reluctant champion of the James North.

He's exactly what this city needs. Young fresh perspective. Kudo's to him.
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  #45  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 4:06 PM
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In my opinion Mixed Media has done more for a community than many city counselors will ever achieve.

Great work Dave -- keep it up.
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  #46  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 4:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldcoote View Post
Dave is a reluctant champion of the James North.
Reluctant how?
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  #47  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 4:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thistleclub View Post
Reluctant how?
from the article

Quote:
He's uncomfortable with the "leadership" tag, but it's one that people are going to stick on him, like it or not. He reluctantly admits that perhaps he does have a kind of "ambassadorial" role when it comes to the James Street North revival.
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  #48  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 5:12 PM
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Didn't catch that. Dave's doing great work for heritage issues and James North, and he does so with a full heart, which is why I found "reluctant champion" odd. I think what makes him uncomfortable is being branded by a newspaper that goes to him for comment on a regular basis. The journalist was looking for a fresh hook but Dave wouldn't bite.
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  #49  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2009, 2:47 AM
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There is indeed a lot to be reluctant about .. most of city council still believes that maximum flow of cars is the primary concern. Contrary to this, Dave and a growing segment of Hamiltonians are giving the downtown culture, value beyond anything that's been there for years.

Reluctance is sometimes a positive thing. We should all be reluctant and raise issue with the low expectations the majority of city council has for the downtown. Its slowly changing from an expressway to a destination.
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  #50  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2009, 3:27 AM
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There is indeed a lot to be reluctant about .. most of city council still believes that maximum flow of cars is the primary concern. ... Reluctance is sometimes a positive thing. We should all be reluctant and raise issue with the low expectations the majority of city council has for the downtown. Its slowly changing from an expressway to a destination.
I gather Mr. Mahoney was just doubling back on the "King of James" comment in one of the paper's recent stories about the district. That would make anyone squirm. But being called a "leader" isn't exactly derogatory, and it shouldn't be something that twentysomethings and thirtysomethings should have reluctance about. There's grounds for the description: Dave founded a heritage-minded monthly magazine, co-founded the Art Crawl, Maker's Market and the James North Initiative, is the de facto media spokesperson for James North and was one of a handful tapped by the Spectator for an executive roundtable discussion on vision priorities for the city. Maybe we can settle for "catalyst"?
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  #51  
Old Posted May 7, 2009, 3:50 PM
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Just thought you all would get a kick out of this newly unveiled ghost sign on James North...

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...3195502&ref=nf

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...3195502&ref=nf
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  #52  
Old Posted May 13, 2009, 1:40 PM
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This is next to Acclimation Restaurant on James Street North and is site preparation for a new building owned by them. This is project by John Mokrycke Architect, for a new condo building with ground floor commercial. Acclimation will most likely expand to the new building. The approval for this building is in the hands of the planning department.
John owns several buildings on James North including across the street from this and a small long stay boutique hotel just down the street. He also lives on John Street North.





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  #53  
Old Posted May 13, 2009, 5:41 PM
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What happened to the Martini's place? I went past there on the bus the other day and it was all newspapers over the window, has that been like that a while and I wasn't paying attention?
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  #54  
Old Posted May 13, 2009, 6:00 PM
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Quote:
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What happened to the Martini's place? I went past there on the bus the other day and it was all newspapers over the window, has that been like that a while and I wasn't paying attention?
Trust me, this is good news for James North.
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  #55  
Old Posted May 13, 2009, 6:04 PM
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Trust me, this is good news for James North.
Really? It looks a nice building. Was it a skank pit inside?
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  #56  
Old Posted May 13, 2009, 6:43 PM
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Really? It looks a nice building. Was it a skank pit inside?
I wondered about this as well?

I never went there.

Any first hand tales?
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  #57  
Old Posted May 13, 2009, 6:46 PM
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There were stabbings. I think someone might have been killed. When you hear people say they'd never go to James N because there's too much crime, they're thinking of Martini's.
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  #58  
Old Posted May 13, 2009, 7:05 PM
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There's a sign on the front door saying: Closed for renovations, opening soon Classic Cafe and Gallery.

Hopefully they have good coffee.
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  #59  
Old Posted May 13, 2009, 7:08 PM
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There's a sign on the front door saying: Closed for renovations, opening soon Classic Cafe and Gallery.

Hopefully they have good coffee.
BOOYEAH!
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  #60  
Old Posted May 13, 2009, 7:18 PM
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I've never been in there, but everyone I know who has was pretty scared.
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