Thursday, December 10, 2009

Climate Change Walk

*A candlelight walk on James Street North*
starting from the City Centre at York and James in support of real
action on climate change
(Coinciding with the monthly James North Art Crawl)
*7pm- December 11th*
*Take action on climate change. Send a message to Copenhagen**
We must quickly lower the atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases to no
more than 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Please join us in
Hamilton’s contribution to the world-wide actions taking place mid-way
through the negotiations in Copenhagen on a new global climate treaty.
Contact Beatrice at 905 549 0900

Friday, September 18, 2009

Indians add green touch to religious festivals

Date: 07-Sep-09
Country: INDIA

Few events can rival the ancient rituals and riotous color of India's religious festivals. This year, the months-long
celebration season is also becoming eco-friendly. Alarmed by the high levels of pollution caused by firecrackers, toxic
paints and idols made of non-recyclable material, schools, environmentalists and some states are encouraging "greener"

In Mumbai, where the 10-day festival for the elephant-headed Ganesha (the Hindu deity of prosperity) is underway with
giant, colored idols and noisy street parties, radio and TV stations are airing environmental messages and school
children are learning to make eco-friendly idols.

The statues, made of brightly painted plaster of Paris, are usually immersed in the sea or a lake after a lively
procession that can sometimes take half a day to navigate the choked streets, and which ultimately leaves dismembered
idols strewn along the shore.

But a growing number of Indians are opting for smaller clay idols which they immerse in water at home.

"An idol that doesn't dissolve in the sea is just a tragic end for something you have worshipped for so many days," said
Abhijit Karandikar, a creative director at an advertising agency. "More people are realizing they can be more
eco-friendly in our festivals. It's something that's in our control."

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Kirkendall Walks/Walk There! Grand Prizes Draw: Results

We are happy to announce that the winner of the VIA Rail return tickets to Montreal is M. Ken Stone of Hamilton Mountain. The winner for the GO Transit prize package which includes one 10-ride pass is M. Al Ernest of Carlisle.
Congratulations to our winners!

Remember, if you completed a vehicle log you are eligible to receive a free pedometer. Just email us and we can make arrangements for you to pick one up or you can pick yours up at the Environment Hamilton office at 1130 Barton St E suite 207 (opposite the Centre Mall). Phone 905 549 0900 or email
Thanks to all the participants, and partners who made this project possible.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

World Climate Day: October 24th

350 is the most important number in the world. This number is the safe line for our global climate and a start line for a global movement. Join to take action in your community.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Dreaming of a walkable world - People - Dreaming of a walkable world

Paul Wilson
The Hamilton Spectator

(Mar 30, 2009)

Hugh Dobson is on the line. He has a few words for me. Ten, to be exact:

"The world has too much transportation. Two feet are enough."

Dobson worked for many years at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters. He mapped, plotted, studied water quality.

He's retired now, lives in the Burlington core. His dander's up because the grocery store near his house was squeezed out by new condos. And the other food stores are beyond his walking range.

So Dobson's now doing some formulation. He has made a list of the places we need to go in this world -- work, grocery, bank, library, medical clinic, park -- and is now trying to weight them, according to how often you need to visit each place.

His formula is still a work in progress. But he wishes we could buck this big box trend, where the only place to shop, go to a movie or educate our kids is miles away.

I tell Dobson his call is most timely. I'm just about to make a call myself, to the Montreal home of Mary Soderstrom.

She has a new book called The Walkable City and will be in Hamilton Saturday, April 4. She'll be attending a panel discussion at 2 p.m. at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, part of this year's gritLIT festival.

Soderstrom knows a thing or two about Hamilton. A few years ago she wrote Green City, and showcased 11 centres around the world. There was much surprise that Hamilton made the list.

But she pointed out that by the 1930s, Hamilton had more parks per inhabitant than any other Canadian city.

But there have been missteps since then. We've been awfully accommodating to the car and it's no wonder that in her new book Hamilton doesn't get cited as walkable.

We reach her at the two-storey row house she and her husband bought in the '70s, in the area north-east of downtown.

On this day, she has already been out for a 75-minute walk, past parks, shops, the school where her kids used to go. Yes, they walked there.

The neighbourhood is called Mile End. The area's garment factories have gone north or offshore. Now the arts have moved in. For instance, software giant Ubisoft has its flagship studio here, with 1,800 programmers, designers, artists. So there is the opportunity for these people to walk to their work. New young families are moving in.

Density matters. "I've heard that you need about 10,000 people for a walkable shopping street," Soderstrom says, a place with a small grocer, clothing store, drugstore, restaurant or two.

Density scares some people. They think it's dangerous. Quite the contrary, Soderstrom says. "You get foot traffic, eyes on the street. We've been in this house 33 years and we've never been broken into."

Her husband walks to the office, about 35 minutes. They do have a car, but only log about 4,000 kilometres a year.

"I've said that when this car dies, I don't want to buy a new one. Besides, in the next block there are three cars parked at Communauto." That's a Montreal car-share operation, where subscribers have access to cars for an hour, a day.

Soderstrom says by North American standards, Montreal is walkable. But Europe is bliss.

She takes us strolling along bustling rue Mouffetard, a Paris street that's part of an old road that led to Rome.

And that street is central to what she'll be saying when she comes to Hamilton. "The walkable city should be as viable in the 21st century as it was in the 18th century. Get out there and walk."

* * *

Last Wednesday I told you about the women of the Stelco tin mill. One was Ollie, who started there in 1949.

And I called her Ollie Loates. I have no idea where the 'l that extra L came from, but my apologies to Mrs. Oates.

* * *

And another, with correction provided by reader Mary Pickens:

"You hit a nerve with your column Friday, namely 'Lady' Simcoe. Mrs. Simcoe was not a lady and Mr. Simcoe was not a lord, but a hard-working soldier. The only Lord Simcoe was the misnamed Toronto hotel whose owners refused to correct the name when told it was wrong.

"I hope I don't see this error again -- this will be the third time I've found it in the Spec and protested."

Mrs. Simcoe was no lady. Got it.

StreetBeat appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday


Project Ends

The last of our events (for the Kirkendall Walks Project) were as follows:
We attended the Strathcona CAG, meeting organized by Ward 1 on March 25th. Environment Hamilton was able to contribute ideas towards 'Guiding Principles" as concerns citizens and local groups influencing future Transportation Master Planning.
On March 26th, we demonstrated the Walk There! mapping tool to 4 classes at St Joesph's Elementary School.
Taht same evening,we had a hike with Richard Reble that from all accounts was fun.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Annual General Meeting Excitement!

Mark your calendars for Environment Hamilton’s Annual General Meeting, scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 24th, at 7pm at the Freeway CafĂ©, located at 333 King Street East at Wellington. This year’s AGM includes a fantastic keynote speaker, the launch of our Climate Change Action Campaign and an opportunity to hear about plans we have for new initiatives over the coming year.

Sustainability for the Jaded - Dr. Bob Gibson to speak at 2009 AGM

Environment Hamilton is pleased to announce that Dr. Bob Gibson will be the keynote speaker at our March AGM. Dr. Gibson is a professor of Environment & Resource Studies in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo. He will be speaking about sustainability for the jaded, in recognition of the fact that many communities (including Hamilton) have struggled with notions of sustainability but have failed to succeed in implementing meaningful plans. We encourage you to join us for Dr. Gibson’s talk on March 24th.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Night Hike with Richard Reble

The 2 hour night hike last Thursday, Feb. 26 was attended by 16 enthusiastic hikers (including children and a dog!). It started at the foot of the escarpment stairs on Dundurn St. S. We hiked the Bruce Trail up to the mountain stopping to look at some historic sites such as the former Centre for the Insane!! (We learned it used to be a completely self -sustaining village, with a bakery, shoe maker, brewery etc)
As usual, Richard's hikes end with a pub stop. This time, the stop was the West Town Bar and Grill on Locke St. S.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Door to door Walk There! Blitz

Saturday, February 14th
About 10 volunteers went door to door in the Kirkendall neighbourhood with postcards promoting our new website mapping tool
It was a lovely morning and we had a lot of fun!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Website urges you to walk more
Environment Hamilton project shows what's within reach on foot

Eric McGuinness
The Hamilton Spectator

(Feb 4, 2009)

Lots of people use Google Maps or MapQuest to plan a road trip.

Now there's an Environment Hamilton website for walkers.

The idea of Walk There is to make you think twice before jumping into the car for a short trip by showing how quickly you can walk to schools, churches, Tim Hortons or other places within two kilometres of home.

The web address is

You enter your point of departure, then pick from a destination category such as movie theatres or hair salons, and the software will show you where they are within a two-kilometre circle. Click on one of the pointers to get the name, address and walking time in minutes.

Jarah West of Environment Hamilton said volunteers had "scraped" the list of locations from other websites and that it needs to be refined and expanded, so users are invited to submit additions and changes.

The Kirkendall neighbourhood in southwest Hamilton is the most complete so far, because Environment Hamilton has been working there for a year to encourage residents to walk more. There have been street-by-street surveys of what makes walking attractive or difficult; police workshops on safe walking and cycling; and a series of guided walks with themes such as history and food.

In demonstrating the website at Ryerson Middle School yesterday, West told students that walking more would make them healthier while helping reduce vehicle emissions that contribute to global climate change.

Cindy Gangoram, teaching about the value of setting goals, then invited the students to make personal commitments to walk more.

"Maybe you can't walk to school every day, maybe every other day, but you can set a goal, and the only person you can impress or let down is yourself."

West said she hopes the website will help people realize the grocery story is only a six-minute walk away, and knowing that, they'll think about walking rather than clearing snow off the car, putting on seatbelts and driving a short distance.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

local warming

Dave Braden gives a tour organized by E.H. of his off-the-grid house in Flamborough, Ontario on a snowy Sunday.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

KNA Pedestrian / Cycling issues committee

January 12th 2009

Another very mobilizing, well attended meeting.

The KNA Pedestrian/Cycling Issues Committee were joined by Councilor Brian McHattie, Lorissa Skrypniak from the city's traffic planning department, Daryl Bender, who is the city's alternative transportation co-ordinator, as well as Lynda Lukasik from Environment Hamilton.

The focus of the meeting? Hearing and learning from these individuals about Traffic Management Plan reviews, Public Information Centres (PIC), City Hall, and what we need to know to influence public process and effectively participate in the democratic process in Hamilton.

Lynda was very helpful in referring folks to the regional Official Plan (OP). This document is one "that we need to be waving about," as Lynda puts it. It is being revised but it clearly outlines a vision towards a sustainable region that we need to be pushing.

McHattie made a very exciting suggest- 10% of the budget that funds consultants (for city transportation management plans) ought to be handed over to an NGO in the neighbourhood undertaking management plans and reviews. Grassroots folk have a different perspective than engineers will have since they walk the streets.

We have to let the consultants know that we want a face to face meeting at the next Public Information Centre (PIC).

In the case of the highly dangerous and highly debated intersection at Dundurn and Main St, the group has decided to talk to the local MPP to get the province involved.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Little piece about the jingle bell walk

Jingle Bells Promote Walking To School At St. Josephs
Ken Mann

Students at a catholic elementary school in Hamilton literally had their bells on.

Over 500 strong, the youngsters at St. Joseph's elementary have walked with bells on their feet, as part of an event to support both physical activity and pedestrian safety.

Principal Flora Nordoff says they are one of many schools which have a problem with traffic congestion, in part because of the number of parents who drive their children to school in the morning. The school also brings students into the area by bus for its French immersion program.

Nordoff hopes that the Jingle Bell Walk, combined with other planned activities, will encourage students to make walking part of their daily routine.