thespec-stories
  • Gore Park: Monuments and memories Gore Park is less than three-quarters of a hectare in size — really a doormat in comparison to its eastern cousin Gage Park that has 28.8 hectares. But if you’re looking for interesting history or controversy — or want a looking glass from which to understand the city — The Gore is like nowhere else. […]
  • A twisted tale of the torso: The Evelyn Dick scandal It’s been 70 years since Evelyn Dick stepped on the stage of infamous notoriety. Her estranged husband’s torso was dumped on the side of the Mountain, her baby was choked to death and encased in cement and the city reeled with rumours about her sexual escapades with prominent men. In story, pictures, an interactive multimedia […]
  • Steel City characters: A host of Hamilton’s colourful folk By Mark McNeil Hamilton is a city of great character, but it also has a great many ‘characters.’ They are the raisins in the oatmeal, the rhubarb in the clover, the whoopee-cushion on the sofa. They’re the flash of sudden surprise that gives Hamiltonians something to talk about and Spectator reporters something to write about. […]
  • The biggest stories in Spectator history By Mark McNeil Stories are like strands of DNA that are passed from generation to generation and help define the essence of a community. Just as a person’s potential is influenced by genetics, so is the destiny of a community forged by historical events. Just as scientists have engaged in a genome project to better […]
  • Vintage skating rinks in Hamilton Skaters make inventive use of vacant lots and other locations around Hamilton in the quest to find neighbourhood rinks. These historical photos show how construction sites and even rooftops were put to use in the 1960s by hockey players and pleasure skaters.
  • The Namesakes Challenge You go to the Art Crawls. You can rhyme off the words to Oskee Wee Wee. Maybe you know that the city was named after a guy named George. But do you really know Hamilton? Do you have the right stuff to call yourself Hamiltonian or do you merely bluster with blinders about matters of […]
  • Flashbacks: Hamilton military landmarks On Sunday, Nov. 8, a  garrison parade assembles at the John Weir Foote Armoury, takes a turn onto James Street North before heading five blocks to Gore Park. It’s a short march for a soldier, but a giant glimpse into the military history of the city. The armoury is where most of Hamilton’s reservists train. And […]
  • Flashbacks: The armoury   By Mark McNeil The John Weir Foote Armoury on James Street North is a giant fortress of local military history that most people in Hamilton only know from the outside. The imposing big brown building — which is used for training by the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, among […]
  • Flashback: Restaurant Memories    The Chicken Roost This barn-themed restaurant opened in 1948 and closed in 1986. It is fondly remembered for such dishes as chicken-on-a-bun and lobster salad, as well as its gregarious proprietor, Max Mintz. Brenda Martin, 59, remembers “heavily varnished wooden tables, pitchforks for coat hangers on either side of the booths (and) chicken-and-rooster salt-and-pepper […]
  • Flashback: Skyway toll booth The Burlington Skyway opened on Oct. 30, 1958. To defray the $17-million cost of construction, drivers were charged 15 cents per trip, trucks with two axles or cars with trailers, 25 cents, and trucks with three or more axles, 45 cents. An automated system of dropping coins (or a token) into a metal collector bin was abandoned […]
  • Flashback: Miles for Millions This is the time of year that tens of thousands of Hamiltonians took part in the now defunct Miles for Millions walk. Long before the Terry Fox Run or the Run for the Cure, more than 17,000 took part in the inaugural race in 1967. Walkers on the 56 km (35 mile) route raised $192,000 […]
  • Flashback: Stations of the Cross The tradition of the Stations of the Cross has been interpreted in many ways in Hamilton during the Easter season.  Above, Rev. David Lennerton of St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church carries the cross during a 17-km Good Friday pilgrimage in 1979 to raise funds for missions. Check out the 2015 Good Friday & Easter Weekend events […]