Category Archives: By_Law Crawl

Updates a Brain a Dragon some Salamanders and also a Bulldog

Ok so I’ve been a bit bummed out about skydragon but I did want to touch on some news of the street/area…..

The Spec has a article about the newly/finally open bar called “The Brain” on James north and whether it’ll be the new Hess Village?  Judging by the comments from Raise The Hammer’s site I really don’t think too many people are very keen on the concept. You may want to join their facebook page

Matt Jelly and By-Law crawl have a new initiate designating The Royal Connaugt a Heritage building.

Also a special movie is playing in Hamilton which I think many in its arts community should check out…..Yes Men Save Fix the World

Add to the save Skydragon list a possible save the Bulldogs hockey team? (I disagree with the bulldogs owner that the city/hamilton doesn’t support them enough or that Montreal has more bulldog fans)

Mac History still needs saving but I thought the Biz Dept was all business and super efficent just like any business???

On a positive light congrats to Hamilton’s Pakastani community for its new cfmu radio show! Sunday’s 9-10am! Click for podcasts too! CFMU Site Here

Also avoid driving on King for a couple days.


Ok so I just came back from a meeting, still in progress, all about the Skydragon Centre and I want to update people on the basics.

They need roughly $270000.00 so that’s about 13,500 people giving $20 each in about 25 days.

(The $270000 is the morgage and about $25000 line of credit)

They also owe aprox $133000.00 on a second mortgage held by a private individual and owe about $80000.00 on bonds.  These two areas don’t seem to be concerned with their money being returned.

The teacher’s credit union hold’s the mortgage and its aprox 8% also with the $133000. (I am unsure if this is normal or not)

How did they get there, essentially they hit on a perfect storm of their mistakes and the areas changes. Skydragon was late on paying provincial taxes (as well as other bills from time to time) this I believe affected their credit history so dispite their good payment history the credit union let them know they would not renew the mortgage.

Also during the meeting it was let out that  Reardon’s Resturants lease was not renewed and that the parking lot across the street has been sold (this is rumor I don’t know how true this is.). If it is true, the recent sale of the Downtown Art Centre  maybe part of a bigger picture.

Employees at the centre talked about the lack of transparency and others discussed selling the building and starting again. Some expressed anger about the situation and at times the conversation the issue of the Pan Am games influencing this issue. Others felt the gentrification on James St North had also played a hand.

What does the skydragon need? More time! It needs time to find either a alternative mortgage lender/ private individual or simply people donating money.

While I personally feel the skydragon did make many mistakes in terms of paying bills on time, etc. I also feel it is worth saving.

The skydragon has a a small handfull employees and for a non-profit I’m pretty impressed. They continually have events and contribute to the vibrant aspect of the downtown scene in music and in art. One of the few green cafe’s in the downtown area. Also if it goes I don’t think its coming back.

While I may not agree with their message or past practices to employees I think the net positive gain is huge. (If someone told me it was either skydragon or 500 jobs I would choose the jobs but I don’t think this is the case.)

What You Can Do?

Give $20 dollars to Skydragon if 13,500 people do it they can save it.

Email the Mayor, City Council and the Hamilton Spectator.

Please Click Here for the City Council and Mayor’s emails

The Spectator’s Letter to the Editor

Hamilton Mountain News

Also Radio stations like and also a million other things I can’t remember right now….

(If I have gotten anything wrong I am sorry this is kind of a rush thing but with a lot of fact, please correct me if I am wrong)


This is a quick message to remind you about this Saturday’s second monthly By-Law Crawl event, starting at 1 PM in Gore Park, in front of the Royal Connaught. The crawl will end with an afterparty at This Ain’t Hollywood, at 345 James St. North, starting around 4 PM.

By-Law Crawl is an event designed to locate, identify and report properties which are in serious violation of the City of Hamilton’s Property Standards By-Law, in hopes of proactively preventing further decay and demolition of Hamilton’s building stock, and ensuring that buildings do not pose a danger to the public. I’ll be distributing copies of the By-Law, as well as offering some guidance to participants on what we’re looking for, and the proper way to go about spotting these infractions.

Effective By-Law enforcement is the only tool we have as citizens to ensure properties don’t fall into disrepair and require demolition, or that vacant/derelict properties don’t detract from the communities that surround them. This isn’t just an issue of heritage preservation and public safety, it’s also an issue of waste- 30% of our landfills are composed of building materials. Not every building can be saved- but if we proactively enforce certain standards, it’s far less likely that an absentee property owner can allow a building to decay to the point that demolition is the only option.

Our first By-Law Crawl event in February was a success- approximately 75 people braved cold temperatures, and as a result, complaints on 34 properties were forwarded to By-Law staff, and our organization is currently waiting for an update on this enforcement. I’ll be giving an update on this during Saturday’s Crawl. You can view an interactive google map of the properties we reported on here.

In addition to reporting on By-Law infractions, I’d also like to take this opportunity to encourage people to clean up any litter along the way- actively cleaning up the streets. We’ll also be keeping an eye open for instances of rubbish, debris, and illegal dumping, and forwarding those complaints to appropriate staff in Property Maintenance.

To be clear, this event is not designed to crack down unfairly on property owners who are doing their part- the focus of this event is on the worst offenders- properties with a legacy of not meeting minimal standards as prescribed by the Property Standards By-Law.

I invite you to participate this Saturday, and pass along this info to anyone else who may be interested in attending.

If you need any information on the crawl, please visit, or feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Matt Jelly