Hamilton has changed a lot since I first started photographing the city, that was ten years ago with a Minolta DiMAGE Z2 and a Minolta X-7a. Back when I could visit three or four abandoned buildings right in the downtown before hitting up National Pizza at midnight after a successful trip. Those days are long over. Century Theater’s torn down, Tivoli is marked for a condo development. The Lister Block is restored and the Royal Connaught is undergoing restoration and reconstruction as a condo build as well. And while Hamilton still retains that gritty industrial feel on the outskirts and even in the downtown to an extent, Hamilton is still one of my favourite cities to photograph.
Of course, this project has been a bit of a trip down memory lane for me, revisiting sites and places that have been important to my past. The Canadian Forts, Toronto, Crieff, Hamilton, even Northern Ontario. I sort of wish I had gone to the Barton and Kenilworth part of Hamilton to really get that post-industrial feel that Hamilton has. And I’m sure one day I’ll take some photographer friends down for such a photowalk.
As much as Hamilton’s buildings have been saved, there are many that I remember fondly that are now empty fields or parking lots. The one building I always visited, when I had a free Saturday or just wanted to escape was the massive Firestone plant out in the still moving Burlington Street area. The plant was built between 1919 and 1921, expanded many times over its life before being shut down in 1987. Then there was the old Stelco No. 2 Rod Mill that I managed to get into once when it was freshly shut down and getting chased off Dofasco property. So Hamilton for me will always be a city I hold dear to my heart as photographic cold and post-exploration goodness.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25
Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C
Meter: Pentax Spotmeter V
Scanner: Epson V700
Editor: Adobe Photoshop CC (2015.5)