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The replacement of the football stadium in Hamilton, Ontario, stirred many emotions among its residents. Each new site proposal targeted once-established communities. My interests at that time were in what constituted “community” when they were built and the reality of what I saw.

Ivor Wynne Stadium before demolition.

While the city rapidly grew a century ago, its vision was clear and transparent. The northern part of the city was dominated by immigrant communities employed by the growing industry in that area. From there, going south, communities' social and material status has been apparently higher.

Today, one can see the past influences of many European cultures throughout the city. It is harder, however, to identify the cultural cohesiveness of individual communities. Something is visibly missing.

The traditional, familiar places of interactions, of the real face time that used to empower the formation of social wisdom and collective interests, became nothing but ghosts scattered around the city. My reflections about it went beyond nostalgia or personal memories.  

Opening Jackson Square Mall and Eaton Centre in the seventies not only squeezed out the iconic City Hall from the city's traditional core. Numerous established department stores and merchants closed their doors, and many purely maintained historical buildings were demolished. Designed initially, the mall’s amenities were scaled down and never delivered what was promised. The city core lost its soul.

In the world of hidden commercial interests, traditional values of humanity don’t stand for much. “Liberal democracy” is meaningless unless we start using the tools it developed.

Facebook is not a substitute for face time to sort out what matters.

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