Big Stadium developments can often lead to other spin-off investments. From commercial and neighborhood redevelopment to other economic enhancements, the construction brings with is new ideas and new money to the area.
Transit can be trickier to emerge from a stadium development. Local transit agencies are hesitant to expand into suburban areas, with little or no existing service, without a consistent user base. Stadium development in more urban areas usually do not require any additional transit, especially when located in the downtown, as existing transit is typically sufficient as is the case with Copps Coliseum in Hamilton.
They City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will be redeveloping, renovating and rebuilding Ivor Wynne Stadium in lower Hamilton beginning next year. The location is already served by three east-west transit routes so there is no need for increased local transit. It was mentioned in the announcement that increased regional transit could result, with the stadium acting as a catalyst.
During the press conference in January there was mention that a GO station could be constructed on Gage North along the planned expansion of GO Transit’s Lakeshore West line. The regional transit company is in the planning stages to extend all day train service from Toronto to Niagara through Hamilton, with three planned stations within the city. A station on Gage would be within 600m of the stadium, a similar distance between the original West Harbour stadium site and the planned James North GO Station.
There will be no GO station on Gage North.
While the City of Hamilton has not officially contacted Metrolinx, which oversees GO Transit, with regards to a GO station on Gage Avenue, there are no plans to construct a station at that location.
“We did not consider Gage Avenue since we were focused on the James North Station and Confederation Station (Centennial Parkway). James North Station was selected to interface with the City of Hamilton’s proposed LRT route on James North. This would connect the Hamilton Mountain, Hamilton GO Centre and the James North Station. The Confederation Station at Centennial Parkway would interface with the QEW and the traffic along Centennial Parkway.
A station located at Gage Ave. would be between these two stations and is too close to be justified from an operational perspective.
The establishment of permanent GO Station sites within Hamilton must be planned to accommodate commuter demands for the long term and not just for short term events. A station at Gage would still be a long walk from Ivor Wynne Stadium (about 600m) and the area available for station construction is limited.” – Ian McConachie; Media Relations & Issues Specialist: Metrolinx – GO Transit
So, while GO is a no go for Gage North, the Hamilton Street Railway Company will undoubtedly modify the Tiger-Cat Express shuttles to service the James North and Confederation GO Stations within Hamilton. For those who commute into the city to take in a game, your options may get that much better.