It's a long standing debate — has Hamilton crossed over after a post-industrial identity crisis and reached a tipping point? Some say yes, some say no.
Laura Babcock, PR pundit and host of Cable 14's The O Show set out to find an answer in a new documentary called TIP which is being shown for the first time on Cable 14 Tuesday night.
"I have been arguing with people for the past two years about whether or not Hamilton has tipped — and depending on who I was speaking with the arguments were so different and compelling," Babcock said. "TIP captures this dynamic moment in Hamilton's history and the result is a thought-provoking discussion on the state of a city in transition."
In the documentary, 43 Hamiltonians are asked "has Hamilton reached a tipping point?"
Community and business leaders, people on the street, artists, activists, city staff, elected officials and newcomers to Hamilton chime in on the issue. Responses run the gamut of unbridled positivity to staunch negativity. The stadium is mentioned more than a few times.
Here's a sample of what interviewees in the documentary had to say:
"There's no question that at no point in my adult life have I seen the kind of momentum economically, socially, architecturally that we're seeing now. Hamilton has a momentum that I suspect is unstoppable."
"I think the challenge is whether or not we're going to expedite that momentum by making smart, progressive decisions or whether or not we're going to be laggards. I think we have a remarkable opportunity if we choose well, are courageous and look to the future."
-Terry Cooke, Hamilton Community Foundation
"Hamilton is changing for the worse. It's going down. Every day I come down here and there's a different store being boarded up or there's a different place being torn down. I'm getting sick of it."
-Damion MacCannell, resident
"Politically is the issue. I don't think we've reached a tipping point politically. I think we still have old style politics, they haven't caught up with the social and technological - and we do have some councillors who are there, but we have a lot who aren't."
-Graham Crawford, History + Heritage
"I'm surprised it has taken this long, but yeah. I was born in this city, and I've seen a lot of changes in my 56 years. I think it's out for the better. I really do."
Veejay Martin - downtown resident
"We certainly have a lot of room to grow. I'm hesitant to say we have not reached it because I'll be called a naysayer and stuff. But I feel as though when we start high-fiving ourselves we detract from actually getting the work that needs to be done, done."
"Hamilton has come a long way on some fronts, and has a long, long way to go on others. If we're in an arts and cultural renaissance, real estate continues to move, poverty continues to grow, and we have a major unemployment problem — and an underemployment problem in this city."
"So no. I think the tipping point means you've reached the critical mass where things are good and everything starts piling on in the good front."
"So no — but I'm not a naysayer. I love this city too."
Loren Lieberman - Hamilton Convention Centre/Carmen's
TIP airs at 5:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m. and 9:05 p.m. Tuesday night on Cable 14.
If you weren't one of the 43 people in the documentary, tell us what your answer to the question is, in the comments below or on our facebook page.