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ISBN: 9781771135535

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Shift Change

Scenes from a Post-industrial Revolution


Hamilton’s industrial age is over. In the steel capital of Canada, there are no more skies lit red by foundries at sunset, no more traffic jams at shift change. Instead, an urban renaissance is taking shape. But who wins and who loses in the city’s not-too-distant future? Is it possible to lift a downtrodden, post-industrial city out of poverty in a way that benefits people across the social spectrum, not just a wealthy elite?

In Shift Change, author Stephen Dale sets up “the Hammer” as a battlefield, a laboratory, a chessboard. As investors cash in on a real estate gold rush and the all-too-familiar wheels of gentrification begin to turn, there’s still a rare opportunity for both old-guard and newcomer Hamiltonians to come together and write a different story—one in which Steeltown becomes an economically diverse and inclusive urban centre for all.

What plays out in these pages and at this very moment is a real-time case study that will capture the attention and the imagination of anyone interested in equitable redevelopment, housing activism, and social justice in the North American city.


Stephen Dale

Stephen Dale is the author of four previous non-fiction books exploring issues ranging from the rise of the media-based environmental politics of Greenpeace; the impacts of suburban culture on politics in Canada and the United States; and the role of youth-focused propaganda in creating support for the bloodbath that was the First World War. He's been a freelance contributor to leading Canadian and international publications, was Canadian correspondent for InterPress Service news agency, and has created numerous radio documentaries for the CBC. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Chapter Title Abstract Contributors Pages Year Price


This chapter describes Hamilton as it once was: foundries belching iron oxide into the atmosphere, traffic jams driven by shift changes at factories, and workers toiling at all hours of the day … 25 $2.50


This chapter surveys some of the attempts to develop and revitalize Hamilton’s downtown core. Although the initial efforts were unsuccessful, a few optimists valiantly plotted … 48 $4.80


In this chapter, the author examines the relationship between Hamilton and Toronto, and how these two once-divided cities are now closely intertwined. The chapter also explores gentrification in … 53 $5.30


This chapter examines the dual nature of Hamilton, and poses key questions about the city. Can history be the basis for a roadmap forward? Are there unique aspects of Hamilton’s past that … 49 $4.90


This chapter examines the activities of the Hamilton Roundtable and other similar institutions, which sought to bridge the gaps between government, the non-profit sector, business, churches, and … 48 $4.80