Tim Hortons Stadium Plaza Public Art Project

Image of Tim Hortons Stadium plaza

The Public Art Project for Tim Horton’s Stadium Plaza has been cancelled due to lack of funding. The funding originally allocated to the project in the stadium budget was needed to cover other items required by the recent settlement of construction issues with the contractor, province and Tiger Cats. We hope to revisit public art for this site in the coming years. We thank the focus group for their time and expertise.

Focus Group Report

Monday November 14, 2016 7:00 PM
Scotiabank Business Alliance Meeting Room, 2nd floor, Tim Hortons Field

Angelo Mosca Jr.
Alain Bureau, Resident
Carol Rose, The Cats Claws Fan Club
Aaron Ford, The Cats Claws Fan Club
Mark DeNoble, Canadian Football Hall of Fame
John Gibson, Hamilton and District Soccer Association
Rachel Braithwaite, Executive Director, Barton Village BIA
Steve Day, Director of Stadium Operations, Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club
Kathy Calverley, Managing Editor of the Sherman Hub News
Bob Lively, League Coordinator, Scott Park Baseball Association
Terry Mote, Sherman Hub Community Planning Team/Resident
Dave Willekes, Sherman Hub Community Planning Team/Resident
Alana Traficante, Acting Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Hamilton
Jennifer Morgan, School Council representative, Prince of Wales Elementary School/Resident

City of Hamilton Staff Advisors:
Therese Charbonneau, Senior Conservator
Ken Coit, Program Manager, Public Art and Projects (facilitator)
Pam Mulholland, Cultural Projects Specialist, Public Art and Projects
Rom D’Angelo, Director, Facilities Management & Capital Programs
Greg Maychak, Senior Project Manager, Facilities Management and Capital Programs
Rob Gatto, Manager, Sports & Entertainment Facilities, Facilities Management and Capital Programs


This meeting was held to help determine the characteristics of the site and surrounding community that artists submitting to a Call for Artists at the stadium plaza will need to address in order for the artwork to be meaningful to the community and stadium users. It also allowed for coordination of a number of other cultural features to be located at the stadium with the public artwork.


Public Art staff provided a background presentation outlining the public art process and the scale and type of public artwork that could be anticipated for the $250,000 budget. They also provided an overview of the rich history of the site such as;

  • Site of the first British Empire Games in 1930 (now The Commonwealth Games)
  • Home of the Tiger-Cats since 1950
  • Two visits by the British royal family
  • Concerts; Pink Floyd, Tragically Hip, etc.
  • Grey Cup games
  • Site of thousands of community sports events including soccer, high school football and baseball
  • Mark DeNoble indicated that the Canadian Football Hall of Fame (CFHF) is to be located on the north side of the stadium under the scoreboard and will be open for Game days. He noted that the CFHF is for all Canadian football, not just the Canadian Football League. The artwork “Touchdown” will also be moving to the north side of the stadium in proximity to the CFHF
  • Carol Rose and Aaron Ford of the Cats Claws explained the Cats “Walk of Fame” will be a series of bronze plaques honouring 44 Tiger-Cat player fan favorites. It was agreed that an appropriate location for these plaques could be the masonry fence columns that separate the plaza from the stadium. It was also noted that the plaques need to be mounted at a height that allows them to be read and should be securely attached as bronze is a popular material for thieves.
  • The future Bernie Morrelli Recreation Centre and a new Secondary School are to be built across from the plaza on Cannon Street. Early site plans show a large green space and a splash pad feature will be included in these projects and will face the plaza.
  • John Gibson noted that a professional soccer team may be coming to play at Tim Hortons Field in the near future.

3.0 Discussion

All attendees were asked to address the following question as part of a general discussion about the site and community.

Considering the Background Presentation and your experience, what are the qualities, characteristics and stories of the stadium site and local community that that you think artists should address in a public art project for the site?

  • History of professional and amateur sports in Hamilton - football/soccer/baseball/track and field and even hockey have all been played on the site at some point in its history
  • It has been the site of great outdoor music concerts such has pink Floyd and Tragically Hip
  • The site is surrounded by a proud community
  • The plaza is a public community space as well as a fan space
  • It has been a place for youth; hosting community and amateur sports events
  • It is continually used by the community throughout the year
  • It is the “Big Stadium” that hosts high school and amateur championship games for teams across the city
  • Education – Prince of Wales Elementary School is adjacent to the stadium and a new high school will be built across the street. The plaza and stadium will be used by these students
  • The work should be welcoming
  • The stadium has a history of hiring local high school students in order to build relationships with the local community
  • The site is unique for a stadium as it is in the middle of a residential neighbourhood – the work should respect that
  • It should be a showcase for those visiting the site
  • The work should be interactive
  • Home of the opening ceremonies of the CANUSA games, a partnership with Flint Michigan where young athletes compete, share their stores and build relationships. Guests are typically billeted in local homes.
  • The area is “Community Proud”
  • Front lawn parking in the neighbourhood at big events has been going on for years and connects the community with the visiting crowd.
  • The surrounding community is resilient bouncing back from tough economic times
  • Think of the future generations - youth
  • The work needs to be BIG or cover a lot of area to have an impact on the large plaza site
  • Views from the stadium are wonderful. The work should consider the views to and from the stadium stands, the escarpment and from passing cars.
  • Consider the historical value of the site – all of the important sports events that have happened there.
  • The site of Canada’s 1st multi-sport international games – The British Empire Games (now Commonwealth Games)
  • Public use of the stadium is from across the city
  • Work should be somehow interactive
  • Work should reflect community pride
  • Local kids will use the space and could interact with the work
  • There are a number of new immigrants in the neighbourhood and it has traditionally been a place for new immigrants
  • Children playing
  • Site for community baseball – kids from across the neighbourhood played across the street for many years – home plate for a former baseball diamond on the site was near the corner of the new plaza – a good place for art?
  • Should be interactive with fans on game days
  • Think of the sound of the crowd cheering that comes from the stadium on game days
  • The history of the military being recognized at Tiger-Cats games
  • Fly-overs from the Lancaster bomber during games
  • What do we want visitors to think about us when they see the work?

4.0 Priorities

After a short break, group members were asked to prioritize those qualities, characteristics and stories to identify themes for the artwork. The following were developed:

The group felt that the work should be welcoming, in some way be interactive and be impactful in the context of the large open plaza site. The work should reflect the long history of the site as a place where Hamiltonians gather for sports and events and address one or more of the following themes:

  • Youth aspiring to be their best through sports
  • A proud community coming together through amateur sports and events
  • Sharing the site’s and surrounding neighbourhood’s rich history of amateur sports and events with fans, players and community members visiting the site.

5.0 Next Steps

The priorities identified will be included in a Call for Artist document along with an overview of the history of the site and any site constraints. It is anticipated that this document will be issued in early 2017 and that a winning proposal will be identified in summer 2017.

Contact us

Ken Coit - Manager
Placemaking, Public Art & Projects
Tourism & Culture Division, City of Hamilton
28 James Street North, 2nd Floor
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 6281
Email: [email protected]