Car smashes into Hamilton coffee shop, reviving fears about intersection

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Published August 25, 2023 at 11:24 am

COURTESY OF THE CANNON
COURTESY OF THE CANNON

A car crashed into the front of The Cannon coffee shop in Hamilton on Thursday, forcing it to close for a day and leading to calls for a safer intersection at Ottawa Street North and Cannon Street East. 

“Thankfully, everyone is okay, but we will be closed until the building is safe to work in,” the shop wrote on Facebook and Instagram yesterday.

The shop has reopened today.

The Cannon posted on its social media accounts on Thursday, Aug. 24 that it was not the first time this happened. 

The owner of the shop was not immediately available to provide inthehammer.com with more details and staff at the shop today could not provide more information on what happened yesterday. 

In announcing its reopening today (Aug. 25), The Cannon said its hours are from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for takeout drinks and retail, such as coffee cups and T-shirts. However, it said no baked goods or kitchen items are available right now because the shop had to push back orders as a result of the closure yesterday, Shannon Munn, a server, told inthehammer.com.    

Munn said the front side of the shop is boarded up and the shop is waiting on insurance before repairs can be done, though staff have cleaned up the debris. 

Resident urges City to act immediately with lane and speed reductions for intersection

Allan Bedford, a writer, photographer and game designer who lives near the area, flagged the problem to City officials in an email he sent Thursday.

He shared with inthehammer.com his email to Ward 4 Councillor Tammy Hwang, Ward 3 Councillor Nrinder Nann, Mayor Andrea Horwath and Jason Thorne, Hamilton’s general manager of planning and economic development. In the email, he wrote that he passes by The Cannon at least three or four times a week since his home in Crown Point is a seven-minute walk. “At another time, on another day, I could easily have been between one of those vehicles and that building,” wrote Bedford, who moved to Hamilton 6.5 years ago.  “I’m requesting that you please immediately consider lane and speed reductions for this intersection. Those could be implemented quickly and cheaply until a better design can replace the current dangers.”

He attached a photo of an image of Ottawa Street North at Cannon Street East taken on Aug. 10, 2022, which showed the building now home to the Cannon under renovation with construction barriers.

“Workers and pedestrians were protected by construction barriers,” he wrote. “We were safer then than now.”

Redesign of intersection coming up, says councillor

Bedford shared with inthehammer.com the response he received from Soraya Gallant, administrative assistant to Councillor Nann.

In her emailed response to Bedford, Gallant said that Nann “has been communicating with residents and organizing with staff to discuss the dangers of this corner.”

“I personally went down to get eyes on the damage this morning and can report that there are already repairs taking place,” she wrote. “Councillors Nann (Ward 3) and Hwang (Ward 4) are deeply invested in the safety and growth of Ottawa St and the whole of their wards, and because this affects us both, we’re sharing responsibility of future plans. Solutions will take a little time, and we’re working on them.”

Gallant added that “we’re taking this extremely seriously, as we don’t want a single other person to be harmed.”

Nann posted a response to Bedford’s concerns on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying a redesign of the intersection and a community meeting on the design are coming after council passed a motion on this last term.

Bedford said council can’t wait for analyst reports or funding – action must be taken now.

He said he believes both councillors are taking action and many problems like this one are years old. “Many years of infrastructure and bylaw neglect cannot be solved by a new council in less than a year,” he told inthehammer.com in an email. “I know they’re trying hard, I’m just asking them to try harder.”

He fears the worst could happen if no immediate measures are taken.

“As per my email to both councillors and the mayor, I believe it’s imperative to effect immediate temporary measures at this intersection to slow traffic and reduce the risk to pedestrians while a more permanent solution is designed. Council’s failure to enact any such temporary measures will lead to another accident, injuries and/or death,” he told inthehammer.com.

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