A feature-length documentary about light rail transit, gentrification, and resistance in Hamilton.

Filmmakers Alex Balch, Taras Hemon, and Emily Power will be in-person to introduce the film!

The Hamilton LRT is a $3.4 billion light rail transit line, funded by the provincial and federal governments. The 14 kilometre, 17-stop route will run east-west the length of Hamilton’s lower city: from McMaster University in the west, through the historic downtown, to a terminus at Eastgate Square. To clear the way for construction, provincial transit agency Metrolinx is purchasing 90+ properties – more properties than all of Metrolinx’s previous projects combined. 168 tenant households have already been displaced, according to grassroots tenant group King Street Tenants United, and more evictions loom on the horizon. As landlords and developers scramble to buy up properties in neighbourhoods along the route, looking to cash in on increasing property values, tenants and small businesses are facing pressure to leave.

Trainwreck weaves together the first-hand accounts of tenants, small business owners, cultural organizations, community activists, and researchers affected by transit-induced gentrification. This film shines a spotlight on Metrolinx and exposes the destructive effects of ‘new urbanist’ policies such as transit-oriented development, intensification, and ‘regeneration’ of working-class neighbourhoods. Trainwreck is a sobering call to action, and a damning account of the collateral damage and social destruction wrought by Metrolinx and the City of Hamilton in the name of progress. And it is a celebration and rallying call to support those who have refused to abandon their homes without a fight.


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