Now, this is a trip back in time. The Hamilton LRT project has been a topic of conversation for years now, and that's not stopping just because Ontario's government scrapped its plans. In fact, discussion about the proposal has taken a bit of a weird turn after some people noticed something in a rendering photo that is virtually an ancient relic by these days' standards.
In an artist's rendering pic of what was to be a future train stop in Hamilton, a sign for a Blockbuster Video store is clearly visible.
Blockbuster Video, you may — or may not — remember, closed its last Canadian stores in 2011. If you don't recall the chain's presence, it's not that surprising.
Meanwhile, plans for the new transit system in Hamilton had been underway in earnest since 2015, when $1 billion's worth of funding was pledged.
Doug Ford's government cancelled the project this month.
So, you can perhaps understand some residents' surprise at seeing a billboard for the long-gone store in the background of a rendering pic of the Hamilton LRT.
The rendering pic is likely from a time when the video rental store was still around and the project was in its infancy. But it really illustrates how long the Hammer has been waiting for transit improvements.
A tweet shared on Monday, December 23, shows the illustration with its time-bending inclusion. On the left side of the image, a large board filled with store signs depicts the retailer's logo at the very bottom.
A reader just pointed out that this #HamOnt LRT rendering has a Blockbuster video store sign in it https://t.co/mC2MfqbfKR— Samantha Craggs (@Samantha Craggs)1577109616.0
It should be noted there had been talks about the Hamilton LRT project long before its approval by the city in 2013.
In fact, an environmental assessment was carried out back in 2011, back when the stores still graced Canadian retail parks. The early planning stages hail from the late 2000s.
However, for plenty of residents, it seems that's not the point. Nearly nine years on from the chain's demise in Canada, not only does Hamilton not have an LRT system under construction, it's no longer even on the agenda.
"When you have been waiting for better transit for a very long time," reads one tweet in response to the image.
And that was very much the mood.
It's a real shame that the LRT in Hamilton was cancelled, but hold up - is that a friggin BLOCKBUSTER sign in the r… https://t.co/TXiGN537AR— April Fool (@April Fool)1576699911.0
I guess, thanks to @fordnation & @C_Mulroney, dependable, high-quality LRT service is just as dead in Hamilton as B… https://t.co/7HmYz6HaJF— David Khan (@David Khan)1577116125.0
@SamCraggsCBC When you have been waiting for better transit for a very long time— james6669 (@james6669)1577111141.0
@SamCraggsCBC I tweeted that the Blockbuster was definitely going to suffer because of the LRT decision. Close enou… https://t.co/XHHIfKhHY3— KonstantineKetsetzis (@KonstantineKetsetzis)1577116005.0
"That's how dated LRT technology is. There has got to be something better than rail that is more flexible and cost-effective that could be used to service the entire city," reads another tweet.
@SamCraggsCBC @CBCHamilton That's how dated LRT technology is. There has got to be something better than rail that… https://t.co/vfNCn0hIKD— Wally Statler (@Wally Statler)1577120808.0
@SamCraggsCBC @jddneary THIS IS HOW LONG LRT HAS BEEN IN THE PLANNING STAGES!— Scott (@Scott)1577117288.0
It was anticipated that the Hamilton LRT would begin construction in 2020. However, plans were scrapped after the cost apparently rose well above the planned $1 billion.
According to CBC, Ontario's Auditor General will be looking into the cost estimates for the LRT in order to assess how reasonable they were at the time they were made.
For now, the plans for the LRT have become a fond memory. Much like Blockbuster itself. RIP.