Friday, June 14, 2013

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday, June 14, 2013

It’s checkout time at the City Motor Hotel

A neighbour with a truck said he’d help her move, but Kim Coulas has been waiting all day. When she tries calling, his phone is off.

“I’m screwed,” she says, removing a cigarette from a large Ziploc bag. “I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do.”

It’s 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. City staff are standing in the parking lot, waiting for the keys to the City Motor Hotel. It was supposed to be vacant by now.

Romolo D’Angelo, the city’s director of facilities management and capital programs, says 10 rooms were occupied when they arrived in the morning.

Most people left without incident, but Coulas is one of two still here. Her belongings are packed and stacked in duffel bags and wicker baskets outside her room, but she can’t move them alone.
She calls another friend and waits some more.

Coulas says she doesn’t know where she’ll go when they show up. She’s been here for a month, ever since she and her husband divorced and she left her rented house.

“Divorce was easier,” she says of living at the hotel.

She’s been here once before — a decade ago, when she moved to Hamilton from Beaver Creek, Yukon. She says the same people owned it, but it was a lot nicer then.

“They just took this place and they ran it into the ground,” she says, pushing a busted pane of Plexiglas out of the window of her room and leaning through. “Every cent they could get out of it they milked it and that was it. It’s a shame.” (Source: The Hamilton Spectator)