U.S. Steel made an announcement today that came as a "shock" to Hamilton councillors, and likely to many residents as well.
The company says it is permanently shutting down its iron and steel operations in the city, parts of the plant that have been idle since 2010. Meanwhile, the company will continue running its coke ovens, the galvanizing line, the cold mill and the zinc-coating line.
Councillor Brian McHattie says he would like to know what U.S. Steel will do with its real estate after the partial shutdown.
"We need to find out how we can turn that around for new companies going in there to create new jobs," McHattie says.
Almost 50 non-union workers will be affected by the partial closure.
"It's not catastrophic in nature for the city but for those individual families, which at this point my focus is entirely on," councillor Sam Merulla, whose ward includes the plant, says of the workers affected.
Merulla says he is not worried for the city because it has been diversifying.
"We're going through an incredible renaissance," he says. "We've never been quite as stable as we are today."
Even though Hamilton may not be much of a "Steeltown" anymore, Merulla gets nostalgic about the announcement.
"Being a son of a steelworker, Hamilton without Stelco or U.S. Steel... is a shock to our system."