Just a quick update before the summer break, including a couple of projects on the escarpment.
By Jason Leach
Published June 27, 2007
If you haven't already heard, the province has promised $7 million in funding for the Lister Block redevelopment. The public health department is supposed to move in, and Mohawk College's music department is also interested.
I was worried that the main floor and arcade would be filled with streetlife-destroying office cubicles. When I asked Councillor Brian McHattie, a major Lister supporter, about this, he reassured me that it will be "retail on the street and in the historic arcade."MEC in Burlington
RTH writer Sean Burak has been waging a campaign to get a new Mountain Equipment Co-Op (MEC) store into Hamilton. The outfitter is planning to expand into the western GTA, and Hamilton seemed like a great fit with the company's policy of renovating and revitalizing old buildings.
We even tried to get Hamilton's Planning and Economic and Development Department interested, but sadly, MEC has since settled on a Burlington location at Brant Street and Leighland Road, just south of the QEW near the Burlington GO Station.
Fantastic News: an anonymous couple has donated $1 million to the Beasley Community Centre to expand their early childhood education programs.
This is a great boost for a neighbourhood that really needs all the support it can get.
David Braley, CEO of Orlick Industries owner of the BC Lions and a McMaster University graduate, has just announced a $50 million donation to the McMaster medical school.
Anyone want to buy an incredible cafe/theatre/community centre? A for sale sign is up in front of the Staircase Cafe building on Dundurn just north of King.
This is outside the downtown, but I wanted to make sure it gets covered since the Mountain needs to urbanize more if it's going to be more livable.
Two new projects up the escarpment are worth watching to see how they develop:
A bid to build three or four multi-storey buildings on a 9.6 hectare (24 acre) brownfield site north of Scenic Dr. is feeling the backlash from neighbours led by Councillor Terry Whitehead, who would rather see - you guessed it - more single family homes on the spot.
Folks, this sort of development is exactly what the Mountain needs to be building on huge pieces of land a stone's throw from the downtown/west end served by transit, escarpment trails and the 403/Linc. Think of how amazing it would be to have a condo overlooking the entire city.
The developer, Deanlee Management, is considering scaling down the development to about 700 condo units and turning an attached woodlot to the city.
A three-storey mixed commercial and residential development proposed for a vacant lot at the corner of Mohawk Rd. E. and Upper Ottawa is also generating flak from neighbours who are concerned about traffic and noise, this time led by Councillor Tom Jackson.
Again, the neighbours are hoping for single family homes instead.
Fourteen two-storey townhomes over a commercial space (hmm, sounds a lot like the "slums" of Westdale, Concession and Locke) - and a neighbour says she'll need to sit in her backyard with "earplugs on"? This is exactly the kind of positive intensification that would make the neighbourhood more livable and sustainable.
Neither project is insane or out of place like a lot of the "50-storey tower next to single homes" you see in Toronto.
One is a three-storey building at a major city intersection, the other is a huge brownland project overlooking the city minutes from downtown and served well by transit, highways, escarpment stairs and the chedoke rail trail to the downtown/west end/mcmaster.
Our council needs to educate citizens that the greatest cause of 'congestion' is single family homes and their associated 2-3 cars. Folks living in apartments are more likely to walk/cycle and use transit to get around; or at the worst, have one car, not three.