Comment 122347

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted January 20, 2018 at 15:22:59

Thanks for this thoughtful piece on the importance of design and high quality public amenities.

The building demolished by St Joseph's hospital was actually a rare stone townhouse built in 1855 as the home of banker Henry Titus. It was demolished in 2007 for no other reason than the hospital was worried that it could be designated and interfere with unspecified future development plans (they made the usual excuse that the hospital 'can't afford to fix it' and they wanted the space for future expansion).

Note that the demolition didn't actually provide any more space for the hospital since the portable was simply moved from another location further South on James St!

The fact that a significant heritage building was pre-emptively demolished and 11 years later the spot is still occupied by an ugly portable shows an appalling lack of respect for its neighbourhood by a powerful and wealthy stakeholder.

As a speaker in McMaster's city conference series pointed out last year, public or largely publicly funded institutions like schools, hospitals and universities have special privileges and special duties to the community by virtue of their resources and ability to take a long term view.

Surely St Joseph's could have found something better to do with the building than demolish it and replace it long term with an ugly portable on a very prominent intersection!

Here's the view of the two storey portable from James St: no windows: just an unusable door on the second floor!,-79.8720547,3a,75y,107.71h,84.06t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s5rsA24-YHfPBRMn_CGv-Pg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2018-01-20 15:26:07

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