Comment 92394

By jason (registered) | Posted September 20, 2013 at 16:41:41 in reply to Comment 92393

Hey Bill, I'm 100% with you on all of that. But look at the examples you cite: empty waterfront land, weed lots, Pier 8 etc.... that is a vastly different story than demolishing century homes that have been here almost as long as the city itself. The new Strathcona plan adds considerable density to our neighbourhood, and we have supported that premise all along. In fact, we still support it on York, but in the 3-6 storey range as that lower height will minimize demolitions compared to the size lot needed for 10+ stories. If 4 stories isn't enough density to create a vibrant, pedestrian corridor then please explain Locke South, Ottawa St, Queen West in TO, Queen East through the Beaches, King St in Westdale etc.....
York can become a dynamite street without 10+ storey buildings. Look at Brooklyn, NY. Their most bustling streets are barely over 3-5 stories.

We are even fine with some taller towers at certain locations in Strathcona. We offered up York/Queen corner lots for highest density to the city and they said no. They want medium density there.
The only reason we are opposing this plan is due to the complete unwillingness of the city to work with us on more appropriate infill options that won't negatively affect the homes. We were told this in our meetings, but you know as well as I do, considering your a Hamilton architect, that the city wants these large lots assembled to provide large surface parking lots behind the new buildings. Parking lots are a horrendous use of urban land, and an even more horrendous use in place of beautiful, century homes. I'm with you on looking at what progressive cities are doing. They certainly aren't demolishing their most historic homes for parking lots. Hamilton is trying to apply it's usual 1970's planning guidelines onto a plan that is supposed to look towards the future. The past is our best teacher - demolishing perfectly functioning building stock NEVER works, and adding more surface parking to the city also NEVER works. Find me an urban expert anywhere in the world who can disprove either of these points.

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