Hello Breeze’s readers and I hope this latest issue finds you and your family well! This month I wanted to share with you some of the facts and history of the Sunset Cultural Garden site. As many know, the garden itself was always meant to be temporary in its current location and received assistance from City Community Garden staff and funds in part from our Ward 2 Participatory Budget (where residents devised and voted on $1 million dollars in beautification capital projects throughout the Ward). The parcel at Strachan St. West and Bay St. North had been used as an overflow parking lot for Bayfront Park for many years following the expropriation of homes in the area to make room for an ill-conceived perimeter road that thankfully never happened. During the era of overflow parking on this lot, discussion began in the neighbourhood with respect to how this parcel may be utilized in both the short and long term. Short term use discussions included an agreement by the city and garden volunteers on a temporary community garden in 2014.
Through extensive community consultation with my office, various city divisions and with $10,000 dollars in funding from the Ward 2 Participatory Budget, the temporary community garden was created, and it was agreed by all parties that any garden infrastructure would not be hard infrastructure or permanent in nature. Garden volunteers have done an admirable job working within the defined parameters. In fact, thanks to support from my council colleagues, I was successful in a motion that states once the process for this phase of the Jamesville redevelopment comes to fruition the garden will be replicated by Public Works staff on the opposite corner as the gateway to Bayfront Park.
Through a council motion, March 21, 2017, the land was transferred from the City of Hamilton to CityHousing Hamilton to be included in the Jamesville redevelopment. This redevelopment plan for Jamesville was crucial in not only updating aging units, but also increasing the number of affordable units on that site (and nearby) as part of a greater mixed-income community.
The North End is blessed with more greenspace than any other neighbourhood in Ward 2. From the growing number of hectares of park land along our waterfront, to the borders of the Haida where the Eastwood Park rejuvenation continues. In fact, save for a few blocks stretch on Wellington St., we have a green ring of public park and park-like space around the entire North End. This includes, but is not limited to Eastwood Park, Jackie Washington Park, Bayfront Park, Piers 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 (the new Copps Family Pier). In addition, enhancements to the pedestrian realm continue in the form of an expanded dog run, public trails like the recently completed Strachan St. multi-modal path and bike lanes throughout the North End. I’ve also had the pleasure of receiving past support from my colleagues on funding for enhanced play spaces for kids at both Bennetto and St. Lawrence schools. The North End continues to be a coveted neighbourhood for safe friendly environs that continue to grow.
The successful proponents won the right to develop the Jamesville lands (Strachan to Ferrie between McNab and James) with the Bay/Strachan parcel included. Others participated in our public request for proposals to partner with CityHousing Hamilton, but this winning consortium had great local partners and really answered our call for a net gain in affordable housing opportunities. The Master Development Agreement in place. A great deal of work and ongoing public engagement has led to creating a site that will be transformed from a housing project to a complete and inclusive mixed income community.
The work on the Jamesville site is now underway with demolition of the existing structures through the next six months and due to be completed by August of this year. What will replace the 91 townhouse (Jamesville) units will be approximately 166 affordable units within the over-all Jamesville mixed-income redevelopment. 46 affordable units owned and operated by CityHousing Hamilton and up to 120 operated by Indwell. In addition to the net gains in affordable housing, there will be 14 parcels hosting approximately 287 stacked townhomes. It should be noted that another 55 affordable units (family size) are connected directly to this project taking advantage of a motion I moved years ago to produce better and higher uses with the approximate 17 surface parking lots owned by the City of Hamilton and in the core. Council approved a CityHousing Hamilton acquisition of the parking lot at 106 Bay St. N. at Cannon St. W. from the City for these family units and when added to the Jamesville project, approximately 221 affordable housing units will be built.
Whatever transformation occurs at the corner of Bay and Strachan, be assured that this gateway will remain green and appealing at all four points and as previously confirmed. Until next time, Breezes Readers! Enjoy your many green amenities new and traditional this spring and thanks for reading. Please continue to call or write anytime with your questions, comments or concerns.
Ward 2 Office: 905-546-2711