Downtown Bureau

June Construction Roundup

A summary of the ups and downs of building activity in the downtown and north end.

By Shawn Selway
Published June 20, 2014

James Street GO Station, James at the CN Main Line

James Street GO Station
James Street GO Station

Build it and maybe they will serve it. Work advances rapidly on the ramp down to the GO parking lot which will extend westward from James GO station along the rail right of way. A handsome bit of Pan Am infrastructure with a promising but uncertain future.

Bay Street Bridge, Bay at Stuart

Bay Street Bridge
Bay Street Bridge

Problems doubled the construction time on this bridge replacement job, but the end is near.

North End Teardowns, John Near Ferrie, Bay Near Simcoe

John near Ferrie
John near Ferrie

Bay near Simcoe
Bay near Simcoe

The North End bubble continues to expand and is now inducing demolitions. Twenty nine properties changed hands in the area bounded by Wellington, the CN main line and the water between January and the end of May, and June looks very busy also. There were three tear downs last year, of one story wood frames.

But this Bay Street demolition - to make way for a small condo project - was of a large brick house. Clearly this degree and rate of change is going to be dislocating (literally) for some. So far we hear lots of cheerleading from the realtors and not much from anyone else. Social Planning and Research Council, what's happening?

Commercial Block, James at Vine

James and Vine
James at Vine

Placing concrete at part one of an extremely robust three story building kitty-corner from the still surviving Tivoli on James North.

Former Otis Elevator/Studebaker, Ferrie at Victoria

Ferrie at Victoria
Ferrie at Victoria

Two large blocks of the twentieth century industrial base have been pulverized to make way for new trades shops.

Mcmaster Children's Health Centre, Wellington at Birge

Wellington at Birge
Wellington at Birge

The good news: a surface parking lot is being replaced with a structure. The bad news: a surface parking lot is being replaced with a structure. Continued iatrogenic necrosis of the surrounding area is anticipated.

Braley Memorial Parking Amenity and Kiosk, King at Bay

King at Bay
King at Bay

On the heritage front, historic asphalt continues to weather nicely at the David Braley Memorial Parking Amenity and Kiosk. Observers will recall that the lot was threatened by the continuing existence of the Board of Education building, which has since been removed.

The site is now occupied by a large pile of public debt.

Meditation Pool at the Braley Memorial
Meditation Pool at the Braley Memorial

Shawn Selway is a Stelco trained millwright who runs a consultancy in the interpretation and conservation of historic machinery. He lives in the North End with his family.

14 Comments

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Read Comments

[ - ]

By RobF (registered) | Posted June 20, 2014 at 11:15:05

Nice work :)

Who is David Braley again? (I still don't know who Ivor Wynne was, why he mattered, and if there's any relation to Kathleen ... )

Where is the large pile of public debt? Hopefully it didn't go down the drain in the photo. Or to the Society for the Preservation of Endangered and Essential Downtown Surface Parking Lots.

Comment edited by RobF on 2014-06-20 11:23:53

Permalink | Context

By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted June 20, 2014 at 18:29:14 in reply to Comment 102751

David Braley: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Brale...

Ivor Wynne: http://www.ticats.ca/article/who-was-ivo...

Comment edited by DowntownInHamilton on 2014-06-20 18:29:38

Permalink | Context

By RobF (registered) | Posted June 20, 2014 at 20:09:21 in reply to Comment 102768

I'm originally from Vancouver, and a BC Lions fan. I know who Braley is. I suppose i was being a little too cheeky with my comment ... count me as unimpressed with the naming of things after business tycoons or corporate sponsors.

Permalink | Context

By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted June 20, 2014 at 22:33:05 in reply to Comment 102770

I'm originally from Vancouver, and a BC Lions fan.

You should be banned from the forum. ;-)

Comment edited by DowntownInHamilton on 2014-06-20 22:33:13

Permalink | Context

By RobF (registered) | Posted June 20, 2014 at 23:34:15 in reply to Comment 102771

I know. Does being a Canucks fan make it worse?

Permalink | Context

By Henry and Joe (anonymous) | Posted June 21, 2014 at 14:11:29 in reply to Comment 102772

No, that is understandable. Being from one CFL city and changing allegiances would be bad. The only thing worse is being a leafs fan. There is no good reason for that whatsoever.

Permalink | Context

By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted June 21, 2014 at 00:03:23 in reply to Comment 102772

Absolutely. :D

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Borrelli (registered) | Posted June 20, 2014 at 11:39:20

Great update, Shawn! You can't say downtown is stagnant, that's for sure...

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By redmike (registered) | Posted June 20, 2014 at 16:32:47

"funny" story. we live in corktown. big pass through area in the a.m for mountain commuters trying to reach the core or the highway and beyond. for over two years our streets have been pulled up to accommodate to expansion of the water works pump station at the top of ferguson. the sole purpose of the expansion is to allow current and future residents of the mountain to flush their toilets and get water from their taps. the mountain people i work with are livid, livid! about the delays and detours to their commute. its our neighbourhood being razes and re-razed every year. corktowners have had to deal with flooding, wrecked foundations, loss of green space and recreation areas, torn up front yards, loss of parking, heavy equipment at 7 am, all to build a pump station for existing and future sprawl on the mountain. then the mountaineers i work with complain like its our fault they spent an extra ten minutes in the cars they love so much! we arent even getting upgrades to our sewer or water services! the upgrades are to the trunk. head shakingly mind numbingly true.

Permalink | Context

By jason (registered) | Posted June 20, 2014 at 18:24:28 in reply to Comment 102762

Highland Rez park same thing. Further west along the escarpment they did the same thing a few years back.

While other cities make new developments maintain and house their own storm-water, here we just dump it all into the lower city so residents below can enjoy the annual tradition of bailing out their basements and paying skyrocketing insurance. Oh and don't forget we all got to chip in to pay for the Red Hill and Linc so that trucks could be removed from downtown and our streets calmed. Lucky us, we got to pay AND keep the 5-lane truck freeways.

Real cities don't dump their infrastructure problems into the poorest neighbourhoods. They deal with the problem, AND enhance the beauty and streets of the city at the same time:

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3030116/these...

Permalink | Context

By Also in Corktown. (anonymous) | Posted June 20, 2014 at 17:49:37 in reply to Comment 102762

That's cool. I live in Corktown too, right near the pumping station. Construction's been wrapped for about a year now in the area, if memory serves. Right now the only construction in the area I'm aware of is the side streets surrounding the park. I am moving up the mountain shortly, so it's good to know I won't have any water flow issues.

The brunt of the construction was 2010-2012/13. We've got pretty solid streets right now, although some of the side streets have had some serious sinkhole issues lately (Augusta, Catherine, etc) but the work done in 2010+ has given the majors pretty good surfaces. Still battling a lot of unnecessary traffic at John/Charlton, James/Charlton and up/down the Jolley cut though.

Permalink | Context

By redmike (registered) | Posted June 21, 2014 at 14:43:10 in reply to Comment 102763

ferguson has been and continues to be a mess, from the hill down to the tunnel. aurora too.

Permalink | Context

By Selway (registered) | Posted June 21, 2014 at 10:59:28 in reply to Comment 102763

No, no. No water flow issues...As long as you co-operate. Sure would like to see those two way conversions and complete streets stuff go forward...

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Keith (anonymous) | Posted June 21, 2014 at 21:49:16

The Ferguson pumping station primarily is for the Lower City/west end, pumping water to areas between Corktown and Dundas, and parts of the West Mountain.

chch.com/construction-completed-ferguson-ave-pumping-station/

Permalink | Context

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to comment.

Events Calendar

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools

Feeds