Comment 84650

By JMorse (registered) | Posted January 02, 2013 at 21:59:40

Sent to Chan, Horwath, McMeekin, council:

Dear Minister Chan,

Currently a key portion of Hamilton's built heritage is under threat of imminent demolition. I'm writing to request your intervention.

A demolition permit has been granted for 18-28 King Street West. Of the 19th century buildings that remain surrounding Gore Park, these are of prime heritage value. They are surely suitable for restoration or adaptive re-use. Being the city's central heritage public square, losing structures of such human scale, charm, and architectural significance would irreparably damage the fragile recovery of Hamilton's downtown core. Gore Park and the adjacent buildings have composed a pedestrian oriented area for over 150 years. There is currently no plan or promise to build on these sites, but a vague proposal to build a large residential condo, office, and supermarket block, with a multi-level parking garage facing Gore Park.

The city's downtown infrastructure is well suited for our government's stated goals of higher density, less car-dependent urban neighbourhoods. Newcomers like myself are attracted because of the heritage, culture, and dense pedestrian-friendly streets. My family and I moved to Hamilton and invested in an 1880s-built house for these very reasons. The heart of downtown Hamilton is seeing steady progress in attracting visitors, new residents, and small businesses, progress which is at risk by allowing these demolitions to proceed.

Hamilton's legacy as a major contributor in the early growth of Ontario and Canada is clear when glancing over historical texts and articles. What physically remains tells but a fraction of the story, which makes it even more important to protect. Hamilton has proven that clearing block after block of old buildings does not always serve the future citizens of Hamilton, yet we are on course for more of the same.

The property owner obtained the demolition permit just before the holidays, meaning no meetings are scheduled before January 9th in which our city council could take action. Please exercise your authority in having these structures designated as heritage properties and protected from demolition.

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