Harry Stinson: Stinson School Underway, Fully Occupied by Mid-2012

By Harry Stinson
Published November 28, 2011

On Monday, November 21, I paid a quarter million dollars ($228,012 to be exact) to the City of Hamilton for various fees and permits for the Stinson School, (to the happy surprise of the Planning and Building Departments).

On Friday, November 25, I picked up my morning Hamilton Spectator and read that the Stinson School is "months behind schedule" and financially floundering.

Hold the Press! HUGE story!! A building project in Hamilton that is "months behind..."

God forbid.

I would have thought the story should have been that the project is proceeding and is actually contributing to the City, (rather than whining for multi-million dollar handouts from the near-depleted Future Fund).

Consider the impact of such media coverage on purchasers, suppliers, trades, site staff, neighbours and even the folks at City Hall who are prioritizing which paperwork to move through the system.

"Months behind ... climbing a 'steep hill'".

The Stinson School is indeed underway and will be not only finished but fully occupied in mid-2012. That's only three years from 'inspiration to occupation', which is pretty good turnaround for a major heritage rejuvenation in Hamilton, turning a non-tax-paying school into millions of dollars in future property tax revenues.

Projects like The Stinson School project are a darn sight better deal for Hamilton than the Lister Block or City Hall (and the list goes on...). Unjustified media skepticism is hardly in the public interest, nor motivating to other prospective builders.

15 years ago, another Torstar publication mocked the Candy Factory Lofts project on Queen West in Toronto.

This time, my name is even on the building and I'm not going to give the "squelchers" (to borrow a phrase from Richard Florida) the last laugh.

Harry Stinson is a real estate developer whose projects include the Candy Factory Lofts and One King West in Toronto. In 2008, Stinson relocated his business and family to Hamilton. His current projects include Stinson School Lofts at 200 Stinson Street.


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By jason (registered) | Posted November 28, 2011 at 08:39:20

This is good to hear. We're all excited to see the finished product. I'm actually compiling a partial list (but it'll still be ridiculously long) of projects in Hamilton that have either been cancelled and massively delayed by red tape at city hall. And I'm finding one common denominator in every single case - from Main and Gage to Dundas - the projects are urban infill or historic building renovation. I'm trying to get info on the A&W drive thru project at King and Bay, but I'm guessing it'll be a breeze. Wanna stick up a stucco drive thru in Hamilton? No problem. Want to renovate the Dundas Post Office, a building on James North, a book-store/loft on King in the International Village, Stinson School, put a homeopathy school in an abandoned Ward 3 school, open a backpackers hostel, or build on an empty downtown lot (aka - Hamilton Grand), we'll throw a red-tape ticker parade so long and relentless that you'll leave Hamilton screaming and kicking.
None of us are surprised that you may be several months behind schedule. The fact that you're still here is remarkable.

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By jackiea (anonymous) | Posted November 28, 2011 at 09:21:58

Thanks to Harry, for believing in Hamilton, Ontario when so many do not.

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By Malex (anonymous) | Posted November 28, 2011 at 09:54:53

Hey Harry;
What's the official word on the Hamilton Grand? I heard it's dead, but the official website is still up. Thanks!

P.S. If it is dead, what's going to be your next project in Hamilton? If there is one...

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By Desmond (anonymous) | Posted November 28, 2011 at 10:11:46


You have received front page story after front page story lauding your "projects" when there has been absolutely nothing to back it up.

Years later, 1 negative story and you are all up in arms?

Sorry, but I don't buy it.

If you want to talk the talk you have to walk the walk.

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By Steve (registered) | Posted November 28, 2011 at 14:10:03 in reply to Comment 71652

Also, a breeze to establish Mission Services on Wentworth.

Building Permits, Schmilding Permits.....

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted November 28, 2011 at 16:23:35 in reply to Comment 71652

I was so damned depressed to see them completely rip down all the structures at Harvest Burger.

When A&W bought back their old building I'd hoped they were going to try to save the classy old parking-lot awnings and make it into some kind of cute retro flagship thing... I'm guessing they aren't building anything like that, eh?

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted November 28, 2011 at 17:52:59

If it was a Vranich project under similar timeline The Spec would be writting a glowing review.

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By Steve (registered) | Posted November 29, 2011 at 07:32:18

The Spectator is a hack paper at best, and one of the things holding Hamilton back from realizing it's true potential.

The low quality of reporting and editorial direction never ceases to amaze me.

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By TnT (registered) | Posted November 29, 2011 at 09:30:40

Honestly I didn't think the story was that negative on first read. However, it is a kind of read between the lines sort of thing. The points of Jason above are bang on.

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By Steve (registered) | Posted November 29, 2011 at 12:24:04

Nothing but good news on this proposed development story.

Now it's dead when will The Spec be writing a negative story on it? I'll tell you when NEVER!!!

The guy who had this proposal doesn't live here, so there is no ability to eat the young. That's what The Spec does it eats the young, but only if they live in Hamilton.

Live elsewhere, FREE PASS. As a newspaper The Spec continues to prove itself an EPIC FAIL.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted December 01, 2011 at 12:09:34 in reply to Comment 71685

The proposal is dead? Well that's disappointing...

I'd like to see stories like that, whether negative or not, so long as it's factual.

I mean, how often do we hear about projects and then nothing but silence. At least follow up and tell us it's dead.

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By Steve (registered) | Posted December 02, 2011 at 18:47:36 in reply to Comment 71777

Welcome to Specland, where factual and unbiased reporting have been successfully squashed like bugs.....

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By 1955 (anonymous) | Posted May 06, 2012 at 09:21:51

Does any one have any updates on Stinson School Lofts,.
Is this project dead, the last update was it would be occupied mid 2012.
We are no approaching mid 2012 and not a thing has happened since then.
Feel sorry for all of the purchasers who will be losing their 15 percent deposits..
Looks like Harry has taken the cash and put it into an othrt loosing scam in Niagara Falls.
Does Raise The Hammer have any updates on this situation....


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