Strathcona Residents Welcome Redevelopment

By Jason Leach
Published July 25, 2007

It's nice to live in a neighbourhood not run by NIMBYs.

How often do you see a comment sheet like this after a public meeting? The comments relate to the city's plan to build a bridge connecting Strathcona neighbourhood to the Waterfront Trail, which links Pier 4 with Princess Point.

I remember the same observation striking me at public meetings for the new building next to the firehall on Strathcona St. just north of King St. I expected complaints about height and lack of parking, but the complete opposite happened.

The residents gave our support to the developer to ask the city for less parking than city requirements in order to save the firehall. Not one person complained about the five storey height.

People were throwing out suggestions to the church rep about using the firehall as a café, restaurant, loft apartments, and so on.

I'm not sure why this is, but strathcona has a great population that "gets it" when it comes to redevelopment.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.


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By mark (registered) | Posted July 25, 2007 at 21:12:49

While it is heartening to see a well-thought-out project proposal being warmly received by the affected community, it really has more to do with welcoming infrastructure enhancements than a lack of NIMBY attiude in Strathcona. After all, this is the neighbourhood that has fought Alan Wittle and the Good Shepherd tooth-and-nail to try and prevent construction of much-needed transitional housing for women at the former Loretto Academy site. The stalling tactics employed by the likes of Mark Volterman have delayed these plans for years, and the sole driving force of these tactics is to keep the housing for women escaping abuse out of the Strathcona neighbourhood. Surely it doesn't get much more NIMBY than that.

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By jason (registered) | Posted July 26, 2007 at 07:52:43

actually, the Good Shepherd case was simply residents trying to get city council to uphold their own rules....our city would be a much better place if council simply followed the plans and proceedures already laid out.

Council had spent the previous year drawing up new regulations dealing with how large shelters can be and how close they can locate to existing social services. As we all know, downtown Hamilton carries the majority of facilities in this sector. The goal was to 'share the love' with other parts of the city. The first application to come across council's desk was this one. It needed all sorts of ammendments due to the fact that it broke these freshly established rules. As this isn't Westdale or Ancaster it came as no surprise when council was willing to allow the project to proceed. Again, I attended the meetings about this project and dont' remember anyone being upset about the womens shelter portion of the project. It was the specter of more shelter space being added and the unknown with respect to the high rise buildings - would they end up like the buildings on Ferguson North run by Wesley? And of course, folks whose back yards face the site weren't too happy about 4 buildings ranging from 3-10 stories being built. The height has since been knocked down to 8.

This was appropriate neighbourhood involvement, not NIMBYism. Several months ago word got out that Options for Homes was looking to partner in the project. Most folks were excited about this. That idea fell through and the whole project has stalled, not because of residents, but because of lack of funds at the Good Shepherd. Finally, track record came into play. These were the same guys who mere months earlier were making presentations down in International Village to build a new 'apartment/office' building there with tons of removable walls and big empty rooms on the main floors. Board rooms they said. The neighbourhood knew better and council blocked the project, just as they should have in Strathcona.

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By Mark (registered) | Posted July 26, 2007 at 14:20:39

"If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, you can be reasonably sure it is a duck."

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By Ben nevis (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2008 at 08:55:51

I know mark Volterman. He is a bellicose and unmitigated a**hole.

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