Massive development in former 'ghetto of the east end' will go ahead

One of Hamilton's biggest inner city developments in modern history has cleared its last major hurdle.

The Roxborough Park development has cleared its last major planning hurdles

The Roxborough Park development, says Sam Merulla, "is such a huge catalyst to changing the entire face of the east end." The project cleared a major hurdle Tuesday. (MSAi)

One of Hamilton's biggest inner city developments in modern history has cleared its last major planning hurdle.

City councillors paved the way Tuesday for Roxborough Park Inc. to build a huge development that includes three apartment buildings, affordable homes, hundreds of townhouses and 100 social housing units.

The development covers 5.52 hectares (13.64 acres) near the Red Hill Valley Parkway. It will serve a mixed range of incomes, said Sam Merulla, Ward 4 councillor, and "change the face of the east end."

Twenty years ago, Merulla said, this area of McQuesten was seen by some as "the ghetto of the east end."

Intensification is not a bad thing.- Coun. Sam Merulla

Since then, "we've been able to turn it into an area where people used to work to move out, to where they're working to move in," he said.

"This next step is such a huge catalyst to changing the entire face of the east end."

The project will go where the now-closed Roxborough Park school was, and replace a neighbourhood of 60-year-old CityHousing Hamilton rowhouses. Roxborough Park Inc. is a collaboration between Urbancore Developments, Carriage Gates Homes and Effort Trust, in collaboration with CityHousing Hamilton.

The development will happen where the now-closed Roxborough Park school is located, as well as a social housing development. (Google)

Over two years, the number of concerned residents have gone from "a few hundred concerned people to a few concerned people," Merulla said.

Two such people attended a city council planning committee meeting Tuesday, when councillors approved a plan of subdivision for the project. Councillors also approved amendments to the official plan and zoning bylaw, two major parts of the planning process.

One was Sylvia Perrone, who lives on Reid Avenue South, across from the development. One of the apartment buildings will be eight storeys, and two of them will be 10 storeys. All the houses around it are one storey, she said. That includes hers.

"I will look out my front window and see this big brick wall eight storeys high, and then two more behind it."

Merulla maintains the good it will do for the neighbourhood — and tax bills, since the existing property collects no taxes — will be worth it. "Intensification is not a bad thing," he said.

City council still has to ratify the decisions Friday.

Here are some details of the development:

  • It includes 36 street townhouse dwellings, 44 block townhouse dwellings, 122 maisonette dwellings, and 120 stacked townhouse dwellings.
  • It will also include 350 to 365 apartments. One building will be eight storeys, two will be 10 storeys.
  • Of these, 100 units will be social housing via CityHousing Hamilton. These units replace existing ones built nearly 60 years ago.
  • The decision applies to 20 Reid Ave. N., 11-17 and 41 Reid Ave. S., 22-116 Lang St. and 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24 Hayes St.

About the Author

Samantha Craggs

Reporter

Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She has a particular interest in politics and social justice stories, and tweets live from Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca

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