The boarded-up properties along the proposed LRT route will soon be vacant lots. Very soon. Metrolinx contractors will be demolishing a number of properties acquired to build the former Hamilton light rail transit (LRT) project, in order to make communities safer.
This includes demolition of 21 vacant properties, to reduce the risk of fire and other potential hazards. A release from Metrolinx stressed the work is not connected to any planned transit project, as Hamilton awaits decisions related to the recommendations provided by the Hamilton Transportation Task Force.
Most of the buildings scheduled for demolition have been vacant for more than a year. As part of regular maintenance and inspection patrols, Metrolinx’s property management team has noted a risk of fire due to smoking and illegal dumping.
In a statement Metrolinx officials note vacant structures can become safety hazards, prone to vandalism and break-ins, no matter what efforts are in place to secure them.
A contract for all building demolitions was recently awarded to Budget Demolition, a local company with experience in demolition, and an intimate knowledge of Hamilton’s neighbourhoods and communities.
Pending permit approval, demolition is anticipated to begin sometime this fall, and be completed in early 2021. Prior to any demolition taking place, Metrolinx will notify surrounding businesses and residents.
Plans for the remaining Metrolinx-acquired properties along the corridor are still being established. Some properties continue to be leased by commercial and residential tenants and are not being considered for demolition at this time.
Development plans and future ownership of these properties will be determined at a later date.