Tuesday , 30 May 2023
Home Opinion Opinion: What if some of the demolished Metrolinx properties might not be needed?

Opinion: What if some of the demolished Metrolinx properties might not be needed?

This 21 -unit apartment block demolished to accommodate LRT

Metrolinx recently released an Instagram post showing a shored-up chimney that was all that was left standing from an apartment building that stood at the corner of King and Holton. The building that contained 21 formerly moderately-priced apartments was demolished to make way for the LRT corridor. The Bay Observer attempted to learn the reason for Metrolinx needing the property, given it is located between the proposed Sherman and Wentworth LRT stops but did not receive a reply.  However, the Environmental Assessment document Metrolinx filed in 2017 indicates the property is needed to widen King Street at the point to accommodate a curve in the track.

All that remains of the apartment building at 832 King East (right) is the chimney (left)

Making way for the Hamilton LRT has taken a big bite out of Hamilton’s dwindling affordable housing stock, particularly in Ward Three. The same EA document indicates that Metrolinx plan includes the demolition of 34 detached houses, almost all of which had been duplexed or triplexed as residential units, along with three apartment buildings, the largest of which is the King and Holton Property and 13 commercial buildings, all of which had secondary residences on upper floors. Most of the demolitions have occurred since the 2017 EA document was approved by Hamilton Council.

It all comes at a time when the Eglinton Cross Town LRT in Toronto is threatened with a construction halt due to legal squabbling and massive cost overruns in the project which is also years behind schedule.  

A far as the Hamilton LRT project is concerned, The Premier recently acknowledged that the $3.4 billion that has been allocated from the province and the federal government may not be enough. The cost of borrowing has more than doubled since the last round of approvals, and construction groups are no longer willing to assume full risk on projects of this size. In addition, the kinds of construction consortia with the capacity to build a complicated project of this nature are very busy coming out of the pandemic.

Off the record, individuals  at Queens Park familiar with the project are beginning to suggest that, given what were are seeing elsewhere with similar projects, the existing budget might not get the project much past connecting McMaster to the downtown, meaning most of the housing demolition that has taken place east of downtown may have been premature.

Back to the chimney at King and Holton. Metrolinx posted a picture with the caption: “Prior to demolition works, we discovered that the building’s chimney was a potential habitat for the Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica). The Chimney Swift is a bird species listed as Threatened on the Species at Risk in Ontario list, and on the federal Species at Risk public registry. We adapted our plans, and the building’s chimney is now being retained and stabilized.”

%s Comment

  • Merolinx is a huge con ern.Doug Ford puts a gag order on the Eglington LRT project.Silence and hidden agendas .When Metrolinx does NOT get investigated the bad and concerning operation will go on.Hamilton LRT project will mirror Eglington problems.We also have HSR in support of the LRT project in Hamilton.Yet at HSR update on transit routes had No concerns.Asked many questions to HSR reps.Had none.Who operators LRT,who gets the transit fare revenue dont know,who gets ad revenue don’t know.Much like Metrolinx 10 public meetings the public got No nswers.All to common with Metrolinx.Is Hamilton tax payers ready to get burned with Metrolinx?

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