Thanks to the efforts of Duranders, concerned citizens, our Councillor, Jason Farr, and Councillor McHattie, the Gore Park street wall will remain standing .. for now.

Please see the following media release from councillor McHattie’s office

July 9, 2013 – Hamilton, ON – Early this afternoon, Councillor Jason Farr, Mr. David Blanchard and his representatives, city staff from Planning & Economic Development including Heritage Planning, as well as staff from the City Manager’s Office met. At that meeting Councillor Farr requested and it was agreed that any demolition would be stopped on the 24, 28 King St. Gore Park buildings as a solution is sought to maintain the architectural and heritage character of the Gore properties. This interim step allows time for continued community input, as well as dialogue between Mr. Blanchard and city staff.

Furthermore, staff has also requested that an independent peer review be done of the engineering report undertaken by the owner of these properties as an immediate next step.

“I want to thank Mr. Blanchard for his willingness to seek a solution”, said Councillor Jason Farr.  “There has been a significant focus on citizen input and engagement the last little while and it is important that it be considered in our decision making process.”

“Gore Park is important to this entire community. I remain committed to finding a solution that allows us to maintain the architectural and heritage character of Gore Park while also trying to move forward with this exciting project,” added Councillor Farr. (End of press release)

A Message From Councillor Farr on the Gore and the Downtown Secondary Plan issues:

With respect to the campaign regarding the violation of the Secondary Plan, as stated for the public record at GIC yesterday and to paraphrase; The Downtown Hamilton Secondary Plan recognizes the value of heritage buildings, streetscapes and the cultural landscapes and places a priority on their retention and enhancement.  The objectives speak to the conservation and adaptive re-use of heritage buildings as benefits for the entire community. The Secondary Plan also contains policies that provide direction for the preservation and enhancement of heritage buildings.   

In addition to these policies, Section deals with new development within the Gore and includes policies for projects in the Gore area in order to maintain the historic role and character of this space. Specifically, the policies speak to the retention and enhancement of the public open space of the Gore and its historic attributes by locating new buildings so that they maintain the traditional building line, permitting heights that are consistent with the traditional street, ensuring that new buildings utilize traditional building materials and incorporate architectural design that reflects or compliments the traditional architectural integrity of the area. 

The Policies of the Secondary Plan are applied when the City receives Planning Act applications. There are no Planning Act approvals associated with a demolition permit.  The Secondary Plan does not contain any policies prohibiting the demolition of heritage buildings nor does the plan provide any direction in terms of a hierarchy or preference regarding redevelopment (i.e. adaptive reuse over demolition and new construction). I hope you find this helpful and thank you for your engagement and commitment with respect to heritage issues. I will look forward to future engagement on this and other matters as it relates to our downtown.

A backgrounder on the Gore issues from Raise the Hammer: