Demolition Permit Issued for Porch and Garage at 1 St James Place

photo 3Neighbours, the DNA, and Councillor Farr met on Monday evening May 12th to organize to stop the demolition of the porch and garage at 1 St James Place.  Developer Victor Veri, with no notice to the community, on Saturday May 10th began clear- cutting all of the trees on his property.  He informed residents that he was planning to make a parking lot. The neighbourhood managed to hold him off by calling the police, contacting Councillor Farr who then contacted  the Director of Municipal Law Enforcement .  Unfortunately as the trees were on the owner’s property, the City could do nothing to stop this travesty.

The property is zoned “C” and and a parking lot is not permitted.  A zoning amendment would be required as well as  site plan approval.  The owner has requested neither at this time.

The home built in 1936 by Pigott is one  two Art Moderne residences  in the Durand.  The other is located at 16 Inglewood.  The property is not designated but according to Nina Chapple, former City of Hamilton Senior Cultural Planner, the home is on the City’s inventory list as a building of interest for designation.  A  stop-work  order requested by Councillor Farr was denied as the developer has followed all procedures.  The equipment has been removed, but the destruction is heart breaking for the residents of St James Place and all of those who respect our landscape and our built heritage.

Councillor Farr indicated at the Monday meeting that we had 2 options; to designate the property or to try to reason with the owner Victor Veri (highly unlikely considering his previous actions with the trees).  However, at Council meeting on Wednesday May 14th, Councillor Farr moved a motion that Council approved to add 1 St James Place to the City’s Registry for buildings of cultural and heritage significance.  This gives Council 60 days to consider a heritage designation.  Unfortunately this is too little and too late as the owner already has a demolition permit to remove the garage and porch.

We  need to stop  the demolitions of the built heritage in Durand:  the office building on Jackson Street West, 80% James Street Baptist,  a designated landmark building  and now the cultural landscape and the demolition of a very special single family home.

The DNA  would like to have the discussion.  THERE IS ONE WAY TO PROTECT DURAND?  Let us  investigate together a Special Heritage Designation for Durand as South Rosedale in Toronto did in 2002. The entire South Rosedale Heritage Study can be found here.

In other Heritage news …

2821Now for some good news on the heritage front. City Staff is recommending that Charlton Hall be protected by heritage designation.  The request will go to Municipal Heritage Committee Thursday May 15th and then to Planning and finally to  Council for approval.   The Pasadena Apartments have applied for “selective demolition”.   This process will examine the interior, remove the drywall and determine whether the remaining building is structurally sound in order to rebuild.  That would be most welcome if this is indeed possible.


Despite objections by  Duranders and a plea by the DNA to respect the Minutes of Settlement (1996) that set out the very good planning recommendations for the former Thistle Site, the Planning Committee and Council approved the zoning amendment to allow an eleven storey tower with 105 units.  Residents argued over-intensification in Durand, poor planning principles by the developer, parking issues, and sun shadow concerns to no avail. Our Durand Neighbourhood Plan (1987) stated that this area was to be a buffer zone, thus the reason behind the height restrictions of 8, 7 and 4 with no more than 200 units.  According to Staff, this was an outdated policy and they were following guidelines laid out by Places to Grow and the newly adopted April 2014 Urban Official Plan.  Traffic also indicated that a Traffic Study was not necessary as Charlton could carry additional traffic.  Parking recognized the problems but  had no recommendations to alleviate what is already an issue and there is only 1 tower.  The GSP Group and KNY Architects did a  Sun/Shadow Study and according to their research there would be very little impact.

Please click here to see the delegation by the DNA.

Bike to Work Day on Monday May 26th
Bike to Gore Park, get a free breakfast and win prizes!

bike to work dayOn Monday May 26th 2014, Gore Park will be filled with people celebrating cycling as a mode of daily transportation as they share tips, experiences, refreshments from 7:00 am to 9:00 am.

Join us for the main reception and Community in Motion awards ceremony at 8:00 am! There will be a drawing of prizes,including an opportunity to win a free SoBi BikeShare membership or acommuter bicycle for all those who register for the event. This is a great opportunity to meet other residents and local organizations in the city who regularly cycle to school and work.

Annual Bike Share memberships will also go on sale on May 26th. However, for a limited time you can purchase a founding BikeShare membership which includes additional travel time, a t-shirt and the opportunity to name a bike.

If you are interested in organizing Bike to Work Day for your place of work, just send an email to To take part in Bike to Work Day and win amazing prizes, click here to register!

Public BikeShare Review – 3000 citizens engaged

The City of Hamilton, in partnership with Social Bicycles, will be implementing a bike share program in Hamilton early this summer. From February 24th to March 7th, there was a public engagement period to gain valuable input from citizens in the area through committee meetings, physical and digital mapping tools, email and phone calls, as well as social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

The local media and regional blog platforms were also key in sharing our message, amounting to 1000’s of views across the city. As a result of the feedback, we have implemented approximately 20 new stations now totaling 100, and look forward to their fast-approaching installation in anticipation for a membership drive and station unveiling on Bike to Work Day, May 26th.

Social Bicycles ‘smart-bike’ approach reduces costs while increasing features. Previous technologies require the installation of ‘smart-docks’ and kiosks to control check-ins and check-outs. By putting all the locking technology on the bike itself, Social Bicycles can install stations at a fraction of the cost. This makes for a more financially sustainable system and a scale-able technology that can grow with demand. Social Bicycles feature a robust step through frame, integrated lock, shaft drive, responsive solar lighting, and mobile communications.

For more information on Hamilton Bike Share please visit or for information on the Public Engagement Report please visit

Participants needed for Neighbourhood Study: Join the Chamber CEO at a session

McMaster is seeking volunteers to help determine what makes a neighbourhood vibrant, as part of the Expressing Vibrancy project led by non-profit organization CoBALT Connects.

Through participation in an audience session at McMaster’s unique LIVE Lab, volunteers will be asked to view images and videos of neighbourhoods, and provide their responses on distributed tablets. A portion of participants who take part will have their brain waves, heart rate, and breathing rate measured.

This opportunity requires a one-time commitment of about 2.5 hours. High school students participating in a session may count two hours towards their required volunteer hours. Participants must be over the age of 13 and residents of Hamilton. The cost of on-campus parking for participants travelling by car or bus fare will be provided.

Be part of this unique look into Hamilton’s neighbourhoods by volunteering for one of the audience sessions:

  • Tuesday, May 20th – 10am
  • Wednesday, May 21st  – 7pm
  • Thursday, May 22nd – 7pm
  • Friday, May 23rd – 11am
  • Saturday, May 24th – 11am

For more information and to sign up to a shift, please contact us at:

905 777 0787 or