By The Elders of Stinson Neighbourhood
We learned on our Oct. 4 2022 meeting with the Diocese, Good Shepherd H. and Housing Services Division, of the plan to build two very large assisted-living towers on the site of Old Cathedral. We requested G.S.H. Brother Richard for a small meeting to share with us his vision for the future of our neighbourhood. To date Good Shepherd H. has not responded.
In the meantime, we visited Good Shepherd Square, in Hamilton, to educate ourselves. The four apartment buildings and the grounds appear well kept. The two women’s shelters, Mary and Martha Place, are contained and separated from the apartment buildings. There was a blue tarp covered tent butting the Pearl St sidewalk, in front of Mary’s Place entrance.
On Oct 4 we repeatedly asked about the use of Old Cathedral until the end of the lease 2025, HSD. M. Baird and R. Mastroianni answered again and again: “At this time, there is no plan to operate a permanent shelter from this location” and this felt like they were avoiding the question. We recently heard from multiple people that Good Shepherd was going to operate Old Cathedral as a shelter for 400 men following March 2023 transition of the women to the new location. On Nov. 23 we requested Councillor Nann, Good Shepherd and Housing services to confirm it or deny it. No response yet.
We also bring to the public’s attention that 2 blocks from Old Cathedral, Core Urban Inc /WEEBB Planning Consultants, has applied for a building permit [SPA-22-158 – 400 King St E] for a 36 men Lodge at the rear of the former Red Cross where Mission Services is relocating its men shelter. The main building will house 96 men.
We contacted Joseph Sanseverino, Business Facilitator, Planning division, and we were told that “these lands have been zoned to allow for a Lodging House since October of 2018, when Council approved the Downtown Hamilton Zoning By-law 18-114.” and that the 36-men lodge addition was a “Minor Variance”. We wrote to the Committee of Adjustments stating that a 36 men Lodge was not a “Minor Variance” because if 36 extra men are added to the 96 men to be housed in the main building, this will present a significant increase of the numbers and it will have a major impact on an already overburdened community. Sanseverino indicated that those who feel that they will be impacted by the addition should raise their concerns by contacting the Committee of Adjustment at CofA@hamilton.ca
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