Community-led project to survey Gibson

Last fall, we shared news of the Landsdale Neighbourhood Inventory. This community-led, volunteer-powered project is the work of Built Environment Hamilton, the registered not-for-profit that’s grown out of the Friends of St. Giles.

What started out as the Landsdale Neighbourhood Inventory is now the Gibson-Landsdale Neighbourhood Inventory.

This community-led inventory work is guided by city staff and follows the City of Hamilton’s Built Heritage Inventory Strategy. For more information about these inventories, see: A big thank you to our dedicated volunteers!

Gibson’s main development is from the early 20th century. Like its neighbour, Landsdale, it has a variety of historic buildings: commercial, institutional, residential, industrial, and places of worship. Churches like Wentworth Baptist, where Indwell is building affordable housing while retaining the 1924 sanctuary as community space, are a great example of how existing buildings play an important role in making sure our neighbourhoods are liveable and environmentally friendly.

Both neighbourhoods share a fascinating history and lots of beautiful buildings — reusable resources that are an important part of our built environment. But sadly, Gibson has only 4 buildings with full or partial heritage protection.

Gibson’s two designated buildings are the Canadian Westinghouse Headquarters (286 Sanford Ave. N.) and the Gibson School (601 Barton St. E.). As protected heritage properties, both Westinghouse HQ and the Gibson School Lofts project are eligible for a range of financial incentives. The Westinghouse renewal also won the prestigious Transformative Projects award from the National Trust for Canada.

Gibson’s two listed buildings are the film studio and former industrial building at Sanford and Aikman, the R. Ralston & Co. Factory (33 Sanford Ave. S.), and Lincoln Alexander House (30 Proctor Blvd.), where the trailblazing Black Canadian Lincoln M. Alexander made his home.

Do you have vintage photos of your neighbourhood? The team welcomes your photos of the area, as well as memories of the buildings that are most important to you.

Survey work is ongoing in both Gibson and Landsdale. We look forward to sharing updates on this community project. And if you see one of the inventory’s friendly volunteers on your street, please say hello!

Photo credits for images below:

  1. Details of Gibson’s two designated buildings, the Canadian Westinghouse offices and the Gibson School. Photos: Industryous, Stinson Properties.
  2. Lincoln Alexander House and 33 Sanford Avenue South, both listed properties in Gibson. Photos: Google, Barry Gray.
  3. Vintage photos of the Barton area: Thorpe Bros. Funeral Directors (at Chestnut Ave.), the Playhouse Theatre, and the Barton Library. Photos: Local History & Archives, Hamilton Public Library; Playhouse Cinema.