Hamilton cultural garden gets temporary reprieve


Published July 8, 2021 at 12:56 am


There is a glimmer of hope for the Sunset Cultural Garden in north-end Hamilton.

On Wednesday, the City of Hamilton’s public works committee deferred a request to sell off the north-end land that hosts the community-built garden, so the Jamesville public housing project can be redeveloped with an anticipated net gain of 110 units. It was referred to Friday morning’s city council meeting by a 10-0 vote.

Ward 2 City Councillor Jason Farr said he would meet with the developer to see if they were “willing to have the conservation” about tweaking building plans in a manner that would allow the garden to remain at the corner of Bay and Strachan streets.  

“If between now and Friday the proponent says ‘no, we want to maintain that’… I would want to carry out (the request) on Friday at council,” Farr said, also noting that has long been understood that the land might be developed into housing that is needed in the city.

The Sunset Cultural Garden was launched in 2014 using community volunteers and donations. It is home to some 2,000 native plants and offers open greenspace near the city’s waterfront.  

Sandra Hudson, representing Friends of Sunset Cultural Garden, told the committee that having the garden has helped foster a sense of community. She also said having a building right on the corner would decrease visibility for motorists.

“The visual character of the corner is open and peaceful,” Hudson said. “That openness is an essential part of the message that visitors get when they cross the (CN Rail) tracks on Bay Street. Buildings add nothing to that. The corner also requires open sightlines.

“A building (right on the corner) with cars turning would increase accidents,” she added.

The planning for residential development began in 2017. The Jamesville development is being led by Indwell and the Jamesville Redevelopment Corporation, which includes Marz Homes, FRAM + Slokker and Melrose Investments and Homes by DeSantis. 

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