Transit company Metrolinx has announced that they will be demolishing the 21 properties purchased along Hamilton’s former LRT route on King Street East, in spite of the transit project’s tenuous future.
According to Metrolinx, the purchased buildings lining King East – which have sat empty for over a year now – are being torn down strictly for safety reasons, such as avoidance of potential fires or other hazards.
"Why wouldn’t you let people live in these buildings?"
Metrolinx has decided to demolish at least 21 of the buildings it bought for Hamilton’s now-cancelled LRT line — despite community calls to resurrect the empty homes for affordable housing #HamOnthttps://t.co/AEkyJG8wuU
— Hamilton Spectator (@TheSpec) September 12, 2020
The demolition is set to go ahead this Fall, with a projected completion in early 2021.
The move to demolish these buildings has drawn considerable controversy from local affordable housing advocates, who have been pushing to see the vacant buildings used to address Hamilton’s current housing crisis.
However, Metrolinx has said that a key reason for the demolition is that these vacant buildings are apt to become safety hazards through activities such as break-ins and vandalism.
Metrolinx is also quick to note that the demolition is not related to any current transit projects, and the city is still awaiting word from the province’s Transportation Task Force on their recommendations for future transit infrastructure in the wake of the original LRT project’s cancellation.
Lead image courtesy of Google Maps