In spite of impassioned calls from locals to convert the properties into affordable housing, transit company Metrolinx is nonetheless moving ahead in their plans to demolish 21 empty buildings originally purchased for the now-suspended Hamilton Light Rail Transit (LRT) project.
Pending city permits, Metrolinx plans to begin the demolition of the buildings – which line a stretch of King Street East on what would have been Hamilton’s LRT route – at the end of November.
— 900 CHML (@AM900CHML) September 11, 2020
The news is sure to aggravate the city’s affordable housing advocates, who pushed for the 21 properties, which have sat empty for over a year, to be converted into residences that help address the city’s growing housing crisis.
Metrolinx pushed back on the idea, citing health & safety hazards to leaving the properties standing and now adding that the buildings are in too much disrepair, with asbestos and lead in them, and would be too expensive to restore for residential use.
The demolition is set to happen regardless of the future of Hamilton’s ill-fated LRT project, which was unceremoniously pulled by Ontario’s transportation minister Caroline Mulroney late last year but has since been tossed around for ongoing consideration.
Lead image courtesy of Google Maps