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Sonja Bata plans to rebuild Batawa

I've always thought that the core of Kingston is one of the most beautiful urban areas in Ontario, at least in terms of heritage architecture, waterfront and beautiful parks.

History is really what makes Kingston an interesting place. On the surface Kingston is a fine looking city with some of the touristy areas well taken care of. However, armed with even a modest amount of knowledge in Canadian history and architecture, the experience is several fold more interesting and enriching.

During the 19th century the city actually had a moderate amount of importance in the Upper/Lower Canada region. It was once the political center (even if for a short time), established a well respected university, and served as a financial center for the surrounding counties. When you walk around the city, you can see the wealth that was once present in the city in the beautiful homes and an urban environment that once would have been very vibrant.

It is often hard to see this since time has taken its toll on the city. But most of the limestone buildings still stand and save a few areas that fell to urban renewal, much of the underlying character is there. What is most interesting, in my own opinion, are some of the areas that tourists will never see. There are a number of streets where on first glance it looks to be little more than crumby homes covered in vinyl or aluminum siding. But when you look closer, most of these houses, freestanding and row, are probably 100 years old and underneath the crumby cladding are brick or limestone. I would not be surprised if many of them where the original windows are not still in the frame had them hiding somewhere in the backyard or a rotting shed.

It is nice to see that the leadership in Kingston is adopting a more progressive attitude towards the city and how it develops. It would be tragic if the city simply fell to 'quick and easy' forces of modern development and failed to build on the history and strengths it has.

wouldbe interesting to know how much she paid for it and if she had an EA done on the site prior. Im sure it will need some level of remediation especially if she's going to put homes on the site.

if it needs clean up then im sure Bata were just glad to get rid of it, and which means she would have picked it up for little to nothing. This woman is pretty shrude. I think she deserves an award. May be a CUI Brownie!

maybe we need more like her to finance redevelopmet or just clean up of brownfield real estate.
This is one of our oldest threads, silent for nearly 13 years now, but Batawa is now a growing thing again, and the old shoe factory has been transformed by Quadrangle and Dubbeldam into rental apartments that they're calling the BatawaLofts, It's really quite nicely done, and a huge surprise in the midst of cottage country.

These are some shots I got of the place about four weeks ago now in early Spring:



Inside a number of the furnished model suites. Again, these are essentially modernist getaway rental apartments, not condos.




The ceilings are sometimes pretty high, around 13 feet!




Here's the rental office on the main floor, which will likely be a sales centre for years as new phase are built. Single family homes will soon be for sale.


The next ones are from the rooftop terrace of the BatawaLofts, looking in various directions:







Those last two are of the Trent River and Canal: that's lock number 4 on the right, above.

I read this thread from the beginning and wondered what I'd find that merited a bump thirteen years later. That's a pretty improbable place for a loft conversion, so I'm pleased and a little surprised that the story has such a happy ending!
I'm familiar with some of the people who made this happen. Looks cute, but the prices are a bit much.
Of all the places to have surface parking. If you're going to pay that much for a condo you should at least get to avoid cleaning your car off in the winter.