Hamilton 84 York Boulevard | ?m | 30s | Empire | Rafael + Bigauskas


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Mar 8, 2010
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Two new 31 storey towers beside Copps Coliseum. Would replace a church building from 1906 which congregation recently sold and is moving to another location downtown.

The existing building to be demolished (I would obviously rather see preservation here):


Renderings from ICON's website:












So, an internal preservation? Not going to win any design awards
I didn't want to summarize the full heritage report, but essentially the developer is proposing demolition with "elements" of the heritage structure to be incorporated into the new building lobby. Seems to largely be recreated though. But the report is like 300 pages long, so I didn't read into the weeds.
I didn't want to summarize the full heritage report, but essentially the developer is proposing demolition with "elements" of the heritage structure to be incorporated into the new building lobby. Seems to largely be recreated though. But the report is like 300 pages long, so I didn't read into the weeds.
Hahaha, yes I saw the 300 page count on one of the docs you shared.... Well at least they are not trying to fool anyone (see the Connolly) to think anything will really be preserved
Hrmm.. well.. it's better than nothing.. I suppose.. at least this forces the inside to have some beautiful pillared elements which look pretty nice :)

I suppose this is the best we're gonna get. I am cunfused where in their design that are is going though as it doesn't seem to match the floor plans..

I do like the rounded entrance at least - reminds me of the one they built across from the tivoli.

..and wow.. townhouses in this area? Bold..

But yeah I agree - this should have heritage protection. Esp. considering this strip has some of the last nice old buildings.
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I didn't want to summarize the full heritage report, but essentially the developer is proposing demolition with "elements" of the heritage structure to be incorporated into the new building lobby. Seems to largely be recreated though. But the report is like 300 pages long, so I didn't read into the weeds.
do you mind sharing where you got this info? I can't find anything from the usual sources unless I'm missing something.
It's heritage and is one of the only buildings left with ionic columns in the city I believe. Not sure where you got the info that people disliked it. Almost all the churches like this have either burned down or been demolished.

More info here: https://pub-hamilton.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=392647

This one shows there are significant physical defects that must be addressed to keep it stable apparently, and that caused the current congregation to look for a new home.. thus there is more to this one than meets the eyes..

From that article:

"Jablonsky, Ast and Partners prepared a Condition Assessment of Existing Structure Report, which is summarized below and built on the work of other subject matter experts. The original buildings, constructed in 1901 and 1906 with brick, were covered with a cement-based mortar in 1952 likely duet o the poor quality of the masonry. The cement-based mortar was adhered to the brick using steel mesh and nails. Overtime, moisture was trapped within the porous brick and the less porous cement based mortar causing the nails and steel mesh to rust, which further degraded the masonry over the past 70 years.

While the façades are in structurally reasonable condition, they are no longer able to perform the function of a durable building envelope and won’t hold up over the long term. Therefore, although it was initially part of the redevelopment plan, full or partial retention of the building and integration with the proposed development is not feasible.

Ultimately, the Report recommends the dismantlement of the building and re-use of certain heritage attributes.

Preliminary Proposal

Although the physical structure is unable to be integrated into a new development, our consultant team has recommended the retention of some of the heritage attributes and commemorative features that would highlight the history of the Philpott Memorial Church and its property. The attributes currently proposed to be retained and integrated into the new development include existing columns and stained-glass windows. A preliminary rendering provided below, demonstrates how these features could be integrated into a new development and pay respect to the site’s history. Other features to be integrated, as recommended by the CHIA, include the exterior wood double doors, the date stone, and a lunette window

The preliminary proposal also considers how the space can continue to act as a public gathering spot, just as the church does today. The current design includes retail at-grade, possibly as a café, with an outdoor patio at the corner of York Boulevard and Park Street North as demonstrated in the below Figure. Although the current church serves as an important public gathering spot for the downtown community, through the redevelopment of this property, the at-grade retail can animate the street providing more active and accessible uses throughout the year. The overall intent of the new building is to create a great place for residents and the public to gather. It will help to animate the street directly across from First Ontario Centre and compliment the emerging Entertainment District and investments by the City of Hamilton and Hamilton Urban Precinct Entertainment Group (HUPEG).."

So basically poor processes would mean that this building may eventually collapse on its own if left the way it is or incorporated into a new building.. so they are trying to salvage what they could, which may be all that we can ask for - we can't expect this developer to completely rebuild the church.

With respect to cultural heritage resources, the Downtown Hamilton Secondary Plan (Policy provides that:

“The City may require that as part of development proposals that cultural heritage resources be retained on-site and incorporated, used or adaptively re-used, as appropriate with the proposed development. Retention and protection of cultural heritage resources on lands subject to development may be a requirement as a condition of development approval. Specifically, heritage easements under subsection 37(1) of the Ontario Heritage Act may be required and negotiated, as well as development agreements, respecting the care and conservation of the affected heritage property.”

Cultural heritage attributes including the existing columns and stained-glass windows are proposed to be integrated in the future redevelopment. Other attributes, as recommended by the CHIA, will also be integrated as the design of the redevelopment advances. HC EC 89 Park LP is committed to the salvage and re-integration of heritage features and is open to securing these resources through a Heritage Conservation Easement as provided under Policy of the Downtown Hamilton Secondary Plan. Heritage Conservation Easement A letter addressed to our office, prepared by Sullivan Mahoney LLP, has been provided to demonstrate how a heritage conservation easement can be used to ensure heritage attributes are protected and integrated in a new development. A recent example from Niagara on the Lake is appended to this letter. Given the existing condition of the building, we believe a heritage conservation easement is the best option moving forward. It ensures key heritage attributes are protected and preserved for there development of the subject lands as desired by the city while supporting the efficient use of land and infrastructure, the creation of new homes and improvements to the public realm.

The Downtown Hamilton Secondary Plan (Policy 6.1.1) identifies the vision for Downtown Hamilton as:“… a vibrant focus of attraction where all ages, abilities, and incomes can live, work, learn, shop, and play. The future Downtown shall be a healthy, safe, comfortable, accessible, and prosperous community that promotes a high quality of life. It will combine the best of our heritage with new concepts and designs while seamlessly linking together the Downtown, surrounding neighbourhoods, the Waterfront, and the Escarpment.

”As identified, HC EC 89 Park LP explored several options for the existing building. Although partial or full retention of the building is not possible, integrating key heritage features into a new development balances the need to protect heritage resources with the City’s goals to intensify and rejuvenate the Downtown. These heritage attributes can be protected with a heritage conservation easement. Redevelopment of 84 York Boulevard would incorporate the best of the site’s heritage with a new concept and design that contributes to a healthy, safe, comfortable, accessible and prosperous Downtown. On November 30, 2022, the City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Urban Precinct Entertainment Group(HUPEG) signed a Master Agreement that will result in a multi-million dollar investment in the FirstOntario Centre, The FirstOntario Concert Hall and the Hamilton Convention Centre as well as the development of several underutilized parcels in the Downtown core. One of the intended consequences of the Agreement is to stimulate downtown development. Given the proximity of 84York Boulevard to the FirstOntario Centre, the site’s redevelopment will significantly contribute to the emerging entertainment district while paying respect to the site’s past.
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The database has been updated to reflect the new design concept by Rafael + Bigauskas for Empire Communities.

The new proposal has not yet been submitted as part of an application, but is summarized on page 79 of the Report to Heritage Ctte:
The existing building on site is currently home to the Philpott Memorial Church. The
Church identified several physical deficiencies with the building that required significant
repairs. They decided that relocating to a new building would be more economical and
would better suit the long-term needs of the congregation. The Church decided to sell
the property to the current owner and will be relocating to a new space in the fall of
The current proposal is not part of any formal planning application and is still subject
to change. After considering various design alternatives, the current proposal includes
the removal of the existing building and development of two 30-storey multiple
residential towers with ground floor retail.
The retail component will be oriented to the
Park Street and York Boulevard intersection. One tower will be located at the York
Boulevard and Park Street intersection, and a second tower will be oriented at the Park
Street and Vine Street intersection. Along the Vine Street frontage there will be seven
2-storey townhouses located at the ground level.
Interior to the development is proposed to be vehicular movement, with the entry/exit
accessed from Vine Street. A total of 747 residential units are proposed, with 467
parking spaces accommodated in four levels of underground parking.
patio areas will be provided along the York Boulevard and Park Street frontages in front
of the commercial units. Landscape elements will be installed and planted along each
As part of the preliminary development plan, the owners are proposing the retention
of some of the heritage attributes of the building and a commemorative feature to
highlight the history of the property and Philpott Memorial Church. Retained features
are proposed to be integrated into the development.
A preliminary concept of the
retained materials has been prepared, refer to figure 13.

The sale of the property is scheduled to close in September 2024.