Tag Archives: Revitalization

The Royal Connaught is getting a second life

Remember Harry Stinson’s proposed 100-storey spire for the Royal Connaught? Thankfully, Valery Homes and Spallecci Group have a better idea.

The 100-storey spire

Harry Stinson’s proposed 100-storey spire for the Royal Connaught

In partnership with KNY Architects, these developers plan to construct a residential building that pays homage to the Royal Connaught’s rich history, while retrofitting it with a new look.

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The plan is to revitalize and incorporate the existing Connaught, and add three new towers. These three towers will be superimposed beside, as well as behind the Connaught, to surround the existing building. The new towers will be 36, 33, and 24 storeys, with 700 units in total.

Artist renderings show the new, more contemporary-looking towers consisting of a smoky grey glazed glass that rises up the entire height of the towers. Historical elements incorporated into the new towers, like the Connaught’s large overhanging cornice and signature red brick, will accent the juxtaposing modern additions.

The new development will fill all but a corner of the block that surrounds Main and King, between John and Catherine. Access to parking for the complex will be via Catherine Street and will include two underground levels and seven above.

A seven-storey podium will also be added, that is meant to compliment the Connaught and connect the additional towers. The podium will have an accessible rooftop balcony on the eighth floor that will offer several amenities for residents of the towers. Some of the amenities listed include a theatre, fitness center, party room, and a terrace complete with cabanas and fire-pits. At ground level, the podium will offer 13 000 square feet for commercial space along King Street, Catherine Street, and Main Street.

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The Royal Connaught itself will be going through some major changes. The upper floors will be reconstructed to include the eighth-floor connection to the additional three towers. The southern end of the building, a three-storey addition that contains the Grand Ball Room, will be demolished to accommodate the new towers. The Edwardian façade, with its red brick, limestone, and large arcade-style windows will remain largely untouched. Once finished, the 13-storey Connaught will consist of 135 units.

Built by Harry Frost in 1914, the Royal Connaught hotel has changed hands several times through its lifetime. It has also played host to some of the most notable visitors to ever come to Hamilton, including Pierre Trudeau and Al Capone.

Residences are said to start at around $100,000. For more information visit: www.royalconnaught.com

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Filed under Architecture, Development, Economy, Heritage, History

Dundas’ Carnegie Gallery in the midst of a revitalization

Carnegie Gallery on King Street W and Ogilvie Street, Dundas

Carnegie Gallery on King Street W and Ogilvie Street, Dundas

One of the most beloved heritage buildings in Dundas is getting both a facelift and a new addition.

Carnegie Gallery is in the midst of a revitalization project by Dundas-based architects Perkins + Will. The changes being made to the gallery include street level accessibility, a wheelchair accessible washroom, a visitor operable elevator, and some extra gallery wall space, among others.

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The street level accessibility will be on Ogilvie Street, via the new addition. This addition will be an atrium, which is superimposed against the southern side of the building. The atrium will feature large floor-to-ceiling windows facing the street and a brick accent that should fit seamlessly with the building’s existing exterior.

The building is a neoclassical (or beaux arts) design, with its tall staircase, portico, doric columns, and half columns.

Originally Carnegie Library, the building first opened its doors on December 8th, 1910. The city was one of 111 cities in Ontario (125 in Canada) to receive a grant of $12 000 USD from the Carnegie Foundation. Pittsburgh steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie created the foundation to promote education. In order to qualify for the grant, a municipality had to be able to provide library maintenance by raising an annual amount of one-tenth the grant, from taxes.

The library stayed open until 1970, when a new municipal library was erected further south on Ogilvie Street. The space was converted into a children’s library that lasted only ten years, after which, it was then leased to the Dundas Art and Craft Association.

Heritage Plaque on the side of Carnegie Gallery

Heritage Plaque on the side of Carnegie Gallery

In 1980, Carnegie Library was designated as a heritage building and was converted into Carnegie Gallery in 1981. The building was later purchased by the City of Hamilton in 2006.

Carnegie Gallery currently exhibits bodies of work by local artists and contains a gallery shop that sells art and other goods.

The Province of Ontario has provided the Dundas Arts Community Foundation with a 1.2 million dollar grant for the Carnegie Library Revitalization project.

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Filed under Architecture, Heritage