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Old Posted Jun 19, 2013, 12:55 AM
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Dr Awesomesauce Dr Awesomesauce is offline
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Originally Posted by bigguy1231 View Post
The city is doing what they are required to do by taking care of infrastructure. It's up to the property owners to develop the properties. There are always going to be parts of any city where work needs to be done. Neighbourhoods go through up and down cycles, Kenelworth will come back when the demand returns. Ottawa St, James N. and Locke St. are prime examples of being on high cycles after years of neglect and all of those revivals are a result of the property owners.

As for the rest of the city we are seeing record numbers of building permits being issued. You have to look at the big picture rather than just focusing on a few isolated areas.
That's a very interesting point about building permits you've raised there but I think that's one of the things that feeds into Hamilton's inertia and malaise. In many parts of the city (the suburbs and the Mountain primarily), property values have soared over the past few decades. If the whole of the city were struggling (or succeeding for that matter), perhaps there would be more of a sense of civic fraternity. As it is, though, people look down their noses (and literally down from the Mountain top) with suspicion and loathing. One of the things that holds this city back is its complete lack of cohesion. Some suburbanites and Mountainites haven't set foot in the lower city for years and that's not healthy for either group. So while it's true that neighbourhoods have ups and downs this is not necessarily a natural occurrence; it is a direct result of all levels of government and the citizens of Hamilton turning their backs on those places and people that are most in need of help.
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Old Posted Jun 19, 2013, 1:14 AM
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Originally Posted by bigguy1231 View Post
The city is doing what they are required to do by taking care of infrastructure. It's up to the property owners to develop the properties.

I had 8 large trees in my yard, they are almost dead, covered in soot. The new paint on the outside of the house is black and I can't get it clean. Dofasco is directly across from my house on Kenilworth and they are using hydrochloric acid to strip the steel (pickle line). It is making us all ill. I am trying to sell and move away, I have been here 38 yrs. and one street over
23 yrs. No matter what we do to improve our homes and the surrounding area, we are fighting a losing battle. The wooden telephone pole in front of my home has been hit by lightning and repaired not replaced. The more we complain to the city and the factory the more we are ignored.
Amazing. You should post pictures.
Surfing the Hamilton renewal!
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Old Posted Jun 19, 2013, 12:59 PM
Lyiendda Lyiendda is offline
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I would love to post my pictures but some-one who is more computer literate will have to help me. This is my first time even writing posts. I have good ones of the tunnel flooded and cruisers floating in the water, also the damage to the tunnel since the last truck didn't make it underneath. Our city councillor sent out a notice that in order to work on the tunnel, Kenilworth will be closed from the Center Mall (north and south) starting in July.
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2016, 2:41 PM
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How do you bring Kenilworth Avenue back to life?
From bike lanes to looking at expropriating problem buildings, the city is digging in to revive the street


If Omid Ghiassi's restaurant were on James Street, or in Westdale, it would probably be packed with customers.

But it's not. The Food Box, home to gluten-free fish and chips and five kinds of poutine, is on Kenilworth Avenue North. And after six years there, watching cars race by without stopping, Ghiassi still isn't giving up hope.

Ghiassi envisions a steady stream of foot traffic on the street, and plenty of people to come into his restaurant. He's renovated it. The tables are there, but they're often empty. Eighty per cent of his business is delivery.

He envisions benches, and new businesses moving into the vacant buildings that dot the stretch.

In the meantime, the store space next to him sits vacant and boarded up with a realtor's sign in the window. Across the street, a school sits empty.

"We have no benches. No sidewalks. We have a lot of empty buildings," Ghiassi said.

But they do have optimism. Lots and lots of optimism.

"I think it's going to be good. It's coming along."

The city hopes so too. In recent months, it's thrown nearly everything in its toolbox at Kenilworth.

It's a once-bustling street that Hamilton's renaissance seems to have skipped so far, but that Coun. Sam Merulla sees as "the next Ottawa Street." And increasingly, Merulla and the city are banking on it.

In March, for example, the city modified its raft of development incentive programs, and in doing so, added Kenilworth to some of them.

The downtown Hamilton multi-residential property incentive program, for example, now includes Barton and Kenilworth in recognition of the area's "development challenges."

That means developers who want to build multi-residential projects can get a loan of up to $4 million that's interest free for five years.

Merulla has also successfully pushed for the street to have all the benefits of a BIA area, even though it doesn't have a BIA.

That includes facade improvement grants for commercial properties.

The goal, Merulla said, is to show developers that they're missing a good thing.

"The land value on Kenilworth is the most understated land value in all of Ontario," the Ward 4 councillor said.

"It's ready to turn around, and when it does, those who are not investing presently are going to be the ones who turn back and say, 'Damn, if only I had thought of that at that time.'"

The street suffers from a plague similar to that of Barton Street East of people living in what are supposed to be commercial spaces. The city's been cracking down on that too. It even laid a charge in October, Merulla said, and there have been few complaints since.

Still, Merulla said he's "in discussions" to potentially expropriate a long-time problem property.

The talks are to "initiate expropriation to allow for an exciting mixed-use residential and commercial development," he said.

He promised in 2014 to pursue expropriation on some problem buildings in the Barton-Kenilworth corridor, and "I plan to make good on that promise."

The history of Kenilworth Avenue North, in many ways, echoes the history of much of old Hamilton. The once-bustling street was filled with thriving businesses, but as urban sprawl took people away from the lower city, and the job rate fell in the nearby industrial area, so too did action on Kenilworth.

Today, Kenilworth is a mixed bag. It's a street of mostly two-storey buildings designed to have businesses on the bottom floor and apartments on top. The stalwart businesses have an international flavour, such as a Chinese restaurant on the corner and a Caribbean grocery down the street.

Some storefronts are vacant, some in disrepair, some with the same businesses in them for years. There are a couple of local bars, the odd two-level home, and the Kenilworth branch of the Hamilton Public Library, renovated in 2011 and another part of the ongoing attempt to lift up the street.
Bike lanes, flower planters and a new parkette

Here are some other recent or upcoming efforts around Kenilworth:

* Including the street in the Barton Street-Kenilworth Avenue Commercial Corridors study. The study aims at boosting business along Barton Street and Kenilworth Avenue. Suggestions include more complete streets, free parking and encouraging banks to more easily loan money to people who want to develop there.
* The city plans to put 20 benches along Barton and Kenilworth this year.
* A Barton-Kenilworth Crawl planned for June 25. Volunteers will take professionals, including mortgage brokers and real estate firms, to key spots along the stretch to highlight opportunities.
* A new Kenilworth Parkette at Roxborough, connecting to the Pipeline Trail.
* The street is getting a new design that will include traffic signals, bike lanes, and other complete streets elements. Dillon Consultants is working on it now.
* Kenilworth will get 24 planters and 21 hanging baskets this year through the city's horticulture budget.
* The city installed new LED lights last year.
* Local businesses are also meeting regularly as the Kenilworth Business Association.
* The street will be exempt from increased municipal parking rates this year after Merulla quietly tossed it in with a list of other areas being considered for an exemption.

For those who care about the street, these improvements don't come a moment too soon. Since late 2014, local filmmaker Alex Djordjevic has been working on a documentary called Kenilworth, which details the rise and fall of the street. He was motivated by a 2013 shooting of a former Hells Angels member outside his girlfriend's salon.

Ghiassi has seen no such problems on Kenilworth. The street is fine, he said. It just needs more pedestrians.

When he started the Food Box, he said, "Every day, we had a chance to close it. We had hope, but no traffic."

"When there is walking traffic, there's going to be lots of business because they have a lot of empty buildings. It (just) needs more people."
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Old Posted Sep 7, 2016, 11:37 PM
ex-hammer ex-hammer is offline
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Kenilworth Ave

Fascinating photos - I grew up on Tuxedo Ave, right behind the "Apartments" and the Library, back in the late '50s to mid-'70s. Went to Holy Family. Kenilworth was indeed a very busy and seemingly prosperous street then.

@MAC297 - "The firehall was on Garside and Roxborough then .. it's a nursery school now" - maybe you are referring to an earlier firehall, but as I recall, there was a combined police station/firehall (with a tall hose tower) on the corner of Roxborough and Kenilworth, stretching over to Tuxedo. Seems there was also some sort of health unit in the building. It was along the path of the pipeline.

I haven't lived in Hamilton since the '70s, and it's very sad to see how the street has declined. My parents would get their meats at a butcher shop there, and I would love to hang out at the Rod & Gun Shop. Can't forget the Bird Insurance sign at Kenilworth/Main. Had our family doctor in that building.

Oh well.........
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Old Posted Sep 8, 2016, 1:44 PM
eatboots eatboots is offline
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I walked down Kenilworth yesterday, it has a long way to go but there is obvious potential. These kinds of streets need to cater to the neighbourhood first and foremost. Still quite a few places that have horrible store fronts(Vinyl siding, boarded up) so it's not really a charming place to hang out at the moment.
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Old Posted Sep 8, 2016, 8:05 PM
drpgq drpgq is offline
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Like Barton, the city has some pretty nice incentives on Kenilworth.

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