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Ontario government backs out of selling land across from Mohawk College

Back in May, it was announced that Mohawk College would buy the land Century Manor sits upon from Infrastructure Ontario. Not only would this deal preserve a historic Mountain structure, but it’d also secure funding for more affordable housing in Hamilton.

It’s with heavy hearts that we must announce the new Tory provincial government has now backed out of this deal.

Originally, the 12.5-hectare psychiatric hospital lands were going to be sold to Mohawk College, who vowed to restore the property and Century Manor. The sales proceeds, which were estimated to be about $9.5 million, were going to go toward an affordable housing project at 191 York Boulevard.

City councilors were alerted on Thursday that the new provincial government “will not proceed” with the deal as originally outlined. While the brow lands still remain in provincial hands, it isn’t clear if they’ll be made available for sale any time soon.

Local officials were left stunned by the Tory’s decision to back out of the deal, especially as the sale had Treasury Board approval prior to the election.

CityHousing Hamilton president Chad Collins has shared that the nixed deal is a definite setback. The funding would’ve helped CityHousing make concrete steps forward on the York Boulevard project, as well as help Hamilton residents get into homes they deserve.

The fate of Century Manor, a building once part of the Hamilton Asylum, is up in the air. Currently the building is protected by a city heritage designation, but the province itself is not bound by Hamilton’s municipal rules.

Many Hamilton residents fear that the crumbling Century Manor will be demolished due to neglect. A group of Hamiltonians have banded together to create Save Century Manor, a Facebook group dedicated to updates, education and history surrounding the Manor. If you want the latest scoop on Century Manor, be sure to give that page a follow.

 

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We hope that CityHousing Hamilton receives funding through alternative means and Century Manor gets the care it deserves.

What do you think about the provincial government backing out of this deal? Let us know in the comments.

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