A petition has been launched in an effort to save Century Manor from destruction in the wake of the province’s surprise rezoning announcement last week.
The petition, started by Leanne Pluthero, a local history lover and co-founder of the Save The Hermitage group, which is dedicated to the preservation of Hamilton’s historical sites, has close to 1,000 signatures and climbing.
Century Manor is located on the West Mountain near the mountain brow and is one of the oldest buildings in Hamilton. Its history is rather colourful and the future of the building and the lands on which it sits was up for debate for years.
The land was zoned for institutional purposes. The land previously housed Hamilton’s Psychiatric Hospital and Century Manor itself was an Insane Asylum and also housed criminally insane patients for many years.
After lengthy public consultations, the City of Hamilton, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Mohawk College had developed a vision for the Century Manor lands that would allow for growth of both institutions.
Then last Thursday (August 13), the province announced that they had issued a Ministerial Order that rezones the land to be used for residential purposes and allow for the development of single-family homes on the property.
“It is a welcome sign that the Province is taking steps to develop this site, but it is our expectation that the site will be developed in accordance with the City’s vision,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger in a statement issued last week.
“The City has a longstanding vision for the best uses for this site, developed over many years and in consultation with the community.”
Since the rezoning change, members of the community have expressed their frustration with the decision that was made without consulting the City of Hamilton or its residents.
Ward 8 Councillor John-Paul Danko and Ward 14 Councillor Terry Whitehead issued a joint statement expressing their concern over the province’s unilateral decision taken “without prior notice or consultation with the City of Hamilton, Mohawk College or other community partners.”
The pair go on to say that they will continue to work alongside City staff and the Province to ensure the land is developed in a way that best serves the community but that “does not include extensive residential development.”
The Save Century Manor petition can be found here.
Photo courtesy Century Manor Facebook page