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With its leafy parks and stately Victorian homes, Hamilton’s Corktown neighbourhood is the furthest thing from the Steel City’s industrial lakefront.
These days, however, the two have more in common. Shortly after announcing plans to develop lands formerly owned by Stelco into an 800-acre industrial and employment hub with a waterfront promenade, trails, parks and shops, Toronto-based Slate Asset Management unveiled a 372-unit condo project, Corktown, named after the neighbourhood bookended by downtown Hamilton and the Niagara Escarpment.
Now on sale out of a new on-site presentation centre at 225 John St. S., the first phase of the project, the 27-storey Corktown East, includes studios and one-bedroom, one-plus-den, two-bedroom and two-plus-den suites. Phase 2 will be a 14-storey building with retail at grade.
When Slate acquired the Corktown site in 2017, “we were drawn to Hamilton’s history, walkable downtown, and great culinary, arts and culture scenes,” says Brandon Donnelly, Slate’s managing director of development. “It’s well-connected by transit, there’s McMaster University, there’s new employment, there are so many trails and parks that a lot of people don’t know about. It really has all the ingredients we look for in a development site.”
As the site’s rezoning process unfolded, Donnelly says he was surprised by the number of GTA transplants taking part in community meetings. “It sometimes felt like half the room was from Toronto. It was a lot of young professionals and young families, and investors as well. We think Corktown is a compelling investment opportunity because there’s a purchase discount here compared to downtown Toronto, where there’s nothing close to the $300,000s, but rents are actually quite strong.”
In a nod to the area’s Irish bricklaying roots, CORE Architects is using bricks from the site’s existing low-rise buildings to fashion the two towers’ eye-catching facades. “Corktown is a bridge between two languages: Hamilton’s industrial history, and its growing identity as a modern city,” says CORE principal Deni Poletti. “The design is intended to pick up on the natural characteristics of Hamilton, from its red-brick houses to modern high rises in the downtown.”
In a similar nod to the city’s industrial identity, the interior designers at Mason Studio are blending steel, aluminum and concrete finishes across communal spaces and suites. Ranging from 340 to 851 square feet, units feature nine-foot ceilings, quartz kitchen countertops, frameless glass showers, and patios, terraces or balconies, with walk-in closets available in larger suites.
“Our design is intended to celebrate Hamilton’s storied past and the contagious entrepreneurship of today,” says Mason Studio partner Stanley Sun. “Hamilton has a real sense of community; this familiarity and comradery inspired the shared spaces of Corktown East. We want people to be proud to live at Corktown, and we want them to be able to celebrate the city they call home. Something as simple as incorporating displays featuring local products in the lobby turns what can be a passive space into an opportunity for civic pride.”
Another local display can be found in the views of Lake Ontario and the Escarpment from Corktown East’s rooftop terrace, which gives way to other amenities, including a fitness centre, indoor and outdoor social lounges, and an outdoor pool.
Down in the boutique-hotel-inspired lobby, pop-up displays of local artists’ work will “quickly build a strong sense of community,” Donnelly says. “Hamilton has cultivated a reputation for a vibrant arts scene and entrepreneurial culture, and channeling that is helping us to build something remarkable and special.”
Units starting in the $300,000s. For more information, visit corktown.condos and thesteelport.com.
Starting in the summer of 2023, Reykjavík-based PLAY Airlines is offering daily and direct flights from Hamilton International Airport to Iceland’s Keflavík Airport, and then on to 26 destinations across Europe. 9300 Airport Rd., Mount Hope
The new Conversate steakhouse in downtown Hamilton’s historic Right House serves Angus prime cuts along with oysters harvested no more than four days before arrival. 38 King William St.
From Corktown Park (175 Ferguson Ave. S.), a nine-kilometre-long paved rail trail climbs the Escarpment enroute to picturesque Albion Falls.