Since the structure itself has such deep roots in the neighbourhood, Stanton Renaissance aims to be mindful of the community’s needs while re-purposing the building.
“When designing a development project, we take a holistic approach looking at the social, environmental and economic benefits that are brought to a community,” said Louie Santaguida, President of Stanton Renaissance.
For The Connolly, that means creating neighbourhood connections. The YWCA Hamilton is just a block from The Connolly and members of the team behind the project took part in the ‘Walk A Mile In Her Shoes” fundraiser on Thursday June 19th. It’s a chance for men and women to, quite literally, walk in women’s shoes, “raising eyebrows, raising awareness and raising funds to help women rebuild their lives free from violence, poverty and homelessness.”
What’s more, The Connolly will also maintain a number of its historical features. So far, the builder has hand selected a significant number of stones of various shapes and sizes to be stored and reimplemented into the building. The pipe organ, which dates back to 1939, has been donated by Stanton Rennaissance to Northern Organs who painstakingly removed it piece by piece and have it stored under proper conditions while searching for a permanent home.
The name of the building even nods to the past. The Irish-Canadian architect of the church, Joseph Connolly, was famous for specializing in the Gothic Revival style. His distinctive buildings can be found all across Ontario, from Kingston to London and small towns and big cities alike. He even designed St. Paul’s Basilica, which has stood in downtown Toronto for more than a century, as well as Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Guelph, a National Historic Site.
The Connolly will bridge the north of the city to the south and will continue to stay connected to its surroundings as work on the project progresses. It’s expected to be made up of roughly 200 residential units once complete.
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