Minutes of the 2018 AWWCA AGM



McMaster Innovation Park, 175 Longwood Rd. South

Minutes:  Carolyn Kinsley, corresponding secretary

Chair:  Ira Rosen, president

Theme:  Future Developments in Ainslie Wood and Westdale

MPP Sandy Shaw sent regrets as she had to attend the legislative session.

Outgoing West Town Crime Manager Sgt. Amanda Gill reported on Homecoming, and Ira thanked her for her service.

Outgoing Ward 1 Councillor Aidan Johnson sent his regrets due to illness.  His assistant Nikola Wojewoda-Patti read his farewell letter to us.

City of Hamilton representatives Trevor Horzenlenberg (light rail transit technical team) and Shannon McKie (senior project planning team) brought us up to date on planning for light-rail transit.  They explained changes to the maximum height of buildings in Ward 1 from six storeys to eight along the corridor.   Our Secondary Plan’s zoning has to be changed to conform to the current Urban Official Plan, which didn’t come into effect until after our Secondary Plan with its lower heights.  The purpose is to increase density along the LRT corridor.  John Wigle pointed out, and Trevor agreed, that to increase the maximum height for the LRT corridor from six storeys to eight in Ward 1 requires an amendment to the bylaw and official plan. 

Traffic volumes are increasing.  In a dedicated lane, travel time would be 33 minutes end to end.   Current travel times are inconsistent and higher now, the B-Line bus taking 35-45 minutes.  The bus grid is robust in the lower city.  Other local bus stops will remain, and at significant LRT stops there will be connections within the system for transfers.  It’s undecided whether the hub at McMaster will be open to non-Metrolinx and HSR vehicles (e.g., Megabus).

There will be a stop at the Columbia residence at Longwood.  Stops are 60 metres long, for example, Longwood to Paisley.  Thanks to input from local residents, stop lights and turn lanes will remain as they are along Main Street in Westdale so cars can turn into Haddon, Bowman, etc. 

Parking will be somewhat restricted along the LRT corridor.  Developers can apply to reduce the amount of parking required. 

Three lanes eastbound and two westbound won’t change in Ward 1.   Main and Cannon are paired in the planning, not King and Main.  A 10-year strategy must be considered.

LRT is more economical than buses in the long run.  The B-Line is the most profitable HSR route.  HSR is 50 per cent subsidized by the taxpayer.  The city will keep the revenue in the city.

At intermission, AWWCA vice-president Kenneth Moyle introduced McMaster Students Union representatives and invited any candidates who were present for Ward 1 in the upcoming municipal election to stand and say their names.

McMaster University representatives included Gord Arbeau (director, Communications), Roger Couldrey (vice-president, Administration), Mary Williams (vice-president, University Advancement), Sean Van Koughnett (dean of students), Ikram Farah (MSU president), Stephanie Bertolo (MSU vice-president, Education), and Shemar Hackett (MSU associate vice-president, Municipal Affairs).

The MSU representatives said that campus bus shelters were funded by the city, university, and the MSU.  The SCSN (Student Community Support Network) and the Peer to Peer program are using door hangers to tell off-campus students their rights and give advice on safety.  The community is invited to an on-campus debate for Ward 1 candidates on Oct. 16, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Gord invited us to read about McMaster’s Global Teaching Award on the university’s Daily News website.

Sean said the university has a partnership with the MSU to expand the David Braley Centre for approximately $60-million and 40,000 square feet to supplement the Student Centre.  The Peter George Centre for Living and Learning will have a 500-bed residence ad 90,000 square feet of teaching space.

Roger said that the university would be open to non-HSR and non-Metrolinx use of the transit hub at Cootes and Main.  The university has assembled all the input on the Main West/Traymore residence and will be working on it internally.  A graduate student residence downtown is in the early stages.  McMaster has about 4,500 graduate students, about 20 per cent of them international.  This will be in partnership with the developer, close to LRT, and contribute to the revival of downtown.  It does not indicate an increase in the number of students.  The university wants to house its existing complement.

Mary alerted us to the Socrates Project, a series of events, discussions, dialogue and debate open to everyone.  The President’s Advisory Committee on Community Relations (PACCR) is over 30 years old and meets six to seven times a year.

Questions and Answers: 

Linda from Kirkendall said we need 20 per cent of housing along the LRT line to be affordable. 

The transit hub is a project of the university and Metrolinx, not the city, to accommodate GO, HSR, and LRT.  Buses are heavy and damage the university’s roads.

A high school teacher said that this “monstrosity” (LRT) is a mental-health stressor for older residents.  The city requires a traffic study for emergency vehicles, trucks, pedestrians.

Roger pointed out that Hamilton Health Sciences will be closing the children’s hospital eventually.  He also mentioned that Calgary has pedestrian bridges (or underpasses?).

We were assured that Homecoming would not coincide with Super Crawl, as there are too few HSR resources.  Gord said there will be more activities on campus and in the Westdale BIA.

He said that a smoking-cessation program at Mac tried to create awareness not to go into the neighbourhoods to smoke, and there are butt-stop containers at campus entrances/exits.  A smoke-free campus includes residences and includes cannabis.

Gord said that McMaster’s Bertram Russell Archives are the largest in the world.  They were held for

50 years in the basement of Mills Library and are now in the house at the corner of Sterling and Forsyth North.  The house used to belong to Mrs. Stinson.

AWWCA Business

President’s Report (Ira Rosen):  Ira thanked McMaster and said that most issues have been discussed tonight.  Bylaw enforcement by Mohawk students pays for itself (cost recovery).  A proposed nine-storey building at the site of the former Binkley school in Ainslie Wood North is not yet approved.

Membership Secretary’s Report (Kevin Russell):  As of Aug. 31 we had 105 members, down one from Aug. 31, 2017.  Please let us know if you move or change your e-mail address.

Treasurers’ Report (Julie Twyford):  My opening balance as of June 1, 2017, was $4,451.99; closing balance was $3,689.56 as of May 31, 2018.  Main expenses were Ken’s attendance at TGAO annual general meeting (discounted) and the quotidian bank fees, mailbox fees, and web-hosting fees.  (Ken explained the Town and Gown Association of Ontario.)

Presentation of 2017 AGM minutes for approval (Carolyn Kinsley):  Approved.

Carolyn moved and Scott Innes seconded the motion that we need a new recording secretary.   Approved.