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McMaster, neighbours still at odds over proposed off-campus residence

McMaster University's proposed off-campus residence would be built on Main Street West between Dalewood Avenue and Forsythe Avenue.
McMaster University's proposed off-campus residence would be built on Main Street West between Dalewood Avenue and Forsythe Avenue. Google Maps

McMaster University is still facing opposition from neighbours as it pushes ahead with plans for a massive off-campus residence.

The Ainslie-Wood/Westdale Community Association’s Kenneth Moyle says the organization acknowledges the need for more student housing, but he says the idea of having 1,373 beds in a building at Main Street West and Dalewood Avenue is “daunting.”

READ MORE: McMaster University hopes for accord with neighbours over residence plan

In McMaster’s final proposal to the city, the proposed height of the building ranges from eight to 15 storeys.

Moyle says the height and density are “not conducive to a neighbourhood being a neighbourhood,” adding that “it just feels like far too much in one location.”

READ MORE: LIUNA cuts ribbon on new student residence in downtown Hamilton

The university’s goal is to offer all first-year students a place in residence for the first time, and its proposal is expected to reach the city’s planning committee this summer.

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Gord Arbeau, McMaster’s director of communications, has previously noted that there is not a suitable site on campus for such a project.

READ MORE: Columbia International College residence proposal moves forward

Moyle hopes the association can work with McMaster and its private developer to address neighbours’ concerns, noting that there’s no deep animosity at play.

“In many ways, our goals are aligned,” he said.

Moyle points out that more spaces for students in residence mean fewer houses that are converted into student housing within the neighbourhoods surrounding the Westdale campus.

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