$1 million more will be required to conduct an environmental study on the site of a former Hamilton glass factory into a park.
The 4.5-hectare Brightside Park will “deliver significantly” in a part of the city that’s starved of green space, Coun. Nrinder Nann stated.
“That said, converting a site from industrial requires environmental diligence,” the Ward 3 councillor told the public works committee Friday.
The parcel is hemmed in with Lottridge Street west, Gage Avenue east, CN railway tracks north, and Lloyd Street south.
WSP Canada Inc. is conducting studies at the former Dominion Glass properties since 2015. The total fees for the study have reached $471,531.
In February, consultants discovered that before development of the factory in the early 1900s, a “waterway ran through the property,” a staff report notes.
“Although the site has been filled for over 100 years, the waterway could still be flowing underground.”
That could explain high water levels on the land and could “potentially act as a pathway for contaminants,” the report says, without detailing them.
The city and consultants plan to meet with provincial environment ministry officials to discuss what’s needed to “delineate impacts of the waterway.”
To make the industrial site a park, the city will need a record and certificate from the province.
In 2020, the budget was $12.4 million for the property acquisition, demolition, environmental remediation and rehabilitation. In an interview last year, staff said construction costs hadn’t been determined yet.
Brightside Park’s future name is based on a former neighborhood to the north, which was overtaken in 1960s by steelmaking operations, parking lots and wider streets.
Dominion Glass was a reliable source of blue-collar work for decades, until a successor via merger closed the glass container factory in 1997.
Seven years ago, the factory’s massive silos and tall stacks were demolished to prepare the former industrial site for a park.
Last year, the city tore down remaining structures on the property to discourage trespassing, a knock-down that unearthed two transformer vault rooms, an area of the site where “unexpectedly high levels of contamination” was discovered, the staff report notes.