Building our future on Ottawa Street

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The wait is finally over!

The backhoes are humming, the earth is churning. Last week we put metal to the ground and started building our future on Ottawa Street.

Many of you have been asking and we’re so excited to share our news. Yes! Development of the Ottawa Street YWCA is now underway! With the help of our community partners, Kearns Mancini Architects (KMAI) and Schilthuis Construction, we are bringing a dream to life – a re-imagined space that is inclusive of the community, supports women and their families, while still maintaining some of the cherished programs we have all grown to love.

What will it look like?

Glad you asked! The new 6-storey Ottawa Street YWCA has been transformed into a first-of-its kind affordable housing facility for women and their children that will include 50 one, two, and three bedroom units – 15 of which will be dedicated to women with developmental disabilities. It will also include two community spaces – one indoors and one outdoors – as well as a dedicated Seniors Centre.

The building itself is a modern, innovative and energy efficient Passive House design, making it highly sustainable and optimized for the next 100 years.

Why Now?

Because in Hamilton:

  • Rental rates have skyrocketed over 14% in the last year alone
  • The waiting list for social housing is over 6,000 and counting
  • On any given night approximately 300 women experience homelessness
  • Women with developmental disabilities are three times more likely to experience violence

What is Passive House design?

Passive House is a standard for comfort, health and energy efficiency in a building—of any size. Passive House reduces ecological impact and results in high-performance buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling.

A Passive House design allows for the building to use heat from natural heat generators, such as body heat and appliances, to heat the building; all while continuously feeding fresh air throughout. It has a super-insulated envelope encompassing all exterior walls, floors, and roofs. Imagine wrapping a building up in a wool hat and scarf!

What inspired the design?

Sustainability. Because one of our goals is to reduce our impact on the earth and implement practices that improve our lives, our health, our ability to develop our community.
Social Equity. Because true social fairness is the sharing of the highest living standards, not just to those who can afford them, but to all, regardless of financial ability.
When it will be complete?

Completion of the Ottawa Street YWCA is slated for December 2020.

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