Born in Beasley: A History of the Hamilton Community Land Trust

The Hamilton Community Land Trust, despite its short life thus far, has been decades in the making. In collaboration with location historian John A. McCurdy, we explore the creation the HCLT, its mission, and its ties to Beasley neighbourhood and development in Hamilton.  As Hamilton continues to undergo rapid change – from its legacy of steel, industry, and forgotten inner-city neighbourhoods to “the ambitious city” – John reminds us that while we can celebrate the arrival of those who are driven by the lure of city streets, vibrant social scenes, and modern, digital-based employment, we must also hold a place for those who never left the old city. For those who have always called that part of the city home, and who wish for it to remain their home.

For part 2, click here.

For part 1, click here.

The HCLT formed in January, 2014 after a research report applied the community land trust model to Hamilton. Members of the Beasley Neighbourhood Association and other community volunteers decided that the idea was worthy of further research and community conversations. They hosted a public launch in April, 2014 to introduce the idea to the Hamilton community and gather support and feedback. The event was well-attended by:

  • community residents
  • community organizers
  • housing providers
  • community development organizations
  • environmental organizations
  • government officials
  • media
  • funders
  • heritage groups
  • local business owners
  • other stakeholders

Feedback from the event was resoundingly positive, and it became clear that a community land trust was needed in Hamilton. Since then, several community associations have expressed formal support for the initiative. The decision was made to create a city-wide land trust.

2014 Timeline

HCLT Timeline 2014-white-low