The destruction of Old Hampstead is one step closer but you can stop it!

In April, 2021 the Hampstead council passed a draft by-law to raise the FSI (a measure of house volume) from .52 to .80 in Old Hampstead, a dramatic 54% increase. That would be bad enough but the true effect will be a doubling and tripling in the size of homes in Old Hampstead.

In May the council held a legally required consultation meeting and when dozens of you came out to complain, they decided to hire a consultant to explain the effects of the change. In December, there was a second consultation meeting with the consultant present. I attended and asked the consultant why his report did not show the percentage increase in size that we could expect if the FSI was increased. He said the numbers in the report could be used to calculate that. I replied that I knew that and had done the calculations. I then gave a copy of a table showing the calculations to the consultant and members of council. No one disputed my calculations.

Based on the consultant’s numbers in his report, for half of the homes in Old Hampstead, if an extension is done under the new .80 FSI, house sizes could increase by 146% to 173%. That is while respecting all setbacks, height, and land coverage restrictions. In all these cases the volume will more than double.

In the case of demolitions, for half of the houses, sizes could increase by 181% to 220%. That is while respecting all setbacks, height, and land coverage restrictions. In all these cases the volume will, on average, triple.

Please take a minute to let this sink in. What do you think Old Hampstead will look like with at least half of the homes doubling or even tripling in size?

These massive increases will dramatically change the look of Old Hampstead and ruin its charm, lead to a loss of numerous mature trees, and destroy the views and sunlight of neighbors. If you live in Old Hampstead, imagine a new house going up beside you, behind you or even in front that is double or triple what is there now. Imagine the rush of buyers to buy small old homes to demolish them and build monster homes, the like of which we have never seen in Old Hampstead. Imagine two or three massive homes being built on each block in Old Hampstead with all the noise, dust and sleep disturbances. This is the future for our lovely garden city.

Those who should be most concerned are those of you living in Old Hampstead (Zone RA-1). However, the loss of the charm of Old Hampstead will result in land values in the entire town dropping to levels similar to those in Cote Saint-Luc, perhaps lower since they have much better facilities than we do.

What can we do?

The first step is easy but it must be done immediately. The deadline is Monday, March 20 at 4:30pm. Print the form below and have as many residents of Old Hampstead as possible complete it. One or more signatures per form are enough. You don’t need 25 on a single sheet. Then turn it in to the Town Clerk at Hampstead Town Hall, 5569 Queen Mary before Monday, March 20 4:30pm. Ask for a copy with a time/date stamp.

The following streets are in Zone RA-1: Finchley from Queen Mary to Finchley Circle, Northcote, Merton Cres., Merton to Queen Mary, Granville, Kilburn Cres., Stratford, Thurlow, Queen Mary from Stratford to Holly, Lyncroft from Merton to Hampstead Road, Hampstead Road from Lyncroft to Queen Mary, Heath, Albion from Heath to Haverstock, Cressy, Glenmore from CSL to Haverstock, Holtham from CSL to Briardale north entrance, Briardale.

APPLICATION TO PARTICIPATE IN A REFERENDUM REGARDING DRAFT BY_LAW 1001-10 MODIFYING THE PROVISION OF ZONING BY-LAW NO. 1001 REGARDING THE MAXIMUM LAND USE RATIO UNDER BUILDING DENSITY FOR ZONE RA-1

 

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Dr. Bill Steinberg

Dr. Bill Steinberg

Dr. Steinberg has a BSc from McGill University, a PhD in Psychology from Northwestern University, and was a professor at Concordia University. He was Mayor of the Town of Hampstead for 16 years and led the demerger battle. He was was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal and is currently President of the Cochlear Implant Recipients Association.

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