Great news for housing, and for church reuse! Just one year later, Tal Dehtiar is back on the Spec front page with the news that his church apartments are ready to rent.
As reported last summer, Dehtiar was set to transform a designated church in Hamilton’s Stinson neighbourhood into 19 rental units. Hamilton lags behind other cities in reusing former church buildings as housing, which makes Dehtiar’s project the first residential church conversion for the old city of Hamilton.
From Teviah Moro’sfront-page story, which highlights how adaptive reuse of the church helped provide a quick turnaround for the 19 apartments, and also the dozens of local jobs that the project brought to the neighbourhood:
When word spread that Tal Dehtiar planned to renovate a 150-year-old downtown church into apartments, a few skeptics came out of the woodwork.
He’d run into heritage hurdles. It didn’t compute financially. His timeline was unrealistic.
“Maybe ignorance is bliss, or whatever the expression is,” Dehtiar says.
But he has transformed the 14,000-square-foot stone church into 19 bright and airy units in less than a year — albeit two months or so beyond his original goal.
His aim was to preserve as many heritage elements of the building (originally built as St. Thomas Anglican) as possible.
The units — which range from bachelors to three-bedrooms — feature original trusses, stained-glass windows and arches.
Dehtiar credits the project’s success to a legion of small tradespeople, including designers, framers, electricians, plumbers and pavers.
“I did the math,” he said. “Like roughly, there were 145 hands that touched this property in the past year.”
Spectator print edition: “Leap of faith / An ‘open canvas’ now complete” (August 23, 2022, A1–2) | online: “Leap of faith: Hamilton church converted into apartments.”
The Hamilton Spectator (est. 1846) is published by Metroland Media Group, a division of Torstar.