McQuesten Lofts: new homes bring new hope

In December 2020—just before Christmas—the first of 50 tenants began to move into their new homes. Earlier in the year, as the pandemic loomed, no one was sure that even essential construction would be able to continue. Would all our active sites need to shut down? What would happen to those who were counting on these homes? Thankfully, construction continued, and the two buildings we had anticipated opening in 2020—both in Hamilton— opened very close to schedule: North End Landing (which we highlighted in our last newsletter) and McQuesten Lofts.

In the shadow of Hamilton’s vibrant industrial sector, the exterior of McQuesten Lofts is a nod to shipping containers that come in and out of the harbour. The building itself, as with all of Indwell’s recent construction, is highly energy efficient—built to the rigorous passive house standard. The 50 one-bedroom units include 10 that are barrier-free. The beautifully landscaped outdoor spaces are shared by the 57 tenants at adjacent Parkdale Landing.

Marvin and his dog Sophie. “Living at McQuesten lofts allowed me to be reunited with my longtime companion, my dog Sophie,” says Marvin. “I was separated from Sophie because my old house did not allow me to have her live with me.”

And it’s the tenants that we especially want to celebrate. In this program, we’ve reserved 10 units (20%) for Indigenous peoples. Through new partnerships with HRIC (Hamilton Regional Indian Centre) and the Aboriginal Health Centre (De dwa da dehs nye>s), tenants are being referred to McQuesten Lofts, and receive additional supports as needed.

“I felt welcome with an open heart at McQuesten Lofts, and I love my new apartment,” says Marvin, who moved in this past April.
“I have my own things such as a stove, oven, and fridge, and
I enjoy a nice clean and new place to live. I also have the space to cook my favourite foods. I like having the opportunity
to talk with staff when I am feeling sad. I feel safe here.”

The kitchen in one of the apartments at McQuesten Lofts
Outdoor common space at McQuesten Lofts, shared with tenants from Parkdale Landing

The Hamilton Public Library, on the main floor of McQuesten Lofts, has delayed their opening until restrictions lift. They look forward to serving the immediate Indwell community as well as the McQuesten neighbourhood in the 1,500 square foot Parkdale branch with wi-fi, public computers and printers, meeting spaces, a children’s area, and a location-based collection of new and bestseller books, music, and movies.

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