CityHousing Hamilton celebrates the reopening of MacNab high-rise for seniors
HAMILTON, ON – CityHousing Hamilton (CHH) is expanding the suite of affordable housing units available to seniors with the reopening of 500 MacNab Street North, a high-rise multi-residential building in the city’s North End neighbourhood. The ground-breaking transformation will provide 146 affordable units for CHH seniors to come together in a space that is accessible, affordable and will support aging in place.
The building – also known as the Ken Soble Tower – is one of the largest EnerPHit projects in the world and the first high-rise retrofit to this standard in North America. At 18 storeys and more than 80,000 square feet, the MacNab retrofit is a modern, low-energy solution that addresses the housing and health needs of seniors, while minimizing environmental impacts through design and construction.
Funding for the $34M+ project was made possible thanks to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)’s National Housing Strategy Affordable Housing Innovation Fund and National Housing Co-Investment Fund, as well as the Federation of Canadian Municipality (FCM)’s Green Municipal Fund, in addition to contributions from the Province of Ontario and the City of Hamilton.
- Built in 1967, 500 MacNab Street North is the oldest high-rise multi-residential building in CHH’s portfolio and one of two major CHH properties located in the West Harbour area of Hamilton’s North End, a neighbourhood undergoing significant redevelopment.
- 146 units (114 rent-geared-to-income and 32 affordable market) consisting of 114 studios, 31-one bedroom and one-two bedroom.
- Accessible design of all common areas and outdoor gathering spaces, including a new penthouse solarium and 31 accessible units (20 per cent of total units).
- Designed for a changing climate using 2050 temperature projections to test thermal comfort in all seasons.
- Retrofitted to Passive House standard, including a 95 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases and 75 per cent reduction in total energy consumption.
- The ﬁrst EnerPHit retroﬁt of an apartment tower in North America with the ability to heat and cool each unit with the energy it takes to run three 100-watt lightbulbs.
- The retrofit addressed several challenging technical issues common to residential apartment towers, including the modernization of ineffective ventilation systems; replacement of aging mechanical, plumbing, and electrical distribution systems; and the elimination of thermal bridging at balconies.
- The retrofit process was led by ERA Architects, known for its deep expertise in restoration and adaptive reuse of existing buildings including low-carbon retrofits and tower renewal.
“I am proud to see 500 MacNab Street North officially reopened to residents. The Ken Soble building is an important and long-standing part of the affordable housing picture in the North End of the City. This is a great day for City Hamilton Housing and meeting the affordable housing needs of our seniors. I welcome the renewed 146 affordable units to meet this important need in our city.”Mayor Fred Eisenberger
“I couldn’t be more proud as a long-time City Housing Board member to see this innovative, environmentally sustainable and extremely important transformation of 500 MacNab through from start to finish. It is the latest in our ongoing work to provide more safe and secure affordable housing. Our seniors will love the life by the wonderful waters edge where council has invested over 150 million dollars in community improvements bringing public access back to all our piers.”Jason Farr, Vice-President, CityHousing Hamilton Board and Ward 2 Councillor
“As the largest social housing provider in Hamilton, our mission is to provide homes that are safe, well-maintained and cost-effective to support those who live and work in our community. Thanks to the vision and support from the CityHousing Hamilton Board and Hamilton City Council, continued collaboration with our funding partners and a tenant-focused approach, the revitalization of this building will provide best-in-class housing for seniors in our community.”Tom Hunter, CEO, CityHousing Hamilton
“500 MacNab is a true beacon on an international stage, showcasing how low carbon and low energy retrofits are not only sustainable, but also realize the best outcomes for residents’ health, safety and comfort within their homes. Many aging, postwar apartment towers provide critical affordable housing for millions of Canadians, but increasingly face complex challenges that require repair. Our hope is that the revitalization of 500 MacNab marks the beginning of a wave of deep retrofits across the country. As we look towards a post-pandemic recovery amid a climate-challenged world, there’s an urgency to apply this type of holistic thinking on a broader scale.”Graeme Stewart, Principal, ERA Architects