Near 200 years after the first building was raised from the ground at 134 Mary St. it is poised to redefine itself once again. Know for years as the Cannon Knitting Mill, the original building was a foundry making iron stove components. After languishing through periods of abandonment, well intended city incentives to revitalize the space, and acting as a location for countless movies, this iconic piece of Hamilton Architecture is set to leave its industrial past behind as it becomes The Beasley Park Lofts.
Stinson Developments, well know for repurposing historic buildings that have outlived their original usefulness, is the catalyst behind this Mary Street landmark. When complete, The Beasley Park Lofts will be home to a boutique Hotel, restaurant/bar and two event spaces. What Harry Stinson refers to as the “living room” of the entire project will be the centre courtyard complete with retractable glass pyramid roof.
I took part in one of the weekly Sunday tours at the current Knitting Mills and was delighted to discover the tour was being led my Mr. Stinson himself. Beyond being a very extensive tour of all the various aspects of the many buildings that make up the property, Mr. Stinson was a wealth of information on the buildings’ history, the process involved in converting buildings like this, and even the challenges of financing “non-cookie cutter” projects.
It was also a pleasure to be able to photograph this space before any redevelopment. For another example of predevelopment photographs of an industrial building, have a look at Opsal Steel in Vancouver.