MacDon­ald Marine clean­ing house

But owner says it has noth­ing to do with ex­pir­ing lease

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - NATALIE PADDON npad­don@thes­pec.com 905-526-2420 | @NatatTheSpec

The owner of MacDon­ald Marine says the dozens of boats he is sell­ing off or giv­ing away have noth­ing to do with his long-term lease ex­pir­ing in May.

The 40-plus-year-old boat re­pair busi­ness and ma­rina has 35 power boats and sail­boats listed for sale on­line — rang­ing from a 27-foot Hughes sail­boat go­ing for $5,000 to a 16-foot power­boat that is free.

“Ev­ery once in awhile I get a bunch of boats that have been aban­doned,” said Sandy MacDon­ald, son of the late for­mer mayor Jack MacDon­ald.

He said he gets rid of them to cre­ate room for boats that are pay­ing to rent space.

“Get­ting rid of a bunch of boats — it’s what I do for a liv­ing.”

The spot at the lit­tle bay where the ma­rina has op­er­ated for decades is land that is part of the city’s $143-mil­lion, long-term makeover of the west har­bour.

The re­vi­tal­iza­tion is meant to turn the space into a more ac­ces­si­ble, com­mu­nity-ori­ented area that will even­tu­ally be home to thou­sands of new res­i­dents.

A west har­bour con­cept map shows a re­lo­cated po­lice marine unit in place of MacDon­ald Marine, along with shore­line nat­u­ral­iza­tion.

But MacDon­ald told The Spec­ta­tor: “My hope is to stay.”

Chris Phillips, who heads up water­front de­vel­op­ment for the city, said the busi­ness’s lease ends in May 2018.

Phillips said the marine unit would in­clude a “very small and lim­ited” amount of boat traf­fic while also al­low­ing for in­creased fish habi­tat and “com­plete pub­lic ac­cess” to the water’s edge.

“We con­tinue to work with Hamilton Po­lice Ser­vice to fig­ure out the lo­gis­tics of the tran­si­tion, but that is where the master plan sits to­day,” he said.

Pub­lic art ded­i­cated to the lo­cal rum-run­ning her­itage is pos­si­ble as part of the plan, as well.

“The whole ef­fort be­hind the city’s west har­bour re­de­vel­op­ment is to bring peo­ple and new recre­ational de­vel­op­ments as well as com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ments to the water’s edge for the ben­e­fit of all Hamil­to­ni­ans,” Phillips said.

“In this par­tic­u­lar area, this will be a nice new crit­i­cal piece of where Hamil­to­ni­ans will be able to ex­pe­ri­ence (the water­front) much dif­fer­ently as our plan un­folds than what they have in the past.

“It will al­low to­tal ac­cess to the water’s edge where to­day they don’t (have that).”

Lease rene­go­ti­a­tions have also taken place with other long­time water­front ten­ants.

A mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing is in place with the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club and the Ma­cassa Bay Yacht Club, while other dis­cus­sions are on­go­ing, Phillips said.

In 1996, MacDon­ald sued the city for $2.5 mil­lion af­ter it tried to evict him from the land.

The law­suit came to an end two years later when the city signed a 20-year-lease with MacDon­ald for the prop­erty, which is lo­cated between Bayfront Park and Pier 4 Park.

PHO­TOS BY GARY YOKOYAMA, THE HAMILTON SPEC­TA­TOR

A sail­boat for sale at MacDon­ald Marine. The 40-plus-year-old boat re­pair busi­ness and ma­rina has 35 power­boats and sail­boats listed for sale on­line.

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