Queen’s moves closer towards Albert Street residences

On Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, Queen’s University planners held their second open house in the atrium of Mitchell Hall to show students and local neighbours their plans for a new residence building of approximately 325 beds which will be located on Albert Street, just south of Union Street.

Nearby residents chat with Queen’s University staff about their plans for a residence building on Albert Street. Photo by Tommy Vallier.

The new building, which will see three of existing houses demolished and two others used as part of its design, is expected to be five storeys tall and to include common areas for students to study in, but feature no dining hall. The site was chosen as part of the 2014 Campus Master Plan and, according to documents, was the only site of suitable size located close to existing residential uses.

Nearby residents from Collingwood Street, Beverly Street and Victoria Street were present to voice concerns about the new building, commenting that additional shadows, additional traffic to Albert Street, the loss of tree canopy, and impacts to water flow could dramatically alter the character of the area and their quality of life.

A scale model of the proposed building was on display during the open hose, viewed here from what would be the north-east corner of the building. Photo by Tommy Vallier.

The property Queen’s is looking to use for the building falls under existing zoning for educational or medical uses, which does allow for residences operated by the university to be constructed. Access to the existing alley behind the homes on Collingwood Street is also expected to be maintained, with the entrance remaining on Albert Street, as will a large setback from the existing daycare at the corner of Albert and Union Streets.

A rendering of the east facade of the building, showing the houses at 142 and 144 Albert Street, which will be incorporated and connected to the new building. Rendering provided by Queen’s University.

Developers of the new building are targeting a ‘LEED Gold’ certification for the construction, which will include bicycle facilities on the property, light pollution reduction, enhanced heating and refrigerant management, and reduction impact to the environment during construction, among other requirements.

The site plan submitted to the city includes the planting of additional butternut trees in the area to replace existing butternut trees in the rear of some of the existing buildings, and is expected to increase the overall tree count.

142, 144 and 148 Albert Street as they stood on November 7, 2019. 148 Albert will be demolished as part of the construction. Photo by Tommy Vallier.

The building has been approved by the Queen’s Board of Trustees and is sitting with the city’s site plan control process. A noise study to look at potential impacts from mechanical equipment and delivery movement, and a lighting plan to illustrate the exterior lighting impact are expected to be forthcoming. Occupation is expected in August 2022.

Work on this project began in March with a first public open house in June and this as their second. Additional public events are not currently planned, but subject to municipal planning procedures may be required. More information about the new facility can be found on the Queen’s Residences website.

11 thoughts on “Queen’s moves closer towards Albert Street residences

  • I believe property values in these areas will decrease. We see the Queen’s student’s drunk partying during the year which has caused many residents to move away. Maybe that is what the University is hoping for to enable them to buy up more city property.

    • Most people that live in this area of town are students. The value of the house will not go down because renters do not care for the quality of life of their tenants in this area and will continue to increase rent therefore increasing the value of the property.

      • Our house on Collingwood Street right below the the back maintenance part of the residence. The new residence has 6 stories there with the maintenance building on top – they don’t show photos from the back – no green areas to be seen unlike Alfred street). I have lived here for more than 30 years with my family. It is time to move.

    • This is right beside the university, where most of the existing residents are already students… You’re so ignorant.

  • What a blow to the neighbourhood. Besides the destruction of the lovely historic houses and trees, the blight for anybody living nearby having hundreds of students as direct neighbors was well proven at last months homecoming. Has anyone addresses the parking situation? If any of these students have cars themselves, or have visitors with cars, it’s just going to add to the severe lack of parking for blocks around. If they want to make a five-story building knock down some houses on the streets that have already been ruined and build it there. No need to start spreading that mess anywhere else.

    Not even going to get into the terrible looking facade of the proposed project. Just another project to add to the slow decline of the historic and cultural feel of our city.

  • Why not knock down houses over on Aberdeen where neighbourhood is already ruined for single family homes and build the housing monstrosity there?

  • Many of you seem very unfamiliar with the street, most of these properties are multi unit rental dwellings, not family homes, anyone who thinks the addition of this building will ruin the neighbourhood need only look across the street to Vic hall the largest residence on main campus. Additionally these properties have very generous yardage which tends to be under utilized and is ridiculous with it being on a campus which has struggled with housing for decades

  • Do you think the city and the university will listen to the people of Kingston and their concerns no.
    Over the years the university has shown that itself comes first in the city not the residence not the city.
    Therefore why don’t you knock down all the houses that are ruined in what is classed as the Queen’s ghetto and built new houses, students can I use.
    I only wish that the University listens to the residents of Kingston and the mayor and Council of Kingston listen to them as well.
    Years upon years the city does not listen to the people only the university there for what can the residents do?

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  • Growing up at 142 Albert St. over 20 years, this 6 unit apartment building is a masterpiece in workmanship. It was one of the first private residence built on the block in the 1800’s. In the 1900’s it became an apartment building. 144 Albert St. was a Quenn’s women’s residence going back to the 1950’s. All the other houses were private homes.

    The dignity and the character of the Albert St. block space should be maintained. Hopefully the students will respect the neighborhood. I hope the magnificent shade trees on the block will continue to thrive and be appreciated by everyone on Albert St.
    I have countless treasured memories growing up on this street.

    • Hi John McNicholas, I am a television producer located in Toronto and I am working on a story about this property. I would love to learn more about your experience living in this house. It has quite the history! Please contact me if you are interested – [email protected]

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