Born In Beasley part 1


Photo by: Brett Klassen

 Born in Beasley: A History of the Hamilton Community Land Trust

The article can be viewed here in PDF format.

Ever wonder how the Hamilton Community Land Trust came to exist? The truth is, this organization has been decades in the making. We would like to share an article by local historian John A. McCurdy. The first in a series, John’s article explores the creation of the HCLT and its mission.  It is at once a thoughtful discussion of the history of development in Hamilton, the creation of the Beasley neighbourhood, and the personal story of founding board member Charlie Mattina.

As Hamilton continues to undergo rapid change – from its legacy of steel, industry, and forgotten inner-city neighbourhoods to “the ambitious city” – John reminds us that while we can celebrate the arrival of those who are driven by the lure of city streets, vibrant social scenes, and modern, digital-based employment, we must also hold a place for those who never left the old city. For those who have always called that part of the city home, and who wish for it to remain their home.

A Hamiltonian and passionate local historian, John A. McCurdy is the owner of Vintage Histories and Stories, which provides Organization, Community, Family and Personal History services in the Hamilton region. He can be contacted through his website at, or can be found digging through the archives in support of his next project.

The HCLT is a non-profit corporation that owns land in the name of citizens and leases it back to social-purpose organizations and individuals in order to help meet needs that are prioritized by the community.



Donations are accepted through our charitable partner the Social Planning and Research Centre (SPRC).

Enter HCLT or Hamilton Community Land Trust under “Indicate Program Allocation” on the confirmation page.