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541 Eatery & Exchange

Barton Village, part of Hamilton’s recognized red zone, is home to innovative thinkers with regards to the area’s revitalization and how to support and uplift all who call Barton home. As a private developer explored the adaptive re-use of a century-old former bank building in the area, it presented a unique opportunity to rethink the traditional soup kitchen formula.

The award-winning project transformed a former uninviting apartment building into a supportive and inclusive community hub. Apartments were maintained on the upper level, while the lower level became both a café and social enterprise, called 541 Eatery & Exchange. With high quality food offerings, and a slightly lower price point, paying customers were invited to purchase buttons which could be redeemed by fellow diners in need, and the programming of the space allowed for educational, youth employment and training workshops. The barrier-free design of the space promotes inclusivity and universal accessibility. The massing and details of the 100-year-old building were preserved, anchoring, and activating the corner of Barton Street and Sanford Avenue.

Project Facts

  • Markets
  • Services
  • Location

    Hamilton, Ontario

  • Size

    1,4000 sq. ft.

  • Awards

    2015 Hamilton Urban Design Award for Outstanding Achievement and Excellence in Civic Generosity, City of Hamilton

    2014 Heritage Property Conservation Award City of Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee

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