Hamilton by the numbers: A look at what it takes to keep a city running

Hamilton is a city of more than 45,000 street lights, 600 litter containers and more than 2,000 marriage licences.

The city's budget documents reveal the scale of what's involved in operating a city

Hamilton homes generated 213,400 tonnes of solid waste in 2019. (Terry Asma/CBC)

    Hamilton is a city of more than 45,000 street lights, 600 litter containers and more than 2,000 marriage licences.

    Those are just a few of the numbers pondered as city council works its way through the 2020 operating budget.

    Ever year, city departments presents their achievements from the past year, and projections for the coming one. Those numbers show a picture of Hamilton and the people who live here. 

    Here's a look at Hamilton by the numbers:

    25,000: The estimated number of potholes city employees fill in a year. 

    1,250: The number of interments at municipal cemeteries in 2019. The city manages 70 cemeteries. 

    33,012: That's how many incidents Hamilton firefighters responded to in 2019. In 2018, it was 32,501.

    87,037: The number of calls paramedics answered in 2019. That's up from 84,160 in 2018.

    2,299: The number of marriage licences the city issued. That's up slightly from 2018, when there were 2,255.

    600: The number of streetscape litter containers. 

    45,385: The number of city-maintained street lights. 

    2,445: That's how many kilometres of sidewalk the city maintains. There are also 2,101 kilometres of watermains, 2,964 centre lane kilometres of roads and 230 kilometres of bike lanes. 

    523: The number of parks in Hamilton. There are also 283 playgrounds and 69 spray pads. 

    213,400: The number of tonnes of waste collected from Hamilton homes in 2019, including recycling.

    6,231: That's how many households are on the waiting list for social housing in Hamilton. That's down from 6,704 in 2018. Of those, 1,113 are already living in rent-geared-to-income units and are waiting for more appropriate housing. 5,118 are living in other housing.

    11,414: That's how many Hamiltonians are on Ontario Works, down from 11,884 in 2018.

    375: The number of grievances unions filed against the city in 2019, about the same as the year before. There were also 146 mediated settlements, three arbitrated awards, 38 harassment and discrimination investigations and eight human rights tribunal applications.

    17 million: The number of kilometres city buses traveled in 2019, providing 21,659,637 rides. Overall, there are 267 buses and 2,294 bus stops.

    177,508: The number of users of city WiFi in 2019, including at private and public locations. 


    Samantha Craggs is journalist based in Windsor, Ont. She is executive producer of CBC Windsor and previously worked as a reporter and producer in Hamilton, specializing in politics and city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca