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Get a final look at the waterfront urban design study before it's approved

It's the final look at what the future Pier 7 and 8 will look like before the city moves to cover it with houses, roads, businesses and a boardwalk. And the city is rolling it out on Monday for the public to have a look at it.

The urban design study could be ratified by city council later this month

A northeast view of Pier 8. (City of Hamilton)

It's the final look at what the future Pier 7 and 8 will look like before the city moves to cover it with houses, roads, businesses and a boardwalk. And the city is rolling it out on Monday for the public to have a look at it.

Hamilton city officials will have a west harbour meeting to show residents the urban design study for the new waterfront neighbourhood. People can ask questions, says project lead Chris Phillips, and get a closer look at the design.

The plan includes buildings up to eight storeys, including 1,600 housing units and about 13,000 square metres of industrial and commercial development on a grid of streets. 

City councillors on the west harbour development subcommittee will see the urban design study at a meeting on Thursday. Then city council's planning committee will look at it on May 17. If that passes, and city council ratifies it on May 25, then the design will be a done deal, and the city will move forward with finding developers to execute those plans.

Not everyone is happy with that. Herman Turkstra, secretary from the Harbour West Neighbours, says the neighbourhood hasn't been included like the original Setting Sail plan suggested it would be.

The buildings are different than anticipated, he said. The number of residences, and who they draw, is different. The traffic plan is different.

A view from the west. (City of Hamilton)

And most of all, he thought the community would be included in the planning from the beginning, not informed at meetings.

"The public feedback has all been at a surface level," he said.

"On Monday, we'll have the opportunity to question the consultant face to face. Then on Thursday of the same week, a key committee is going to review all this."

"We've been informed, but we've not really been consulted."

The Pier 7 and 8 issue dates back to 2000, when the city acquired the piers as part of a sweeping rearrangement of port ownership that came out of a court battle between the city and the federal government.

(City of Hamilton)

But part of the settlement was a ruling that meant use of the lands stayed in the hands of the Hamilton Port Authority. It had 15- and 25-year leases that allowed it to keep the lands in port uses. The city has been trying to gain back use of the land ever since.

In 2013, the port authority agreed to terminate the leases early, prompting the city to move forward with the piers 7 and 8 plans.

The city has already gotten plenty of public input, and taken it into account, Phillips said. For example, it boosted the number of public spaces because of community feedback, including a 30-metre promenade with public art and gathering places.

The city envisions "a dynamic mixed use residential community with great access to public spaces," he said.


Meeting details

  • Date: Monday, May 2, 2016
  • Time: 7 p.m.
  • Location: Waterfront Banquet and Conference Centre, 555 Bay St. N.
  • Urban design study

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