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Gage Park Master Plan

Master Plan Summary

This website documents the Gage Park Master Plan process from 2006 to March 2010.

For information about the implementation of the Master Plan, see the Gage Park Redevelopment pages on this website.

Gage Park Master Plan and Stormwater Management Plan
The Gage Park Master Plan and Stormwater Management Plan was completed in March 2010. The final plan and report were approved by Public Works Committee on March 22, 2010 and by City Council on March 31, 2010.

This page documents the study process.

Documents Gage Park History
Since 1922, the City of Hamilton’s Gage Park has provided citizens with a rich mixture of open space, play fields, gardens and tree-lined paths that cover over 30 hectares of green space at the foot of the Niagara Escarpment. Located east of the downtown core at Main Street East and Gage Avenue South, Gage Park serves both its surrounding downtown community as well as plays host to citywide special events that draw people from beyond Hamilton’s borders.

Gage Park was transferred to the City of Hamilton Parks Board on January 23, 1922, at which time the landscape architect team H.B. Dunington-Grubb was hired to design the overall concept of the park. The Dunington-Grubb team of Howard Dunington-Grubb (1881-1965) and Lorrie Alfreda Dunington-Grubb (1877-1945), also founders of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects in 1934, helped establish Sheridan Nurseries and carried out a range of public and private commissions. Gage Park as seen today still contains much of that early vision.

Since completion of the park with the installation of the Gage Fountain in 1927, several changes have occurred that have altered the original park program. The park plant collection has matured over the last 8 decades and is now declining. Introduction of the bandshell in 1947 continues to play host to large special events along with other citywide festivals. The combined influence of the bandshell, increased community programming and the 1958 installation of the public works yard and greenhouse complex has increased demand for a higher level of park maintenance and facilities. The original Dunington-Grubb master plan organized the park into different spaces of gardens, active sports areas, a large central open space all connected by roads. The original roads were eventually closed to car traffic and can be seen today as a large loop and a series of intersecting paths. Much of this form still supports the overall park circulation and programs however the once country park no longer stands up well to the demands placed on it from an inner city urban setting.

Project Background

In 2005 Hamilton City Council authorized the creation of a new master plan for Gage Park. The new master plan process reviewed existing park programs, conditions of existing trees, condition of existing infrastructure and incorporated input from both park users and the public at large. The new park master plan established a park vision for the future and identify the strategy for implementation of capital construction. The park vision considers the historical importance of this park to the City along with the need to continue to provide recreational opportunities for its surrounding residents, as well as balancing the need to host citywide events and festivals.

Both existing park amenities and new site constructions within the park will benefit from the master plan process.

The scope of work for the Gage Park master plan included:
  • Research and analysis which explores thematic approaches and potentials for the park including: horticultural excellence, landscape heritage, educational opportunities;
  • An evaluation of the day to day management and maintenance of the park and an assessment of impact from proposed changes on these operations;
  • A comprehensive design for the park, with supporting capital cost/funding requirements;
  • A landscape management plan and recommended operating budget; and
  • A phasing and implementation strategy for future capital projects
Master Plan Process Summary
In June 2006 four (4) master plan options that illustrate a range of changes to the central “hub area” of the park were presented to the community for feedback. The options were intended as discussion items to reflect alternative scenarios for the two key stakeholders. To implement the master plan vision the final park program needs to respond to Public Works Operations and Maintenance Division that runs the central works yard and greenhouse complex situated in the central hub area of the park. The master plan will also reflect programming by Community Services Culture Section that operates the Children’s museum. In addition the park hosts four (4) major and nine (9) minor special events that draw 10’s of thousands of visitors annually. Other park stakeholders include the Friends of Gage Park volunteers, the Rosedale Tennis Club, Roselawn Lawn Bowling Club and Gage Park Softball Association.

During the master plan process two parallel studies by Public Works contributed to the selection of the preferred option. The business operational review of the works yard complex lead by Operations and Maintenance determined the final physical form requirements for the central hub area. The Lower East End Drainage Study led by Strategic Planning will determine the final physical form requirements for the east side of the park. An update from the drainage study along with the impacts to the master plan was presented to the community at a joint PIC on March 3, 2008. The operational review of the works yard complex was completed at the end of 2008.

As part of the master plan process a phase 1 scope of work was identified from the common elements of the four options that would not be directly impacted by the above studies. Phase 1 detail design plans were presented to the community and stakeholders at the joint PIC on March 3, 2008. On completion of the operational review a final preferred master plan was prepared and presented to the community. The final preferred master plan was presented to Public Works Committee with recommendations for implementation of future phases.


Material presented February 17 and 23, 2010 at public information centres Material presented June 20 and 21, 2006 Concepts presented June 20 and 21, 2006 A text description for each of the Park Concepts can be downloaded here.

Community Input
For the Gage Park Master Plan to be successful the plan needed to address public concerns about existing conditions within the park as well as common goals and visions for the park’s future. The first step in the community input began in the summer of 2005. Park stakeholders (those who are directly affected by the programming changes within the park, such as organized sports teams, community interest groups and relevant City Departments were contacted. These groups help establish the initial programming elements that should remain or be constructed within the park. Having worked closely with the Open Space Development team, these groups have helped create the preliminary design concepts that are now ready for public review. Comments from the 2 public information centres and Master Plan Workshop were summarized and submitted back to the stakeholder advisory committee.
Consultation Events


Lawrence Stasiuk, OALA, CSLA
Landscape Architect
Phone: 905-546-2424 extension 2292