Priority Projects

Ward Boundary Review

Important notice

OMB Decision - December 12, 2017

The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) has been reviewing ward boundaries proposed by Hamilton City Council in February 2017. The OMB decision (PDF, 205 KB) was provided to the City on December 12, 2017 advising that the City’s ward boundary by-law be amended to reflect Option 2 outlined in the February 1, 2017 Watson & Associates Report (PDF,  15.1 MB). Staff and Council are currently reviewing that decision to determine next steps.

Ward Boundary Option 2 

Map of Ward Boundary option 2 recommended by OMB decision

Current Ward Boundary

Map of Current Ward Boundaries

On February 22nd, 2017, Council passed By-law No. 17-030, a by-law to re-divide the City of Hamilton ward boundaries, pursuant to Section 222 of the Municipal Act, 2001.

By-law 17-030 provides for the re-division of wards as follows:

Pursuant to Subsection 222(4) of the Municipal Act, 2001, any person or agency may appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board if they object to the By-law.  Appeals must be filed with the City Clerk’s Office, 71 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8P 4Y5 and must be filed within 45 days of the By-law being passed. The last day for filing an appeal of By-law 17-030 is no later than 4:30 p.m. on Monday, April 10th, 2017. 

The notice of appeal must set out the objections to the By-law and the reasons in support of the objections and must be accompanied by a certified cheque or money order in the amount of $300.00 made payable to the Minister of Finance.

For more information on the ward boundary review and the newly established ward boundaries you can contact the Office of the City Clerk at phone 905-546-2424 Ext. 4408.  More information regarding the appeal process.

To find out more information on how to file an appeal please consult the Ontario Municipal Board Information Sheet 10 (PDF, 149 KB) respecting ward boundaries.

Why a Ward Boundary Review?

  • The City of Hamilton's population has gone up more than 30,000 people since the last review in 2001
  • To ensure effective representation for all citizens

The City is working with Watson and Associates Economists Ltd., as well as Dr. Robert J. Williams, Trust Learning Solutions and ICA Associates Inc. The consultants will operate independently from Council and City staff as they work with residents and stakeholders to design possible ward boundary lines.

Guiding principles

The City will use these guiding principles to ensure options for change are determined in a fair and open process that will benefit the City as a whole.

  1. Representation by Population
    Ensure that every Councillor represents an equal number of constituents while allowing for some variation
  2. Population and Electoral Trends
    Look at future increases or decreases in population to keep ward sizes as balanced as possible until at least 2018
  3. Means of Communication and Accessibility
    Group existing neighbourhoods into wards that reflect current transportation and communication patterns
  4. Geographical and Topographical Features
    Use natural features as ward boundaries while keeping wards as compact as possible
  5. Community or Diversity of Interests
    Draw ward boundary lines around recognized settlement areas, traditional neighbourhoods, and community groupings, not through them 
  6. Effective Representation
    Evaluate the capacity of each ward to give residents an effective voice in decision-making

Current ward structure

  • City Council consists of an elected Mayor and 15 Ward Councillors

Image of current ward boundary map

Phase 1 (complete)

  • Review data
  • Develop public engagement strategy
  • Gather information on the present ward system

Phase 2 (complete)

  • Public meetings
  • Consultation sessions will be held to look at the current wards and future options

Phase 3 (complete)

Phase 4

Participants in the round one of public consultations (February 2016) ranked the guiding principles in order of importance.

Principles ranked highest:

  • Representation by population
  • Population and electoral trends
  • Community or diversity of interests

Principles ranked lowest:

  • Means of communication and accessibility
  • Geographical and topographical features

The principle of “Effective Representation” is an overarching principle that takes all the others into consideration.

This input from citizens is important because the options offered for consideration in this second round of consultations attempt to hold these prioritized principles. 

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