Priority Projects

Waterfront Redevelopment - West Harbour

Header for West Harbour

What do you want to do on your waterfront?
Join us on August 22!

It’s taken decades of planning and hard work to get here, and now Hamilton’s West Harbour Waterfront Redevelopment Plan is in full action, construction is underway and new public spaces will be taking shape. 

Building on all of the design and consultation work to date, the City of Hamilton is looking for your ideas to assist in the development of a Placemaking & Activation Plan. This Plan will outline program ideas for how the current and future public spaces could be used, and look for ways to make this area a “people-place” in the immediate term, during construction, as well as the eventual long-term.

Placemaking on the waterfront

Join the City, and our consultants from Project for Public Spaces, for an evening of discussions regarding innovative placemaking approaches that create public spaces which engage people, fostering a strong sense of place that, in turn, contributes to the growing vibrancy of a waterfront for all Hamiltonians.

What is Placemaking?

“Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community. Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value. More than just promoting better urban design, placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution.” - Project for Public Spaces

To help you imagine how these public spaces could be used, the City will temporarily open the site of the future public trail along Piers 5 to 7 at the foot of James Street North. You will be able walk to the water’s edge like never before, follow the path of the future trail and experience a series of placemaking activations that will help inspire ideas for discussion.

Date: Thursday, August 22, 2019
Time: 3 to 8 pm
Location: HWT Centre, 57 Discovery Drive, Hamilton
View additional details and RSVP for the Community Conversation session


What is West Harbour?

Hamilton’s West Harbour is the area bounded by Hamilton Harbour, York Boulevard, Cannon Street and Wellington Street N.

The West Harbour includes key features and attractions such as:

  • Dundurn Castle
  • Bayfront and Pier 4 Park
  • the HMCS Haida
  • the Hamilton Waterfront Trail
  • an outdoor roller/skating rink
  • many marinas and waterfront views for visitors to enjoy 


How did we get here?

Check out this video to understand the history of the waterfront development journey.


Pier 8 RFP Proponent: Waterfront Shores

In June 2018,  City Council confirmed the selection of The Waterfront Shores Corporation as the Preferred Proponent of the Pier 8 Development Opportunity RFP process.

What does this mean? Waterfront Shores has the exclusive right to negotiate contracts with the City to purchase and develop the Pier 8 lands in accordance with their selected proposal. 

Find out more about the Pier 8 RFP and land solicitation process


Goals of the Redevelopment Project

The City of Hamilton’s strategic focus for the West Harbour is guided by the principles and goals in two plans:

Plans for the West Harbour include:

  • enhancing cultural, residential, commercial and recreational uses
  • providing a greater range of attractions year-round
  • bringing economic opportunity through new construction, employment, tourism, cultural & commercial development

This $140 million redevelopment project will transform the West Harbour into a vibrant, mixed-use, transit supportive and pedestrian-friendly community that is the jewel on Hamilton’s waterfront. 


Pier 5-7 Public Open-Space

An animation of the Pier 5-7 Public Open-Space Illustrations.

View the individual illustrations from the March 29 meeting

Pier 8 Promenade Park Design winner
"Hamilton: Hammer City" by Forrec Ltd

Forrec Ltd, has been selected by the competition jury as the winner of the Pier 8 Promenade Park Design Competition for their proposal “Hamilton: Hammer City”.

Find out the jury process and next steps for Pier 8 Promenade Park


History of the waterfront

Mid-1900s: As a centre of trade, commercial and industrial growth, urbanization & industrial expansion on Hamilton’s waterfront nearly destroyed the area’s natural habitat.

1950s to 1980s: Harbour’s ecosystem was severely degraded & deemed unfit for any recreation use due to severe water quality problems and little public access.

Early 1990s: A major transformation of the West Harbour began with a focus on the natural ecological experience of the harbour.

Over the past 30 years: Investments of almost $2 billion by public & private sectors helped to remediate the harbour & enhance its water and ecological quality. The City and stakeholders have been internationally recognized for the restoration of the Harbour environmental ecosystem & the revival of the diverse range of fish and wildlife habitat.