Residential Zones

The City of Hamilton’s Comprehensive Zoning By-law No. 05-200 came into effect on May 25, 2005, and is being implemented in stages. This Zoning By-law applies to the entire City of Hamilton and is replacing the Zoning By-laws of the former municipalities.

The final phase of this project is focused on residential zones in the urban area. The purpose of this project is to implement the policies of the Urban Hamilton Official Plan to create consistent residential zones across the entire urban area of Hamilton.

What does Zoning By-law No. 05-200 represent?

  • A living document that will evolve over time.
  • A flexible, up-to-date document, reflecting current planning trends and priorities.
  • Forward thinking – future ready.

Wordcloud of how the Zoning By-law is: future-focused, current, progressive, evolving, modern, uniform, illustrative, flexible, etc.

Related projects

The residential zoning project has been initiated. A number of related projects are underway or have been completed that will help inform the residential zoning project going forward.

Imagining New Communities


The City hosted a series of public open houses to talk about planning for future communities:

  • what density looks like
  • how to plan for complate communities
  • how zoning can contribute to make great community

It’s about imagining new communities and what that would look like for you – how you live now and how you want to live in the future.

Public Open Houses - November, 2018
Review the display materials (PDF,  8 MB)

The City is embarking on planning for population and employment growth to 2041, which includes planning for new communities as well as for growth within existing communities. To achieve Provincial growth forecasts and density targets, and to ensure we are developing complete communities, new communities will be planned to achieve higher densities than they have in the past. In anticipation of this future growth, the City is working on several projects related to residential growth:

Secondary Suites in Detached Structures


Secondary suites in detached structures are to be permitted in certain areas within the city provided they adjoin a laneway and satisfy a number of other zoning regulations. This pilot project is intended to help inform the residential zoning project.

The approved By-law 18-299 amended regulations of Section 19 of Zoning By-law No. 6593 to allow secondary units within detached structures for existing single detached dwellings within the lower City (parts of Wards 1, 2, 3 and 4) adjoining a laneway. A future information guide will be created to help residents better understand the process and requirements of this pilot project, including a warning advising that continued use and maintenance of the alleyway is not secured or protected.

View the report presented to Planning Committee

Review of the Existing “ER” Zone in Ancaster


In consultation with the Ancaster community, a pilot project for the Existing Residential “ER” Zone was developed that involved changes to the regulations of the “ER” Zone. Zoning By-law regulations establish an as-of-right building envelope that guides development or redevelopment on individual properties. The changes are intended to provide a more sensitive integration of new construction within mature neighbourhoods.

As part of the residential zoning project, we will monitor these new zoning regulations to see if:

  • they are working as intended
  • any changes or new regulations are needed
  • they could be used in other areas of the city with mature neighbourhoods and larger lots

Learn more about the Review of the Existing “ER” Zone in Ancaster

What's next?

Stay tuned for more information.

Contact us

Tim Lee
Planner, Zoning By-Law Reform
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 1249
Email: timothy.lee@hamilton.ca

Alana Fulford
Planner, Zoning By-law Reform
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 4771
Email: alana.fulford@hamilton.ca