Planning a Community

Waterdown Community Node Secondary Plan Study

The City of Hamiton's Official Plan identifies the central Waterdown area as a Community Node. Community Nodes are areas with an important concentration of services, shops, residential uses, and other facilities which serve as a focal point for the surrounding community. They are intended to have a mix of uses that allow for access to housing, employment, services, and recreation in close proximity to each other and transit. 

Why create a Secondary Plan?

The overall population of Waterdown has been growing significantly and further growth is expected in the future. This growth will have an impact on the form and function of the Waterdown Community Node, bringing with it opportunities and challenges. Changes to the area’s transportation system, such as the planned east-west road to the north of the core, new bike lanes along major streets, and other proposed road connections, will also have impacts. In addition, there is a need to protect the heritage characteristics of the historical downtown, to provide more detailed design guidance for new development and to address concerns related to traffic and access in the area. A Secondary Plan is an important tool that can be used to help guide change.

The purpose of the Waterdown Community Node Secondary Plan Study is to create a clear vision for how the area should evolve in the future, and to establish policies to implement that vision. This will help manage change and redevelopment by providing direction on the desired mix of uses, height, density, built form, and urban design within the area.

Location map of Waterdown Community Node

Study Area: Extends west to east along Dundas St. from the lands across from Redcliff Court to the Canadian Pacific Railway line/Grindstone Creek, and north to south from Nisbet Blvd to the southerly end of Hamilton St. The area includes approximately 112 hectares of land. A refined Community Node boundary will be determined as part of this study. 

A Transportation Management Plan, Cultural Heritage Review and Urban Design Guidelines will also be completed as part of this study.


  • September 4, 2018: Background Report submitted to Planning Committee
  • December 2019: Phase 1 of project completed
  • May 20, 2020: Interim Control By-law enacted
  • November 2020: Phase 2 of project completed

Reports and By-laws can be viewed under the Documents and Reports tab.


Timeline for the Waterdown Community Node Secondary Plan outlining the 3 Phases

Virtual Meeting and Online Commenting
Held October 15, 2020 and from October 1 to 31, 2020.
Visit to view the consultation materials and meeting recording.
Phase 2 Public feedback report (PDF, 541 KB)

Online Survey
February 2019 to November 2019
Public feedback report (PDF, 491 KB)

Urban Design Workshop
Held November 9, 2019
Solicited input on what the design of new development and public street areas should look like in the Waterdown core.
Display panels (PDF, 2 MB) | Presentation (PDF, 2 MB) | Workshop activity panels (PDF, 1 MB) | Comment sheet (PDF, 18 KB) | Public feedback report (PDF, 2 MB)

Community Workshop
Held October 10, 2019
Introduced several studies happening in the Waterdown Community Node.
Display panels (PDF, 11 MB) | Workshop activity panels (PDF, 55 KB) | Public feedback report (PDF, 3 MB)

Focus Group Meetings:

Stakeholder Meetings:

  • March 25, 2019 - Waterdown Mill Street Heritage Committee - Meeting 1 summary (PDF, 38 KB)
  • April 15, 2019 - Mary Hopkins Elementary School Parent Council - Meeting 2 summary (PDF, 51 KB)
  • April 23, 2019 - Waterdown Business Improvement Area Council - Meeting 3 summary (PDF, 41 KB)
  • May 21, 2019 - Waterdown District High School Parent Council - Meeting 4 summary (PDF, 95 KB)
  • June 3, 2019 - Waterdown Seniors Centre - Meeting 5 summary (PDF, 45 KB)

Pop-up events:

  • June 3, 2019 - Waterdown Public Library - Event summary (PDF, 51 KB)
  • June 29, 2019 - Waterdown Ribfest - Event summary (PDF, 41 KB)
  • October 5, 2019 - Waterdown Farmer's Market - Event summary (PDF, 46 KB)

How is feedback used? Feedback received through consultation activities will be used to develop the vision for how the Waterdown core should evolve in the future, and to create specific policies and directions to implement that vision. Each stage of the project will include multiple consultation events.

Notice of Passing of Interim Control By-laws

On May 20, 2020, Hamilton City Council passed two Interim Control By-laws: By-law 20-101 (PDF,  699 KB) and By-law 20-102 (PDF, 588 KB). The by-laws apply to the study area for the Waterdown Community Node Secondary Plan Study, and also include additional residential lands adjacent to the study area that are part of the Waterdown Village Built Heritage Inventory. The lands currently outside of the Secondary Plan study area may be added to the study area during the study process, if warranted to address land use issues such as heritage preservation.  

The purpose of the Interim Control By-laws are to allow for planning studies to be completed for the area, to ensure that the City’s planning documents: 

  • Permit land uses, heights and densities in the area that support a complete community and the City’s goals for Community Nodes; and 
  • Establish appropriate policies regarding land use, built form, infrastructure, residential intensification, heritage conservation, transportation, environmental protection and urban design that are beneficial for strengthening the community and the long-term prosperity of the City.

The effect of the By-law is to temporarily freeze the lands from most land use changes for one year until such time as the planning studies are completed. 

Contact us

Melanie Pham
Senior Planner, Community Planning & GIS
71 Main Street West, 5th Floor
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 6685
Email: [email protected]