Policies & Guidelines

Design Review Panel

In response to the COVID-19 situation, , the Design Review Panel Mandate has been updated and includes a Virtual Meeting Protocol.

The City of Hamilton's Design Review Panel is a voluntary technical panel that will provide expert and impartial design advice and guidance to Planning and Economic Development staff on urban design matters of development within Design Priority Areas.

The Design Priority Areas include:

The panel is strictly an advisory body and makes recommendations. It does not have the authority to approve or refuse projects or make policy decisions, or recommendations on land use.

2020 Meetings

Dates: Meetings occur on the 2nd Thursday of the month.
Time: Meetings are held in the afternoon, see agenda as times may vary.
Due to COVID-19, all meetings are being held virtually. To attend a virtual DRP meeting, contact [email protected] by 12 noon the day before the meeting to receive the meeting link via email. 
Reminder: DRP meetings are open to the public for observation only.

We ask all applicants/agents to arrive 15 minutes prior to the indicated start-time of your application.

Meeting Date Applicant Submission Deadline Agenda Presentation Video Meeting Summary
January 14, 2021
Virtual Meeting
December 11, 2020      
December 10, 2020
Virtual Meeting
November 20, 2020      
November 12, 2020
Virtual Meeting
October 23, 2020      
October 7, 2020 
Virtual Meeting
September 18, 2020 Agenda: October 7 (PDF, 87 KB) Video: 71 Rebecca Street  
September 11, 2020 Virtual Meeting August 21, 2020 Agenda: September 11 (PDF, 93 KB)

Video: 16 Cannon Street

Video: 11 Robert Street

Video: 129-131 Wellington Street North

Summary: 16 Cannon Street (PDF, 247 KB)

Summary: 11 Robert Street (PDF, 243 KB)

Summary: 129-131 Wellington Street North (PDF, 243 KB)

August 13, 2020 Virtual Meeting July 24, 2020 Agenda: August 13 (PDF, 94 KB)

Video: 101 King Street East

Video: Barton Street East and Wellington Street North

Summary: 101 King Street East (PDF, 246 KB)

Summary: Barton Street East and Wellington Street North (PDF, 254 KB)

July 15, 2020
Virtual Meeting
June 19, 2020 Agenda: July 15 (PDF, 89 KB) Video: 77 James St N

Video: 14-18  Augusta St
Summary: 77 James St N (PDF, 251 KB)

Summary: 14-18 August St (PDF, 243 KB
July 14, 2020
Virtual Meeting
June 19, 2020 Agenda: July 14 (PDF, 92 KB)

Video: Pier 8 - Block 16

Video: 235 Main St W

Summary: Pier 8 - Block 16 (PDF, 273 KB)

Summary: 235 Main St W (PDF, 255 KB)
March 12, 2020   Agenda: March 12 (PDF, 86 KB)   Summary: March 12, 2020 (PDF, 1 MB)
February 13, 2020   Agenda: Feburary 13 (PDF, 122 KB)   Summary: February 13, 2020 (PDF, 277 KB)

Note: Meetings for April, May and June 2020 were postponed.

About the panel

The City’s DRP began as a pilot program in 2014 and the first full four-year term will be completed in December 2020. As Hamilton continues to experience significant revitalization across the City as our built environment evolves, we look to our DRP as an essential aspect of the development process to ensure high quality design.

While the Panel does not have the authority to approve or refuse projects, or make policy decisions, DRP members provide feedback to Planning staff on matters such as:

  • The potential physical and aesthetic impacts of proposed developments
  • Landscapes, streetscapes, parks, and infrastructure projects
  • Supporting creative and unique design solutions
  • Fostering an effective relationship with the development industry
  • Improving the quality of urban design in Hamilton
  • Increasing public awareness about urban design in Hamilton

There are nine members on this panel that consist of:

  • architects
  • planners
  • urban designers
  • landscape architects
  • heritage professionals
  • green technology specialists

The recommendations of the panel are forwarded to Planning and Economic Development staff who accept them as input through the planning process and utilize these recommendations to shape the staff recommendation (or in the case of site plans the staff decision) going forward.

Panel members for 2017 to 2021

  • Colin Berman, Brook Mcllroy
  • Vincent P. Colizza, Vicent P. Colizza Architects
  • Robert Freedman, Freedman Urban Solutions
  • Ute Maya-Giambattista, SGL Planning & Design 
  • Mario Patitucci, Adesso Design
  • Tim Smith, Urban Strategies Inc.
  • Jackie VanderVelde, Land Art Design Landscape Architects Inc.
  • Yasin Visram, Perkins+Will Canada
  • James Webb, WEBB Planning Consultants Inc.

During the Formal Consultation stage, it will be determined if you application is subject to the Design Review Panel.

If the DRP is identified as a requirement, the applicant will need to:

  • submit a request for a DRP meeting
  • submit a detailed submission package (at least 5 weeks prior to the DRP meeting)

The purpose of the submission package is to provide the information needed for review and evaluation of the development proposal by DRP. It should highlight the key urban design features of a development proposal and explain why the proposed development represents the most appropriate design solution.

The submission package is prepared by the applicant and must include these materials:

  • Completed applicant project summary sheet.
  • Photographs of the surrounding streetscape and adjacent lands to illustrate existing site conditions and surrounding context, along with a map identifying where each photo is taken.
  • A design brief (approximately 4 pages in length) that includes a:
    • concise summary and response to the applicable City urban design policies and guidelines;
    • contextual analysis that discusses/illustrates abutting properties, key destinations and linkages within a 100m radius (a larger radius may be requested for larger/more complex projects). The contextual analysis should include:
      • transportation networks for cars, cyclists and pedestrians
      • focal points/nodes
      • gateways
      • parks/open spaces
      • topography
      • views towards the site
      • the urban pattern (streets, blocks)
      • future and current proposals
      • public art
      • heritage resources
    • height analysis of the surrounding context for all tall building proposals
  • Models and/or illustrations that show the project massing and relationships in its urban context.
  • Detailed perspective drawings or computer models, placing particular emphasis on the first few storeys and how the project responds and relates to its urban context. Perspective drawings should be set within the existing streetscape, indicating compatibility with development on both sides of the street. The intent is to show the Panel how the proposed development’s design and scale relate to the existing context.
  • Massing illustrations to provide the Panel with an understanding of the overarching approach to the design of the site
  • Site Plan with all dimensions in metric as well as adjacent properties and buildings.
  • Landscape Plan.
  • A plan showing existing and proposed servicing, if requested by City staff during formal consultation.
  • Section and floor plans.
  • Building elevations detailing proposed materials and colours.
  • Sun/shadow and wind studies (if requested by City staff during formal consultation).
  • Cultural Heritage Impact Assessment (if requested by City staff during formal consultation).

All material is to be submitted to the DRP Coordinator in two formats:

  • paper format: 14 hard copies (11x17 inch size)
  • electronic format: PDF format (11x17 inch size) on a CD or USB stick

You will need to present your development proposal at the DRP meeting.The purpose of the presentation is to provide an opportunity for the applicant to explain the project to the panel members including: context of the project, its design, rationale and intent.

The presentation may be prepared as a PowerPoint Presentation or it can be mounted on panels of no larger than 0.9m x 1.2m (3’ x 4’) in size.

Deadline: The presentation must be submitted at least one week before the DRP meeting. It cannot contain material that was not included in the submission package.

Contact us

Victoria Cox
Urban Designer & DRP Coordinator
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 1393
Email: [email protected]