Design Review Panel

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.

About the panel

The purpose of the Panel is to:

  • Give advice and recommendations to staff on potential physical and aesthetic impacts of proposed buildings, landscapes, streetscapes, parks and infrastructure projects
  • Improve the quality of design
  • Provide supportive creative design responses in new development
  • Foster an effective relationship with the development industry
  • Increase public awareness about 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.

Previous panel members

  • Vincent P. Colizza, Vicent P. Colizza Architects
  • Robert Freedman, Freedman Urban Solutions
  • Mary Jo Hind, Perkins+Will Canada
  • J.A.(Sandy) McIntosh, Perkins+Will Canada
  • Mario Patitucci, Adesso Design
  • David Premi, DPAI Architecture Inc.
  • Yasin Visram, Perkins+Will Canada
  • James Webb, WEBB Planning Consultants Inc.
  • Kiran Chhiba, Dillon Consulting Ltd.
  • Richard Witt, Quadrangle Architects

The submission process

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

Email: drp@hamilton.ca