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Planning and Economic Development Department presents 2022 operating budget

Hamilton, ON – The 2022 Operating Budget for the Planning and Economic Development (PED) Department was presented to Hamilton City Council’s General Issues Committee today. General Manager Jason Thorne presented an overview of the Department’s services, highlights from 2021, including record highs in construction activity, as well as key initiatives for 2022 that focus on future growth.

Together with its partners, PED brings the City’s Vision to life through effective planning for existing and future communities, processing of development applications, support for new and existing businesses, delivery of major infrastructure and development projects, support for the City’s heritage, culture and arts, and ensuring the health, safety and well-being of the public through compliance with municipal by-laws.

The preliminary PED 2022 operating budget request represents an increase of 1.9% or $590,330 from 2021.

2021 Highlights

  • Record year for non-residential development and industrial development in the city.
  • Surpassing $2 billion worth of construction, making 2021 the first time the city has ever reached the $2 billion-dollar mark in construction value in one year. The City has reached the $1 billion milestone 11 out of the past 12 years.
  • Record-setting residential construction of 3,319 new housing units.
  • Strong non-residential construction, including a record-setting $491 million in new industrial construction.
  • Approval of the Downtown Entertainment Precinct master agreement that will see a minimum $50 million FirstOntario Centre transformation, $12.5 million in capital upgrades, expansion and aesthetic enhancements to the Hamilton Convention Centre and Concert Hall, and a $2 million contribution to the Art Gallery of Hamilton.
  • Record-setting development of approximately 2.7 million square feet of industrial and commercial development, largely focussed across the City’s nine business parks, with more than 3,000 estimated jobs created or retained.
  • Adoption of the 2021-2025 Economic Development Action plan with 77 Actions that focus on increasing the non-residential tax assessment base, economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasis on economic activity that embeds an equity, diversity and inclusion approach, considerations for climate change and increased transportation infrastructure projects.
  • Continued strong growth in the City’s film sector.
  • Signing of the Hamilton Light Rail Transit (LRT) project memorandum of understanding with Metrolinx and the Ministry of Transportation, re-establishing the Hamilton LRT project and office.  
  • Delivery of critical supports to culinary and entertainment communities including implementation of the Fair Payment for Musicians Policy, continuation of the City’s Outdoor Dining Districts program and hometownhub.ca website.
  • Achievement of key milestones in the development of new housing, commercial uses and public spaces on the City’s West Harbour lands.

Key PED Initiatives for 2022

  • Departmental plans to support future growth (GRIDS 2 implementation, Residential Zoning By-law, Site Plan & Urban Design Guidelines including Green Standards, Urban Forest Strategy, Community Energy and Emissions Plan)
  • Roads and Transportation planning (Complete Streets Guidelines, Truck Route Master Plan)
  • Sector strategies and economic impact studies for key sectors including advanced manufacturing and foreign direct investment
  • Opening of Copps’ Pier (Pier 8 promenade), and new public space and boardwalk on Piers 6 and 7 in Hamilton’s West Harbour and initiation of construction for a new West Harbour Gateway
  • Council will consider final approval of the City’s overall tax operating budget by late March.

“Hamilton benefits from forward thinking planning and economic development. The results are a growing community focused on providing benefits and opportunities for people. The expanding economy provides well-paying jobs that sustain families and provide a great quality of life where people can reach their potential in a safe and healthy environment.” - Mayor Fred Eisenberger

“2021 saw record-setting development levels in Hamilton, as well as implementation of several projects and services to help enhance the quality of life for Hamilton’s diverse residential and business communities. The 2022 PED operating budget focuses on continuing the City’s successful growth and development.” - Jason Thorne, General Manager, Planning and Economic Development Department


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