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The Waterfront Shores Corporation is the Preferred Proponent for Pier 8 development

HAMILTON, ON – Today at General Issues Committee (GIC), City of Hamilton staff presented a report recommending Waterfront Shores Corporation as the Preferred Proponent of the Pier 8 Development Request for Proposal (RFP) process. The announcement comes following a thorough and comprehensive evaluation process of four received proposals. Hamilton City Council will meet on June 13th to consider final approval of staff’s recommendation.

Staff from the Planning & Economic Development Department are recommending that Waterfront Shores move to the final stage of the solicitation process for the Pier 8 development opportunity. This includes exclusive negotiations for the purchase and development of the Pier 8 lands on the basis of its winning proposal.

The staff report did not contain any recommendation regarding the former Discovery Centre building also located on Pier 8. The former Discovery Centre site, which did not form any part of the RFP, will be addressed in a future, separate staff report for consideration by GIC.

Upon a successful negotiation of a development agreement with the preferred proponent City staff will come back with an Information Report‎ with a summary of the four proposals.

Technical Proposal Summary Waterfront Shores (PDF, 181 KB)

Quick facts about The Waterfront Shores Corporation

  • Core team members: Cityzen Development Corporation, Fernbrook Homes Group, GFL Environmental Inc., Greybrook Realty Partners Inc.
  • Architectural design team: KPMB Architects, gh3 Inc., Omar Gandhi Architect, superkül
  • 1,292 condominium units spread across 20 separate buildings. At-grade townhouses located on all 8 residential blocks;
  • 65 units (5%) will be administered as affordable housing by Habitat for Humanity Hamilton who will ensure continuity of affordability for at least 15 years.  100% of these affordable units will be 2-bedroom or larger and distributed throughout the development;
  • 6,440 m2 of commercial space primarily categorized as street-level retail.  Themed retail zones include fitness/health & wellness, social eateries, a fresh food market, and personal services.  Proponent has committed to tenanting retail  premises exclusively with local operators;
  • A public community hub proposed for institutionally zoned Block 16 (north-west corner of subject lands, adjacent to former Discovery Centre).  Proponent will engage an experienced community hub administrator to help develop a refined vision of desired uses, establish an appropriate operating and funding model, and help identify appropriate operating partners;
  • 40% of the total site area will be publicly accessible open space.  The design and siting of the buildings will add approximately 1.6 kilometres of additional walkable landscape connecting to the City-owned network of parks and rights-of-way at the waterfront;
  • Targeting LEED Gold certification and WELL Building certification which focuses on occupants’ and users’ health and wellness;
  • Goal to eliminate natural gas consumption through tactics such as wastewater heat recovery, geothermal heating/cooling, solar photovoltaics and battery storage micro-grids;
  • Proposed partnership with Ontario Centres of Excellence to incubate and fund Hamilton-based start-ups focused on intelligent-city and green technologies, inviting them to use Pier 8 as a testing and showcase platform;
  • Demonstrated support from LiUNA Local 837 (Hamilton chapter).


The 5.24 hectare development site has the potential to support new residential, commercial and institutional space on nine development blocks.  The City will be improving the site with roads and municipal services as well as the Pier 8 Promenade Park, the design for which was selected through a design competition held in late-summer 2017. Construction of these elements will begin summer 2018. 

Pier 8 is a key component of a larger West Harbour waterfront redevelopment plan that includes improvements to pedestrian access to the water’s edge, upgrades to boating and marina facilities, structural improvements to the shoreline, installation of new fish habitats, and creation of a new waterfront commercial zone and public gathering place on Piers 6 and 7. 

Recognizing the importance of Pier 8 and the West Harbour waterfront’s importance to all Hamiltonians, the RFP was structured to ensure that the preferred proposal would result in a landmark City development and generate significant financial returns for the City, while fostering a sense of inclusiveness and pride for people living at, working at, and visiting Pier 8.

To achieve these objectives, City Staff developed a process that was informed by extensive community input and consistent with the City’s West Harbour vision. Approved by Council, this process was executed by a team of City staff drawn from a wide range of disciplines, perspectives, and interest. The process was also overseen by an internal Steering Committee of senior administrators, and was continuously monitored by an independent, third-party Fairness Monitor.

Once Council approved the land solicitation process in November 2016, the City launched the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) phase on April 18, 2017, which closed on July 10, 2017. The development teams proceeding to the RFP stage of the process were announced on October 6, 2017.  The RFP was issued on December 15, 2017 and required the Proponents to submit both a Technical Proposal (which formally closed on March 13, 2018) and a separate Financial Proposal (formally closed on April 4, 2018).

Conducted in two stages, the RFP evaluation process involved the review of a technical proposal and a financial bid.

Technical proposals included the details of each proponent’s development concepts for the mixed-use redevelopment site. The evaluation criteria not only addressed the technical features of the development itself, but also considered the practicalities of implementation, and were grounded in the guiding principles found in the West Harbour Setting Sail Secondary Plan (Setting Sail), the Pier 7 and 8 Urban Design Study, and the West Harbour community vision, with additional criteria which assessed the Proposal’s alignment with the City’s interests.

Financial bids were submitted according to a mandated deal structure that would see the City receive payment in phases, which allows the City to participate in the success of the development while protecting the City’s long-term interests.

For more information on the Pier 8 Development, visit: