The Clean Harbour Program Story
Hamilton Harbour is a reflection of the people, businesses and natural habitats around it. If we protect the harbour and use it wisely, it can support industry and commerce; offer recreation, sport and cultural experiences; and become a healthy and sustainable ecosystem.
Restoring and Protecting Hamilton's "Beautiful Waters"
The 7.5-kilometre long triangle of Hamilton Harbour has been at the heart of the communities surrounding it for centuries. It was a pristine fishery for the Iroquoian-speaking First Nations that called the bay “Macassa” – beautiful waters. It was the engine that powered the industrial progress of the “Ambitious City.” It was the playground for generations who found entertainment and recreation on its waters and its shores.
Then, by the Second World War, sewage, habitat destruction, contamination and toxic spills had turned the harbour into something different. It had become, in the words of one Hamilton Spectator reporter, “dirty and flecked with foulness.” The degradation continued into the 1980s when our community decided to begin reclaiming the harbour’s health and natural heritage.
The progress since is a Hamilton success story and Hamilton Water is at the centre of our community’s efforts to improve water quality, restore the natural environment and protect the health of the harbour for future generations.