Improving our Parks

Sam Lawrence Park

Sam Lawrence Park is a 7.53 hectare (18.6 acre) park situated at the top of the Niagara Escarpment where the Jolley Cut meets Concession Street and Upper Wellington Street. It is best known for its panoramic views of the Lower City, the Dundas Valley, and Lake Ontario.

The City is planning for future park upgrades to Sam Lawrence Park. In September 2020, Hamilton City Council approved the Sam Lawrence Park Master Plan, led by a team of City staff and consultants. The Master Plan is an important first step in considering existing and future uses for the park.

Sam Lawrence Park map outline

Many of Sam Lawrence Park’s existing features are in decline due to age, weathering, slope movements and vandalism and are in need of upgrade. As such, the City has the opportunity to re-examine the park’s existing uses and re-imagine future uses, through a Master Plan process: a process that was last undertaken in 1994. As the City and region continue to grow, this valued public space will take on more significance as a prominent city-wide park, serving local residents and those in the Hamilton region. The outcome of the Master Plan will serve as the blueprint for future park improvements in both the short term and long term.


  • September 2020 - Public Works Committee and Hamilton City Council adoption of the Master Plan and Public Posting of the Report
  • December 9, 2019 Public Information Centre #2, presenting the preferred park design concept. 6:30 to 8:30 pm (presentation at 7 pm). Hamilton Mountain Seventh-day Adventist Church, 284 Concession Street, Hamilton.
  • October 2, 2019 Public Advisory Group, providing feedback on the preliminary alternative design concepts.
  • August 1, 2019 Results of the online park user survey.
  • June 8, 2019 Concession Street Streetfest pop-up booth, informing attendees of the Master Plan process and collecting feedback from the community.
  • May 4, 2019 Walking Tour, exploring the park’s storied history, the issues / challenges currently affecting the site, and how it may better-serve Hamiltonians in the years to come. Meet at the park’s west parking lot (opposite Highcliffe Avenue). Tour from 1:30 to 3 pm.
  • April 9, 2019 Public Advisory Group, discussing the Preliminary Evaluation Criteria (Criteria for Success), to be used to inform design decisions when preparing alternative design concepts.
  • March 26, 2019 Public Information Centre, to kick-start the process for developing a Master Plan
    Hamilton Public Library - Concession Street Branch Hamilton, 5:30 to 7:30 pm, brief presentation at 6 pm

Sam Lawrence Park Design Concept

The following are general, site-wide improvements that would be included in the preferred design concept:

  • Improved Paving
  • New Furnishings (benches, trash receptacles, etc.)
  • New Lighting Strategy
  • New Interpretive / Way-finding Signage
  • Repair Masonry Walls, Railings and Steps
  • Update Servicing (as required)
  • Prune Vegetation to Open Views
  • Tree Planting Plan
  • Street Tree Planting along Concession Street.
  • Invasive Species Management Plan
  • Escarpment Slope Stabilization

Arkledun Avenue & Bruce Trail Access

All design concept alternatives propose improvements to the Arkledun Avenue and Bruce Trail access connection to Concession Street and Sam Lawrence Park. The following changes will improve access and safety:

  • New trail head that creates a sense of arrival to the Bruce Trail and includes amenities like way-finding signage and benches.
  • New pathway and native shade garden below the escarpment edge that addresses existing drainage issues.
  • Pruning trees and shrubs to open up views and new lighting throughout the area to improve safety.

Intersection Improvements

All design concept alternatives propose improvements to the Concession Street / Jolley Cut intersection. The design team investigated the following changes, with approval from City of Hamilton stakeholders:

  • Removal of channelized right turn lanes at the Concession Street / Jolley Cut / Upper Wellington Street intersection.
  • The design team explored numerous configuration options as part of the intersection investigation.  The investigation resulted in proposing the following changes, with approval from City of Hamilton stakeholders.

For more information related to the intersection investigation, please contact the City of Hamilton project lead, [email protected]

Public Art

All design concept alternatives propose a public art component at various scales. In keeping with the recommendations of the City`s Urban Indigenous Strategy, this site due to its position on the escarpment edge may be a suitable location for an Indigenous themed public art work.

The Cost of Doing Nothing

There is always the option to Do Nothing but that doesn’t mean there are no costs involved. The “Do Nothing” option fixes what is broken; however, it does not address community concerns or include new improvements, except for the already-approved City of Hamilton initiatives including:

  • Mountain Brow Multi-Use Path Feasibility Study – include multi-use path along Concession Street from Belvidere Avenue to Belwood Avenue.
  • Public Art Master Plan – funding allocated to Sam Lawrence Park for small public art component.

The cost of the “Do Nothing” option includes, but is not limited to:

  • Remedial repairs to pavements, lighting, stairs, walls etc.
  • Piecemeal repairs do not contribute to site-wide rejuvenation
  • Design aesthetic is not coordinated
  • Increased maintenance
  • Limited demonstrated response to community concerns, for example connectivity


Contact Us

If you have any questions or wish to submit a comment, please contact:

John Vandriel
Landscape Architectural Services
Phone: 905.546.2424 ext.3662
Email: [email protected]