Open Space Development

Shoreline Inventory and Assessment of City Owned Waterfront Assets

 2017 to 2018

The City of Hamilton experienced significant weather events that resulted in substantial damage to the shorelines of the City of Hamilton. The areas that experienced extensive damage during this period were:

  • Hamilton Harbour Waterfront Trail (commonly known as Bayfront Trail),
  • Beachfront Trail,
  • Confederation Beach Park and
  • Fifty Road Parkette.

Extreme weather events are becoming increasingly common, and the resulting damages have brought into focus the changing environmental conditions that continue to negatively impact City of Hamilton shorelines.


In 2019, the Great Lakes reached record setting high water levels collectively, with Lake Ontario reaching 76.03m. International Great Lake Datum (IGLD) as measured at the Burlington and Toronto monitoring stations, was approximately 50cm higher than that of 2018. These extremely high-water levels remained constant throughout the Spring/Summer and started to slowly recede in the late Summer/Fall.

Early in 2019, the City engaged coastal engineer SNC-Lavalin,  to complete an inventory and assessment of city owned waterfront assets . This study consisted of 33 properties along the shores of Lake Ontario from the Burlington Canal lift bridge to Windermere Road, as well as, within the Hamilton Harbour from the Desjardins Canal to the limits of Pier 4 Park.

The properties within the shoreline study area are comprised of:

  • road rights-of-way
  • stormwater outfalls
  • developed parkland
  • open space and trail systems.

Typically, these assets have some form of existing shoreline protection that has either failed or showing signs of deterioration.

The Hamilton Harbour Waterfront Trail, Asset 29, commonly known as Bayfront Trail was removed from this study as this area had previously been reviewed by a coastal engineer after the initial damage from the 2017 weather events. As this area has specific design challenges related to adjacent land uses and lack of space for trail movement, a site-specific report for this location will be prepared in 2020.

SNC- Lavalin Report


Hamilton Harbour Waterfront Trail Design Brief


Contact us

If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

Wes Kindree
Landscape Architectural Services
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 2347
Email: [email protected]