Downtown Bureau

Hamilton's Waterfront Needs Vibrant, Mixed-Use Development

Pier 8 doesn't need more green space. It needs thousands of residents who can bring life to the waterfront year-round and support new businesses.

By Jason Leach
Published August 13, 2012

In reply to last week's Spectator article outlining the opportunities and challenges for Hamilton's waterfront, here are some thoughts on developing Pier 8 within the context of the entire west harbour.

The example from other cities is very important, yet the development of Pier 8 does not represent a full-scale development of the area from Bayfront to the Haida. Looking at an aerial image, you can see that Pier 8 is a small piece of the entire west harbour waterfront.

Hamilton has done its waterfront properly by creating public space and beautiful parkland first. Now development can follow, and more vibrant, mixed-use development is exactly what we need.

Pier 8 doesn't need more green space. It needs thousands of residents who can bring life to the waterfront year-round and support new businesses.

A Sense of Place

Buildings should be welcoming to the public with lots of patio space (Hamilton City Hall will have to get over its anti-patio policies one of these days) facing the water. Wide, safe walking routes are essential.

I'd love to see the streets and waterfront trail around Pier 8 cobblestoned to add a sense of place, even though it's a 21st Century construction project.

Boston Harbor waterfront with skyline in background (Image Credit: Tripcentral.ca)
Boston Harbor waterfront with skyline in background (Image Credit: Tripcentral)

Even Toronto, which butchered its waterfront, has learned and is now fixing things. New restaurants with huge patios next to the public promenade are now opening:

Toronto waterfront patio (Image Credit: Waterfront Toronto)
Toronto waterfront patio (Image Credit: Waterfront Toronto)

New condo projects should be modern, attractive and command quick sales. Let's not force developers to pretend it's 1960 with outdated styles, designs and amenities. Let this become a high-demand address in the city.

Cape Town Waterfront

Of all the cities I've visited, the waterfront that resonated most with me from a Hamilton perspective was the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa.

V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa (Image Credit: Cape Town Partnership)
V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa (Image Credit: Cape Town Partnership)

Their waterfront was filled with people all day and evening enjoying the multitude of outdoor patios with a birds-eye view of their working harbour. There was no effort to 'shield' the expensive stores or tourists from the industrial tug-boats, freighters or loaders working the harbour. Ditto for the mid-range restaurant patios and cheaper retail outlets.

It was a perfect mix of retail and dining that literally had an option for every taste and budget.

Luxury hotels had restaurants open to the public with patios:

Waterfront restaurant patio, Cape Town, South Africa (Image Credit: South African Hotels)
Waterfront restaurant patio, Cape Town, South Africa (Image Credit: South African Hotels)

Gorgeous waterfront housing was plentiful.

Plentiful waterfront housing in Cape Town, South Africa (Image Credit: Stay At Cape)
Plentiful waterfront housing in Cape Town, South Africa (Image Credit: Stay At Cape)

There was even a huge retail mall built right into the waterfront, designed in such a way as not to dominate the landscape or stick out among the waterfront buildings.

Retail mall, Cape Town waterfront (Image Credit: Blogger)
Retail mall, Cape Town waterfront (Image Credit: Blogger)

Retail mall, interior view (Image Credit: Cape Luxury Accommodation)
Retail mall, interior view (Image Credit: Cape Luxury Accommodation)

Take some time and browse the available condos, hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops, tourist activities such as boat tours, historic museums and live music at the V&A Waterfront. Hamilton's Pier 8 and eventually, Barton/Tiffany lands should be developed with the same vibrancy and density of activities for everyone.

Our working harbour can also become the top destination in our city year-round if we can break out of the poor planning funk that has defined our city for the past few decades and develop something worthy of an Ambitious City.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2012 at 09:28:12

Disagree about installing private residences. I would like to see the water front kept public with sports and entertainment facilities. This would also recognize that much of it is polluted ground. Once you build stuff on the land it cannot be reclaimed.

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By CaptainKirk4 (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2012 at 10:46:12

Totally agree with the article.

My son, who is in his early 20s and will graduate from university soon, wants to move back and live in downtown Hamilton near James St N./future GO site/ waterfront area. Having lived in downtown T.O the last couple years ( which he loves), he prefers to coma back and live in Hamilton and wants to be downtown and car free (yes, that's not a typo, "car" free not "care" free)

Clearly this is the trend, no?

Wouldn't he be precisely the kind of person, that the writer of the article describes, living and hanging out at the waterfront/downtown area ?

Isn't this EXACTLY what the city needs?

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By Bowline (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2012 at 11:11:06

Some of the Setting Sail mockups I've seen in the past address mixed-use development adjacent to the waterfront.

Two details to consider:

1. Capetown has a considerably different climate than Hamilton does. On average, Capetown is 60% warmer, and has less than 60% the precipitation and almost 50% more sunshine hours than Hamilton. (As your photos illustrate, they have real mountains as well, though they do not appear to contain the majority of the voting population.) Small differences perhaps but they make living right on the water that much more attractive. It's part of why this is the most valuable real estate in South Africa, and why the V&A waterfront attracts 21 million visitors annually. (Roughly the combined populations of Ontario and Quebec.)

2. This is not municipal development as we know it in Hamilton.
V&A Waterfront's development history goes back almost 15 years, and earlier this year announced plans for anither decade of development. (Take heart, Hamilton -- sometimes the long-game strategy has a reward.) It was previously owned by a private British/Arab real estate consortium who bought it in 2006 for the equivalent of $900 million CAD, and sold it last summer to South Africa's largest property investment holding company and the state-owned Public Investment Corporation for the equivalent of $1.2 billion. Earlier this year there were plans announced for the equivalent of another $500 million CAD in growth over the next decade on the undeveloped third of the lands. Being able to catalyze those partnerships is a powerful development tool, but that involves a stomach for risk. After all, this prime section of waterfront land was controlled by foreign interests for years.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 13, 2012 at 12:04:03 in reply to Comment 79681

great comment. I learned quite a bit about Cape Town's waterfront when reading up on it for this piece. I realize it's a different animal altogether from Pier 7/8 in Hamilton. Way larger in size etc....

My thoughts in bringing up the comparison are that we should aim for a smaller-scale version of V&A. We've already got amazing greenspace...now imagine that greenspace being flanked with fantastic residential/retail/patio space at Pier 8 and in the Barton/Tiffany area?

I'm not too concerned with climate...Cape Town has quite brutal winters...not like you and I would consider brutal with tons of snow and ice, but they get a lot of rain, constant gale force winds and cool temps during the winter. The summer and fall is stunning there, and would make up the bulk of their sunshine hours. Seems it's sunny everyday during that half of the year.

Closer to home we have cities with bad 'Hamilton-style' winters that have seen great interest in waterfront living. Boston and Halifax clearly have worse winters, and cooler summers than Hamilton, yet people love living near the waterfront and shopping at the markets etc...

Risk is the biggest obstacle, as you mention. That, combined with Hamilton's horrid history of turning over great opportunities to developers with no other agenda than dollar signs makes this quite a risky proposal.
But, eventually we're going to need some political leadership that can get something fantastic built like this without sacrificing the great public opportunity for some campaign donations or quick money.

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By Ergot (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2012 at 12:47:07 in reply to Comment 79683

The mosty notable development at Pier 8 -- the Waterfront Centre -- was made possible by the feds. Maybe we can entice them to invest more money into our waterfront. Other than their stake of the harbour remediation, I mean. Or maybe successful completion of that project circa 2022 will pave the way for greater private sector investment. Agree that haste makes waste.

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By norendr (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2012 at 13:01:37

Disagree with "sports" facilities - empty dead space most of the time and a waste of waterfront ... except maybe a water park. Residential is needed to populate the neighbourhood 24/7 for vibrancy and safety. However I'd like to see residential multi story bldngs back from the waterfront, not blocking the view down the bay or the public waterfront.

Cafes, restaurants and public parks and walkways should be on the waterfront itself.


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By slodrive (registered) | Posted August 13, 2012 at 17:32:34 in reply to Comment 79689

Agreed. As much as stadium projects are good jumpstart for rehabbing polluted industrial lands - I'm still a big believer that the West Harbour will, in the long run, be better off.

Perhaps a more functional used community centre would more beneficial, while tying up less lands for active development that results in real growth.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2012 at 18:22:39

You can build all the parkland and public space you want. Unless people are actually LIVING downtown, this is a waste of money. The suburban mindset that predominates this city, it's council and the planning department has paralyzed downtown renewal for years. I would also not bother approaching the federal government for anything. We need LESS government involvement not more. What we need is a clearly defined set of goals, inluding in my mind residential high, medium and low rise development with commerical and recreational space. ZONE IT, MARKET IT, SELL IT, then get out of the way of the developers and let them do their thing.

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By Harborcoat (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2012 at 18:53:45

Hopefully expansion of the Pier 8 vision will not equal ridiculous amounts of surface parking. Between cars and drydocked boats, existing waterfront properties could arguably be used much more efficiently (and benefit from improved visibility).

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By DrAwesomesauce (registered) | Posted August 13, 2012 at 20:01:28 in reply to Comment 79689

^Agreed.

We don't want another Toronto on our hands. And inasmuch as I'd like to see Pier 8 developed, we need to keep the buildings to a reasonable scale: 4-6 stories perhaps.

Comment edited by DrAwesomesauce on 2012-08-13 20:04:23

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By ViennaCafe (registered) | Posted August 13, 2012 at 22:02:37

Why not turn it into a series of cul-de-sacs and snout houses? It could be called Pier 8 Estates.

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By Web Caste (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2012 at 22:44:38

Considering that Capetown is more populous than Toronto, the scale of those developments looks positively modest; the skyline doesn't really seem to tower. One upshot of that situation is that the V&A square footage becomes that much more valuable.

For example, The Taj Residences are listing at anywhere from $435K USD for a studio to $940K USD for a 2BR. V&A Waterfront properties are listing slightly higher... around $800K USD for a 1BR, $1.3M USD for a 2BR, $2.7M USD for a 3BR and $9.2M USD for a two-storey penthouse. That's not unreasonable in light of the setting and amenities. (For sake of reference, just across the Skyway, mundane 2BR condos routinely list for $500K-$700K.)

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By ThisIsOurHamilton (registered) - website | Posted August 14, 2012 at 06:18:35

From The Spec's article 'The view of Pier 8 from here':

"I certainly want to look at the North End and see a child- and family-friendly community. And I want to maintain it as a livable community during the process of development. The design process has already happened. We don't need to re-invent a whole bunch of new visions, we need to look at what we have planned. We need to look at what is there and what has been supported by the City and the residents. This has been a dream of Hamilton for a long time. There are really good planning strategies that are already there."

Sheri Selway Vice-president of North End Neighbours, former President

(Not sure why this article doesn't show up in an online search. At least not as of this hour.)

To me, these observations raise some very compelling questions. Amongst them, 'How should input be balanced regarding that of 'locals'?' 'How much of a say should local residents have in what unfolds in their own lives, right out their front doors? Further, I'd like to hear responses from Councillors to the thrust of Sheri's opinion...as well as contributors and commenters.

After all, one of the things that I've constantly heard about LRT is that 'the design process' is already in place! We don't need to go back and re-examine it! Let's just get it done!' Already this year, we've seen changes to existing plans: http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl... http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

I find it fascinating that we -apparently- have a dichotomy between the way those who live in/frequent the downtown see 'walkability' by way of reverting one-ways and those who drive through the area insisting that there's more to the story than just what a bunch of vocal-locals want, essentially wanting to impose their needs...versus those people who live in the vicinity of Pier 8, etc, who aren't exactly regarded as 'equal partners at the table' -not from my perspective, anyway- and those who insist this, that or the other, design-wise, who are, invariably, not 'locals'.

But maybe that's not a dichotomy at all. Perhaps it's more a ironic parallel...?

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By Bowline (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 06:58:22 in reply to Comment 79683

I don't doubt that a mixed-use waterfront development would be successful here. As I suggested, it's a concept that has already progressed a fair way through the HWT pipeline. What I wonder about is the six months of the year when the waterfront can muster single-digit temperatures at best. That won't impact residences or offices, but it could diminish the appeal of heading out to shop or dine. This may be a baseless concern, and I'll concede that I know nothing of Halloween-to-Victoria Day foot traffic in watefront promenades in Halifax or Boston. Private sector investors will obviously be more thorough when it comes to their homework.

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 08:40:49 in reply to Comment 79712

I was not being negative but inclusive in my comment above, (sports and recreation for all) and concerned that the waterfront would be unavailable to the many lower income families downtown.
As a despised surburban-ite I come down to the waterfront most weeks, its a destination for us. Recently I brought my grand-daughter for the fishing derby. Many poorer families were there for fun and prizes, it was great!
My concern is that once it is privatised, built on and turned into residences for the elite the general (poorer) populace will be discouraged and unwanted. Who speaks for them?

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 08:49:10 in reply to Comment 79699

The stadium debate is done. I was thinking participant facilities such as base ball diamonds & BMX courses that hopefully get people exercising.
As another example I would guess that the harbour front paved trail already sees at least 2,000 people per week, year round.

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 08:51:15 in reply to Comment 79700

Building open ground facilities is very cheap and that's good for a city that has no money. Look what has been achieved some far, its a great place with parks etc. Now lets add some participant sports facilities and better bus service from the east end.

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 08:55:41 in reply to Comment 79702

Car parking is required for the non-walking/bus visitors that you want to get down there.

Do Cape Towners remove their boats like we have to do in the winter freeze up? (Storage could be moved to the industrial area of course)

Not sure that I understand about the visibility, it looks like many working harbours that I have visited. Surely you are not going to boot out the boating people??

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 08:58:25 in reply to Comment 79700

When did high profile space developers do anything than make money off the elite? It would have to be a joint venture at least to get some mixed housing into place.

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 09:00:07 in reply to Comment 79699

Dont wish to sound like an a** but please clearly define real growth and why it is good/needed on our best public waterfront space?

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 09:03:05 in reply to Comment 79689

Go look at the Chicago waterfront, perhaps we have different ideas of the value of DEAD SPACE. We have a perfectly good water park already, please start thinking about the city holistically and this as one small piece of it.

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 09:06:01 in reply to Comment 79687

I fear that the feds will see the Discovery center as a classic failure (ala 407). Public money spent to build a great public asset and turned over to private interests to get money from the elite. Do you think east-enders will be eating in that new restaurant?

(I hope you see I am acting as devils advocate here with my contrary views)

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 09:10:03 in reply to Comment 79721

The attendance of walkers etc. does not decline much outside summer, but their shopping is coffee in Williams. I am not sure what dining and shopping you think can be established?
More restaurants will just cannibalize the existing places in Hess and elsewhere. Is that what we want?
Perhaps an indoor multi-sports facility would help draw people down there year round?

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 09:13:38 in reply to Comment 79681

Good comment that moves the discussion forward.
When I read point 1 I wonder what ordinary Cape Towners themselves get from it? Do we want a tourist destination down there or a local's destination?

When I read point 2 it suggests that valuable public land should NEVER be turned over to private interests.

Please keep going.....

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 09:16:43 in reply to Comment 79680

Agreed that we need to thing about the younger generations who are facing some financial life challenges. Coming up with jobs and a good lifestyle at a cost they can afford is key. Car free is a good start but I not sure Harbor front can be designed that way. Perhaps renovating run-down & challenged areas can be used for these youngsters. But add more detail to your idea..........

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 09:20:25 in reply to Comment 79676

I do not believe that Cape Towners overlook an industrial center but a beautiful mountain. Does someone have the number of people and demographics of that area.
It seems to be a world class tourist destination, surely that is not our vision for Piers 7 & 8?

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 09:21:59 in reply to Comment 79738

Sorry, should have clarified my comparison between a working harbour and our steel plants as both being called industrial.

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By Ergot (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 09:37:19 in reply to Comment 79734

I was more inclined toward finishing remediation and getting the Harbour delisted at last.

The South African example above is basically underwritten by the state, but I wasn't really suggesting that the feds would invest similarly in Hamilton's waterfront, or even at all. They have no reason to. They barely had a reason to build the Discovery Centre in the first place. It was a $6 million Liberal pork barrel investment designed to showcase Parks Canada (and made possible by then-Heritage Minister Sheila Copps).

The feds still own the facility, BTW. The Hamilton Waterfront Trust is leasing the facility management rights through 2051, and subletting to the restaurateurs. (Not sure what the rent is, but operational costs were running around $800K annually when the feds pulled the plug.) I wouldn't presume to dictate its appeal based on something as nebulous as diners' place of residence. Suspect that most Hamiltonians will be curious enough to take a peek at least once.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 09:40:12 in reply to Comment 79727

I don't think this is a concern in Hamilton's case. the 'general', 'poorer' populace exists in full force in the North End and through most neighbourhoods between Dundurn and Parkdale. This is an opportunity for us to add some mix to the housing stock at our waterfront.
Your points are certainly valid in cities like Vancouver where the opposite is true - massive swaths of the waterfront are home to the rich and cheaper housing needs to be integrated in order to create a balance. In Hamilton we need to integrate some 'higher end' housing to help create a balance.
I'm a big believer in balanced, mixed-income neighbourhoods. This waterfront area represents one of the only parts of the lower city that might be able to support some higher than average housing types. It would still only put a minor dent into the balancing act, but at least it's a tiny step in the right direction towards a greater downtown area that is welcoming to all income levels, not just the poor.

As I re-read this comment I realize that we really are the complete opposite of places like Vancouver. Gentrification is a major issue there...here, we're trying to bring some balance from the opposite angle.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 14, 2012 at 11:10:17 in reply to Comment 79731

Pete. I'm sorry but this is some of the most valuable real estate in the city. A city that desperately needs tax revenue. The best way to generate that revenue is to do exactly what you despise. Let the developers build and then sell to people with money. Money is not a bad thing. The money that is generated by high end residences in the form of property tax will go a long way in this town.
And by the way. Marina Towers is owned by the city, so your mixed housing is already there.

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By Harborcoat (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 12:00:43 in reply to Comment 79730

Of course not. But I am struck by the difference between the V&A set-up:

http://goo.gl/maps/TnRaj

...and that which you find in Hamilton Harbour:

http://goo.gl/maps/PJ9r7

Even though it's technically a more exclusive enclave, the V&A development appears to invite access. And it is comparatively compact. The marina on Hamilton Harbour, meanwhile, sprawls out across almost a kilometer of waterfront property.

Leander and RHYC are obviously historic institutions, and active enjoyment of the Harbour should be encouraged but I can't help but look at all of those berths and all of those parking lots/open-air dry docks and wonder if we can't come up with a slightly more inclusive, slightly more efficient vision of the waterfront.

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By Crapz (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 12:26:21

Rolling a (Pier) 7?

Today's Spec:

City staff say there's “interest” brewing about building a c_sino in Hamilton — but not even council is allowed to know who's behind it.

http://goo.gl/03Nwt

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 13:05:57 in reply to Comment 79741

Ergot said: I wouldn't presume to dictate its appeal based on something as nebulous as diners' place of residence. Suspect that most Hamiltonians will be curious enough to take a peek at least once.

Forgive my political incorrectness. So of the 500,000 that live in Hamilton you think at least 250,000 will go there? Seriously, I would actually like to wait a year and get the actual results before we decide what else should happen, its a great test case I think.

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 13:11:23 in reply to Comment 79756

Greg, Thanks so much for your brutally honest opinion that is surely needed in what should be an open process, not deals made behind closed doors with special interests.

It goes to the heart of the discussion about how to handle development in Hamilton. Selling off the assets to keep living is never a good long term strategy.

My other question is where do you think the tenants will come from? Out of town and actually add more taxes overall or just shuffle the existing money around a bit?

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 13:14:54

Harborcoat said: Leander and RHYC are obviously historic institutions, and active enjoyment of the Harbour should be encouraged but I can't help but look at all of those berths and all of those parking lots/open-air dry docks and wonder if we can't come up with a slightly more inclusive, slightly more efficient vision of the waterfront.

Very true but vague; flesh out exactly what you think can be done. Moving on-land storage is practical but what do you now want to do with the land?

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 13:17:37 in reply to Comment 79760

Classic Hamilton; the special interests have us at their mercy, so much so that not even our elected reps know what is happening.
The stadium process should never ever occur again like that; an open, honest, detailed debate should happen. Not back door deals.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 13:29:53

I should have included this proposal in the original blog entry, but I'm intrigued by the concept plans being presented by the Whitestar Group for their lands in the Barton/Bay area;

http://whitestargroup.org

Glancing at the photos and fly-through video, this would appear to have many of the elements I'm looking for on Pier 8.
I'm not too sure what they are proposing for the smaller buildings behind the condo building, but they appear to be mixed use - perhaps some retail, office space, lofts etc.... One of their largest hurdles will be the lack of a view to anywhere from the patios in the centre of the complex. Unless that whole patio/promenade area is higher than I realize, and has sightlines over the 3-4 storey buildings fronting Tiffany and Stuart.

It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

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By Sheet Bend (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 13:59:29 in reply to Comment 79759

As the land becomes more valuable it will become prohibitively expensive to use it inefficiently, whether you're parking a car or a boat. Surface lots will become more valuable as footprints for mixed-use (retail/commercial/office/residential) buildings. That's possibly why you see few boats docked at the V&A Waterfront marina. The space is valuable, so the market determines the price. If waterfront tenants are paying $1 million for a 2BR condo, you can bet that berths and parking spots will command a healthy sum as well.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 14, 2012 at 14:01:14 in reply to Comment 79764

Pete I don't think this is a one time sell off. You get the funds from sale of the land, then continuing residential and commercial taxes annually. The tenants will come from where ever. The market will determine that. From within Hamilton or migrants from somewhere else looking for a phenomenal lifestyle at a fraction of the price of Toronto or Vancouver. Who cares?
If you talk to Harry Stinson he will tell you Hamiltonians built in scepticism to such projects would indicate that out of towners would be the market. Personally I don't care if they come from Oz. My preference for residential and commercial development on the waterfront stems from my belief that we have more than enough public space down there, that is in fact underutilized. I'm walk my dog at Bayfront and on the trail system almost everyday. There is never an overcrowding problem. My suspicion is that for people who live on the mountain there is no compelling reason to to use the waterfront. Making it a destination with restraunts, shopping, housing, an LRT link, would change that. People are drawn to water, why Hamilton would not want to develop its waterfront in this way is beyond me.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 14, 2012 at 14:14:55 in reply to Comment 79727

First.... that is a patrician and elitist statement that conjures thoughts of the well off white suburbanite dispensing his pity and charity on the less fortunate of us who actually live down here. Second there is already acres of public space that is open to everyone.

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By ViennaCafe (registered) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 18:30:32 in reply to Comment 79717

Yes. Doesn't translate well does it?

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 19:08:07 in reply to Comment 79771

First.... that is a patrician and elitist statement that conjures thoughts of the well off white suburbanite dispensing his pity and charity on the less fortunate of us who actually live down here.

Well that's a classic response of a right winger. I know nothing about your circumstances Greg. But go ahead, distort the message and blame the messenger.

But answer honestly; am I wrong to say that the water front should be shared by all? Yes or No?

I never yet saw any poor kids from Jane and Finch at the Toronto Harbor front. My point is that we should put things there that benefit all and not rely on the "market" to dictate who can go on the "valuable real estate" as you suggest.

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By Public space Pete (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 19:12:15 in reply to Comment 79742

Yes Jason I agree that mixed neighborhoods are best for society overall.
As an example I think that already exists at the West Harbour; expensive houses overlooking the water and less expensive ones a few blocks back and social housing a few blocks back from that. Is that what you envision at the East end also?

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 20:00:29 in reply to Comment 79786

At Pier 8? Yes. We already have the subsidized housing and the less expensive housing. This could be a great opportunity to add in some more expensive housing to create a better mix.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 20:02:51 in reply to Comment 79770

good points... in fact, I believe so much in the potential of the waterfront now, I'd be willing to see our first phase of LRT construction have the B-line terminate at Ottawa St in order to build a line on James from King to Pier 8. Then we could do the rest of the B-line a few years later. Connecting the W Harbour with LRT would be incredible for the entire city, and for that neighbourhood.

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By Swift (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2012 at 20:18:48 in reply to Comment 79763

I've noticed as well that Confederation Park is only used by a handful of east-enders. Not surprising considering that it's basically sand, a hot dog stand, a public pool, a go-kart track and (seen-one-grain-you-get-the-basic-idea) sand.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted August 15, 2012 at 00:30:42

" A citizens' group is one step closer to seeing its plan for the West Harbour come to life.

Hamilton's planning committee has agreed to include the group's plan in the West Harbor Urban Design study.

The group, lead by Hamiltonian Bob Carr with Thier + Curran Architects, met with the committee on Tuesday.

The plan incorporates mixed-use residential and commercial space, expanding on central and north neighbourhoods. It uses Caroline Street as a connecter between downtown and the waterfront.

It includes the CN-owned Stuart Street rail yard."

read more http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/news/story/2012/08/14/hamilton-west-harbour.html

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 15, 2012 at 08:19:23 in reply to Comment 79785

Pete there is Toronto Community housing projects right on Queen's Quay on a street called Bishop Tutu way, it's not small, and its on some of the most expensive real estate in the country.

As far as who can "go on " the waterfront.... we have an extensive park system that is open to everyone that is walking distance to some of the poorest neighborhoods in this city. So I really don't know what you're getting at. The situation that you seem to want....already exists. What I would like to see is an influx of wealth and higher end residential and commercial development to bring some balance and hopefully and finally remove the stigma that the north end has among the ignorant of this city of being a place you don't want to go to or live and work in.

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2012-08-15 08:23:14

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 15, 2012 at 08:31:19 in reply to Comment 79791

My fear in doing LRT incrementally is that it will just stall much as the TTC did. Well let's build two subway lines and then nothing for 40 years.

I would much rather see both lines started at once, and continue building the system in the decades moving forward, like the New York Transit system does. Digging and building never stops, it's part of the budget process for the Transit system there.

Yeah its expensive. The alternative is becoming Detroit or Cleveland circa 1990

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By Spilak (anonymous) | Posted August 15, 2012 at 14:33:25

Just got back from Auckland and thought that their Viaduct development at their harbour was very special. Something we should be looking at as their harbour was simialr to ours. Ie industrial based. Also feel that we can be doing more with our lakefrontage at and near confederation park. High rise, upscale restaurants, entertainment, etc could flourish in this area. Something tells me based on how our politicians fumbled around on the stadium issue ... These are all pipe dreams.

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By Malex (anonymous) | Posted August 15, 2012 at 21:23:59

Hamilton Magazine's Weekly Poll has to do with the sort of development we'd like to see down at the waterfront. So far, 90% are in favour of a mix of residential and commercial.

www.hamiltonmagazine.com

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 15, 2012 at 22:02:12 in reply to Comment 79824

I would love to see better development at the lake side...but it ain't happening. There were public meetings last week regarding the Conf Park land and local residents demanded nothing higher than 2 or 3 stories and no hotels. Period. Of course, council went along with them instead of having a vision.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 15, 2012 at 22:03:09 in reply to Comment 79807

good points.

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted August 18, 2012 at 00:11:38 in reply to Comment 79793

This must be sarcasm too. Right?

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted August 18, 2012 at 00:20:14 in reply to Comment 79835

Why does there need to be any development at Confederation?

This is a unique public space, that does get used by quite a few people, not even considering the water park. I think it would be quite challenging to develop parts of it without pressure to give all or most of it over. Quite possibly we'd end up with something akin to what happened in Toronto just west of the Humber River - a string of condo towers between the highway and the lake, with no open space (though in that case, the land was not a park but a strip of old motels)

I really think Hamilton got it right on the Beach Strip too. Maintaining a neighbourhood, accepting development that does not change the character in a major way (townhouse infill vs. towers) and not razing buildings as Burlington did.

In my opinion, Confederation is great as it is, and one of those places that we'd regret losing if too much change were to be allowed to happen.

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By George (registered) | Posted August 18, 2012 at 00:41:26

Hamilton councillor has plans to develop Pier 8

http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/news/story/20...

"A Hamilton city councillor wants to get the ball rolling on developing Pier 8.

Councillor Chad Collins said council should start thinking about creating a solid vision for the area.

“There is a lot of positive buzz around the waterfront,” he said. “We should capitalize on that buzz.”

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By Today (anonymous) | Posted August 21, 2012 at 19:39:29

Have to admit, I love Confederation Park as it is especially now that I live in Red Hill compared with East Mtn where I used to live and going to Confederation Park twice a week for walks on the waterfront. Hope it never gets developed but that being said, as it is doesn't give any economic draw to Hamilton. But that is a different story.

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By Clip 'N' Save (anonymous) | Posted August 30, 2012 at 14:06:46 in reply to Comment 79833

That's only 10% off!

https://www.stealthedeal.com

#RIPSTD

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By Dan Statlander (anonymous) | Posted December 07, 2013 at 09:43:16


Thank you for taking the time and sharing this information with us.
It was indeed very helpful and insightful while being straight forward and to the point

Dan Statlander
http://www.statelandbrown.com/

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