West Harbour Waterfront Recreation Master Plan

By Jason Leach
Published June 10, 2009

The city is moving along with its West Harbour Waterfront Recreation Master Plan. Check out the 2009 concept plan [PDF link] and 2009 concept map [PDF link] - awesome stuff.

2009 Concept Map
2009 Concept Map (Image Source)

Here are the seven key objectives the concept plan seeks to achieve:

  1. Significantly increase public access to the waterfront.
  2. Positive environmental approach, especially with respect to shoreline and habitat.
  3. A harbourfront precinct designed as a destination for all Hamiltonians.
  4. Financial viability.
  5. Innovative and sustainable adaptive reuse of existing elements.
  6. Recognition of historical and cultural waterfront institutions.
  7. Positive integration with the community in a local context.

If they can pull this off, it will certainly take our waterfront to the next level as a great place to live, entertain, dine and enjoy urban life.

This completely blows the Toronto waterfront away. I love all the cobblestone, public places and upper level residential similar to our existing built form on James and King. The artists renderings are also great.

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 Frank (registered) | Posted June 10, 2009 at 08:58:29

It seems like they may have grasped the idea of underground parking...finally.

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By Michelle Martin (registered) - website | Posted June 11, 2009 at 08:27:12

"This completely blows the Toronto waterfront away." Actually, the Hamilton waterfront as it is now completely blows the old city of Toronto waterfront away. The only way to really enjoy Lake Ontario in Toronto is to ferry over to the island (although they've made lots of improvements that are people-oriented out where we used to live, in New Toronto and Mimico). I highly recommend picking up a coffee at Williams then catching the very last trolley ride along the waterfront to Cootes and back, just as the sun is low in the sky-- beautiful (and an inexpensive date to boot).

On a related note, consider the difference in the approach to Toronto from the Gardiner (you can't see the lake through the condos and parking garages)vs. the approach to Hamilton from the 403-- it was very striking for us when we first came house hunting here.

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By still want more (anonymous) | Posted June 11, 2009 at 09:51:45

The plan is a good start, but really I want to see more restaurants, bistros, cafes, and boutiques that will serve as a draw to the area. Think of how popular Williams Pub is. That restaurant/cafe gives people a reason to go down to the area and spend a few hours there. Ever been to Long Beach, California? They have a wonderful harbour front and boardwalk with just the right amount of shops, restaurants and coffee houses that makes the area a magnet for people to go to in high numbers. I think a similar concept for the Hamilton waterfront would be ideal.

I also think having some condos on the railyards overlooking the waterfront would be wonderful too. Get more people living down there.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 11, 2009 at 10:07:57

still want more, you may be interested in seeing this:

scroll down and you'll see a few renderings of mixed-use commercial,retail,residential buildings.

And this:

Very bare-bones images here, but a concept plan for condos on Stuart Street just behind the tracks.

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By Really? (registered) | Posted June 11, 2009 at 15:31:35

still want more SAYS: "The plan is a good start, but really I want to see more "

I think this is another "If you build it, they will come"-type of plan. Firstly, this is a City-run innitiative with little-to-no private investment (as far as I know). So once the City gets the ball rolling on this lil district, I can assure you the Private Sector will take notice and open up their OWN shops (hopefully along James North near Burlington and down to the Piers). There is plenty of prime land availble in this general area which will be snagged up real quick once this starts construction!

Does anyone have any time-frames? Seems like we've been hearing about this plan since the days or Mayor Lay'r. Is this the Final Concept; or will there be another handful until they finally decide on it!?

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By Frank (registered) | Posted June 12, 2009 at 08:57:52

I don't think you need to go as far as Long Beach to find a good model of a beachfront. Simply head out to Port Dover. Granted the community is not nearly as built up (they have far fewer ppl than the Hammer) but within walking distance of the beach there are a myriad of shops from antique stores to souvenir shops... We do need another coffee shop though. Anytime there's an event the Williams line up is way to long for me lol.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2009 at 13:29:49

Hopefully this will come to fruition in the near future. I don't want to hear municipal politicians keep talking about this like the Toronto waterfront redevelopment plans. They seem incapable of getting anything done it that city.

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By Señor Tadpole (anonymous) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 21:51:36

It's so frustrating that the Spec's interior design maven has started to channel a gay-baiting xenophobe.

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