Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy

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The Bayfront Strategy is a 45+ year vision and action plan that seeks to encourage efficient use of land, attract growth and investment, and improve the environmental conditions and image of the City’s largest and oldest industrial area for a future of continuing productivity.

The Bayfront Strategy is the second phase of a three-phased project:

Through Phase II we have engaged with various stakeholder groups to gain input towards:

  • Understanding the rich history and current opportunities and issues that exist in the Bayfront Industrial Area;
  • Developing a long-term vision and planning framework;
  • Outlining a series of actions and next steps for implementing changes working towards the established vision; and,
  • Urban Design Guidelines to assist private sector businesses, residential landowners, and government in improving the overall aesthetic look and feel of the area and its function.

The evolution of The Bayfront Industrial Area is rich and diverse, covering thousands of years. To find out more about the Bayfront Industrial Area’s story click here for a visual story through maps.

View the Bayfront Industrial Area Story

Based on several rounds of engagement we have developed a Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy with an accompanying Bayfront Industrial Area Urban Design Guidelines.

We want to hear what you think!

Through the month of April we will make our draft documents available in full format for public consumption and commenting before finalizing and bringing them forward to General Issues Committee and Council.

The Bayfront Strategy is a 45+ year vision and action plan that seeks to encourage efficient use of land, attract growth and investment, and improve the environmental conditions and image of the City’s largest and oldest industrial area for a future of continuing productivity.

The Bayfront Strategy is the second phase of a three-phased project:

Through Phase II we have engaged with various stakeholder groups to gain input towards:

  • Understanding the rich history and current opportunities and issues that exist in the Bayfront Industrial Area;
  • Developing a long-term vision and planning framework;
  • Outlining a series of actions and next steps for implementing changes working towards the established vision; and,
  • Urban Design Guidelines to assist private sector businesses, residential landowners, and government in improving the overall aesthetic look and feel of the area and its function.

The evolution of The Bayfront Industrial Area is rich and diverse, covering thousands of years. To find out more about the Bayfront Industrial Area’s story click here for a visual story through maps.

View the Bayfront Industrial Area Story

Based on several rounds of engagement we have developed a Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy with an accompanying Bayfront Industrial Area Urban Design Guidelines.

We want to hear what you think!

Through the month of April we will make our draft documents available in full format for public consumption and commenting before finalizing and bringing them forward to General Issues Committee and Council.

  • Virtual Public Information Centre

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    Held April 14, 2022
    Provided an overview of the project, a review of the draft strategy and action plan document, as well as the draft design guidelines.

    Questions and Answers Summary

    I was late joining the meeting, will the slides or a recording be made available?
    In addition to this Q&A summary, a recording of the event is posted.

    Can the 47 actions be found on Engage Hamilton?
    Yes, there are two ways to access the list of actions:

    1. Scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will see 5 tabs (Virtual Meeting, The Bayfront Today, The Strategy, The Action Plan, and the Urban Design Guidelines). Click on “The Action Plan” tab and a link to a pdf excerpt of the Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy document. Then scroll to 19 of the PDF for the start of the action list. A table summarizing the proposed actions and showing how they align with the objectives of the strategy starts on page 24 of the PDF excerpt.

    2. Along the righthand margin below the “Project Timeline” you will find the heading “Documents” and two links to download the full PDF draft documents (1. Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy, and 2. Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Urban Design Guidelines). If you click on the first link you can scroll down to page 86 of the PDF document to the start of the action list.

    Great presentation ~ thank you! Have you identified comparator industrial zones that have been successfully transformed?
    It’s been difficult to find a perfect comparison of successful comprehensive examples where heavy or traditional industrial uses are maintained on the site or directly adjacent while redeveloping components of the site or area for other types of uses. Majority of the examples of industrial redevelopment that exist are waterfront redevelopments of former decommissioned heavy industrial uses. There are three more notable examples though, that have successfully integrated employment uses to the site/area while still maintaining some industrial use or creatively adaptively using traditional industrial infrastructure.

    1. Menomonee Valley – Milwaukee, Wisconsin – During the early 20th century Milwaukee was known as the “Machine Shop of the World” and the Menomonee Valley was its engine. At its peak the area included over 50,000 people along a 485 hectare industrial corridor. Redevelopment efforts began in the late 90’s guided by an area plan to be implemented through public-private partnerships which led to the development of several major attractions/destinations (Miller Park, Harley Davidson Museum, Clement J Zablocki Medical Centre and Potawatomi Hotel and Casino). Revitalization of the area also included employment land development/retention of employment lands resulting in 1$ billion invested since 2000, 16,000 jobs, 125 firms and a series of naturalization, stormwater management and transportation improvements.
    2. Navy Yards – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – a former naval base that was decommissioned and redeveloped through public-private partnership starting in the early 2000’s. Redevelopment efforts have led to providing over 600 hectares of employment uses consisting of prestige office, light industrial, retail, institutional, and research and development uses, full buildout plans include introducing some residential uses. Redevelopment has been guided by a master plan for the area.
    3. Bethlehem Steel Redevelopment – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania – The location of Bethlehem Steel’s 400 hectare site was decommissioned in the late 1990’s. Redevelopment of the area has included a mixture of commercial, institutional, entertainment and employment uses. Redevelopment highlights include Bethlehem Works, a 50 hectare site featuring a live music venue, public space and founders museum. Other redevelopment initiatives have included intensification and redevelopment in the adjacent Lehigh Valley Industrial Park which features a number of light industrial, warehousing and logistic uses.

    One of the most valuable lands is the waterfront. Any intention to open up the waterfront specifically to public use?
    One of the identified objectives of this strategy (Objective #10) is to provide more public access to the waterfront while not jeopardizing public safety or negatively impacting the function and operation of businesses located in this area or the port. We have identified potential opportunities for public access on Figure 5.5 of the Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy (Page 78). In addition, we have identified specific views and vistas of the water, the escarpment and iconic industrial infrastructure that we feel are important to either maintain, protect, or enhance on Figure 5.7 of the Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy (Page 81).

    Unlike Piers 6, 7, 8 along the western portion of Hamilton’s waterfront where the City owns a significant amount of land and has provided public access, providing public access to the working waterfront is much more challenging. This is largely because the City owns very little land along this stretch of the shoreline. As such, the City must work collaboratively with the landowners in the area to understand their operational needs and safety concerns before we can advance on some of the recommended opportunities we have identified. There are improvement opportunities near the Sherman Inlet and Windermere Basin. In addition, the to the general public at Pier 15, which has been identified on Figure 5.5. It’s useful to note that just outside of the study area boundaries, HOPA is working on a major redevelopment of Fisherman’s Pier and the historic preservation of the Lighthouse and Keeper’s Cottage. This is discussed on pages 2-3 of our draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy, but more detail on HOPA’s plans can be found at https://www.hopaports.ca/community/fishermans-pier/.

    How can private owners be encouraged to provide public use along the waterfront?
    The iterative engagement processes on this project has shown that there is a lot of unity amongst our stakeholder groups that have helped form our vision and action plan document. Private landowners are interested in providing amenities and potentially public uses that benefit their businesses and help establish a more welcoming place of work for their employees. Our role as the City is to equip land owners with the tools they need to move these ideas into actions and work collaboratively through the implementation process.

    The key action that is essential in building partnerships and sharing of ideas, tools, and resources is the formation of a Bayfront Industrial Area (BIA) Governance Body represented by a unified board of stakeholders (anchor tenants, government, academics, community leaders, non-profits) to collaborate and lead a process and decision-making towards this united vision for the area. This is discussed more fully on pages 83 and 86 of the Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy. There is buy-in from some of our key private land owners, as well as interest and representation from the Province to be a part of this governance group. As such, we are optimistic that Phase 3 – Implementation will help us drive these conversations into action and encourage participation from our private landowners towards meaningful transformation of this area, changes that provide an efficient working waterfront as well as some opportunities for public access and amenities to make the area more inviting for employees, residents, and visitors.

    Love the idea of conserving decommissioned steel production facilities - e.g., stacks, piping, furnaces, etc. Will be important to ensure that artifacts are not demolished.
    Conserving and celebrating heritage resources in the study area has been included as Objective #8 as discussed on page 63 of the Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy. Rich cultural heritage can be utilized to improve the overall brand of The Industrial Bayfront, celebrating the very unique character and history. In addition to site design considerations discussed in the draft Urban Design Guidelines, there are have several important actions that support this objective that are outlined on page 89 of the Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy. Generally, this list of actions includes:

    #29 - Conduct built heritage resource inventory.
    #30 - Create a “Benefits of Heritage Conservation” marketing brochure.
    #31 - Conduct a capacity building workshop explaining the heritage inventory and designation process.
    #32 - Update the Made in Hamilton 20th Century Industrial Trail.
    #33 - Develop tourism-oriented products that celebrates indigenous use of the land prior to industry and Hamilton’s Industrial Heritage

    Any thoughts about incorporating thermal energy sharing infrastructure among companies and into the adjacent neighbourhoods through district heating?
    Energy sharing has been discussed amongst our Steering Committee members and through the formation of the City’s Economic Development Action Plan which speaks to decarbonization opportunities. In addition, Hamilton Industrial Environmental Association (HIEA) has been actively working on ways to improve the outputs of existing industries and how energy can be shared.

    Thermal energy sharing in particular is one of many options that are broadly discussed within Action #28 located on page 89 of the Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy:

    #28 – Create, brand and promote an Eco-Industrial Park - a community of businesses seeking to achieve enhanced environmental and economic performance through collaboration in managing environmental and resource issues through the physical exchange of materials, energy, water and by-products.

    • Determine opportunities for shared resource management, waste exchange, and utility synergies;
    • Determine the network parameters and system design;
    • Determine environmental monitoring techniques and frequency.

    It should be understood though, that establishing an Eco-Industrial Park will take considerable cooperation amongst the various business in the area including the anchor tenants. As such, we have currently identified this action as a long-term action that we hope the governance body can start within the next ten years and beyond timeframe.

    Any chance of Dedicated Bicycle paths completely separated from cars and pedestrians, like in the Netherlands?
    Figure 5.4 on page 77 of the Draft Bayfront Industrial Strategy shows the existing cycling and multiuse trail network that exists and proposed routes to improve active transportation permeability through the study area and connectivity to adjacent areas outside of the study boundary. Establishing dedicated cycling paths that are elevated and separated from the vehicular component of a roadway is always the best practice goal. However, with existing roadway widths, existing servicing infrastructure, and existing easements, establishing a robust separation between vehicular traffic and cycling traffic can be challenging. Action #36 (page 90 of the Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy) speaks to improving active transportation. It does not specify the design details in terms of separation standards for these improvements, but we have noted that they should be protected bike lanes which could include the use of bollards, planters, flexi-posts, or thin low concrete curbs. The greatest opportunity for building a more attractive separated multiuse trail along Burlington Street through a robust streetscape master planning process in particular (Action #17 on page 87).

    How do small business get involved? Especially to make use of shared resources for manufacturing etc?
    The City of Hamilton’s Economic Development department helps to liaise and encourage companies of all sizes to connect and build partnerships for resource management. The Hamilton Industrial Environmental Association also plays a key role in building collaborative relationships between companies of all sizes in the area to facilitate the development of an "industrial ecosystem”. A large part of this project was to provide opportunities for all stakeholders including smaller businesses to have a say in the vision and change forward. There are three actions within the Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy that small businesses would be directly and indirectly involved with and can benefit from:

    #1 – The establishment of a Bayfront Industrial Area (BIA) Governance Body represented by a unified board of stakeholders (anchor tenants, government, academics, community leaders, non-profits and other interested stakeholders) to collaborate and lead a process and decision-making towards this united vision for the area.

    #42 – Form partnerships with local institutions to create space for start-up research and innovation opportunities working towards creation of a physical and digital campus.

    #43 – Determine the branding/ marketing of the area to attract new complimentary business, researchers, and attract long-term employees.

    #44 – Determine opportunities to develop and build an internationally recognized architecturally unique key flagship building as a visual expression of change and innovation in the Bayfront Industrial Area and to house convention space, social space, research and innovation incubation space, and recreational space.

    #46 – Determine, build and maintain shared facilities within the area (event/conference spaces, training spaces, social infrastructure, recreational spaces, parking structures, alternative fuel charging hubs).

    #47 – Develop a shared fibre optic network for the area providing “innovation hub” internet access across the campus area through WiFi hot spots (transit stations, social spaces, research spaces, recreational spaces, charging ports etc.)

    If you’re a small business and want to get involved or learn more about the process, please contact Jennifer Patterson at Jennifer.Patterson@hamilton.ca or ext. 4475.

    How much land will become available here thanks to Stelco's announcement?
    Approximately 600 acres of land is anticipated to become available.

    Is there an estimate of the cost to service or upgrade services to the BEZ or is it fully serviced already and good to go?
    Assuming BEZ is referring to the Bayfornt Industrial Area - In general, the broader area is serviced with municipal services, including water, wastewater and stormwater systems. However, the area does have aging infrastructure that needs to be upgraded and there are also sanitary and storm sewer constraints. As such, there are five actions included (outlined in more detail on pages 86 and 87 of the Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy):

    #6 – Complete a local level stormwater and wastewater servicing strategy.

    #7 – Expand existing programs to evaluate enhanced lot level controls for managing stormwater on-site to assist with the reduced capacity in the existing combined sewer system, to reduce the impacts of wet weather flows.

    #8 – Complete the ongoing Citywide Water, Wastewater and Stormwater (W/WW/SWM) Master Plan infrastructure assessment.

    #9 – Implement recommendations pertaining to The Bayfront from the City-wide Water, Wastewater and Stormwater (W/WW/SWM) Master Plan to resolve wastewater/combined sewer conveyance and treatment capacity constraints related to the Woodward Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant.

    #10 – Develop a Wastewater Sewer Allocation Program.

    Are you going to build in sufficient finances to use best practices for creating a tree canopy, e.g., more mature trees planted in adequate soil? City has a history of planting young trees in small holes, not achieving shade or carbon sequestration.
    The project team has worked with Forestry staff to understand the difficulties of planting trees in these harsh soil conditions and identified approved tree species that are considered hardier and more capable of thriving in the harsh conditions of the area. Financing the use of supported soil cell systems (silva cell™) is a hurdle due to costs. The Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy does not specify exactly how street trees should be planted, but opportunities to assess costs and budget appropriately for the use of supported soil cell systems would be carried out through the detailed streetscape master planning and process as outlined in Action #17 (page 87 of the Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy). The streetscape master planning process includes: conceptual designs, functional designs, costing/funding strategy, and a detailed implementation design. Related to the efforts of this project, the City also has a Draft Urban Forest Strategy that provides some guidelines and updated recommendations for planting and maintaining street trees.

    Are there remediation grants/incentives in place to encourage clean up of any contaminated land? ERASE program?
    Yes, The Erase Community Improvement Plan (CIP) has been in place for approximately sixteen years and has been successful in providing the financial tools needed to promote the remediation and redevelopment of brownfield sites. The Erase CIP applies to the Erase Community Improvement Plan Area (CIPA), which includes the full limits of the urbanized area of the City including the Bayfront Industrial Area. Amendments to the program were last made in 2018 through preliminary work through this project. Further improvements to the program are expected to be implemented next year. View a full description of the existing program

    In addition to the ERASE CIP, the Draft Strategy is recommending another Community Improvement Plan through the Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy that would be specific to the properties fronting onto Burlington Street and Ottawa Street. It is listed as Action #18 on page 87 and 88 of the Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy. This CIP would establish new financial incentive programs intended to support climate change readiness and industrial building improvements. This CIP has a climate change and historic industrial lens that could be applied to the following types of improvements:

    • Naturalization of their properties facing public realm;
    • Using LID (Low Impact Development) paving solutions for hard surfaced areas;
    • Green screening of storage areas, existing utilities, and loading areas;
    • Utilizing rooftops for green roofs or solar photovoltaic (PV) energy assets; • Historic industrial preservation (specifically for non-designated properties or attributes); and,
    • Murals for historic story telling.

    I apologize if this question was already addressed. I live in Industrial Sector A & Keith. Given the Zoning/OP recognizes this as a residential area, what strategies will be used to promote integration with other residential neighbourhoods to the west and south, as well as to parkland and transit amenities? Has the City considered mixed use/residential development to the south and west of the Keith to reduce its isolation?
    Yes, a core part of the project has been to look at ways to improve the land use compatibility between sensitive land uses such as residential with the existing traditional industry in the area. Figure 4.1 on page 65 of the Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy includes our assessment of the areas within the overall study area that we see opportunities for change. The area generally located west, north and southeast of the Keith neighbourhood have been identified in yellow indicating that we see opportunities to transition these “edge areas” from vacant or under-underutilized uses to a range of more compatible employment-based uses such as prestige office or commercial retail uses.

    Has the former Studebaker site at 440 Victoria been identified as a potential focal point or heritage site?
    The subject lands located at 440 Victoria Avenue North contains a three-storey industrial building and is included in the City’s Inventory of Buildings of Architectural and/or Historical Interest for the former Studebaker Company building. The subject lands are part of Draft Plan of Subdivision Application 25T-201208 and Site Plan Control Application DA-17-155. A Cultural Heritage Impact Assessment was reviewed with the Subdivision Application (25T-201208). Cultural Heritage staff have identified a special condition prior to the issuance of any subsequent building permits requiring that the industrial heritage of the former site shall be commemorated. Commemoration may include plaque, commemorative murals, or the incorporation of salvageable artifacts as public art to the proposed public spaces and dedicated parkland.

    Can warehousing planned for the AEGD be accommodated here in the Bayfront rather than on prime farmland, natural heritage areas and headwater wetlands on the mountain?
    It’s not an either-or situation for providing warehouse uses in the Airport Employment Growth District over the Bayfront Industrial Area or vise versa. Both employment areas provide different advantages/assets for warehouse type uses in close proximity to the port and rail or in close proximity to the airport. The biggest obstacle that the Bayfront Industrial Area has had relates to available land for development. As mentioned in the presentation despite the perception that the Bayfront area has a lot of vacancy, there is little land currently available for warehouse type development or other employment uses. As shown on Figure 3.1 (page 28) in the Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy, only 4% of land (60 hectares of land approximately) in the study area is actually vacant. However, through existing land owners consolidating their operations, there could be significant land come to market in the future. The redevelopment of the Stelco lands will provide a significant opportunity to redevelop and make land available for a wide variety of employment uses that may include some warehousing type uses.

    The AEGD Secondary Plan contains natural heritage, cultural heritage, and agricultural principles and the policies to protect and minimize negative impacts to the natural heritage features in the area. The Secondary Plan was approved by Council 12 years ago now, and the AEGD Secondary Plan was designed to provide for a major business park development integrating with and complementing the existing John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. It recognizes and allows for certain existing land uses, such as some farming use that you may see there today to continue until such time that they are redeveloped; as well as respects and enhances the prominent natural areas throughout the Secondary Plan Area.

    Hamilton is a multi-modal city and there is goods movement activity demanding warehouse use near the airport, highways, rail, and port. Ultimately, both areas should provide opportunity for warehousing uses for strategic goods movement.

    The Streetscape Industrial road section fails to include all types of utilities: road lights, underground gas/water/electrical/sewers which have a profound impact on above ground designs.
    This strategy and associated cross-section images are meant to highlight an end state and vision for these streetscapes. Any improvements would look to harmonize the underground infrastructure at the time of construction and include new technologies to allow for shade trees and utilities to occur in an efficient footprint. When the action that speaks to streetscape master planning work is started, more detailed drawings including underground infrastructure elements would be included as part of the scope of work required for implementation. This action is discussed on page 83-84 and on page 87 of the Draft Bayfront Industrial Area Strategy. Streetlight infrastructure can be added though to the draft cross-section showing the elevated portion of Nikola Tesla Blvd.

Page last updated: 06 May 2022, 08:18 AM