GRIDS 2 and Municipal Comprehensive Review

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GRIDS 2 (Growth Related Integrated Development Strategy) is a big-picture planning process that evaluates the land use, infrastructure, economic development and financial implications of growth for the next 30 years. The City is planning for 236,000 new residents and 122,000 new jobs in Hamilton to the year 2051. Planning for forecasted population and job growth to the year 2051 is a requirement of A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. GRIDS 2 is a study that is linked to the updates of other important City studies and plans, including the Water/Wastewater and Stormwater Master Plans and transportation network review, and the next update to the Development Charges By-law.

Growth Forecast for 2051: An increase of 236,000 people for a total population of 820,000. An increase of 122,000 jobs for a total employment of 360,000 jobs.

But 30 years is so long from now. Why should I care?

Think of the City's growth like a story. We know the beginning (where we are now) and we know the ending (a lot more people and jobs are coming our way by 2051). You have a chance to help us write the chapters in between by providing your feedback! Where will we live? What kind of housing do we need? Where will we work? How will we be connected as a community? These are all questions that help write the story of Hamilton over the next 30 years.

What is a Land Needs Assessment?

A Land Needs Assessment (LNA) is a technical study that determines how much land is needed in the City to accommodate growth. The LNA must be completed based on a methodology developed by the Province and is a required part of the City’s Municipal Comprehensive Review process (MCR). Two categories of land use are considered through a LNA - these include “Community” lands (areas for population, commercial and institutional growth) and “Employment” lands (areas for employment like business parks and industrial lands). For more information, refer to the FAQs.

What does the City's draft Land Needs Assessment tell us?

Community Area (residential, commercial and institutional land uses)

  • The City needs more land through urban boundary expansion to accommodate population growth to the year 2051
  • The option of a Residential Intensification rate that either follows the City’s current trends (40%) or meets the minimum targets of the Provincial Growth Plan 2019 (50%) results in greater land need than available ‘whitebelt' land supply.
  • A Residential Intensification rate of 55% (on average) (referred to as the ‘Increased Targets’ scenario) would result in the need for 1,640 ha of land to be added to the urban area for new community uses. This would result in all of the City’s rural land that is not within the Greenbelt Plan area being brought into the urban boundary. This intensification rate is higher than the City has experienced in the past.
  • A Residential Intensification rate of 60% (on average) (referred to as the ‘Ambitious Density’ scenario) would result in the need for 1,340 ha of land to be added to the urban area. This would result in slightly less rural land being brought into the urban boundary. The intensification rate is much higher than what has been experienced in the past and will be challenging to achieve in the future.
Current Trends (view calculations)
Growth Plan Minimum (view calculations)
Increased Targets (view calculations)
Ambitious Density (view calculations)


  • The density of new Designated Greenfield Areas will depend on the desired ratio of residential unit types (singles, semis, townhouses, apartments) and how compact the ground-related housing forms develop

Employment Area (business parks, manufacturing, industrial land uses)

  • The City’s current supply of employment designated lands can support approximately 114,420 new jobs, and the forecast is for approximately 112,090 jobs in these areas. This results in a small surplus of 60 hectares, which is within the margin of error for the calculations.
  • The supply and forecasted demand for employment lands are in balance. The City has enough remaining vacant employment lands to accommodate job growth to 2051:

Employment Lands for 2051: Demand will be 112,090 and Supply will be 114,420.

Employment Land Need (view calculations)

GRIDS 2 (Growth Related Integrated Development Strategy) is a big-picture planning process that evaluates the land use, infrastructure, economic development and financial implications of growth for the next 30 years. The City is planning for 236,000 new residents and 122,000 new jobs in Hamilton to the year 2051. Planning for forecasted population and job growth to the year 2051 is a requirement of A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. GRIDS 2 is a study that is linked to the updates of other important City studies and plans, including the Water/Wastewater and Stormwater Master Plans and transportation network review, and the next update to the Development Charges By-law.

Growth Forecast for 2051: An increase of 236,000 people for a total population of 820,000. An increase of 122,000 jobs for a total employment of 360,000 jobs.

But 30 years is so long from now. Why should I care?

Think of the City's growth like a story. We know the beginning (where we are now) and we know the ending (a lot more people and jobs are coming our way by 2051). You have a chance to help us write the chapters in between by providing your feedback! Where will we live? What kind of housing do we need? Where will we work? How will we be connected as a community? These are all questions that help write the story of Hamilton over the next 30 years.

What is a Land Needs Assessment?

A Land Needs Assessment (LNA) is a technical study that determines how much land is needed in the City to accommodate growth. The LNA must be completed based on a methodology developed by the Province and is a required part of the City’s Municipal Comprehensive Review process (MCR). Two categories of land use are considered through a LNA - these include “Community” lands (areas for population, commercial and institutional growth) and “Employment” lands (areas for employment like business parks and industrial lands). For more information, refer to the FAQs.

What does the City's draft Land Needs Assessment tell us?

Community Area (residential, commercial and institutional land uses)

  • The City needs more land through urban boundary expansion to accommodate population growth to the year 2051
  • The option of a Residential Intensification rate that either follows the City’s current trends (40%) or meets the minimum targets of the Provincial Growth Plan 2019 (50%) results in greater land need than available ‘whitebelt' land supply.
  • A Residential Intensification rate of 55% (on average) (referred to as the ‘Increased Targets’ scenario) would result in the need for 1,640 ha of land to be added to the urban area for new community uses. This would result in all of the City’s rural land that is not within the Greenbelt Plan area being brought into the urban boundary. This intensification rate is higher than the City has experienced in the past.
  • A Residential Intensification rate of 60% (on average) (referred to as the ‘Ambitious Density’ scenario) would result in the need for 1,340 ha of land to be added to the urban area. This would result in slightly less rural land being brought into the urban boundary. The intensification rate is much higher than what has been experienced in the past and will be challenging to achieve in the future.
Current Trends (view calculations)
Growth Plan Minimum (view calculations)
Increased Targets (view calculations)
Ambitious Density (view calculations)


  • The density of new Designated Greenfield Areas will depend on the desired ratio of residential unit types (singles, semis, townhouses, apartments) and how compact the ground-related housing forms develop

Employment Area (business parks, manufacturing, industrial land uses)

  • The City’s current supply of employment designated lands can support approximately 114,420 new jobs, and the forecast is for approximately 112,090 jobs in these areas. This results in a small surplus of 60 hectares, which is within the margin of error for the calculations.
  • The supply and forecasted demand for employment lands are in balance. The City has enough remaining vacant employment lands to accommodate job growth to 2051:

Employment Lands for 2051: Demand will be 112,090 and Supply will be 114,420.

Employment Land Need (view calculations)

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    We encourage you to read the project information on this page before answering these survey questions. The information has been provided to make sure that you have all the details about this phase of the project before submitting feedback.

    This survey should take you less than 10 minutes to complete.

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