Thursday , 1 June 2023


Pier 8 hi-rise
Proposed Pier 8 45-story tower. Rendering by KPMB

After months of no news about residential development on Pier 8, this week there should be fresh information about the West Harbour housing project, project that dates to 2017.

 Some North End residents bordering Pier 8 have been getting postcard invitations to an event called Let’s Talk Pier 8:Neighbourhood Drop-In.

 This event organized by the developers of Pier 8 will be held April 4 at Castelli Cucina restaurant at 337 James Street North. The event is listed on the Eventbrite website at:

The space is small so reservations are requested.

 We asked Tercot Communities, a partner in the Pier 8 development group called Waterfront Shores Corporation to detail what information would be available at the meeting, but there was no response up to publication deadline.

 In addition, the City of Hamilton is planning a city-wide public meeting in the spring to specifically discuss the 45-storey tower proposal.

 Chris Phillips, manager of the city’s Municipal Land Development Office sent the following details:

• There will be an additional community-wide meeting, specific to the proposed tower for Block-16 on Pier 8.  This meeting will provide an update on the process to date, present the revised tower design and outline

next steps in the development application process.

• Although details have not been scheduled yet, City staff expect to hold the meeting in the spring.  Final arrangements and format will be determined after the Staff report to April 14th West Harbour Development Sub-Committee and the April 19th General Issues Committee.

 The April 14th meeting of the West Harbour Development Sub-Committee meeting and the April 19th General Issues Committee will be streamed live and afterwards archived on the city’s YouTube Channel

City to discuss Pier 8 housing

 The agendas with details of Pier 8 developments will be on the city’s website about a week prior to the meetings. It’s requires some navigating-but this link is a start:

The proposal to build a 45-storey residential tower on Pier 8 is a controversial one not just in the North End, but across the city. Many people are averse to high-rise development anywhere, but particularly in park like settings such as Pier 8-where it will be placed at the water’s edge. Other’s may like the idea of a dramatic building on the waterfront and also consider it a valid way to add residential density to the city.

  Though it has been stated that a 45-story tower would be a one-off, and Hamilton’s waterfront won’t see skyscraper clusters, Ward 2 Councillor Cameron Kroetsch isn’t so sure. At a recent Ward 2 town hall meeting, Kroetsch said he believes a tower would absolutely be precedent setting.

  The original Pier 8 development approved in 2018 after a design competition, was conceived to house approximately 1500 people in a village like cluster of mid-rise townhomes.

 The plan was appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) by Harbour West Neighbours group and Herman Turkstra, with Parrish & Heimbecker as an industrial appellant. A settlement reached with a mediator resulted in the surprising addition of a potential 45-storey tower among other terms. A tower was seen as a way to increase the number of family sized units on Pier 8.

 After the proposal to allow a 45-storey tower to be built on Pier 8 was made public the city held virtual community and design review panel meetings via live-streaming. They are archived on the city website and offer city-wide reaction to the tower proposal. This is the link to extensive information about Pier 8:

Pier 8 Block 16 | City of Hamilton 

Before a 45-storey tower can be built, city council has to approve a change in zoning and an official plan amendment (OPA) at the site of the tower known as Block 16.

 It should be noted that anyone has the right to appeal the zoning change and the OPA to the Ontario Land Tribunal (formerly LPAT).

 According to the city it will be the fall before  a recommendation for a zoning change and Official Plan Amendment is put before council for a decision. 

 More information on filing appeals is is at this link.

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