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Hamilton’s Next Phase in Waterfront Investment

Hamilton’s Next Phase in Waterfront Investment

Hamilton’s Next Phase in Waterfront Investment
July 18
14:55 2019

Commercial space in Hamilton available which includes themed retail zones for fitness and health, and a fresh food market.

New commercial space in Hamilton: Hamilton’s critical waterfront showpiece at Pier 8 will be virtually unrecognizable once a plan to transform it into a residential, recreational and commercial destination is realized.

Waterfront Shores Corporation is a single-purpose consortium chosen by the City of Hamilton to be the preferred proponent for the purchase and development of 13 acres of Pier 8 lands. The development consortium will pay at least $41 million for the land, though the final tally will depend on market value. 

“This is among the most critical projects ever undertaken in the city,” said Chris Phillips, senior advisor of the West Harbour Re-development Project. “It is a vital part of the West Harbour development plan and a beloved amenity in the city. It will be an important addition to Hamilton’s tax base and a place where people can live, work, play and learn for generations to come.”

Pier 8’s development will feature innovative design and public amenities across nine development blocks. It includes the Pier 8 promenade called Hammer City, the design for which was selected through a competition held in 2017. That design includes a beach, a games terrace, a cafe, and playground space, as well as “wetland remediation gardens.” 

The site is 40 per cent publicly accessible open space and will connect to a City-owned network of parks and rights-of-way. The plan calls for 20 buildings, including almost 1,300 residential units, along with commercial and institutional spaces. Residential spaces will include at-grade townhouses and live/work units, and range from studios to three-plus bedrooms.

The plans for commercial space in Hamilton also include themed retail zones for fitness and health, and a fresh food market.


A priority of the development is environmental sustainability, with the preferred proponent seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification and eliminating natural gas consumption through wastewater heat recovery, geothermal heating and cooling, solar photovoltaics and battery storage micro-grids. There is a proposed partnership with Ontario Centres of Excellence to incubate and fund Hamilton-based start-ups focused on intelligent-city and green technologies, inviting them to use Pier 8 as a testing and showcase platform.

The Waterfront Shores Corporation is an entity formed by four experienced partners – Cityzen Development Corporation, Fernbrook Homes Group, GFL Environmental Inc. and Greybrook Realty Partners Inc. – solely for the purpose of acquiring and developing the lands on Pier 8.

Architectural Design Firms

The team also includes the architectural design firms of KPMB Architects, gh3 Inc., Omar Gandhi Architect and superkül. Each firm will be responsible for different design blocks. The architectural lead will be renowned Hamilton native Bruce Kuwabara, who grew up only blocks from Pier 8.

“Hamilton is in my DNA as a person and as architect,” he says in a video about the Pier 8 project. “Our collective has designed a series of progressive, modern and ambitious buildings. They stand out as individual artistic statements, while remaining legible as a whole. We call this coherent diversity.” The result of the development will be a dense, compact and walkable neighbourhood governed by an industrial aesthetic, with all streets leading to the water, said Kuwabara, who is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Gold Medal.

Pier 8 is a key component of a much larger West Harbour waterfront redevelopment plan that includes improvements to pedestrian access to the water’s edge, upgrades to boating and marina facilities, structural improvements to the shoreline and the installation of new fish habitats. This also includes the creation of a new waterfront commercial zone and public gathering place on Piers 6 and 7.

About Author



Lloyd Stevens has been writing Canadian business news for over 20 years with articles appearing in Perspective which appears in The Globe & Mail and contributing to and

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