THIS EDITION OF THE WARD 1 NEWSLETTER INCLUDES:
- 2023 Budget Backgrounder
- Winter Control in Hamilton - Sidewalk Snow Clearance
- Main & Whitney (HD17A) Water Pumping Station EA PIC
- Ward 1 Infrastructure Updates
- Special Enforcement Area Around Schools Pilot
- Invasive Species - Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
- E-Scooters are here!
- City Auditor Election Survey
- Coyotes in the City
- Cigarette Litter Prevention
- Royal Botanical Gardens Churchill Park Reforestation Project
- Green Venture NATURhoods
- Cycling Without Age - Call for Volunteers
As many of you know, Hamilton City Council passed its 2023 operating budget on March 29th with a 5.9% tax increase. I hope this backgrounder puts that needed increase in context.
Our city is facing significant challenges. Affordability, visible despair that takes the shape of homelessness, mental health and food insecurity continue to haunt us. This budget is an effort to respond to these conditions without worsening issues.
This budget is also part of a long-term strategy. It also strives to fill a gaping hole the provincial and federal governments created. They once helped us heal, and they need to again. We must rebuild Hamilton and invest in making this city more resilient, greener and equitable. The budget also starts to correct the two decades of serious underfunding of our city's core assets, like roads, bridges and sidewalks. That's the fabric of what makes our communities livable.
The City of Hamilton's tax increase is similar to many other cities in Ontario. The Burlington/Hamilton budget increased by 7.5 per cent in 2023. Toronto's tax increase is budgeted at 7 per cent, while Mississauga/Peel and Guelph are coming in at 5.3 per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively.
Here's my summary of the 2023 tax operating budget: read the full backgrounder.
Winter Control in the City of Hamilton - Sidewalk Snow Clearance
Following some significant winter weather events this past season, I received several emails and phone calls noting concerns with sidewalk snow clearance.
Working collaboratively with Ward 14 Hamilton City Councillor Mike Spadafora, we put forward a motion at the March 20 Public Works Committee to review these practices through a lens emphasising the safety and needs of the most vulnerable road users. The motion received unanimous approval by Committee and then Council. It is set out below for your information.
Regarding the requirements that the City of Hamilton must follow when it comes to winter maintenance, I thought the following details might be of interest.
Firstly, municipalities are required to respond to snow removal in a way that meets Provincially set winter maintenance standards.
According to the Provincial standards, municipalities must plow roads first, followed by bike lanes and finally, any sidewalks identified for clearing in city by-laws. Roads are plowed based on priority, which is defined by road classification. The first priority is main routes and escarpment crossings. The second priority is collector roads, and the third is neighbourhood streets.
The Provincial maintenance standards also set out how much snow is legally allowed to accumulate on different roadways before plowing is triggered. Municipalities must plow and treat these first and second-priority roads within a specific time frame.
The city has 24 hours following a snow event to plow sidewalks identified in their local bylaw. In the case of a “significant snow event”, the timeline for meeting all standards is extended.
This was the first winter season to see a new city of Hamilton sidewalk snow clearance policy in effect. Hamilton City Council assumed sidewalk snow clearance for sidewalks along transit routes. The City must also plow those sidewalks adjacent to City-owned parks such as HAAA, Victoria Park, Churchill Park and Alexander Park. Again, it has 24 hours to do so post the end of the declaration. Changing winter conditions due to our climate crisis are posing challenges for equipment. The attached motion enables a review of the sidewalk snow clearance practices to address community concerns related to access and safety.
Main & Whitney (HD17A) Water Pumping Station Municipal Class Environmental Assessment and Conceptual Design
Notice of Study Area Expansion and Public Information Centre (PIC) No. 2
The City of Hamilton has initiated a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) study following the Schedule B process to develop and assess alternative solutions for a new Water Pumping Station (WPS) to replace the existing Main & Whitney (HD17A) WPS currently located at Main Street West & Whitney Avenue.
This study will define the problems/opportunities associated with the existing HD17A WPS, assess alternative solutions, and determine the preferred location for a new WPS. A conceptual design will be completed identifying the main design aspects of the preferred alternative. Once the new pumping station is commissioned, the existing HD17A WPS will be decommissioned.
The second PIC will be held virtually between April 28, 2023, and May 19, 2023. The purpose of the second PIC is to present the evaluation and ranking of short-listed alternative sites, present the recommended site for the new WPS, obtain public input on the recommended site, and outline the next steps in the Class EA process
This event will be hosted virtually on the City’s webpage at: www.hamilton.ca/mainwhitneystationea PIC No. 2 materials will be made available virtually from April 28, 2023, until May 19, 2023.
Please submit your completed Comment Sheet by email or mail to the project team listed below by May
Ward 1 Infrasture Updates
The are multiple projects taking place across the Ward. We have tried to encapsulate the information on a new web page.
Included are projects in every neighbourhood, from park renewal to water chamber replacement.
Alexander Skate Park
Alexander Park Community Hub
Traffic Calming Control Construction
Kent St & Pearl St S
Special Enforcement Area in School Zones Pilot
From March 29 - June 29, a Special Enforcement Area Pilot will be implemented near select schools in Ward 1 & 11 to reduce parking-related issues. Parking enforcement staff will respond to complaints and patrol school areas. For more information, email [email protected].
Parking around schools during bell times is a significant issue and a source of complaints. Key issues include, but are not limited to, pedestrian safety due to improperly parked cars, added congestion adjacent to schools, and parking spillover into adjacent residential streets.
Currently, Parking Enforcement Staff schedule schools for enforcement on a rotating basis, with multiple staff attending the site and issuing parking penalties to vehicles in violation. Often these enforcement efforts are carried out in collaboration with Hamilton Police Services (HPS) with the intent to try to change parking behaviour and improve safety around schools. Enforcement efforts are generally well received at the time and improve compliance on those specific days but do not have a lasting impact on parking behaviour.
Special Enforcement Areas with a $250 penalty have shown a decrease in illegal parking behaviour with increased general deterrence associated with higher penalties. Implementation of SEAs around school sites is expected to have a similar effect in reducing illegal and unsafe parking behaviours that jeopardize the safety of children during bell times.
Both School Boards provided candidate school sites which experience significant parking problems. The proposed school sites for pilot implementation are Earl Kitchener Elementary School and St. Matthew Catholic Elementary School.
Invasive Species - Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) in hemlock trees on City of Hamilton and Royal Botanical Gardens property in the forested areas surrounding Churchill Park. The CFIA has issued a Notice of Prohibition of Movement to both the RBG and City of Hamilton to restrict the movement of hemlock material (firewood, branches, mulch) for this area.
The City is asking residents with hemlock trees on their private property to inspect their trees for the pest. HWA can be identified by its egg sacs, which can be found at the base of needles and look like cotton or snow clumps. If residents suspect HWA to be present on their hemlock trees or a City tree, they are asked to call their local CFIA Office at 905-572-2201 to have an official identification completed. Residents should not attempt to remove the pest themselves.
For more information, please visit www.hamilton.ca/invasivespecies
E-Scooters are here!
On Monday, April 3, the first year of the shared commercial electric kicker scooter (“e-scooter”) pilot program launched in Hamilton. The program is part of a Provincial pilot to evaluate E-Scooters' ability to safely integrate with other vehicle types and determine whether existing road rules are adequate. Bird Canada was selected as the successful commercial e-scooter operator for the pilot program through a competitive RFP (Request for Proposal) process. The program will see up to 450 top-of-the-line Bird Three shared e-scooters available to rent and ride within Wards 1, 2, 3 and 13, complementing the city’s existing bike share program. Check out the e-scooter pilot page for more information on the program and how to get on board!
City Auditor Election Survey
In January 2023, Council passed a motion that the Auditor General complete an audit of the administration of the 2022 municipal election in the City of Hamilton and report back on the findings. The purpose of the audit is to ensure that sufficient systems, resources, vendors and vendor agreements, and policies and procedures are in place to comply with the provisions of the Municipal Elections Act. The intention is to produce an actionable set of recommendations focused on improving the administration of the City of Hamilton’s 2026 municipal election and make recommendations to Council concerning suggested legislative reforms to the Municipal Elections Act.
As part of the audit, the Office of the Auditor General is interested in feedback from Hamiltonians regarding their election experience. In partnership with Metroline Research Group, the Auditor has launched a city-wide survey of eligible Hamilton voters to help identify any areas for improvement in the administration of the City’s Municipal Election. A random sample of eligible voters in Hamilton will be called to complete the survey over the phone. You can also provide your comments online or through an online survey. The survey is running until mid-April, and the Auditor will report back to Council in May 2023.
Coyotes in the City
Coyotes may be more visible during spring. If you are approached by a coyote in the city, stay calm, make yourself appear larger, make loud noises, and never run away. If a coyote presents an immediate threat to public safety, call 905-574-3433.
Cigarette Litter Prevention
Cigarettes are the most littered item globally. An estimated 65% of all cigarettes are tossed on the ground instead of in an ashtray or waste receptacle. In Canada, over 8,000 tonnes of cigarette butts are littered each year. Clean-up volunteers collected 560,432 cigarette butts from Canadian shorelines in 2018 to help protect our waterways.
Cigarette filters contain a type of plastic called cellulose acetate, which can take up to 12 years to break down but will not decompose naturally. Cigarettes contain toxic chemicals which can leach into the environment, contaminate water and poison wildlife.
Cigarette litter prevention tips:
Never flick cigarette butts on the ground or outside your vehicle window while driving.
Look for ashtrays on the top of the City of Hamilton’s garbage receptacles on sidewalks and other outdoor areas.
Carry a pocket ashtray to safely extinguish and store cigarette butts if no ashtrays are nearby.
For more tips, check out Cigarette Litter Prevention.
Royal Botanical Gardens Churchill Park Reforestation Project
Beginning this spring, the RBG will continue their reforestation project, focusing on the park's north end. This will include the installation of fencing to delineate the naturalization zone, followed by planting approximately 950 native trees and shrubs in April. Establishing all reforested areas along the edge of Churchill Park will decrease the forest-edge ratio, and the amount of vital interior forest habitat will increase from 0.2 hectares to 3.5 hectares. Interior forest habitat is crucial for sensitive and rare species and is especially uncommon in an urban environment. Maintaining a healthy forest edge is essential to improving overall forest health as the edge acts as a buffer by reducing the impact of outside stressors such as invasive species, encroachment, and disturbance.
Another aspect of this project is to connect RBG’s nature trails to the new Churchill Park Path system. This will involve the relocation of the entrance to the Ginger Valley Trail, approximately 150m south of its current entrance. Appropriate signage explaining the trail changes will be posted on-site at Churchill Park and on RBG’s website to assist trail users.
You can find more information on the project on the Forest Protection page on RBG'S website.
Green Venture NATURhoods
Want to grow your NATURhood? Find out how to combat climate change and naturally adapt to urban runoff. Registration for the 2023 NATURhoods program is now open for Hamilton residents! This program is an excellent resource for homeowners planning or interested in adding green infrastructure to their property and involves various opportunities to access sustainable landscape experts free of charge. New this year is our 'Ask the Experts' event at EcoHouse, which we're very excited about.
For folks ready to start a project this year and would like to apply for our $500 rebate, the priority this year is no longer allocated to certain wards as it was in pilot years. The design workshop is a mandatory prerequisite to applying for the rebate.
Cycling Without Age - Call for Volunteers
Cycling Without Age is a worldwide initiative that provides people with mobility issues (whether young or not-so-young) an opportunity to get out into nature once again. These passengers may be previous cycling enthusiasts or have the desire to get outdoors.
Volunteering with Cycling Without Age (CWA) Hamilton/Burlington allows you to give to the community and, at the same time, share in the joy that your time commitment provides for the participants.
The Dutch-inspired and Dutch-built three-wheeled trishaw is propelled by a trained pilot on an e-assist bike. Each pilot is accompanied by a volunteer cyclist for support and traffic safety.
Check out the Cycling Without Age Hamilton Burlington for more information.
- Strathcona Team Up to Clean Up, Saturday, April 15, starting at 10:00 AM. Meet at the Strathcona Market, 460 York Blvd
Join the Strathcona Community Council for a community litter clean-up. Complementary warm refreshments will be provided. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear and clothing and, if possible, donate to the Strathcona Pantry. Email [email protected] with questions.
Kirkendall Neighbourhood Association Annual General Meeting, Wednesday, April 19, 7:00 PM, Blessings Church, 115 Stanley Ave.
This event is in-person, but virtual attendance is also an option using this Zoom link (if joining by Zoom, please mute your microphone). Speakers include Ward 1 Councillor Maureen Wilson, Sargeant Asim Butt, Central Crime Manager, Hamilton Police Services, and Special Guest Speaker Dr Lynda Lukasik, Director of the City of Hamilton's new Climate Change Office.
- Kirkendall South Clean-up, Saturday, April 22, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Meet at the corner of Mountain Ave and Hillcrest Ave
Highland Gardens Park, Bruce Trail, Dundurn Stairs, Chedoke Trail and Beulah Park clean up. The local organizers will have gloves, bags and a bin to hold all the refuse you can find.
Kirkendall Neighbourhood Association Annual Food Drive, Saturday, May 6, 2023.
The annual "Fill a Bus, Feed a Family" Food Drive is back for its 15th year! As always, we need lots of volunteers, both before the Food Drive and on Food Drive day, and the KNA hopes you'll consider helping out. Volunteers are needed leading up to the Food Drive and on the day of. Click here to learn more about the available volunteer opportunities and sign up.
- The Annual KNA Mushroom Compost Sale is back! Saturday, May 13, 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM, Location: 115 Stanley Ave
Give your garden a bag or 2 of the good stuff. $4.50 per bag (cubic foot) or 5 bags for $21.00 or 10 bags for $41.00
Buckets, wagons, wheel barrels, the trunk of your car. Alternatively, feel free to bring your own container. You bring it; the KNA will fill it. 2023 Deals apply to your container.
The KNA does sell out, so pre-order to avoid disappointment! Visit http://kirkendallhood.ca/category/blog/events/ for more information.
Please email [email protected] to pre-order your compost.
Dundurn National Historic Site Spring Events, 610 York Blvd.Dundurn Castle is hosting a number of Spring events beginning this weekend, such as a Historic Cooking Workshop, Doors Open, Mother's Day Tea, and more! See the Dundurn Castle webpage for more details.
Let’s do our part in Ward 1 to create healthy, biodiverse neighbourhoods for all living things! Check out Greener Ward 1!
- Email: [email protected]
- Tel: 905-546-2416
The City of Hamilton is situated upon the traditional territories of the Erie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississaugas. This land is covered by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, which was an agreement between the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabek to share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. We further acknowledge that this land is covered by the Between the Lakes Purchase, 1792, between the Crown and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
Today, the City of Hamilton is home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island (North America), and we recognize that we must do more to learn about the rich history of this land so that we can better understand our roles as residents, neighbours, partners and caretakers.