THIS EDITION OF THE WARD 1 NEWSLETTER INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
- Revised Encampment Protocol Before GIC on Monday
- Chedoke Creek Spill Fine and Remediation in Progress
- What's happening with the Hamilton-Brantford Rail Trail Crossings?
- McMaster Discovery Program
- Concrete Canvas Festival - Churchill Clubhouse Feature
- and more.
Revised Encampment Protocol Before Council on Monday
The escalating housing crisis in Hamilton has led to a rise in unsheltered individuals living in encampments across the city. This issue is not unique to Hamilton, as many municipalities grapple with the challenge of affordable and suitable housing. The municipality must address the needs of these unsheltered residents while simultaneously striving for long-term housing solutions. Responding to the significance of the issue, the Council instructed staff in May 2023 to rethink the originally proposed protocol (GIC May 17, 2023 Section 8.1) and create a new draft Encampment Protocol and seek public input. This protocol aims to integrate services, Indigenous support, and peer assistance into the city's encampment response.
The public engagement process that followed garnered substantial feedback in June 2023. A total of 11,943 individuals visited the Engage Hamilton website, contributing 15,965 comments, and approximately 2,000 people attended in-person community sessions. An evident consensus emerged that parks should remain free of tents to preserve public use, particularly in areas lacking green space. However, opinions were divided on the adoption of sanctioned sites as a solution for encampments. Respondents widely favoured permanent, housing-centric approaches to address the challenges faced by those living without shelter.
To accommodate the public feedback, revisions were made to the Protocol to increase permissible distances from designated sensitive areas. In light of these changes, City staff is recommending the adoption of the revised encampment protocol while pushing for sustainable solutions to the broader housing crisis.
Following Council's directive, staff reviewed sanctioned encampments and their models across North America. Criteria for sanctioned sites were established, and scenarios were analyzed to accommodate around 150 unsheltered individuals in up to six sites, each housing no more than 25 people. However, due to costs, lack of mandate, unclear outcomes, and limited resources, City staff is not recommending managed sanctioned encampment sites at present.
Nonetheless, a need for an accessible alternative was identified. A two-year pilot project is proposed, led by Hamilton Alliance for Tiny Shelters (HATS), to offer up to 25 temporary housing structures for encampment residents. Aligned with site criteria (Report p.17), HATS' input, and the Encampment Protocol, Strachan Linear Park is chosen as the preferred site. Commencing in Q4 2023, the project's success will be assessed, with residents selected via the By-Name List. To address washroom access, staff suggests using existing facilities at parks and specified centres, staffed with security for safety. This includes 24-hour park washroom access and 12-hour access to shower facilities at two recreation centres, with expansion potential pending Council approval.
On Monday, August 14, 2023, City staff will present its findings and its recommendation to council members at the General Interest Committee meeting. Details of the new proposed protocol may be found on the GIC agenda under Section 8.2. The presentation and debate may be witnessed through live streaming either through the previous link or by watching it via the City's YouTube site.
Chedoke Creek Spill Fine and Remediation in Progress
On July 20, the City of Hamilton pleaded guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice for the Chedoke Creek spill charges brought by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks in 2020 and was fined $2.1 million. The City and the Crown jointly submitted an agreement on appropriate penalties, leading to additional payments of $364,500 to the Royal Botanical Gardens for damages caused by the spill, along with a $525,000 Victim Fine Surcharge, resulting in a total penalty of $2,985,500.
Since the summer of 2018, the City has collaborated with the MECP to investigate the incident and comply with various Orders issued by the MECP in response to the spill. These Orders included targeted dredging of Chedoke Creek and implementing measures in Cootes Paradise, which required significant public resources. On July 17, 2023, the City resumed targeted hydraulic dredging of Chedoke Creek, a process expected to finish at the end of October 2023.
For more information about Chedoke Creek and the required remediation, visit the project website.
What's happening with the Hamilton-Brantford Rail Trail Crossings?
Residents may have noticed that the rail trail sidewalk connections have been raised, which appears counterintuitive to providing accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists.
What you are witnessing is part one of a new kind of crossing. The City is installing raised crosswalks at Stroud, Broadway, Emerson, Leland, and Rifle Range roads.
The sidewalk aprons were removed to bring the curb flush with the rest of the sidewalk and the forthcoming raised crosswalk.
This type of crossing heightens the visibility of pedestrians and cyclists and slows traffic.
The contractor for the project will begin the road portion of the raised crosswalk on Thursday, beginning at Rifle Range and then moving eastward.
While the first of its kind in Hamilton specifically, raised crosswalks are used in other jurisdictions. Example
Ewen Rd will not have a raised crossing as it does not have the required space. However, a multi-use trail is being added to the west side of Ewen to reduce the time cyclists are on the road when moving from one side of the trail to the other.
The McMaster Discovery Program is a free, non-credit university course for adults in the Hamilton area who want to experience university in a supportive and welcoming learning community. The program aims to create opportunities for local residents to take part in a process of learning and discovery in the liberal arts tradition, to inspire a passion for lifelong learning, and to foster engagement and mutual learning between McMaster University and the communities it aspires to serve. After a brief break, the program will be returning in a modified version in Fall 2023!
This year's course is called "Home, Movement and Migration" and will allow participants to explore questions such as, “what does it mean to be home, or to be away from home?”, and “how do immigrant and refugee communities navigate migration, construct transnational identities, and experience life in their new communities?” The course features 7 in-person sessions held on Saturdays between September and December on campus at McMaster. Each session will run from 10:30am-2:15pm, including a break for a shared lunch. To support students with their learning, course materials, transportation, childcare, and lunch will all be happily provided!
- Concrete Canvas Art Festival. August 11-13, 2023. Various Locations
Admittedly, we are pretty excited about this year's festival as Churchill Clubhouse is the first Ward 1 public building to participate in the Concrete Canvas Festival. Renowned Artist, Kyle Jodicke brought his extraordinary vision and talent to create a visual wonderland based on Indigenous storytelling.
Churchill is the first Ward 1 park to receive a mural, but it will not be the last. Once renovations are completed to fieldhouses in Victoria and Alexander Park, we hope they, too, have the opportunity to participate in next year's Concrete Canvas Festival.
- ArtsWest. August 11-13, 2023. Location: Westdale Village, King St W, North Oval to Sterling St
Arts and music festival in Westdale Village, including food, an artisan market, outdoor live music on the patios, an aerial artist and family activities, all open for the public to enjoy the entire weekend in the fresh air.
Sundays UnLocked - Pedestrian Days, August 20 & September 17, 10 AM - 6 PM. Location: Locke Street South, Hunter to Herkimer Streets.
Live music, entertainment, great shopping, cafes, dining, and more!
- Garden Journeys Open Days, August 10-12 & 17-20, various times and locations
For people interested in ecological and native-plant gardens. Garden Journey Open Days bring together gardeners, aspiring gardeners, and garden lovers in an open-gardens event in Hamilton over two weekends in August. Under the umbrella of the Halton Region Master Gardeners, Garden Journeys is free. It’s not a tour–you don’t need to register, and you don’t need tickets. Garden Journeys showcases gardens that put Nature first. Call them ecological, naturalistic, re-wilded, biodiverse, native plant, sustainable–these gardens do more than look good. They’re about the functional connections among living things (above and below ground) and everything that affects them. Humans included! Gardens are open, rain or shine unless there is a severe weather warning. Many of the gardens are in Ward 1.
- The Guild Summer Vendor Market, August 12-13, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Location: 80 Queen St S.
Check out the Guild Summer Vendor Market at the Player's Guild of Hamilton Inc. this weekend!
The Tempest at the Castle, August 15-18; 21-25, & 25-September 2; 7:00 PM. Location: Dundurn Castle
Tottering Bi-Ped Theatre presents Shakespeare's play The Tempest on the grounds of Dundurn Castle. Details of the production are available on the company's website.
The are multiple projects taking place across the Ward. We have tried to encapsulate the information on a new web page.
Projects in every neighbourhood are included, from park renewal to water chamber replacement.
Let's do our part in Ward 1 to create healthy, biodiverse neighbourhoods for all living things!
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.