THIS EDITION OF THE WARD 1 NEWSLETTER INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
- Stormwater Management – A Brighter Future, a Necessary Direction
- Locke Street Marker Pubilc Art Unveiling.
- Sterling Street 2024 Improvements (Video)
- Potential HSR Transit Service Disruption
- Get Involved in the City of Hamilton's 2024 Budget Process
- Join the Mayor’s Task Force on Transparency, Access and Accountability
Stormwater Management – A Brighter Future, a Necessary Direction
After over a decade of deliberation, Hamilton is poised to introduce a dedicated funding source for its stormwater system. In the previous year, the annual funding shortfall for this critical infrastructure reached a staggering $30 million, placing our homes, natural surroundings, and existing public infrastructure at risk. The chart below illustrates the persistent deficit in our City's investment levels.
Climate change brings heavy rains, and hard surfaces create more stormwater runoff. The neighbourhood of Westdale North has suffered two significant floods in the past decade. Hamilton is playing catch up to cities like London, Kitchener, Toronto, Mississauga and Guelph, which have a separate stormwater charge.
Stormwater is the water generated from rain and melting snow, which flows over surfaces and into storm drains, ditches, creeks, and lakes. The proliferation of impermeable surfaces such as asphalt, concrete, and rooftops prevents the natural absorption of stormwater into the ground. Consequently, the water rushes swiftly into storm drains and sewer systems before reaching our creeks. During this journey, stormwater accumulates contaminants like oils, grit, and plastics. The vast majority of contaminants entering Cootes Paradise come from stormwater and not sewage overflow.
Residential Subsidizing of Big Box Stores and Others
Presently, the City finances a significant portion of its stormwater system from water and wastewater utility rates, alongside property taxes. However, a pressing issue exists in that residential ratepayers (excluding multi-residential units) contribute nearly 50% of water and wastewater revenues, as well as 70% of taxation revenues, despite being responsible for approximately 43% of the stormwater runoff. This results in a situation where residential ratepayers and taxpayers indirectly subsidize the costs of the stormwater system for other sectors, such as institutional, industrial, and commercial entities. For instance, a big box store with its large parking lot and a single-family home are charged by the amount of drinking water consumed, not by the amount of impervious surface and runoff into the public system.
With the new funding model, which will calculate charges based on property type and the average amount of impervious surface, most residents in Ward 1 can anticipate a significant reduction in their water and wastewater bills. These changes are slated to take effect on September 1, 2025.
Asset Management and Provincial Regulations
Asset management is pivotal in determining when a city should reinvest in existing capital assets, such as roads and stormwater pipes. Just like your home, the goal is to avoid letting things go to such an extent that you face huge bills to repair major damage. Simultaneously, it aims to ensure that future generations of residents do not meet enormous bills for repairing deteriorated assets used by the current generation.
All Ontario municipalities must now plan how to take care of their existing assets and put sustainable funding mechanisms in place. As I have noted before, this is a good thing. It will force a public discussion on how our City will tackle its infrastructure deficit. It should enforce financial discipline and extract political accountability. It should also add to calls for a new funding formula from the Provincial and Federal governments for cities and towns.
With a dedicated and more equitable stormwater funding mechanism, Hamilton can adhere to Ontario Regulation 588/17: Asset Management Planning for Municipal Infrastructure.
The City will conduct public consultations during the upcoming autumn season, and subsequent rates will be determined following this process. Furthermore, the City Council will explore the possibility of launching an incentive program to encourage property owners to reduce their stormwater runoff. These developments will be communicated through all Ward 1 information platforms as defined by the City, ensuring widespread awareness and engagement within our community.
Hear the discussion and read more about the stormwater funding review here.
Locke Street Marker Public Art Unveiling
The time has come to unveil the new Locke Street public art. Join the artists on October 28, 2023, at the Southwest corner of Locke St S and Jackson St W.
In 2022, the City of Hamilton completed a public art process to commission a permanent work to be sited on Locke Street South. The volunteer citizen jury selected the work “Haven” by Kyle Thornley as the winning proposal.
Read more about the artwork and the public art process on the project webpage: Locke Street Marker Public Art Project.
Sincere gratitude to the Locke Street Business Improvement Area, who dedicated their gateway funds to the public art project so that the community and its visitors might enjoy a beautiful welcome to the Locke Street area. Note that the BIA is also hosting a trick-or-treat for the kids following the unveiling.
Sterling Street Improvements Video Recap
Sterling Street (King St to Forsyth Ave) 2024 capital works include resurfacing the asphalt roadway along with sidewalk and curb replacements, where identified/required.
With the upcoming capital project on Sterling Street, there are opportunities to incorporate various Complete Street elements, which include:
- addition of buffers and barriers (pre-cast curbs and flex posts) between the motor vehicle lanes and the bicycle lanes
- motor vehicle lane narrowing -improved pedestrian connections and crossings
- Sterling Street and Dalwood Crescent raised intersection
- reduced radii at intersecting streets, where possible
- removal of on-street parking
Potential HSR Transit Service Disruption
The City of Hamilton has prepared contingency plans for potential disruption to transit service as early as Wednesday, October 25, and is asking bus patrons to do the same.
As of Wednesday, October 25, 12:01 am, ATU Local 107 would be in a legal strike position and the City in a legal position to issue a lock-out notice, though neither action is triggered automatically. Although the union did indicate publicly that they would wait until November 5 to meet with their membership, the City believes alerting transit customers to the possibility of disruption as of October 25 is a prudent step as a service disruption would mean transit customers would need to find alternative commuting arrangements.
To prepare the system for a possible disruption, the Hamilton Street Railway will take steps to ensure that all City buses can be returned to service as soon as possible following a possible disruption. The City’s communications staff has also prepared a protocol to provide timely and regular updates to transit riders through the City’s social media channels and at www.hamilton.ca/hsr.
Get Involved in the City of Hamilton's 2024 Budget Process
Members of the public will have a few opportunities over the coming months to provide their perspective on this year’s City of Hamilton budget.
The first public delegation opportunity is scheduled for the Monday, November 6, General Issues Committee (GIC) meeting and will provide an opportunity for community members to speak to priorities in advance of staff presenting the 2024 rate-supported and tax-supported budgets. Requests to speak are due by 12 noon Friday, November 3, 2023. Submit your request via the City's website or email [email protected].
Join the Mayor’s Task Force on Transparency, Access and Accountability
The Task Force is actively recruiting for 3 citizen members to improve trust and transparency between the City and Hamilton residents and diverse communities. The deadline to submit is November 3, 2023 at 4:30 pm. Apply via the committees vacancies page.
- Hamilton Queer Film Festival, October 27, 9:30 - 11:30 PM. Location: The Westdale
The Hamilton Queer Film Festival has partnered with the Hamilton Film Festival to showcase 12 LGBTQ+-themed short films from Canada, the United Kingdom and Spain. "I've always felt that everyone's story deserves to be told," says one of the organizers, Darren Stewart-Jones. "We are thrilled to showcase 12 unique stories from within the LGBTQ community." Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.
- Locke Street Trick or Treat, October 28, 2023, 12:00 - 2:00 PM. Locke St S.
Join the Locke Street Shops this Saturday for trick or treat. Come in costume!
- Spooky WEST Trick or Treat, October 29, 2023, 1:00 - 3:00 PM. Westdale Village
Join the shops of the Westdale Village BIA for spooky tricks and treats! Come in costume!
Earl Kitchener School Annual Fright Night. Saturday, October 28, 2023, 4:30-7:00 PM. Location: 300 Dundurn St S
The annual EK fundraiser transforms the school into a spooky wonderland, where family and friends can dress up in costume and take part in all kinds of Halloween fund and games. Events include a haunted house, spooky snack cafe, freaky photos, sweet treats in the witches' kitchen, cookie decorating, games, and a silent auction.
- Music Feeds the Soul featuring the Southern Ontario Lyric Opera, October 29, 3:00 PM. Location: Westdale United Church, 99 North Oval.
There are multiple projects taking place across the Ward. We have tried to encapsulate the information on a new web page.
Projects in every neighbourhood include park renewal and 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.