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Councillor Wilson's Annual Letter to Residents

  • Maureens' Annual Letter to Residents
  • Join Councillor Wilson for the First Ward 1 Q&A Session of 2024!
  • Hamilton's Winter Response Strategies for Unsheltered Residents
  • Strathcona and Kirkendall Complete Safe Streets Study Kick-Off
  • Next Phase in the Churchill Park Master Plan
  • Make your home future-ready with the Better Homes Hamilton Program
  • Call to Upload Urban Parkways to Province
  • Victoria Park Tennis Court Replacement
  • Immerse Yourself In Our Local Geological Wonders
  • Hamilton Outdoor Winter Recreation
  • Hamilton Public Library Hour
  • Events

At the start of each December, I reread Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol”. It’s a tradition I started since I first purchased a used copy in my early 20s. When the days grow dark and cold, Dicken’s masterpiece offers me light and warmth.

Dicken’s messages are universal and ones we can carry throughout the year, regardless of our culture, creed, or religion. Kindness is a community’s most valuable currency, and a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

For the past few years, we have seen some fraying of the chain that links together our community. Visible poverty, substance use and mental illness in shared public spaces have evoked different feelings. Many residents feel saddened and unsafe. Others have been angry and worry about what the future will bring, feeling nostalgic for days gone by.

The combined crush of a lack of affordable homes, along with opioid and mental health issues, has left the most vulnerable in our city exposed to the elements, anger, and empathy.

I’ve written several times about these conditions and our housing system. These letters are available here:

The City of Hamilton is spending 33% more on housing services than the federal and provincial governments combined despite access to fewer resources. It is a top priority for a new City Council.

Hamilton adopted a new Housing Sustainability Investment Roadmap which sets out a deliberate path aimed at shifting the city’s response from primarily emergency to permanent housing solutions. Our community needs the federal and provincial governments to join us at the table with real investments to address this unfolding crisis.

The City has also approved a basket of measures aimed at stabilizing existing affordable rental units to ensure that residents can remain housed. Organized tenants from across Hamilton led the way in helping define a path forward. These measures will put Hamilton on the leading edge of tenant protection.

With a new City Council came a new CityHousing Hamilton board, which moved decisively with a plan to repair 476 sitting vacant units due to their condition. Returning already built units into the housing system is a fiscally prudent and expedient way to increase affordable housing supply within existing neighbourhoods.

In record numbers, Hamiltonians defined a clear vision for our city’s future in the “Stop Sprawl” movement. Success has come with the renewed protection of Green Belt lands and a firm urban boundary, which will ultimately mean a more financially and environmentally sustainable and inclusive Hamilton.

The new Hamilton City Council has adopted a more strategic approach to how it manages and funds core assets like roads, bridges and our water, wastewater and stormwater systems. These critical assets have been underfunded over many decades, and the compounded impact of these choices is evident to all. We must stay the course and be disciplined to catch up and rebuild these core assets over the next 10 years.

A biodiversity action plan, an urban forestry strategy, an accelerated cycling master plan, a long overdue stormwater management funding strategy, continued investment in public transit, e-bikes and safe street measures will make for a more resilient and just Hamilton. Hamilton’s Climate Plan is action-oriented and already delivering the investments we will need with the changes brought by a climate crisis.

The priorities of Ward 1 investments over the past five years have been in reinvigorating our public spaces where children can play and learn how to negotiate shared space with others. Parks, playgrounds, and ribbons of greenspace offer residents of all ages an opportunity to visit with friends and neighbours. COVID-19 shone a light on the negative effects of social isolation and the importance of shared public spaces in bringing us together.

In Dickens's Christmas Carol, Jacob Marley delivers these words to Scrooge. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business.” So it is with us. At this time of year and all days of the year, let us unite as neighbours, forge new bonds, and help each other with kindness, empathy, and open hearts in our continuous efforts to strengthen our community.





Join Councillor Wilson for the First Ward 1 Q&A Session of 2024!

Maureen is excited to host a series of engaging Q&A events throughout the upcoming year and cordially invites your active participation.

Our January session will be held via the convenient online Zoom platform. As we move ahead, we're looking forward to transitioning these gatherings to in-person meetings.

To stay updated on upcoming meetings and to be part of the conversation, make sure to sign up for the Ward 1 newsletter at

📅 January 18, 2023 🕖 7:00 PM 🔗 Register at

Join us for an insightful discussion and an opportunity to engage directly with the Councillor!

Hamilton's Winter Response Strategies for Unsheltered Residents

The City of Hamilton, in collaboration with community partners, has launched an inclusive Winter Response Strategy to address the critical needs of individuals experiencing homelessness during the colder months.

Effective from December 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024, this program marks a significant departure from the City’s previous reliance on the Cold Alert system. The services provided as part of this strategy will be available consistently throughout this period, irrespective of outdoor temperatures.

This initiative sets a new benchmark for winter response services, surpassing previous offerings, with a primary goal of delivering a more effective response to the community's needs, particularly for those who are unhoused.

Here are the key measures included in the Winter Response Program:

  • Warming Bus, 
  • Recreation Centres with extended hours on Statutory holidays
  • HPL Central Branch  with additional operating hours on Statutory holidays
  • 24-hour operational washrooms
  • Daytime and overnight drop-in & overnight warming spaces
  • Emergency shelter beds.

These measures aim to provide some measure of protection and safety throughout the winter season for individuals facing homelessness.

More information is available through the City's website

Call to Upload Urban Parkways to Province

Hamilton City Council unanimously endorsed Councillor Wilson's motion calling for the Government of Ontario to assume full responsibility for the Linc and Red Hill Creek Parkways. The Parkways connect to existing Provincial highways and service commercial and personal vehicular traffic travelling across Ontario.

The uploading of the Parkways comes at a time when cities and towns across Ontario are raising the alarm with the devasting financial impact of provincial downloading on local property taxpayers. The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), representing 444 municipalities across Ontario and the Ontario Big City Mayors, are calling on the Ford Government to address the widening fiscal gap between what municipalities have to build and operate and the limited revenue sources available to them.

In 1997, former Conservative Premier Mike Harris downloaded provincial social housing, ambulatory services and hundreds of kilometres of provincial roadways onto municipalities. Hamilton has yet to recover from this massive financial shift. More recently, Premier Doug Ford downloaded additional costs onto local property taxes, primarily associated with infrastructure serving housing development needs.

Premier Ford agreed to assume the costs of operating and maintaining the Gardener Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway, effectively lifting millions of dollars from Toronto property taxpayers. Hamilton taxpayers deserve the same consideration

Victoria Park Tennis Court Replacement

Recently, the councillor moved a motion to facilitate the long-overdue replacement of the three tennis courts and the practice pad at Victoria Park. These free municipal courts have served our community remarkably but have reached the end of their lifespan.

Anticipate the installation of the replacements to take place in the upcoming spring season.

Strathcona and Kirkendall Complete Safe Streets Study Kick-Off

The City of Hamilton, in response to concerns from the residents of the Strathcona and Kirkendall Neighbourhoods, has engaged Dillon Consulting Limited to create a Complete Streets Safety Report Strathcona and Kirkendall Neighbourhoods. This initiative, to further progress being made through Hamilton’s Strategic Road Safety Program and Vision Zero Action Plan, aims to develop tailored solutions that can reduce traffic speeds, improve public spaces, and improve safety for all road users of all ages and abilities.

The study will concentrate on residential and collector streets within the area bounded by Queen Street, Highway 403, the mountain escarpment, and the CN rail line north of Barton Street E.

Last week the City staff launched the public portion of the study. In-person interactive meetings were held for each community.  Attendees were provided an overview of the study area, highlighting current transportation challenges and opportunities and offering a platform for them to express their concerns about traffic safety. A narrated presentation is also available for those who were unable to attend the public meeting. 

The study will take place over the course of the next year. Residents are encouraged to identify issues through an online mapping tool which will be available by the end of this week at

For those in Ainslie Wood and Westdale who are wondering about their communities, please note traffic studies took place in 2019.  Reports are available for Ainslie Wood and Westdale.

Next Phase in the Churchill Park Master Plan

On November 30th, City staff presented the next phase of a multi-phased master plan implementation at Churchill Park at an in-person meeting held in the Churchill Clubhouse.  

The third phase of work involves:

  • Asphalt walkway from the playground to Cline Ave. N. 
  • Informal teaching area south of the playground.
  • Gravel walkway from Cline Ave. N. and Marion Ave. N. intersection to the Ravine Rd. Trailhead.
  • Walkway, accessible ramps, and landscaping improvements at the Parkside Dr. field house.
  • Re-installation of the stairway in the northwest side of Parkside Dr. and Kipling Rd.

In addition, the City requests your feedback on choosing a preferred design for the informal teaching area south of the playground. The survey is open until January 12, 2023, and available through\churchillpark

For those who were unable to attend the meeting, a narrated presentation has been loaded onto the City’s YouTube channel.

Make your home future-ready with the Better Homes Hamilton Program

Would you like to enjoy a more comfortable and energy-efficient home while taking action to address climate change? Make your home future-ready with the City of Hamilton’s Better Homes Hamilton!

The Better Homes Hamilton program aims to provide low-interest fixed-rate loans of up to $20,000 to eligible homeowners to improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and live more comfortably. This pilot program is currently limited to 50 participants and is open until February 1, 2024, or until fully subscribed.

Participating homeowners can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of their homes through the eligible retrofits, including improving the building envelope performance through insulation and air sealing, installing Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) and smart thermostats, as well as infrastructure upgrades to electrical panels and ductwork, if required for ASHP installation.

The loans will be repaid via property tax bills and there is a special 0% interest rate being offered during the pilot phase. Better Homes Hamilton provides access to free program coaching services, including information regarding other grant and rebate programs.

To learn more about the Better Homes Hamilton program, visit: Better Homes Hamilton Program | City of Hamilton

Immerse Yourself In Our Local Geological Wonders

Did you catch the recent Spectator article spotlighting two exceptional McMaster students? These bright minds dedicated a year to meticulously mapping a four-kilometre stretch of Cootes Paradise. Their valuable data has been added to the GeoTrails site, hosted by the not-for-profit organization, GeoScienceINFO.

The GeoTrails project aims to document the geological history along various points of the Bruce Trail, and we're thrilled that Ward 1 features prominently in several of these highlighted spots. Alongside Cootes Paradise, you'll find the Chedoke Radial Trail and even the nearby Iroquois Falls (Ward 1 adjacent!) among these fascinating points of interest.

Hamilton Outdoor Winter Recreation

The City of Hamilton is inviting residents to embrace the winter season and stay active by enjoying a variety of seasonal outdoor activities.

City-Operated Outdoor Ice Rinks: Free drop-in skating is available daily until 10 p.m. at Serafini Family Ice Pad at Bernie Morelli Recreation Centre, Dundas Driving Park, Freelton Community Park, and Waterdown Memorial Park, weather permitting. These rinks are maintained by the City of Hamilton Recreation Division staff. For information on opening dates and schedules, visit

Community Outdoor Ice Rinks: For a more intimate skating experience, community volunteers will start building rinks in City parks from December 12 onwards, weather permitting. These rinks, operated by dedicated community members, will be open until 11 p.m. daily, weather permitting. Stay updated on the available rinks via

Drop-In Skating Programs: Skating enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels can participate in drop-in skating programs at various City arenas. Check out schedules and program times at Admission fee details are available at

Winter Golf and Disc Golf: Golf aficionados can continue their passion through the winter months at Chedoke Golf Club - Martin Course (November 22, 2023 - March 10, 2024). Disc golf enthusiasts can challenge themselves at King’s Forest Golf Club (December 1, 2023 - March 17, 2024). Both activities are weather-dependent, and operational status will be determined daily.

For winter golf tee time bookings, call 905-521-3970. The fee is $25 plus HST per player, and it is walking only (no carts). Disc golf enthusiasts can secure their spot by calling 905-546-4781. Fees are $6 plus HST for 18 holes, $10 plus HST for a full day, and seasonal memberships are available for $100 plus HST.

More Frosty Fun

Explore the scenic 2.5 km winter walking trail at King’s Forest Golf Club. The club also offers an equipment lending program that includes Nordic walking poles and snowshoes, available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For thrill-seekers, permitted tobogganing hills are open at Chedoke Golf Club, Dundas Driving Park, Garth and Stone Church Reservoir, King’s Forest Golf Course, and Waterdown Memorial Park.

Make this winter memorable by engaging in these exciting outdoor activities. For more details and updates, visit

Hamilton Public Library Hour

All HPL Branches are closed December 24-26, December 31, and January 1, 2024; the Bookmobile is off the road, and Extended Access and Study Hall services are unavailable.

Holiday Branch and Bookmobile hours run from December 27-30. Regular service hours resume January 2, 2024.

Please Note: Central Library will serve as a Warm Place on December 25, 26 and January 1, 2024, from 1-5 pm.

And finally,

City Hall will be closed from December 27-31, 2023. For emergencies involving roads, water mains, sewer systems, public health and safety issues, please call 905-546-2489 (CITY). Staff will triage your call appropriately.


  • 12th Annual Westdale Living Advent Calendar. December 1-24, 2023. Various Locations Official Facebook Site or alternative listing 

    Join us for our 12th annual Westdale Living Advent Calendar! Each day in December, a decorated window will be revealed in homes around the neighbourhood. Community members are invited to take a stroll and enjoy the sights! 

  • Strathcona Living Advent Calendar. Dec 1-24, 2023. Various Locations: Official Site or alternative listing

    Please enjoy an uplifting daily walk in our neighbourhood this December! Follow Strathcona's Living Advent Calendar. Note some locations will be accepting donations on behalf of the Strathcona Pantry.

  • Kirkendall Winter Window Walk. Various dates and locations.  Link

  • Shop Local! The Locke Street Shops and Westdale Village have FREE parking until December 24th

  • Save the Date for the Strathcona Community Council AGM. January 25, 2024, 7:00 PM Online. More details to come.

Ward 1 Infrastructure Updates

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. 

Greener Ward 1

Let's do our part in Ward 1 to create healthy, biodiverse neighbourhoods for all living things!

Signup for the Ward 1 Newsletter email

Follow along for timely Ward 1 Updates via       

Let's do our part in Ward 1 to create healthy, biodiverse neighbourhoods for all living things! Check out Greener Ward 1!

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.