Within the past decade, the Port of Hamilton has undergone a period of unprecedented growth, from 400 acres in 1990, to approximately 630 acres today. Hamilton’s port lands are occupied by strategic tenants who derive value from the port’s multimodal transportation mix. If there is a downside to this success, it is that the demand for developable land has begun to far outstrip the supply.
To meet this challenge, HPA is pursuing several strategies, including adding new lands to its portfolio, as it did with the 2015 purchase of a new warehouse and manufacturing complex. And of course, HPA will be seeking to use all of its space as efficiently as possible, by making strategic reinvestments. Port staff have begun looking at areas of the port where the realignment of rail and roadways and removal of obsolete structures could potentially create new development parcels with improved multimodal access.
Like other urban ports, the Port of Hamilton is an industrial employment zone surrounded by a mix of commercial, recreational and residential uses. “Our aim is to help port users thrive, while ensuring our community prospers,” says Ian Hamilton, HPA’s President & CEO. “By embedding sustainable thinking in everything we do, we can continue to grow and meet our economic mandate with the support of our stakeholders.”
All Canadian Port Authorities are required to maintain an up-to-date Land Use Plan in order to guide development decisions. HPA recently undertook a review of its Plan, viewing the update as an opportunity to conduct a thorough check-in with its community stakeholders, and to have an open conversation about the vision for the City’s industrial waterfront. More than 225 individuals and agencies participated in the Land Use Plan consultations, contributing many creative and constructive ideas.
The Land Use Plan update process has been the catalyst for a number of good-neighbour initiatives, such as a publicly-accessible lookout where visitors can enjoy a view of Hamilton’s fascinating working waterfront; a set of greening initiatives to soften the edges of the port lands; and an air quality monitoring pilot project to help identify and address dust issues proactively.
“Hamilton has been a proud port city for more than a century. To ensure that sense of pride continues, we must offer a compelling vision of a vibrant future Hamilton that includes a thriving port,” says Ian Hamilton.