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It comes down to families and children being able to live there and how that will influence the integration of the pier with the surrounding community.

Common Pier 8 Tower Proposal Misconceptions:

1. The tower will increase traffic and density

Answer: the tower would not change the total number of units on pier 8, it would only shift some of them to the tall building allowing for less dense development, including family sized town houses, on other parts of the pier

2. The tower will set a precedent of building height ​

Answer: the tower proposal only affects the one block on the pier and is bound by a legal settlement agreement focused on family units. The Marina Towers close by have been around for years without setting precedents. We continue to work on issues like overbuilding height in various developments in other parts of the neighbourhood not associated with this settlement compromise

 How did we get here?

  • In 2006 residents negotiated a settlement with the city for family-sized housing on the pier

  • Residents negotiated with the city for family sized units on Pier 8 in 2006

  • The city then eliminated the possibility of family sized units by doubling the number of homes to be built on the pier within the same size and height constraints as previously approved. (Why? Increasing the number of units increased the value of the land for development and improved the city's long-term property tax potential)

  • Residents appealed the change to a provincial tribunal in an effort to restore the inclusion of multi-bedroom units on the pier

  • A compromise was reached between the city, the developer, and members of the community to require and make space  for family-sized units on the pier without reducing the total number approved to be built.

What is the compromise? 

Allowing a single 45-storey tower that condenses a large portion of the approved units within a single development block thereby allowing lower density and space for larger multi-bedroom units throughout the rest of the pier. 

Why is this being debated now?

The compromise only takes effect if city council approves the 45-storey tower. Otherwise, the development will continue as planned with exclusively 1-bedroom units throughout the entire development. 

What can you do?

If you think pier 8 should be built as an integral part of the surrounding community and is an opportunity to provide life to the neighbourhood and schools of the North End of Hamilton, please take a few minutes to email: with the reference line “Re 65 Guise Street East” stating that you support the position of the North End Neighbourhood Association and the tall signature tower proposal. 


More Information & Key Concerns:

NENa has worked through this issue carefully over a number of months. Below  are some highlights that may clarify key questions about the proposal:

  1. The 45 Storey building will take units from the rest of Pier 8.  This will decrease density on Pier 8 because the total number of units will not change.  Current approval 1600.  Units after approval of the tall building: 1600.  That was essential to the settlement.

  2. Because the total number of units on Pier 8 will not change, there will be no increase in traffic or in parking.

  3. The decrease in density on Pier 8 resulting from moving density into a 45 storey building will add a large number of family units to the development.  The City changed the rules in 2014 to create a largely one bedroom development.  Residents attached to NENa appealed.  That change virtually excluded children from the Pier.  Kids are important.  They will link families on both sides of Guise Street.  This is a critical and very important change in the development.  We are Hamilton's child and family friendly neighbourhood and Pier 8 must not become an isolated area with no connection to the rest if the neighbourhood.  Residents of Pier 8 have to drive through our neighbourhood every day.  They should see the neighbourhood as their neighbourhood.  Family units will make that happen.

  4. The reduction in density on the rest of the Pier means the developer can reduce the density on Guise Street improving the views and intensity for the people who live there.

  5. The city owns Pier 8 and has contracted with the developer that no further tall buildings can be built.  The 8 storey limit remains for everything except the one building.  There can be no precedent from approval of the building.

  6. Not everyone will agree on what is beautiful, but this project is undergoing the most rigorous design process of any building in Hamilton.  We have with a commitment from the builder and the architect that the building will have a good feeling to its neighbours.  The City is working hard to ensure that happens.  We could end up with a landmark building that is unique in the City and something we will enjoy as a signature building for the waterfront.   This is remarkably different from the mistakes made on Toronto's waterfront.

  7. After months of research and discussion at two public NENa meetings the association made a recommendation that such a building be approved subject to a variety of conditions relating to how it integrates with its neighbours.

Please click the link below to access a letter detailing the proposal's historical. If you have any questions please contact our Traffic and Planning Committee. 

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