2020 was a record year for development in Hamilton; big plans in store for 2021


The City of Hamilton reached new heights in terms of development last year.

Tuesday (Jan. 26), Hamilton’s Planning and Economic Development presented its budget for 2021 to Council, as well as highlights from 2020.

Among those highlights was a record year for non-residential development, industrial, and commercial development in the city, which exceeded over $1-billion worth of construction for the 10th time in the last 11 years.

Hamilton saw a “near record-setting” $228-million in new industrial construction, as well as residential construction of nearly 2,486 units in 2020.

Jason Thorne, General Manager of the Planning and Economic Development department, also touted the launch of the Outdoor Dining Districts program to support the culinary scene in Hamilton during the pandemic. Throughout the summer into the fall of 2020, 163 patios were approved across the city for outdoor dining.

The department has ambitious initiatives for 2021, including climate change mitigation, new cycling facilities, and the construction of Copps’ Pier (Pier 8 promenade) in Hamilton’s West Harbour.

The preliminary Planning and Economic Development operating budget request represents an increase of 1.7 per cent or $514,720 from 2020.

The identity crisis often faced by Hamilton has been written about extensively on this site.

Hamilton has gone through a transformation over the last decade or so, mostly out of necessity, but the city’s identity still feels like it’s caught between a paintbrush and a hardhat,” wrote Inthehammer.com on Dec. 14, 2020.

Cities evolve over time,” wrote Thorne on Twitter in Dec. of 2020. “And it’s not just random.”

A city’s evolution is guided by its DNA, made up of its policies, bylaws, regs, standards, etc. It takes time, but when you change the DNA you change a city.”

Thorne then detailed, in tweets, the City’s plans for 2021; aimed at altering parts of Hamilton’s DNA and triggering its evolution:

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