The Downtown Secondary Plan outlines a vision of Hamilton’s downtown that is ‘vibrant’ with ‘human scale streetscapes offering comfort’. It also aims to combine heritage with new concepts and designs while linking the Downtown and surrounding neighbourhoods from the Waterfront to the Escarpment. Recent work by City staff resulted in an inventory of heritage buildings that add to the Downtown’s character and liveability. This vision, together with a renewed development interest in tall buildings in Hamilton’s core will, over time, fundamentally change the shape of the Downtown. As part of the current review of the Downtown Secondary Plan, Planning staff at the City of Hamilton identified the need for guidelines surrounding the development of tall buildings within Hamilton’s downtown.
Initiated in 2014, the Downtown Hamilton Tall Buildings Study (the Study) was developed in conjunction with the Secondary Plan Review, and acts as input into the final update of the Secondary Plan. Both documents should be read and used in conjunction with its companion document.The Study establishes a planning framework that will guide where tall buildings are appropriate, provide clarity around how these mitigation strategies are to be evaluated, and include specific design guidance around tall building height, fit and relationship to context.