Plan to “re-imagine” Hamilton’s waterfront taking shape with ‘Steelport’

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Published February 23, 2024 at 9:32 pm

Hamilton’s historic industrial waterfront is about to get a dramatic makeover.

Slate Asset Management, which acquired 800 acres of steel-making giant Stelco’s lands in 2022, has submitted a Draft Plan of Subdivision to the City of Hamilton, promising to “revitalize” the waterfront and generate an estimated $3.8 billion in economic value and 23,000 jobs across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

Slate unveiled new details and renderings for the ‘Steelport’ industrial park that will connect rail, road, and water and turn a heavily industrialized neighbourhood into a massive business park with recreational and cultural space that can be used by the entire community.

“The submission of this plan is an exciting milestone in Steelport’s development process,” said Slate senior Vice-President Steven Dejonckheere. “This lays out an ambitious vision that will not only re-imagine the lands and contribute to Hamilton’s economy through job creation and increased industry, but also promote connectivity among residents by adding communal public spaces, greenery, and facilitating increased connection to the waterfront. We look forward to collaborating with our private sector partners and all levels of government to realize the full potential of this city-building project and make Steelport a place that all Hamiltonians can enjoy.”

 

The scope of the project – at 800 acres it is the size of New York’s Central Park and contains 3.4 kilometres of Lake Ontario shoreline – is substantial, with Steelport being billed as an “inventive reimagining” of an urban waterfront, giving access and opportunity back to people.

The plan includes the potential for more than 90 acres of diverse landscapes, which would offer the public increased access to nature and the waterfront. The developer also promises to work with the City to create more than 60 acres of integrated trails, pathways and pedestrian/public space that bring industry together with green active transportation corridors, including a four-kilometre Steelport Loop trail that meanders through the community hubs planned for the site.

Also included are proposals to retain some of the property’s most impressive and historic industrial infrastructure at the Pipe Gallery, designed to take on a ‘main street’ feel with future opportunities to create spaces for small scale start-ups, creators, and entrepreneurs and retail amenities for visitors and workers alike. Another zone, known as the Battery, is envisioned as a hub for the creative production industry and celebrations of cultural heritage.

Also on the wish list is Lagoonscape, a regenerated biodiverse landscape that doubles as stormwater management infrastructure and would open access to new areas of the historic harbour, previously inaccessible to the public for more than a century.

The submission of the plan also initiates formal community consultation where members of the public are invited to share their feedback and ideas. This detailed look at Slate’s vision for Steelport is the first of many coming opportunities that Hamiltonians will have to shape the project.

“We intend for Steelport to be a true reflection of the Hamilton community, and an economic and cultural cornerstone of the Hamilton region for decades to come, which is why Hamiltonians’ input at every stage of this project will be integral to its success,” said Dejonckheere.

The Slate executive also called the project a “long-term investment” in sustainable economic prosperity in Hamilton.

As part of its community engagement efforts, the company has launched thesteelport.com/engagement on the Steelport website where residents can provide feedback and sign up for updates.

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