I am a long-time resident of the North End and I continue to marvel at and appreciate what a great neighbourhood community it is to live in. I love the North End. I even have the t-shirt. I’ve watched the development of Piers 1 through 5, the Waterfront Trail and Bayfront Park. I feel they have added so much to the aesthetics and quality of life in our community.
Since early spring I have enjoyed riding my bike along the newly opened Pier 8 boardwalk connecting to the amenities of the Discovery Center, roller rink and Williams coffeehouse. I’ve even conceded to the fact that the remaining vacant land at Pier 8 will not become green space. I can only hope that the architectural significance and beauty of the proposed multiple eight story buildings with a maximum of 1645 condo units lives up to the hype and I look forward to it. But when the idea of a 45-storey tower was proposed for the site at last year’s North End Neighbourhood Association’s zoom meeting, all I could see was red.

It turns out a few residents of the North End appealed the city’s decision to raise the number of condo units from 1,000 to 1645 to the Ontario Land Tribunal. But the city would not back down on the numbers and this group went in to negotiations with a mediator. The developer agreed to support a 45-story tower in order to reduce density in the multiple eight story condo units.
I feel it is a very weak argument that this will attract more families to the development and specifically to the 45-story tower. I also feel it was beyond the scope of a few residents specifically the appellants Harbour West Neighbours to agree to this surprising settlement. They should have walked away from the idea of a 45-story tower which was never part of the vision for Pier 8.
I feel we live in one of the most geographically beautiful cities in Canada and I don’t see how a 45-storey tower will enhance the waterfront. It would be one of the most offensive features I can imagine, whether viewed from the escarpment, from the water or at the site itself, this ominous tower rising above you.

I realize this proposed tower has its supporters and I would be very interested in what the balance of opinions are pro or con. The only ones I have seen in the Hamilton Spectator’s letters to the editor have been negative. Councillor Jason Farr, in his “Update from the Councillor” column in the April edition of the Breezes, asked residents to ponder this relatively new potential development, the 45-storey tower. He also asked for public feedback on whether the long-planned design for mixed-use, midsize development on Pier 8 could/should be altered to permit high rise(s) on this one block.

I feel the residents of the North End and all Hamiltonians would want to take a long hard look at how this tower will change the look and feel of the North End neighbourhood and the city as a whole. This is not a done deal and another full public consultation meeting will be held by the city in September. I encourage all residents to share your opinion with Jason Farr, Jason.farr@hamilton.ca, the Breezes and with letters to the Editor of the Hamilton Spectator.

There is also a petition against the inclusion of a 45-story tower on Pier 8.

Jeff Glen