by Annabel Krupp

Last month an exciting development occurred with the public unveiling of six submissions for Pier 8 Promenade Park.   This is the 30 metre strip of land along the north and east edges of Pier 8 and will be Hamilton’s newest area that locals and visitors will come to for lakeside recreation and entertainment.  Six design teams from all over North America created proposals for the public space and unveiled them at a public meeting on August 24th.  The plans were then displayed at the Lister Block on James Street and Evergreen Hamilton on James Street.  The public had until September 10th to provide comments.  The six plans varied in their design.  “Hamilton: Hammer City” by design team Forrec Ltd. showcased Hamilton’s industrial heritage, while “View Hamilton: Past, Present and Future” by design team Hargreaves Associates offered green space and trees. Other designs included elements such as pavilions, bridges, and green roofs.

Now that the public has had a chance to weigh-in, the decision is in the hands of a volunteer jury of experts.  They will select the winning design based on criteria that includes design excellence, innovation, response to the vision and goals of the park, and community opinions.  We can expect to have heard which design has won the competition by the time this paper is published.

In the city’s effort to develop Pier 8 into a vibrant urban waterfront neighbourhood to be enjoyed by all residents of Hamilton the city provided clear objectives to the design teams.   Important in the design was that it be safe and accessible year-round, allows for flexible uses over time, is well connected to existing neighbourhoods, includes sustainable plants and features, and celebrates our local waterfront heritage.  Design teams were instructed to keep the budget to under $6.5 million.

As the plan moves forward there are a few things you can expect to be included in the final design.  Bike parking, green planted areas, informal and formal gathering spaces, and public art will be highlights of the new park.  Most importantly, the waterfront will continue to be a multi-use trail with excellent views of the water for everyone to enjoy. Construction is expected to start in spring of 2018.