I hope everyone is getting out in the neighbourhood to take advantage of the warmer weather and longer daylight hours. I recognize the increased heat, especially due to the impacts of climate change, hits us all differently. Some of our neighbours don’t have access to cooling in their homes, while others, who have been deprived of housing, are forced to contend with the heat unsheltered. It will be a difficult time for some in the North End, and elsewhere in Ward 2. These challenging times will likely lead to increased tensions between neighbours and friends. I get it. The warmer weather is also seen by many as a relief from the rain, cold, and grey of recent months. To that end, I’ve heard from many in the community about rising tensions around North End parks and greenspaces, especially Bayfront Park. What I continue to hear is the encampment protocol, put in place by the City in late summer 2023, has not met the mark for most in our downtown communities, myself included. I advocated for further review of the concerns raised by the community, including those with lived and living experience of homelessness, but that was not supported by the majority of Council. I’m working on trying to find other ways to support our parks and greenspaces, and will hopefully have some news to share soon, including news for a new properly activated greenspace all along Strachan Street.

As I’ve written before, I am working on activating the greenspace, permanently, along Strachan Street in collaboration with City staff and CN Railway and will be having a meeting in July in the North End to get some early feedback about the kinds of amenities everyone wants to see in the future park. I also want to let everyone know that a motion for additional bylaw officers to support events at Pier 4 Park this summer was recently approved and will allow for at least a couple important things – compliance for events where there are noise violations and a direct way to contact bylaw during key events at Pier 4 Park. North End neighbours have made it clear that these are important issues to them. This is a pilot program and we will be tweaking it to make this better in future years.

Some of you have reached out to ask about the sewer work being done in the North End right now. I checked in with City staff and they’ve assured me this is routine proactive work (called sewer lateral lining). This process, without getting into too much detail, extends the life of the City’s sewer assets and allows the City to rehabilitate sanitary service lines without digging up streets and sidewalks. Work on the sewers will continue on Hughson Street, Simcoe Street, Brock Street, Wood Street, James Street, and Wellington Street and the City anticipates it should wrap up before August.

Lastly, if you’re looking for an update about Jamesville, please see the extensive update I provided in the previous edition of the North End Breezes. I continue to be open to hearing your feedback, solutions, and proposals and will pass them along to the developer, City staff, and CityHousing Hamilton. To that point, If you’d like to reach me about this or anything, please email Cameron.Kroetsch@hamilton.ca and copy the Ward 2 Team at Ward2@hamilton.ca. You can also reach us by phone at (905) 546-2197 – though the cybersecurity incident continues to make it difficult, at times, for us to retrieve messages and answer calls. In addition, we’ll be going through some changes in our office over the summer, so bear with us as we realign things. If we’re not available right when you reach out, we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.