In 2017, Hamilton Port Authority announced the start of a two-year process to restore an area at Sherman Inlet that was filled in 2000.  HPA’s Land Use Plan (2017) outlines a commitment to preserve the Inlet as a protected natural space in perpetuity, within the port’s secure perimeter.

Sherman Inlet is one of the last remnants of the original shoreline of Hamilton Harbour; we recognize that it carries cultural as well as environmental significance to the surrounding community. The Inlet is a natural backwater embayment on Hamilton Harbour at Pier 15 that includes a City of Hamilton combined sewer outfall at Burlington St. There is a 15m vegetated buffer of undeveloped land all along the shore of the Inlet. The lands beyond this buffer include a range of existing industrial and commercial employment uses.

Planning work to determine the restoration approach was undertaken in 2017, and we will begin on-site construction this year. It involves:

  • Restoring 650 m2 of filled space to open water (equivalent to the amount of fish habitat filled). The excavation will create a new bottom elevation, to be lined with geomembrane and topped with sand and gravel to protect the liner, and soil to promote growth of marsh plantings.
  • Revegetation of the bank and edge with grasses and wetland plants to prevent erosion and provide habitat. We anticipate marsh plantings to take place in late summer 2018, providing water levels permit. We hope to invite volunteers to plant cattails along the new shoreline at that time.

We understand there is long-standing interest in public access; this is not possible within the Inlet due to the security requirements that apply to ports. However, with this desire in mind, the Port Authority has constructed a publicly-accessible lookout platform on Pier 15 (near Hillyard St.), with direct views of Hamilton Harbour. Future opportunities to enhance the public spaces on port lands include a portion of the green space adjacent to Sherman Inlet near Burlington St., and at Fisherman’s Pier near the shipping canal.

For more information about current projects underway at the port, visit our website at, under ‘Port Facts’.