City Building

Hamilton City Building Action Campaign

Storefronts along James Street North in Hamilton.

The City of Hamilton is at an exciting point in its evolution. There is a spirit of optimism and action stemming from mobilized and engaged communities, a growing and diversified economy, shifting demographics and abundant civic pride in the City’s rich built and natural heritage; however, like many mid-sized cities it also faces some challenges..

A night view of an intersection at the entrance to downtown Hamilton.To help accelerate the dynamic urban revitalization and cultural renaissance that is underway, Evergreen CityWorks along with our partners planningAlliance, the Hamilton Community Foundation and the City of Hamilton, are collaborating on the Hamilton City Building Action Campaign.

This campaign is a multi-year initiative that works with the community in shaping the city’s future, connects plans and policies while also catalyzing on-the-ground results.

Elements of the Hamilton City Building Action Campaign

Outreach, Engagement & Collaboration

We believe that transformative change can happen when a diversity of residents and stakeholders are engaged around new ideas, in ways that are relevant to them.

Priority Scanning & Mapping the City

To inform the Hamilton City Building Action Campaign and to help identify barriers to innovation and action, we conducted a series of meetings with non-profit organizations, community groups, academic institutions, city staff, residents and the business community. What we learned is that there’s an overwhelming consensus across the city to focus on tangible actions and specific urban interventions.

A planning map of Hamilton.

West Harbour Community Engagement Strategy

We are working with the City of Hamilton, Lura Consulting, local community groups and organizations, and West Harbour residents and stakeholders to explore new ways of engaging the community in conversations and decisions about the future of their neighbourhood. By focusing on the West Harbour community, we are collectively identifying ideas and tools for improved communication between residents and City of Hamilton staff, which will also help inform future engagement in other parts of the city.

Next Generation City Builders – Imagine My Sustainable Hamilton (IMSH)

This collaborative project involves engaging more than 15 schools across the City of Hamilton in a four-day intensive program that brings ecological awareness and city building into Grade 7 classrooms. In partnership with the art collective No 9., the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) and local architects and artists, Next Generation City Builders has students map their neighbourhood and build 3D models that express their vision for the future.

Community Capacity Building & Action

Through research, design, and collaboration, we can move great ideas to action:

100 in 1 Day Hamilton

In June 2015 Hamilton joined Toronto, Vancouver, and Halifax in animating our cities as part of a 100 in 1 Day, a growing global movement that saw more than 450 community-led interventions taking place on one day across Canada. 100 in 1 Day aims to empower residents to create the change they want to see in Hamilton by providing a platform for short-term initiatives.

For more information and to see some of the activities that took place across Hamilton, visit hamilton.100in1day.ca.

Training & Capacity Building Workshops

These workshops begin with a simple question posed to community groups, non-profit organizations and service providers: “What are the challenges preventing you from achieving your goals?” Based on the feedback we hear, we work with local community leaders who have expertise on the topics identified in order to build community capacity in areas such as volunteer engagement, strategic planning and new funding approaches.

To stay informed and to provide your input into the development of the next workshop, please complete the quick survey found here.

Community Driven Catalyst Projects

Recognizing the important role that grass-roots initiatives play in city building by physically transforming neighborhoods and engaging diverse communities, we also focus on supporting and enabling priority projects under way.

To date we have helped to support a variety of initiatives in Hamilton, including:

  • A series of projects through our Green Grants program:
    -Environment Hamilton’s Pollinator Paradise program
    -Hamilton Sustainable Victory Gardens’ expansions
    -North Hamilton Community Health Centre’s Grub Club program
    -Earth Day Hamilton-Burlington annual tree festival at Churchill Park
  • Supporting the development of the community-led Sunset Cultural Garden located at Bay and Strachan street 
  • Convening a community art pilot project with the Social Planning and Research Council, ArtForms Youth Art Studio, and the City of Hamilton’s Neighbourhood Action Strategy that involves the broader community in beautifying traffic control boxes along James Street North
  • Partnering with Hamilton Naturalists and Canon Canada on a tree planning event at McMaster University
  • Delivering the We Are Cities Community Innovation Grants. For more information about the We Are Cities initiative, please navigate here
  • Developing a partnership with the Hamilton Wentworth District school Board through Evergreen's Childrens' Program

294 James Street North A Collaboration Station and Community Hub for Engagement

To help identify and accelerate the desired changes in Hamilton, we have transformed an under-utilized storefront into a dynamic hub for neighborhood consultations, community meetings, events and cultural uses identified by the community. The purpose of the storefront is to connect, enhance and support the diversity of people that lead, inform and contribute to public engagement in and around the West Harbour.

We think that this can be achieved by testing new models of engagement on key city issues and planning initiatives underway. We are working with CoBALT Connects to transform the space and will be utilizing a diversity of tools to involve the community in the animation and programming of the hub.

Get Involved

If you would like to know more or find out how you can participate, please contact Jay Carter at jcarter@evergreencityworks.ca.

People enjoying lunch at Sarcoa Restaurant on Hamilton's waterfront.