Mind How You GROW

*NEW* - CLICK HERE to read the hard-hitting letter sent to Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing by the provincially appointed Greenbelt Council.  

Growing and protecting Ontario’s Greenbelt is critically important for current and future residents of the Greater Golden Horseshoe, but a resilient Greenbelt is not possible without effective urban growth management.  This initiative is focused on helping Hamiltonians to understand the essential need to meet the goals of the provincial Growth Plan in order to make the Greenbelt resilient.  Hamilton’s urban core is undergoing transformative change through intensification while, at the same time, the city is pursuing a massive urban boundary expansion (900-1000 ha) into rural ‘whitebelt’ lands in Elfrida that include prime agricultural land.   Given these extremes, it is urgent that community members become more informed and engaged in dialogue about how Hamilton is evolving and growing.   Municipal planning consultations do not help community understand the dynamic interconnections between effective urban growth management and a resilient Greenbelt system.  This situation is exacerbated by a lack of public awareness of municipal strategy or progress with meeting growth plan targets. 

Mind How You GROW will raise awareness and understanding through information sharing, public forums and workshops, and community hikes and tours  – all to help community understand the critical connections between planning for Greenbelt resilience and effective urban growth management, and to encourage community action to get us there.

Planning for Climate Resilience - Working Group Resources

On Thursday, August 8th we had the first meeting of our 'Planning for Climate Resilience' Working Group. We talked with community members about helping Hamilton build sustainable urban, suburban and rural communities through exercising the right to speak at 'Statutory Public Meetings' under the provincial Planning Act. Statutory Public Meetings take place within the regularly scheduled meetings of the City of Hamilton's Planning Committee whenever a development proposal requires an official plan or zoning by-law amendment.
All of this may sound really intimidating, but it's not. Voicing your opinion about planning proposals can have an impact on planning decision outcomes and encourage city officials to pay more attention to how municipal decision making can help or hinder efforts to address the climate emergency.
Here are some questions and issues that you may want to consider when delegating:


How will this development contribute to building a transit-oriented community?

Click here to learn more about building transit-oriented communities.

Is walking and cycling infrastructure being considered in this development?

Click here to learn more about the importance of cycling infrastructure for everyone (not just cyclists).


Are net-zero construction methods being used in this development?

Click here to learn more about net-zero homes.

Click here for an example of a net-zero home in Milton, Ontario.

Are houses and streets in new developments being built to accommodate solar panels in the future?

Click here to learn about the factors that determine the effectiveness of solar panels.

Does the housing electricity supply have sufficient capacity for an electric car charger and is it roughed into the design?

Click here to learn more about what electricity capacity is necessary for electric vehicles.

Green Infrastructure and Natural Spaces

Is the development using Low-Impact Development (LID) techniques to mitigate stormwater run-off?

Click here to learn more about LID.

Click here to see some examples of LID in Hamilton.

Is tree coverage affected?

Click here to learn more about the many benefits of an urban forest.

Click here to learn more about Hamilton's urban forest strategy.

Will this apply pressure to adjacent farmland?

Click here to learn about how urban sprawl is affecting Ontario's farmland.

Click here for an example of how urban sprawl has affected adjacent farms in Illinois, US.


How does this affect density targets?

Click here for an overview of GRIDS 2 - which shows Hamilton's intensification targets and whether they are being achieved.

How much new infrastructure funded by the City is needed?

Click here to learn about the financial costs of greenfield development.

People's Plan for Hamilton - The Future of Hamilton

We are pleased to be a core participant in an important effort that is being called People's Plan for Hamilton.   A core group of community stakeholders from a mix of sectors (environment, arts, housing/tenant advocates, neighbourhood activists) is currently reaching out to a long list of community stakeholders to engage people in a movement that aims to build a city where every Hamiltonian’s needs for secure and affordable housing, income, food, transit, education, recreation, and community are met and our local environment is protected.  It's a lofty goal but one that we believe is achievable with collective efforts to make it so.  Stay tuned for more information on this effort - including community meetings that are currently being planned for April/May of this year. 

Stay tuned for details on workshops, forums and events being offered as part of this initiative!  Email Lynda at [email protected] to be added to the project mailing list.

Current Events & Opportunities:

None at the moment.

Past Events & Opportunities: 

Our hike happening on July 9th is now FULL!  Please stay tuned for future opportunities to learn more about good green infrastructure.  



Mind how you GROW? The City of Hamilton is consulting the public on a number of key planning initiatives. First, the city is seeking our input on a long term growth plan for Hamilton. Second, the city seems to be forging ahead with a plan for a massive urban boundary expansion in Upper Stoney Creek. We all need to be paying close attention to this plan and sharing our opinions on whether it makes sense for our city!

The first public session is happening on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13th in Downtown Hamilton. Details are provided in the poster below!


Past Project Events:


On October 13th, EH's Lynda Lukasik and the Hamilton Tenant Solidarity Network's Emily Power led a hike along the Escarpment Rail Trail from Corktown Park.  The hike included lots of stops along the way to discuss everything from effective urban growth planning - including 'gentle density' like laneway house, building inclusive urban neighbourhoods that include eco-friendly and affordable housing options, and improving urban quality of life. 

IMG_0018.JPG                           Happy hikers who joined us to walk and talk about important urban/rural issues