Hamilton Economic Development

Future is Bright Indeed

Yesterday (Thursday, November 1st), The Business Link Newspaper of Hamilton/Halton honoured the top 40 under 40 in this region.  From real estate developers to accountants, to health care professionals, the awards honoured the full gamut of talented young professionals in the area.

But, clearly with the economic successes that the City of Hamilton is enjoying there are many, many more than just 40 individuals making a difference in Hamilton and adding to its economic progress.  There are a number of great young professional groups representing hundreds of Hamilton’s top young professionals and entrepreneurs and these groups can all be found via the city’s pre-eminent young professional network – the Hamilton Hive (www.hamiltonhive.ca).

Think you’ve got something to contribute to this city, and interested in connecting with like-minded individuals, then check out the Hamilton Hive website and get started.  After all, you can do anything in Hamilton!

Another billion-dollar year for building permits

Another record-breaking year and the year isn’t over yet!  Check out this article from today’s Hamilton Spectator that says it all:

Another billion-dollar year for building permits

January 25, 2012 file photo of construction at a site on George St. in Hamilton.

January 25, 2012 file photo of construction at a site on George St. in Hamilton. Hamilton Spectator file photo.


Residential: $502 million

Institutional: $383 million

Industrial: $153 million

Commercial: $137 million

Hamilton has smashed its $1-billion record for building permits — and that’s just for the first nine months of the year.

The city issued $1.175 billion in building permits between January and September, said Tim McCabe, the city’s director of planning and economic development.

The permit for the $303-million St. Joseph’s hospital building on West 5th Street tipped the city over the 2010 record of $1.096 billion.

“We’re 10 weeks ahead of the 2010 record, which reached the record in the first week of December,” said McCabe.

Mayor Bob Bratina said the figure is “another marker of the amazing times this city is experiencing.

“Our economy is — I would use the word spectacular. Because every measurable is positive and exceeds our expectations,” he said.

What’s being built in Hamilton is just as important as the volume, said McCabe. Most of the permits — 56.5 per cent — were issued to the commercial, industrial and institutional sectors, while residential permits made up 42 per cent.

That’s an improvement from 2010, when more than half of permits (54 per cent) were issued for residential buildings.

As McCabe pointed out, that will ease the load on Hamilton taxpayers and further the city’s goal of boosting its non-residential tax base.

“That’s a very important stat, because you want to diversify your assessment,” he said.

McCabe said there are one or two other cities in Ontario that have also hit the $1-billion building permit mark this year. However, he points out that with Brampton, for instance, $950 million in permits were residential.

In April, city staff predicted Hamilton to be on track to break the 2010 $1-billion record. After the first quarter of this year, the city had issued $271 million in building permits, up $75 million compared to the first quarter of that record-setting year.

But in May, while residential growth remained strong, permits for commercial, institutional and industrial projects fell short.

By the end of the year, McCabe foresees a permit total of between $1.3 billion and $1.4 billion.

McCabe credited several initiatives for the high permit numbers, including new space in the city’s industrial parks, a spike in downtown construction, and major road accesses such as the Red Hill Valley Parkway.

“The age-old thing about the Red Hill parkway — I think it’s come to fruition, I really do,” he said.

McCabe also pointed out that his department has been able to meet the increased demand for permits without hiring extra staff.

“We’re doing well. I’m really happy, and really proud of the staff. All of this comes with a lot of work,” he said. “We’re working our butts off.”


905-526-2452 | @EmmatTheSpec

September is a BIG Month in Hamilton

September came in like a lion for the City of Hamilton!  Not only did Navistar announce their intent to construct a new 250,000 square foot auto parts distribution centre in the Red Hill Business Park  but Site Selection Magazine out of Atlanta, GA ranked Hamilton as the top investment city in Canada.  This is truly exciting news and an even more exciting time to be investing in Hamilton.  There is some real momentum in the economy and it is great to see a number of projects both big and small starting to happen in Hamilton. 

Even more good news, Hamilton’s industrial vacancy rate is now sitting at 2.3% and the industrial permits to as of the end of August is now at $148.9 million, a record for Hamilton and the year isn’t even over yet!

But, it’s not all about hard economic numbers, there is fun to be had in Hamilton too – especially the downtown.  This weekend Hamilton once again is home to Supercrawl- a showcase of great Hamilton and Canadian music that will bring over 50,000 people to the James Street North Arts District (www.supercrawl.ca).  C’mon downtown and see the great creative industries that are growing in the core.

With so many great things are happening here, why not be part of the happening?

Hamilton Once Again Top Place to Invest in Ontario

Diversified economy responsible for top ranking

Hamilton, ON – August 21, 2012 – The Real Estate Investment Network of Canada today ranked the City of Hamilton as the top location in which to invest in Ontario (2012-2016).  This is Hamilton’s second straight ranking in the top position.

“Known formerly as a hard-working steel town, the city has quickly shed this image in the eyes of potential investors – as indicated by the record breaking building permit values Hamilton has experienced in recent years,” said REIN Founding Partner Don Campbell.  “The wheels have been set in motion to create a major high-tech industrial park in conjunction with growth at McMaster University, sparking an entrepreneurial spirit in the city.”

The detailed REIN investment report identifies cities, towns and regions poised to outperform other regions of the province over the next  5 years.  As part of the research into this Top Investment Cities list, REIN considered the following key fundamentals: Is the area’s average income increasing faster than the provincial average? Is the area’s population growing faster than the provincial average? Is the area creating jobs faster than the provincial average? Does the area have more than one major employer? Is the area in the RBC Affordability Index Hot Zone (25% to 39%)? Will the area benefit from an economic or real estate ripple effect? Has the political leadership created an economic growth atmosphere? Is the Economic Development Office progressive and helpful? Is the area’s infrastructure being built to handle the expected growth? Are there any major transportation improvements in the works? Is the area attractive to Baby Boomers’ lifestyle? Is there a short term problem occurring that is slated to disappear in the future? Is there a noted increase in labour and materials cost in the area?

“This is further proof that the diversification of Hamilton’s economy is starting to pay great dividends,” said the City of Hamilton’s Economic Development Division Director Neil Everson.  “We’re thrilled with the ranking once again and encourage investors to contact us to learn more about one of Ontario’s hottest economies.”

To Order a Copy Of The Complete 80+ Page Top Ontario Investment Towns Research Report Visit: www.topontariotowns.com

Wake Up From Your Commuting Nightmare

Economic Development Office makes Hamilton a little more “animated”

Innovative piece designed to market to new creative class

Hamilton, ON – August 8, 2012 – Hamilton’s Economic Development Office launched an innovative marketing piece today never before attempted in the office’s history. The “Commuting Nightmare”- as it is known- is an animated short designed to market Hamilton as a viable live/work choice to those on the endless commute to Toronto.

“We certainly are aware of the great growth in the creative industries and we have a very unique vehicle now to sell our collective creative spaces”, said Glen Norton, Manager, Urban Renewal with the City of Hamilton’s Economic Development Office. “Get your life back, wake up from that commuting nightmare is our message through this cartoon.”

The cartoon was produced by Chuck Gammage Animation (www.cganim.com), a recent creative industry addition to the James Street North arts district via Toronto and boasts clients such as Coca Cola, Old Navy, and Teletoon. The score was produced by Nathan Fleet (http://www.nathanfleet.com), an award winning Hamilton filmmaker and film composer with screenings and broadcasts worldwide. His new music company, Blue Pick Media, was named after his trademark blue guitar pick business cards. As the director of the Hamilton Film Festival, board member of the Factory Media Centre and sitting on the Cinema Hamilton committee, he is helping to grow, enhance and connect the filmmaking community in Hamilton.

”Yet again, City Council’s investment in the Economic Development Office has allowed us the resources to create innovative media products such as this one,” said Norton. “Our Hamilton talent created a great product and now we’re hoping Hamiltonians share this via their social media channels across the nation and globe!”

Hamilton’s Economic Development Office is the central point of contact for business assistance. Its services are geared to serve new start-up companies, corporate relocations, and the expansion and retention of existing business. Its mission is to serve as the catalyst for continued economic growth, job creation, and revitalization in Hamilton.

To view the video please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tiNg6AYYSk



Eat Street comes to Hamilton

A huge congratulations to Gorilla Cheese for their recent success in attracting Food Network’s Eat Street to Hamilton to feature one of the city’s favourite food trucks (http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/770103–eat-street-comes-to-hamilton). Not only will the feature be a great profile for Gorilla Cheese, but we believe for the city as well. Did you know that Gorilla Cheese is one of the Hamilton Small Business Enterprise Centre’s (SBEC) success stories? The SBEC played a role in assisting the team at Gorilla Cheese with their business plan, commercial licensing and kick-off marketing. If you don’t know, Hamilton’s SBEC provides the information and tools that entrepreneurs need to grow their businesses. Operating as an arm of the Economic Development Division of the City of Hamilton, the Centre is a one-stop source for business information, guidance and professional advice on starting and running a successful business – for both start-up and growing businesses.

Maybe you’ll be the next star food truck, or salon, or architect or whatever you want to be. If you want to start your own business in Hamilton, visit us at:




Cash Mob in Ancaster this Saturday!

This Saturday, July 14th from 10am-2pm, the Ancaster BIA will be holding a Cash Mob to welcome patrons back to the BIA after several months of construction. Follow this link for more information and hope to see you there!

GE Energy Building the Future in Hamilton

This Hamilton company puts the power behind those giant wind turbines across the province.  With out a transformer there’s clean energy for none!

Economy motoring along

On May 16th, the City of Hamilton welcomed yet another investment in East Hamilton- Starsky Fine Foods; a 30,000 square foot commercial expansion from Mississauga.  The company was very clear that one of the prime reasons for expanding into this area of the community was immediate access to the Red Hill Valley Parkway (RHVP)- the final link in the ring road highway system for Hamilton completed in November of 2007.

Starsky is the latest in a long line of investments in the East end of Hamilton since the opening of the RHVP.

One of the biggest benefactors is the Red Hill Business Park, which is developing quickly along with the general area of the East Hamilton.  By just a handful of investments since the opening of the Red Hill Valley Parkway, there have been commercial and industrial developments easily totaling over $500 million. For example:

  • Canada Bread- $100 million.
  • Maple Leaf Foods- $398 million.
  • C-Hotel by Best Western- $12.5 million.
  • First Lowe’s in Canada- $21.5 million.
  • CARSTAR Head Office- $3 million.
  • Fortinos Head Office- $10 million

And the list continues.  From east to west, there are a number of business parks in which to invest in Hamilton with outstanding transportation systems, but for more information on the Red Hill Business Park (North or South) in particular, click here.

Apps for Health comes to Hamilton

As part of the City’s Economic Development Strategy, there is a concerted effort to foster the growth of the life sciences economic cluster. Life Sciences is the field of science that involve the scientific study of living organisms like plants, animals and human beings. In Hamilton’s case, this means a greater focus on biotechnology and applied research in the health sciences field- in part through the research coming out of McMaster University. Products include new MRI machines and CT Scanners.

In this spirit, there is also some outstanding technological ideas coming out of Mohawk College in Hamilton and will be showcased in their annual Apps for Health event (May 11-12, 2012, Mohawk College Fennell Campus)

Apps for Health interactive e-health event, providing an opportunity for professionals and students to discuss current trends in the industry while learning more about new emerging technologies, networking with fellow students and businesses and connecting with likeminded individuals, industry experts and health care professionals.

We encourage those interested in the life sciences field to check out this e-health event in the coming days and for more information on Hamilton’s life sciences sector, click here.




Ranked Canada's most diversified economy, home to Canada's busiest multi-modal cargo airport, the busiest port on the Canadian Great Lakes, and centrally located within a one hour drive to Toronto, Waterloo and the Niagara/US Border, Hamilton is at the center of it all. With two internationally renowned post-secondary institutions in the city (surrounded by 23 other), a diverse and learned workforce and both ample greenfield and urban sites upon which to build, we're ready for your investment.

Welcome to unstoppable.