Great Gulf and Dream Unlimited are partnering, and engaging with Hariri Pontarini Architects and McCallum Sather Architects to create a redevelopment proposal for Pier 8 in Hamilton, one of four teams now shortlisted as finalists to win a commission to create a landmark community at the west end of Lake Ontario. The waterside former industrial site will see the complete repurposing of a nine block area into a diverse neighbourhood containing pedestrian connections, public parks, institutional structures and mid-rise residential spaces. As one of four finalists, the 'GulfDream' partnership lays out sustainable building practices with waterfront design excellence as pivotal themes in their bid for the site.

Looking east to Block 16, potential site of Art Gallery of Hamilton, image via City of Hamilton

Inspired by master planned communities, including Toronto’s Distillery District and the award-winning Canary District, GulfDream aims to “create a space for all Hamiltonians”. Pedestrian traffic has been prioritized with large walkways through the entire site, while the incorporation of a 'barrier-free' design allows open movement throughout the new community, with roads and walkways leading to the large promenade park along the water's edge. Having partnered with Hamilton-based influencers to “deliver a homegrown community”, the entry comes wth popular restaurants, coffee roasters, and retailers. The architects plan to “pay tribute to the city's history, while creating an inspired vision for the future”.

Birds-eye view of Pier 8, looking northeast, image via City of Hamilton

Ranging from 6 to 8 storeys in height, the site will see development of 9 blocks of mixed purposes. Included is three 8-storey solely residential blocks and two 8-storey mixed-use buildings to include community recreation centres, educational programming, and local retail and restaurants. The remaining blocks consist of three 6-storey mixed use buildings, containing additional retail, maker space labs, and outfitters space. The final area, Block 16, is proposed as a new home of the Art Gallery of Hamilton. A newly landscaped, east-west green corridor cuts through the centre of the site, creating a space for residents to “foster a sense of community” while connecting to existing trails and neighbourhoods.

Looking north through the Greenway, image courtesy of GulfDream

Part of the GulfDream proposal involves using wood as a sustainable building material. If chosen as the winning entry, Pier 8 would become the largest mixed-use, mid-rise urban wood community in North America. By using this renewable material, GulfDream seeks to achieve LEED Gold certification across the entire development.

Wintertime Waterfront view of Pier 8, image via City of Hamilton

Linked below, a video gives visual reference for the GulfDream Pier 8 proposal.

We will return with updates as more information is released on Hamilton’s Pier 8 development. You can see more images from all four proposals by visiting our database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out our associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.