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Perspe ctive


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$40 million investment is a sweet Deal Mondelez Canada has invested to expand its candy

plant in Hamilton Ontario

Major investments in city’s Film Industry

Cargo growth & new developments at Airport

Creative and tech companies attracted to downtown core

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A message from the mayor


veryone in Hamilton knows this is a great place to live, work, play and learn. Now Hamilton is gaining international attention for it. Hamilton’s economy has been named as the most diversified in the country, according to the Conference Board of Canada. Hamilton is one of 2019 Canada’s Best Communities as ranked by Maclean’s magazine. It is named as one of the top two tech cities in North America by CBRE Group Inc. Hamilton was also named by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) as one of the world’s Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2020. We continue to welcome major investments from multinational companies like L3 Wescam, Pipeline Studios, Mondelez, Pannatoni and IBM. We’re developing our West Harbour district with parks, community spaces,

and residential spaces including affordable housing units. As Hamilton grows and prospers, we are working hard to ensure that no one is left behind. For example, we are improving our city-wide transit system which includes the implementation of our approved 10-year transit master plan that expands our bus service throughout all parts of our community of communities and builds our LRT. Hamilton’s economy is clearly moving in a positive direction. I’m excited for you to read on and learn more about our thriving business sector. Hamilton is a city ready for the future.

Fred Eisenberger, Mayor

A new way to ride for a city on the move. Hamilton LRT is a future 14km light rail transit line that will take you from the west end of the city to the east. Along the way, it will connect 17 stops and offer access to HSR, GO Transit and Hamilton’s bike share system. Learn more at: | |


About the cover

Mondelēz Canada opens new line. Film Industry, Airport and Downtown Investments increasing in Hamilton.

P e r s p e c t i v e TM 1464 Cornwall Rd, Suite 5, Oakville, ON L6J 7W5 1-866-779-7712

Publisher, CeO Steve Montague ViCe-PresiDeNT Ed Martin Editorial Meredith MacLeod PerspectiveTM Hamilton was produced independently of the City of Hamilton. Contents are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the written consent of Perspective Marketing Inc. The publisher is not liable for any views expressed in the articles and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or the City of Hamilton.




Introducing HOPA Ports: Waterfronts at Work


ntario is not typically viewed as a maritime province, and yet it boasts 10,000 km of Great Lakes shoreline, and access to a marine highway in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence that connects the North American industrial heartland to any market around the world. Still, throughout southern Ontario, there are marine infrastructure assets that are unconnected and underutilized. By beginning to see these assets as part of an integrated network, one can start to explore innovative ideas to serve the growing region. This was the thinking behind the amalgamation of the Ports of Hamilton and Oshawa into a new, regionallyminded entity, the Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority, or HOPA Ports. These two ports are ideal bookends to the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA), and together handle more than 12 million tonnes of the cargo that keeps this region functioning day-to-day, including everything from

gasoline, to structural steel for construction, to fertilizer for Ontario greenbelt farms. At the western tip of Lake Ontario, the Port of Hamilton is Ontario’s largest marine port, which spans 630 acres along Hamilton’s working waterfront. “This is not like any other industrial district,” notes Ian Hamilton, President & CEO of HOPA Ports. “The access to multiple modes of transportation in one location creates a special advantage. So uncommon is this combination of industrial space and marine-rail-and-road services that the port has attracted close to $350 million in new industrial investment inside the last decade.” Hamilton has always been a place for making things, and these days, that is likely to include making good things to eat. The agriculture and food processing sector has taken over as Hamilton’s second largest manufacturing sector, generating over $1 billion in economic activity annually. The Port of Hamilton has been a major driver of growth in this sector, now home

Sales, Service, Rentals

“Modern industrial uses are key to Ontario’s future prosperity, as is the need to preserve industrial land, especially where there are good multimodal transportation connections,” says HOPA Ports’ Ian Hamilton. It’s an approach that is working well in Hamilton, and serves as the model for HOPA Ports’ expanding Great Lakes network.

A ship docks near Parrish & Heimbecker’s terminal at the Port of Hamilton


FALL 2020



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to fourteen agri-food tenants. This year, port tenant Parrish & Heimbecker began a project to double the capacity of the flour mill that began operations just two years ago. Also in 2019, port tenant SucroCan completed an expansion of its sugar refinery at Pier 10; this new local source of refined sugar serves as an important link in the regional food processing supply chain.

Family Owned and Operated!




Focus on Business Hamilton’s Economic Development Strategy is Working


rom industrial waterfront to suburban greenfield to downtown conversions, businesses are investing in locating and expanding in Hamilton. “We are taking inquiries virtually every day and seeing so many exciting investment deals,” said Norm Schleehahn, manager of business development with the City of Hamilton. “What is so encouraging is that companies in industry, food processing, technology, life sciences, and creative sectors are finding success in our city. They are start-ups and multinational giants and everything in between. That’s why we are among the most diversified economies in Canada.” Here is just a sample of business developments in Hamilton.

Mondele-z Canada Mondele-z Canada has officially opened a $40-million expansion of its Hamilton candy factory. It will add 50 jobs to the existing complement of 300, while adding a production line that produces about 11 million pieces of candy – Maynards Sour Patch Kids, Fuzzy Peach and Swedish Fish – each day. “We are so proud to make Maynards, that are sold across North America, right

here in the heart of Hamilton,” said Martin Parent, president of Mondele-z Canada. “With this new line, Hamilton leads the way in advanced food manufacturing.” Mondele-z Canada’s 225,000-square-foot plant in the west end operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, producing more than 40 types of candy.

L3 Harris Leading edge imaging company L3 Harris is undertaking one of the largest corporate head office investments in a Hamilton in a generation with its 330,000-square-foot headquarters in Flamborough. The new facility, at the southeast intersection of Highway 6 North and Highway 5, will feature research and development, engineering, assembly and office space and house 1,200 highly skilled workers who are currently working out of two locations in Burlington. L3 Harris is one of the city’s most highprofile technology companies and began out of research into a stabilized camera at Westinghouse on Longwood Road. It now has a global reputation for its electro-optical and infrared imaging technologies and system solutions, which are used across the aerospace, homeland security and defence industries.

Candy Line at Mondelez Canada Hamilton Factory

5 Stelco Design is underway on the first phase of a massive redevelopment of the Stelco lands. About 550 acres are available and will be used to bring employment to the city, says Peter McAllister, Stelco’s chief development and operations officer. The remaining 250 acres are required for Stelco’s present and future operations. The company recently got municipal approval to subdivide the property and has begun planning for a first phase that McAllister says will yield about 1 million square feet of industrial space. “Elsewhere in the GTHA there are record rents, and record low vacancies. The Hamilton market is very hot, and the demand is strong.” The Stelco lands are well served by the port and by rail and has easy access to highways in all directions. A number of steel-related companies have signed leases for existing buildings, says McAllister, including Samuel Steel which will take up residence in 136,000 square feet.

Hamilton Central Business Park

The 26-acre property where Otis Elevator and Studebaker manufactured for decades in Hamilton’s industrial north is finding new life as a prestige industrial park. The 70 employees of geotechnical contractor Soletanche Bachy Canada (formerly Bermingham Foundation

Solutions) will take up about threequarters of the park’s first phase – a 20,000-square-foot office building. “This is the first office building development in the lower city in decades,” said Sergio Manchia, president of developer Urbancore. Manchia and his 24 employees will also relocate to the new building. He also has plans for a 40,000-squarefoot office and warehousing complex that will incorporate part of the historic Studebaker/Otis office building. The property also features 12 to 14 oneacre lots for development or sale.

Style Park Blacks Point Development has recently completed a new headquarters for Coppley Apparel on MacNab Street North, and will soon begin work on one of the suit-maker’s former manufacturing locations at 127 Hughson St. N. Called Style Park, it will feature an adaptive redevelopment of 60,000 square feet into four storeys of loft-style offices, along with a restaurant and café. “It has a brick and beam industrial vernacular and will be cool, hip and urban,” says company partner Bryan Dykstra. The location is just a block away from the heart of James Street North at Cannon and will appeal to marketing and design firms, technology companies, and to business and financial service operators looking for creative space, says Dykstra. “We are very optimistic about Hamilton. It’s a market with tons of potential.”

Groundbreaking ceremony at the L3 Harris Corporate Head Office

Dan-Bi Cho, Dan-Bi Cho, Registered Nurse Registered Nurse

Dr. Bobby Shayegan, Dr. Bobby Shayegan, Surgeon Surgeon

Sri Duraikannan, Sri Duraikannan, Volunteer Volunteer

Hélène Hamilton, Hélène Patient Hamilton, and Family Advisor Patient and Family Advisor

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Collaborative Office Space in Hamilton Hamilton has seen an increase of start-ups and entrepreneurship and shared office space creates the perfect setting for business to thrive.


oworking or shared office space is a relatively new concept. In the mid-’90s, “hackerspaces” popped up in Berlin, where people who

had similar interests would gather to work on projects, mainly in computer science, technology science, and arts. Back in 2005, Software engineer Brad Neuberg is credited with starting the coworking phenomenon from a San Francisco collective space. This phenomenon has come to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and is the unique spaces people are creating, launching, or maintaining new, small, start-up, and multinationals looking to network and grow their business.

Coworking Space Information

Uptown Business Club We are a different kind of co-working space. Uptown’s 11 000 square foot venue offers a variety of options of open coworking, private meeting and permanent exclusive office space. Our professional upscale atmosphere sets the stage for any mature professional or executive looking to impress their clients. You can book by the hour, the day or the year: you choose. People love the natural light here and offices with solid walls that offer real privacy when you need it. We have a wide range of meeting rooms, private offices and a warm inviting coworking lounge; supported by a receptionist and concierge to assist you with all your business needs, plus on-site catering. We are here to help you take your business to the next level.  Sandy Alfonsi, Uptown Business Club 236 Pritchard Road, Hamilton, ON, L8W 3P7 Phone (289) 439-5557 | Fax (905) 381-9209 |

The Populace Sorry, but no cappuccino or craft beer here ;+). Just professional staff, meeting rooms, virtual address and mail services, offices and customized live call answering for entrepreneurs serious about their image and servicing their clients in the most competent, efficient manner.  We focus on friendly, personalized service that let your clients know you are serious about their business, and yours. Legal, financial, IT, accounting, and trades all lower their rent and staffing costs with us.

The Populace is a shared office space that offers a versatile environment where your business will thrive and prosper. If you are launching a business, growing your team or just need some space - we have individualized plans, sure to exceed your expectations. Leave every detail to our two full time staff, and focus on your business. Beyond desks, offices, boardrooms, amenities and staff, find our forward-minded community of start-ups, emerging businesses and established CEO’s who are working, connecting and flourishing together. With our perfect balance of creativity, polish and professionalism, The Populace is Hamilton’s most unique co-working space. 

Intelligent Office 1 Hunter Street East Ground Floor Hamilton, ON L8N 3W1 Phone (905) 777-7800 |

The Populace 180 James Street South, Suite 402, Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4V1 Phone (289) 639 2579 |

Intelligent Office



Going Premium. Mohawk launches new partnership with employers. Mohawk College has launched a new program that will redefine college-employer partnerships and set a new standard of training experience for the college’s future ready, job-ready graduates.



he Future Ready Premium Program demonstrates Mohawk College’s leadership in partnering with employers to graduate job-ready students, says Jim Vanderveken, Dean of the Centre for Community Partnerships and Experiential Learning. “I’m not aware of another institution in Ontario, whether college or university, that is taking this kind of employer partnership strategy to the level that we are. The Future Ready Premium Program has

the potential to be transformative and place the college in a singular leadership role within Ontario’s postsecondary system in driving the competitive workforce agenda.” The program elevates the college’s partnership with select employers to create a hallmark, exclusive and intimate relationship, said Vanderveken. Employers share common needs and motivation to ensure they have access to the right talent to be competitive in today’s market.

Perspective These are employers that are engaged in every aspect of the college, says Vanderveken, including experiential learning, applied research, curriculum development, and philanthropy. “These employers have very much woven themselves into the fabric of this institution. They are so generous with us because they share in our vision to support student success and they see that they have an important role to play.” Select employers—10 in the first round—were invited by President Ron McKerlie to enter a memorandum of understanding to codify the partnership and set targets moving forward. The 10 first-round Future Ready Premium Partners include: ArcelorMittal Dofasco, City of Hamilton, Gerrie Inc., Hamilton Health Sciences, IBM, KF Aerospace, L3HARRIS, Stelco, Thrive Group, and Walters Inc. This list clearly demonstrates that the need for exceptional talent cuts across all sectors of the economy.




“This creates a unique talent blueprint so we can understand their needs and determine how we intend to meet them,” said Vanderveken. “It’s about creating a sense of confidence that employers will have access to talented students in a reliable way, and that students have a clear career path ahead of them and the prospect of future opportunities with employers of choice.” Premium employers will be offered concierge service through a single point of contact at Mohawk who will provide direct connections to the wide range of services the college offers business and industry, and be prominently featured in an ambitious co-branding strategy. They will have specialized supports to ensure Mohawk graduates have all the jobs skills needed to hit the ground running. There are also plans for a high-performance career hub. To learn more about connecting with Mohawk to build your exceptional workforce, visit employers


Steve Sherrer, CEO,Thrive Group, Jim Vanderveken, Dean of the Centre for Community Partnerships and Experiential Learning, and Tim Verhey,Vice President, Engineering & Operations,Walters Inc.

Future Ready. Together. Connecting employers with students and alumni to build an exceptional workforce.




Hamilton: Where Innovation Goes to Work Innovation fuels the new economy in Hamilton Ontario.


amilton has long been known as a city built on hard work. Now it’s also known as a city where innovation goes to work. “Aspirations are big here, expectations are big here and Hamilton has everything that innovation companies need to launch, scale and grow,” said Carolynn Reid, a business development consultant with the City of Hamilton’s economic development department. The city was named No. 2 technology city of opportunity by real estate firm CBRE. The commercial real estate firm also ranked Hamilton among the fastest-growing mid-sized cities in terms of tech talent. “Not only are we seeing people migrate here who are creating a strong start-up community, but we have a talent pipeline out of our postsecondary institutions that is fuelling the expansion of existing companies that are thinking big here,” said Reid. There was also important recognition from Macleans magazine, which named Hamilton among the 25 best cities in Canada for quality of life. “Hamilton has earned its rightful reputation as a city that attracts the best and brightest, nurtures and celebrates innovation, and grows ventures that are leading the way in the application of technology,” said Glen Norton, director of economic development at the City of Hamilton. “And it is definitely no longer a secret that Hamilton offers everything talent, entrepreneurs, and newcomers need for a rewarding, exciting career, but also for an enviable, full life in a vibrant and dynamic city.”

McMaster Innovation Park McMaster Innovation Park bridges fundamental academic research going on at the university to successful commercial ventures, says CEO Ty Shattuck. “We provide the supports to go from a really outstanding discovery to really outstanding industry impact.” MIP’s research assets include CanmetMATERIALS, the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre, and the Centre for Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (BEAM), a partnership with the Fraunhofer Institute. An updated master plan for the park is expected to be finished by the end of the year. Shattuck it envisions a dense community of 4,500 people, a mixture of companies at various stages from various sectors, amenities that spark creativity, and an atmosphere that promotes collisions between researchers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and academics. “That’s a magical environment that’s dynamic and creative with a theme of live, work and create.” The park’s 500,000 square-foot footprint will grow by 1.6 million square feet, offering restaurants, retail, and a range of services and amenities. Key to the vision is a hub of centuryold industrial buildings at the southeast edge of the park that connect to the district’s heritage as the home of Westinghouse. The plan is redevelop them into a hub of advanced manufacturing and life sciences innovation, along with event, restaurant and hotel space, that Shattuck says will become the heart of the park. MIP is entirely self-sustaining and profitable, is attracting Class A professional services tenants, and is undertaking partnerships with global partners to amplify the power of local research. The growth of Canada’s economy is driven by mid-sized companies and that’s MIP’s focus, says Shattuck. “People think of research parks as the land of start-ups, but this is the land of high-growth companies of all sizes.”

Fusion Pharmaceuticals The power of MIP is readily apparent in a US $105-million venture capital investment in Hamilton drug developer Fusion Pharmaceuticals. It’s among the largest in Canadian biotech history and followed a previous round of investment that raised US$46 million. The company, founded in 2015, formed out of the research of chemistry and chemical biology professor Dr. John Valliant. Fusion has developed a targeted alpha-therapy treatment for cancerous tumours that are resistant to traditional therapy. Medical isotopes precisely target cancer cells and “blow up” their DNA so they cannot grow back, explains Valliant, CEO of Fusion. Clinical trials have begun in Canada and will expand to the U.S. and Australia early in 2020. The company employs 32

people and that is expected to double in a year, says Valliant. The vision is to grow into a global pharmaceutical company. Fusion has recently moved into its new home at MIP alongside BEAM. From there, it will research and manufacture more cancer treatments.Valliant credits the vision of McMaster to support the commercialization of research, along with provincial and federal funding, for allowing Fusion to launch and thrive. The history-making investment in Fusion will only raise awareness about is happening in Hamilton, says Valliant. “Fusion helps shine a spotlight on already very high-potential companies here. I think we show to PhD graduates, post-docs and entrepreneurs that you can create very successful companies in Canada and in Hamilton.”




Innovation Factory and the Centre for Integrated Transportation Mobility Innovation Factory has moved into its new home, The Garage, at the McMaster Innovation Park, alongside McMaster tech accelerator The Forge. The 10,000-square-foot former parking garage-turned-tech-space will allow IF to offer more to clients, says executive director David Carter. That includes: more meeting space, a Forge maker space, and simulation labs and research space for the Centre for Integrated Transportation and Mobility. The provincially funded CITM is exploring what connected and autonomous vehicles mean for people and goods movement, city infrastructure, manufacturing and logistics. That includes a Smart City lab at MIP that is partly funded by a $4.3-million injection of cash and in-kind services by Nokia and Amazon over five years. “There are lots of big brains working on collision avoidance and navigation but there are so many other things to consider, so many other questions to answer. All those problems are opportunities to create companies and jobs,” said Carter. “We can’t underestimate the impact of autonomous vehicles because transportation underpins everything.” Hamilton is already home to a number of transportation innovation companies, including predictive maintenance provider Preteckt, Nequity, which has developed smart de-icing systems for airplanes, and IRIS R&D, which has developed a dashcam system for city fleet vehicles such as buses and garbage trucks that is integrated with artificial intelligence and deep learning to allow for smart road inspections and maintenance. IRIS won this year’s entrepreneurial competition Lion’s Lair. Company co-founder Emil Sylvester Ramos says Hamilton’s innovation network is “ground-breaking” and “walks the talk” when it comes to supporting start-ups. Working with CITM and IF has allowed IRIS to secure a pilot with the City of Hamilton that is expected to start next year. “That’s a very big win for our company.”

Nix Sensors Nix Sensors develops hardware and software for colour sensors and works with partners in various industries to develop custom, value-added solutions that can be marketed. “By definition, every physical object has a colour and colour is an aspect of quality control in almost all products. That snowballs to infinity in terms of the applications we could be working on,” he said. “We get dozens of calls a day and it’s a different use case each and every time.” That includes everything from colour-matching fabrics for backpacks used by the military, to assessing the colour of a chicken’s knuckle, to helping cosmetic companies market foundation colours based on the diversity of a city’s population. The company has doubled in size to about 33 employees in the last year, by serving a cross section of industries, including paint and interior design, cosmetics, health, agriculture and animal science. Nix is focused on increasing its product portfolio and growing international sales into Asia and other new markets. Nix devices are designed, engineering, assembled and calibrated in Hamilton and Sheridan is seeking three mobile developers to grow his team. He credits Innovation Factory and The Forge for setting the company up for success by providing resources, mentorship and learning. “The other side that people forget about is the importance of the community atmosphere. As an entrepreneur, you have to do some crazy things, so you need other crazy people around you. In high-risk, high-reward opportunities, you don’t need negative people around. IF and The Forge are full of optimistic people who want you to succeed.”

Hamilton is among the world’s Smart21 Communities of 2020, a list of global cities, towns and regions in 10 countries deemed most ready for the 21st-century. The New York City-based Intelligent Community Forum made the announcement on Oct. 22. Seven communities will move on to being named among the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2020 in February. From there, a 2020 Intelligent Community of the Year will be unveiled at the ICF Summit in June 2020. It’s the third time Hamilton has been selected as a Smart21 Community, a designation that shows the city represents the best models of economic, social and cultural development in the digital age.

“I am extremely proud that Hamilton has once again achieved the Smart21 community designation from ICF,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “The collaborative spirit and technological developments happening in our community signal that Hamilton is ready to thrive and prosper in the broadband economy.” The Smart21 Communities are evaluated on six Intelligent Community indicators: broadband, knowledge workforce, innovation, digital equality, sustainability, and advocacy. Intelligent Communities “are willing to make the investments in time required to ensure that the next several generations stay ‘home’ and thrive,” said Lou Zacharilla, one of the founders of the ICF.

Hamilton is among communities in Canada, the United States, Taiwan, Australia, Brazil and France that were selected. The other Canadian cities to make the list are: Fredericton, Markham, Newmarket and Winnipeg. The Global Hamilton Council, which includes political, administrative, business and community representation, was formed in January 2015 to provide advice to the City of Hamilton. The council proposed that the City apply to the ICF for the “Intelligent Communities” designation to increase international visibility and attract investment. Hamilton was able to achieve the Smart21 designation in its first attempt in 2015.



HAMILTON’S FASTEST GROWING BUSINESSES The City of Hamilton’s Economic Development Office is pleased to announce the 2019 Fast 40 winners. Based on a number of criteria, these companies have shown to be the fastest growing companies in Canada’s most diversified economy. Congratulations to all winners and thank you for your commitment to Hamilton’s economy.



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Hamilton’s Film Industry By the Numbers nd


Busiest Film Location in Ontario rd 3 Largest Film

rd 3 Largest in

Business Cluster in Canada

Employment Growth in Canada

9,140 Film

901 Businesses

TOP Sector



Growth – Creative Industries

45% Productions are for TV

in Film


Spent by Film Production in Hamilton in 2018

Why You Should Film or Open Your Business in Hamilton • Our people are authentic and collaborative • Location is highly accessible • Both small town and big city looks and feel (over 200 distinct neighbourhoods) • Access to Ontario tax incentive + additional regional bonus • Diverse landscapes: green space, waterfront, waterfalls, industrial spaces… • Old and new architecture • Great amenities for crew & staff: vibrant restaurant scene and high-quality accommodations

Next Steps Want to film here: | Email:

Want to open a business here:

Increase in permits

50% (2017–2018) 17% (2018–2019)





Hamilton poised to take leading role in Canada’s film industry Hamilton’s filming locations, talent pool and businesses demonstrate the current strength and future growth opportunities in the city’s film sector. In 2018 there was a 50 per cent hike in film permits from 2017 and 2019 permits continue to increase.


amilton has more than 550 filmfriendly locations and more than 200 distinct neighbourhoods. Within the city, location managers have access to an urban downtown or a smalltown feel, heritage buildings, waterfalls, industrial spaces, an airport, waterfront and lots of green spaces. The city is already Canada’s third-largest film cluster and is home to 9,140 people who work in the film industry and 902 film businesses. Many have benefited from recent productions, including The Handmaid’s Tale, Umbrella Academy, Murdoch Mysteries, the Oscar-winning The Shape of Water, Designated Survivor, and It: Chapter Two. “We are seeing an upswing in film permitting and more inquiries about establishing permanent operations in Hamilton. Tax credits also help lure productions to Canada, Ontario and to Hamilton,” said Debbie Spence, film business development consultant with the City’s Planning and Economic Development department. “We are sending a strong message to the industry that we are ready for their business and that those investing in brick and mortar in Hamilton have a great opportunity to collaborate and shape the industry here.” There is a perception among some production companies that it’s too time consuming, costly or logistically challenging to shoot outside Toronto, but that will shift if studios set up in Hamilton, says Bob Monroe, an award-winning producer, director and visual effects supervisor who moved to Ancaster seven years ago. “Once one studio is in place, all the shackles will be off at that point and there

will be no shortage of TV shows and feature films being shot and produced in Hamilton.”

Aeon Studio Group Aeon Studio Group plans to build a regional hub for film, TV and digital media production as part of a large mixed-use development on former industrial lands on Hamilton’s west harbour. The proposed 200,000-square-foot facility will have six modern sound stages, post-production offices, animation, special effects, music and game design studios, crew training and back-lot shops, all catering to full-scale productions. “Hamilton is undoubtedly the single best possible place in the province to build a big production hub,” said partner Jeff Anders. ASG will have a concept plan ready to share in 2020 and is proceeding with a smaller-scale venture in a yet-undisclosed set of former industrial buildings while the studio district vision moves forward, says Anders. A key step, he says, is an industry taskforce examining how to build a local talent pool that will feed a growing film infrastructure in the city.

manufacturing plant in Dundas that is rented back-to-back for Netflix series. “We have blown our business plan out of the water,” said partner Zach Zohr, one of three veteran film technicians who saw a need while shooting in the city. Zohr has quit his production job and moved to Hamilton. “Not to be cliché, but the possibilities seem endless right now.”

Skylight Steelworks Skylight offers experiences including fashion shows, fundraisers, product launches, conferences and art installations in unique but underutilized places.

The New York City-based company has offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and now Hamilton at Skylight Steelworks. It is facilitating access for photographers and film producers to about 200 acres of the Stelco property, which features sprawling industrial buildings, machinery, and waterfront. “As soon as we saw it, we fell in love with the site and the city. It’s authentic and real,” said Tiffany Aprile, vice president of business development. Aprile says Skylight is now working on deeper creative development and activities at Stelco.

Hamilton Film Studios Hamilton Film Studios opened sound stages, production offices, gear rentals and an expendables store in a former transportation truck repair shop on Wellington Street North in January. It has been booked ever since and Hamilton Film Studios has opened a second location in a historic furniture

Image credit: Christos Kalohardis, Netflix




Transforming The Rich History Of Chedoke Hospital Grounds Area Developers Partner To Build West Hamilton’s Newest Community – Chedoke Heights.


tarward Homes and Marz Homes, two long time and respected Hamilton based builders, have partnered to transform the historic Chedoke Hospital grounds into a vibrant new community. Chedoke Heights will feature a wonderful collection of unique and beautifully designed Bungalofts and Executive Towns. “We have enjoyed a long-standing working relationship”, said Dan Gabriele, President of Marz Homes. “When we were presented the opportunity to work together, we are pleased to be able to combine forces on such a great project.” “The story around Chedoke Heights is one of a life in balance.” said Brandon Campbell, President of Starward Homes. “It’s an area where you’ll be able to explore your passions and do what allows you to love the life you are living.” Homes available at Chedoke Heights will cater to families, singles as well as an older demographic. Buyers will enjoy the quality and commitment to excellence Starward and Marz will bring to each unit. The partnership between the two companies has been a successful one.

“We share the same goals, vision and passion.” Says Gabriele, “With this alignment, it’s not hard to find success.” Home buyers looking for the best Hamilton has to offer will be pleased with the new Chedoke Heights community. “Our focus has always been to turn dreams into reality,” said Campbell. If your dream is to enjoy a more balanced life, consider making the historic grounds of Chedoke Heights your new home. Visit to learn more and register.

An exciting new community is coming to Hamilton’s West Mountain.





40 3


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A vibrant new neighbourhood located in the heart of the Chedoke area.

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Gowling WLG is connecting Hamilton to a world of opportunity Around the world, technology is rapidly advancing, competition has become more fierce, and the ability to be agile is imperative.


hat’s why Gowling WLG, the only international law firm in Hamilton, supported by Ontario’s largest legal complement with offices in Waterloo, Toronto and Ottawa, is committed to supporting local efforts related to innovation, economic development, and

community building – and we’re already making great strides. “We want to add a layer of value for the city, so that we can be presented not only as a law firm, but as a partner in helping businesses achieve success in Canada,” says Travis Evens, an associate in Gowling WLG’s Hamilton office. “We are working to unlock Hamilton’s potential by acting as an economic accelerator and a global connector,” Evens adds. Gowling WLG’s top-ranked professionals, expansive client roster, and connections across virtually every industry allow the firm to create new links

18 between global investors, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Locally, the firm has forged groundbreaking partnerships with key public institutions – the City of Hamilton, McMaster University, McMaster Innovation Park and Mohawk College, to name a few – to help boost Hamilton’s local economy and global competitiveness while more effectively serving its clients in facilitating greater connection to government and research. “We have a new way of working with our investment partners, and see this as a good way to improve foreign direct investment and commercialization opportunities in Hamilton,” offers Glen Norton, the director of Hamilton Economic Development at the City of Hamilton. At Gowling WLG, we believe a collaborative approach to city-building will forge new pathways between local possibilities and global opportunities, and bridge gaps between public and private institutional resources. Building

on this philosophy, our firm is eager to be more, do more, and impact more in our community. As the city undergoes a major commercial renaissance, we are always seeking new ways to drive growth and redefine what’s possible. We are aligned with our clients and partners on the challenges we all face. We want to break down traditional barriers by doing things differently. We want to work in collaboration instead of isolation. Above all, we want to go beyond simply providing world-class legal services by seeking to provide greater value in actively helping our clients and community to thrive. “The vision that motivates us is that a law firm can do more than simply provide great counsel,” says Louis Frapporti, managing partner of Gowling WLG’s Hamilton office. “A law firm can help support a community and its clients by bringing them together.” Discover what we’re doing in Hamilton:

ACCELERATING SUCCESS IN HAMILTON AND BEYOND. In Hamilton and around the world, Gowling WLG is committed to redefining the role a law firm can play in its clients’ success. The result is a local legal team that does more and goes further than ever thought possible. Harnessing our broad industry expertise, far-reaching global platform, and forward-thinking partnerships with key local stakeholders, we connect Hamilton’s businesses, innovators and institutions to a world of opportunity. Learn more at Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP is a member of Gowling WLG, an international law firm which consists of independent and autonomous entities providing services around the world. Our structure is explained in more detail at




Exciting New Companies Making Downtown Home


owntown Hamilton is becoming a destination of choice for a growing list of creative, digital, marketing, design and planning, and technology companies looking for an urban environment at a reasonable cost. “Downtown Hamilton is well known for its amazing restaurants and exciting condo projects that are creating great places to live, but what isn’t as well known is the number of innovative, leading-edge creative and tech companies that are setting up shop in our core,” said Judy Lam, manager of urban renewal with the City of Hamilton. “They are drawn to the beautiful urban architecture to be found, competitive real estate rates, great connectivity, access to talent, terrific quality of life that downtown Hamilton offers, and the distinct neighbourhoods across the city. There is a vibrant urban atmosphere that cannot be found anywhere else in the GTA outside of Toronto.” A new vision for the Hamilton City Centre will only add to the vibrancy. IN8 Developments is about to close a deal to purchase the 30-year-old downtown mall and plans to build five residential and commercial towers as part of a $700-million, 10-year development. The company is focused on urban densification projects outside Toronto and searched for four years for an appropriate project in Hamilton. Here are just a few examples from the roster of strong and growing creative and technology companies in Hamilton.

Hifyre Digital developer Hifyre built a digital sales, marketing and inventory platform for Canadian cannabis retailer Fire and Flower that led to the retailer buying Hifyre with an eye to marketing the platform to other retailers. Fire and Flower operates 30 stores and is expected to see explosive growth thanks to an equity investment by retail giant Alimentation Couche-Tard in August that could be worth as much as $380 million.

Hifyre founder Matthew Hollingshead moved back to his native Hamilton seven years ago and immediately knew it had changed in the decade he’d been in Toronto. Broadband infrastructure is now world class, talent want to come to Hamilton, and the city is a “phenomenal place to raise my family,” said Hollingshead, who has worked with Mattel,, K-Swiss and Puma, among a long list of prominent clients. Hifyre is located in 5,700 square feet in the newly renovated King James building at James and King William streets. The cost of doing business in Hamilton means Hollingshead is able to rent space with a view to handling the projected doubling of his current staff of 23 in the short term.

Overdrive James Wilson, owner of branding, interactive and communications agency Overdrive, moved his business to downtown Hamilton after 15 years in Toronto’s Liberty Village and 15 years in the Junction. “We moved into those places before they were those places. Where we are in Hamilton feels like that now. We are a little before it’s time and that’s part of the reason we came here.” It’s the familiar Toronto story: a longtime small business getting pushed out by skyrocketing rents and an inability to find anything to buy. Now that he’s set up shop in Hamilton, Wilson is dedicating himself into building a design community in the city. Overdrive clients include RBC, TIFF, the Royal Ontario Museum, and Ontario Parks. Wilson was shocked and impressed that the City offered him a grant to improve the façade of his King Street East office. He also has plans for alley art that will celebrate Hamilton and illustration. “It really feels like a small town here but it’s a city. It’s a real city, too. I like that. I don’t like places that are too slick. Everyone is friendly. I know more people here out on the street than I knew in Toronto in 30 years.”

Ovivo Global water purification company Ovivo recently set up a regional office in downtown Hamilton for its Filterboxx brand, which provides modular systems for industrial, construction, and mining sites. “We made a strategic decision to come to Hamilton,” said Michael Trigatti, director of project execution. “Originally, we were looking in Toronto for something that gave us a trendy, urban feel. But the prices were astronomical.” The price-per-square-foot was far superior in Hamilton, offering the company the ability to settle into a space that will accommodate an aggressive growth strategy. “This whole area is the Silicon Valley of water treatment, so we wanted to position ourselves in the middle of that. We get good market exposure and access to next generation talent here.” Hamilton-based staff also takes frequent advantage of Hamilton International Airport to fly to the company’s head office in Montreal or to a regional office in Calgary. Ovivo is located in Core Urban’s King James building, which has an old industrial feel amid beautiful design and modern amenities, says Trigatti. “Our visitors are always impressed when they come here.”

Urban Strategies Planning and urban design firm Urban Strategies has opened a new Collaboration Studio in storefront space at 66 James St. N. The Toronto firm has done extensive work in Hamilton, including secondary and master plans for the downtown and

the waterfront, and wants to expand its presence and practise in a collaborative way, says senior associate Josh Neubauer. “There is so much creative thinking happening in Hamilton with talented and dedicated people active in urban conversations. We are trying a new way of embedding an office in a city to work with stakeholders, consultants, developers, planners and the public. Hamilton is a real hotspot for creativity and engagement.” The studio will host events and meetings and engage with Hamiltonians on important issues, including housing, affordability and renewal, says Neubauer, who moved to the city’s east end about 18 months ago. “It’s a real city that has maintained a sense of itself.” Located in the heart of downtown Hamilton, Ontario, the FirstOntario Centre, the FirstOntario Concert Hall and the Hamilton Convention Centre, represent a marque investment opportunity for developers, facility operators and hoteliers. The City of Hamilton is seeking private sector investors to unlock the potential of the six plus acres of prime real estate which houses these facilities. In addition to leveraging the value of the City owned lands to attract investment in these entertainment facilities, the City is looking to maximize spin off follow-on investment in the form of hotels, condos and mixed used development.

For more information, contact: Ryan McHugh 905-546-2424 ext. 2725

WESTDALE 905-522-3300

LOCKE STREET 905-529-3300

ANCASTER 905-648-6800






Red Hill Business Park helps drive the economy


he City of Hamilton is beginning to market three large-tract industrial parcels in its Red Hill Business Park South, which is already home to Canada’s largest commercial bakery in Canada Bread, a huge Maple Leaf processing plant, the eastern hub for Navistar’s truck parts distribution business, water membrane manufacturer Fibracast Inc., and steel construction company Walters Group. The market is seeing unprecedented demand, says the City’s business development manager Norm Schleehahn. “The interest levels in our commercial and industrial property has never been higher.Vacancy rates in Hamilton and the GTA are astonishingly low, but we

New national head office for Walters Group.

Maple Leaf Foods’ multimillion investment in the Red Hill Business Park are seeing lots of new products in play and much more coming online. What Hamilton offers is a large cost advantage over the GTA along with the large parcels of land that are very difficult to find anywhere east of the city.” The 915-acre Red Hill South park is located at the junction of the Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway and The Red Hill Valley Parkway, and just minutes from the Queen Elizabeth Way and Highway 403. “Hamilton is one of the only city in Ontario will all four major forms of transportation within its urban boundaries. For users that require port, airport and rail access, that is a big plus,” said business development consultant Brian Morris. About 398 acres remain in the southern park, with about 240 acres either fully or partially serviced. The City of Hamilton owns five large parcels and three are being actively marketed: 400 Glover Rd. is about 13 acres, 863 Nebo Rd. is roughly 25 acres, and 420 Trinity Church Rd. is approximately 43 acres. The City will seek large-use tenants, with a particular focus on the priority sectors of advanced manufacturing, agriculture and food processing, transportation and logistics, and life sciences, but parcels can be broken into smaller units. “The No. 1 thing industry is concerned about is access to talent,” said Morris.

“Within a 45-minute drive, we have a labour pool of 2.5 million people and our local post-secondary institutions are a big part of the story. We also offer strong HSR bus service to the park.” Truck parts manufacturer Navistar’s location in the Red Hill park serves as its eastern Canadian distribution centre. It offers great access to major dealers in Ontario, Quebec and New York, which is critical to customers who need to get disabled trucks back on the road, says Scott Wick, distribution manager for eastern Canada. Wick says Navistar needed a lean, purpose-built facility and so made the move from Burlington in 2014. The 250,000-square-foot hub employs 35 and has about 24,000 different parts in its inventory. While the City typically doesn’t engage brokers for its properties, it will offer compensation for those who secure deals on the Red Hill parcels with companies that are coming to Hamilton for the first time, says Ray Kessler, manager of real estate. “Our objective is to land new jobs and to grow the assessment base. We want to make sure there are no barriers from a land acquisition perspective. That includes putting our parcels on the market at fair market value. We are prioritizing bringing companies that want to grow in Hamilton.”




Investing at the Airport


amilton International Airport is both Canada’s fastest-growing and largest overnight express cargo airport and is poised to take off even higher with growing passenger and cargo volumes, investments in infrastructure, groundbreakings on new employment lands ventures, and expansion of a maintenance and repair facility that will fuel next-generation growth at the airport. “Hamilton International Airport is critical to our city’s ambitions to be a global logistics hub and a diversified economic powerhouse,” said Glen Norton, director of economic development at the City of Hamilton. “The investment in and around the airport and growth in passenger and cargo volumes speaks to the unique value proposition HIA offers to travellers and businesses.” Cargo traffic grew 20 per cent between 2016 and 2018 to 525,161 kilograms, thanks to 24/7 unrestricted airfield access and growth in service hubs for Cargojet, UPS, DHL and Canada Post/Purolator. DHL has just announced plans for a $100-million expansion at HIA that will quadruple its footprint to 200,000 square feet and add automated sorting technology that will process 15,000 packages per hour. The global cargo carrier employs 225 at the Hamilton airport. Passenger traffic at YHM soared 118 per cent between 2016 and 2018, climbing to 725,630. Passenger volume has grown another 30 per cent year over year in 2019, says HIA CEO Cathie Puckering,

Panattoni ground breaking

thanks largely to the benefits of Hamilton’s efficient size and convenient experience for passengers and carriers, and growth in service by low-cost carriers Flair and Swoop. “Our carrier partners need us to make quick turnarounds because they only make money when their planes are in the air. So we work to get their planes to the gate, unloaded, refuelled, restocked and reloaded as quickly as possible. Minutes matter for them.” Airport operators TradePort International is also investing almost $40 million in a four-year modernization project that will upgrade runways, taxiways, lighting and instrumentation to boost efficiency, reliability and safety and allow for the increasing use of wide-body aircraft for domestic and long-haul traffic. “This will allow us to be ready for the growth we know is coming,” said Puckering.

KF Aerospace and Mohawk College

KF Aerospace, which provides aviation services for corporate, commercial and military customers worldwide, has had to turn away work because of limitations to physical space and an international shortage of skilled labour. Its investment in Hamilton will go a long way to answering both challenges, says Grant Stevens, vice-president of corporate services.

KF Aerospace construction The first phase of KFA’s expansion at HIA is a 100,000-square-foot hangar to repair, modify and convert wide-body aircraft, such as 767s, 777s and 787s. Opening Nov. 18, it will be the largest hangar in the KFA network, says Stevens. When KFA began its construction project, it employed about 145 people in Hamilton on two maintenance/repair and modification lines. The company projects to employ about 425 in three years on six lines and has already hired 60 new employees, says Stevens. The company has been located in Hamilton for almost 25 years and chose HIA for this facility because of the support from the airport, good runways and 24hour access. “There is value in bringing this work to Canada. We anticipate work from across Canada, Iceland and Germany and the eastern seaboard of the United States.” Now under construction is a 60,000-square-foot hangar that will also accommodate labs and classrooms for Mohawk College aviation students beginning in fall 2020. “These new world-class facilities will give students in the aviation structures, maintenance and avionics programs the kind of hands-on, real-world learning that few other colleges will be able to match,” said David Santi, Dean of Engineering Technology. The HIA campus will allow Mohawk to eventually double its program enrolment from 150 to 300. There are currently three jobs for every graduate, he says. “This is another example of Mohawk’s consistent and proactive

response to the needs of industry,” said Norton. “This partnership with KFA will create a highly skilled talent pipeline so critical to the booming aerospace sector.” The vision is to coalesce Hamilton’s aerospace assets – including the airport, the Warplane Heritage Museum, Mohawk, materials research at McMaster and advanced manufacturing – into a hub of excellence that will draw investment and talent, says Santi.

Panattoni Developments Panattoni Developments has broken ground on a 265,000-square-foot industrial building in the Airport Employment Growth District, the first phase of its plans for a series of developments in Hamilton. The hope is to have the building open in early summer 2020. Its next project at the AEGD will be almost triple the size and will be targeted to large-scale logistics operations. Panattoni, which develops large-scale commercial and industrial projects around the world, owns 82 acres in the AEGD and will soon close a deal to buy another 88 acres, says development manager Adam Lambros. Together with a third property, Panattoni has enough real estate in Hamilton to develop more than three million square feet, says Lambros. “We really like the market in Hamilton because of the labour pool, the connectivity to the larger region and the access to the airport.”

Think you can change the world from an office?


can be big, like multinational big. Or it can be small, like the garage of a start-up small. It’s about what you choose to do on the one hand, and who you are on the other. We are more than our jobs, and God has a calling for each of us, wherever we go. That changes everything. Starting with you.

A degree you can believe in.

Profile for Perspective

Perspective Hamilton Globe and Mail 2019  

Economic Development Report on the City of Hamilton Ontario Canada published inside The Globe and Mail

Perspective Hamilton Globe and Mail 2019  

Economic Development Report on the City of Hamilton Ontario Canada published inside The Globe and Mail