Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,
During the fall of 2020, the City of Hamilton invited residents to take part in the Southam Park Final Master Plan, to help understand the needs of area residents and park users. This fall, the City released its Final Master Plan concept.
For more details, please continue reading below…
Present-day Southam Park was once the site of a four-storey stone structure called the Mountain View Hotel, which was built on the site around 1850.
With the City of Hamilton recognizing the park is in need of upgrades, the City invited residents to participate in the Southam Park Master Plan.
In its Final Master Plan concept report, the City reported that over 80 submissions were received from local residents and stakeholders on changes and improvements they would like to see in the future.
Natural augmentation was a focal point for many area residents, with a wish to see more gardens and greenery in the park as well as a wish to have more salt-tolerant plants along pathways which are de-iced. Along with the wish to see more greenery and gardens in the park, neighbours would like to see trees installed along the current pathways to provide an urban canopy, and to respect the existing character of the park and its mature trees.
With the added wish of trees along pathways, park users are hoping for added rest areas and benches along the pathway, which would also help those commuting or exercising along the Keddy Trail.
Neighbours are also hoping to maintain some of the current open space at the park, which allows for gatherings, recreation, programming and picnics.
A wish the City heard from stakeholders was the removal of invasive tree and shrub species along the escarpment to restore the park’s former views of the lower city. Another idea which was put forward was to restore and relocate the fountain to a more centralized area, and to install educational signage about the Southam family and their history.
Lighting is also a priority for park visitors to improve safety in the area, and extend its usability into the evenings and during wintertime.
Another feature would be nature-based informal play features which would blend in with the natural surrounding, which would provide an area for children to play and adults to exercise.
Widening of the current pathway to allow for an easier flow of two-way traffic is of interest to residents, as well as create easier connections along the current routes. New paving is also being proposed to replace the current uneven and deteriorating surfaces. A desire to pave the currently existing desire path as a legitimate connection between the path along Upper James Street and the pathway running through Southam Park.
With Southam potentially being a hub for bikers between the Mountain and the lower city thanks to the Keddy Access Trail, a bike parking/repair area would help those on their daily commute or ride. A drinking station is also proposed. Finally, the implementation of a BikeShare station would encourage and support active transportation.
The proposed upgrades currently do not have any funding to support the initiatives, but Councillor Danko has indicated that the Southam Park Master Plan upgrades will be a priority for the Councillor during this term and will be reviewing funding options from the Ward 8 Area Rated Capital reserves.
Questions or concerns?
If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact our office here.