City Profile

Population: 578,000¹

  • Hamilton is nearly 1.5 times the average of community gardens relative to population with just over 11 gardens per 100,000 people.
  • Hamilton is slightly above the average for hectares of parkland per population for cities over 500,000 with 4.5 hectares per thousand people.
  • Hamilton is one of 50% of cities that have a policy to waive permit fees for groups that show financial need.
  • Through a program that allows residents to build outdoor ice rinks in city parks, local community members created a large ice rink in Gage Park in the winter of 2020.
  • To inform the development of a citywide parks master plan, CityLAB, an organization that matches post-secondary students with city staff to tackle challenges, released their 2020 report on engagement strategies.
  • Green Cities Foundation is working with local residents in the Barton Village Community on creating a natural playground and creating urban agriculture opportunities on a brownfield site and within three neighbourhood parks.
2021 Data


ha parkland per 1000 people

2600 ha of total parkland


of total parkland is natural area

1160 total ha


of parkland is environmentally significant/protected

1010 total ha


of total city land is parkland

112,800 ha of total city area


dog parks



Community gardens/urban farms

2.1 ha / 1,000 people

Parkland provision goal (distance to park / ha per 1000 people)



volunteers / 1000 people

1121 total


community park groups


Policy to waive permit fees for groups with financial need


Parks operating budget per person

$25,032,670 total


Total parks capital budget


Total philanthropy/sponsorships


Provincially legislated tools available for parkland dedication, acquisition and/or development

Municipalities are able to require up to 5% of the land area of a residential development for parkland or, through an alternate rate bylaw, one hectare in land per 300 units or the equivalent in cash-in-lieu of one hectare per 500 units. Municipalities are also able to require 2% of commercial or non-residential development for parkland or the equivalent in cash-in-lieu. Municipalities may also fund eligible parks improvements through Development Charges and may choose to collect funding for parkland through a Community Benefits Charge, but overlap between these tools must be avoided.

¹Adjustment from the province to reflect growth targets. ²Reduction from last year due to COVID-19. Anticipated that it will be temporary. ³Includes volunteers engaged in maintenance/stewardship only.

Community park group program
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Thirty-two cities participated in this year's report and we hope more will join us next year.