BUILDING THE FUTURE
Downtown Hamilton based Gowling WLG is on the move. They announced their plans to break ground on a new $35 million, 90,000-square-foot head office in McMaster Innovation Park (MIP), in the Summer of 2020. About 200 people—52 lawyers and more than 150 staff—will move into the new MIP space.
The $2.4 million, 10,000-square foot space that houses tech accelerator The Forge and Regional Innovation Centre, Innovation Factory, was opened in the Fall of 2019. Innovation Factory has assisted 1,900 local startups since opening in 2011 and the Forge has graduated 130 companies since 2015.
The MIP Master Plan calls for a focus on research and academic facilities. The plan provides for approximately 1.6 million square feet of building space as well as ancillary retail and service facilities, Hotel and conference facilities and landmark building opportunities that include the adaptive reuse of former industrial/manufacturing facilities.
Westinghouse HQ officially opened in 2019 and this early 20th Century building offers over 40,000 square feet of space for unique retail and office opportunities. Westinghouse has been synonymous with industrial and corporate excellence in Hamilton and the investment is a significant adaptive reuse project that is a welcomed addition to advancing commercial activity in the up-and-coming Barton Street Business Improvement Area.
King james by core urban
Work continued on the King James Project, the 5-storey adaptive reuse project in the downtown core. It has already attracted a number of tech firms searching for cool brick and beam spaces.
Preteckt Now working with the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority.
Hamilton-based AI tech firm Preteckt was one of two companies chosen to work on a year-long pilot project aimed at improving bus service in New York City. Preteckt focuses on vehicle predictive diagnostics and competed against nearly 100 companies last fall for a chance to work with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s tech accelerator, called the Transit Tech Lab. Preteckt’s pilot will use AI technology and transit data to identify patterns and recognize when a vehicle is approaching the point of needing repairs so the vehicle can be fixed earlier.
Operatic Agency involves a major merger of a tech firm from Hamilton and a tech firm from Burlington. In 2020, they consolidated operations in a new brick and beam office space in downtown Hamilton. This adds to the growing creative class choosing to call Hamilton home.
Ressam Gardens is a $16 million, four-storey, 48-suite, first-of-its-kind in North America residential care facility for people suffering from all forms of dementia.
After breaking ground in June 2019, Ressam Gardens is slated to open in December 2020 and will serve as a living lab for researchers from the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) and include an elaborate system of electronic technology or smart systems used to monitor the residents, including the use of GPS bracelets for those who are permitted to leave the facility temporarily.
2019 RBC Canadian Open scores big for Hamilton
The RBC Canadian Open, Canada’s national championship, took place at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club June 3–9, 2019.
Ranked one of Canada’s top 10 courses, 2019 was the sixth time the golf club hosted this world class sporting event. The Open’s professional field of 156 golfers from 24 countries had lots of star power with four of the top six players in the world, including third ranked Rory McIlroy who captured his 16th PGA Tour title. Attendance exceeded 120,000, the highest attendance in over a decade. 61% of attendees were tourists, leading to profitable spin-offs for the local economy. The event’s direct Gross Domestic Product economic impact for Hamilton was $24,626,580 (Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance STEAM). Local revenue impacts include seven hotels with guest room revenue of $543,440 over one week and eight restaurants showcasing their food at the course generating $182,500 over four days. The Open’s global reach included 40 hours of coverage on CBS/Golf Channel resulting in 17.1 million people watching the broadcast in the U.S. which included a highlight reel of Hamilton sights and attractions.
The city’s commitment to highlighting everything Hamilton has to offer provided the perfect backdrop for the Open’s successful return to the Hamilton Golf & Country Club.
Filming resumes after COVID-19 lockdown
Lights, camera…action! Hamilton is once again open for film business. The Hamilton Film Office has resumed operations and staff are thrilled to be working with several film and television productions planning upcoming shoots throughout the city.
Following a modified process that addresses health and safety concerns, productions are now confirming they have a site-specific health and safety plan in place for each filming location. Productions working in Hamilton will also be required to follow the Ontario Section 21 Health and Safety Committee COVID-19 Guidance Document, approved by the Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development.
The safe return of the film industry is welcome news for Hamilton as the industry is set to make an important contribution to overall economic recovery. In 2019 productions spent about $60 million in the community on local goods and services. And as productions begin to return to work, the outlook for the future is promising.
Hamilton was home to 141 productions in 2019 including Mrs. America, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Umbrella Academy, and The Boys. Its popularity as a filming location has given rise to a thriving local industry that includes hundreds of film-related businesses and over nine thousand jobs.
Hamilton to host 108th Grey Cup in 2021
For the first time in 25 years, the Grey Cup Championship Game and Festival will return to Hamilton in 2021—just in time for the City’s 175th anniversary.
The 108th Grey Cup is the 11th time Hamilton will host the CFL’s Championship game and the first to be held at Tim Hortons Field. Canada’s premier annual sporting event, the Grey Cup Game is proceeded by a week-long Festival (November 17–21) that celebrates our community and features activities for fans of all ages including concerts, parties and award shows. Tourism Hamilton has secured 6,000 hotel room nights and meeting space in the downtown core to host the CFL, fans and media for over 25 major events. Direct spending by visitors coming to Hamilton for the Grey Cup is estimated at a minimum of $32 million. The Grey Cup is Canada’s largest single-day sporting event with one in three Canadians tuning in to watch. This represents an additional opportunity to showcase Hamilton’s unique appeal as a destination for millions of viewers (television and social media) across Canada. The City of Hamilton will support the 2021 Grey Cup Festival Week celebration with in-kind services, stadium readiness costs, contract staff and community programming.
Skylight Steelworks Studios opened in 2019 at the Stelco lands. This business is based out of NYC and locates in industrial or former industrial areas and uses the space for film, photography, arts and events.
Shop HamOnt is a brand new online marketplace for makers (artists, fashion designers) to market and sell their products. This business not only provides an online space but offers advice to creators on marketing their products.
The Fast 40 program represents the ones to watch in business in Hamilton.
This unique ‘made in Hamilton’ initiative was created as part of the City’s 2016-2020 Economic Development Action Plan. The Action Plan identifies a “stretch target” that aims to have 10 Hamilton-based businesses listed on ‘The Growth 500’, Canadian Business Magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing Businesses. Companies that achieve top 40 status in Hamilton are then encouraged and assisted in applying for the national honour.
- CAN-AM Cryoservices Corp
- Catalyst Specialized Personal Training
- Nix Sensor Ltd.
- QReserve Inc.
- A.S. Security & Surveillance
- Collective Arts Brewing
- CoMotion Group Inc
- Equal Parts Hospitality
- MERIT Brewing Company
- Orbis Communications
- RSK Automotive & Collision
- The Generator
- The Laundry Design Works Inc.
- Webility Solutions Inc.
- CENG Technologies Inc.
- Jet Propelled, Inc.
- Marci’s Bakery
- Max Aicher North America LTD
- MCC Controls Inc
- ALP Training Institute
- Clifford Brewing
- Engagement Agents
- Laura Gyldenbjerg & Associates Inc.
- Paramount Safety Consulting
- Spring Travel Service Ltd
- Auto Key Pro
- Caliber Communications Inc
- Epic Tool Inc.
- Joseph Haulage Canada Corp.
- One:One Manufacturing
- Roma Bakery
- SM Cladding Solutions
- Balzac’s Coffee Ltd.
- Fairway Electrical Services
- Guest Plumbing and Heating
- Millgrove Farms/Singh Greenhouses
- WPE Landscape Equipment
- P.S. MediaHouse