Hamilton’s proposed King Street open streets event on hold until 2023

The cost of pushing ahead with Hamilton’s employee vaccination policy, in the face of legal challenges and arbitration hearings, had been estimated at up to $7.4 million. Global News

It’s not going to happen this year, but a survey of Hamiltonians finds strong support for an “open streets” pilot project across the lower city.

The idea is to close King Street to vehicular traffic for a one-day street festival between Gage and Gore parks.

A report that will be presented to the general issues committee on Thursday says 86 per cent of the almost 1,000 people who responded to an online survey on the City of Hamilton’s website are supportive of the concept.

Read more: One day closure of King Street floated across Hamilton for open streets initiative

Ward 2 Coun. Jason Farr sees it as an extension of the types of initiatives that have been popular throughout the pandemic.

“On-street patios and activating laneways for restaurant service and other activities, we even put a rock concert together on the top of a parkade in downtown Hamilton,” notes Farr. “We started thinking outside the box on bringing people together.

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“I don’t think I’ve seen Engage Hamilton survey results that are so positive.”

Councillors asked staff to gather public input in May, when they supported the concept in principle, but staff say the plan will have to wait until next summer to be put into action.

The report indicates that the “temporary linear urban park” concept requires more consultation with emergency services, the Downtown Hamilton Business Improvement Area (BIA) and residents along the proposed route.

The online survey shows that residents envision open-air markets during a one-day, “open streets” festival, along with food and drink options, public art, music, buskers and other pop-up installations.

Other suggestions include games, physical activity stations and movies.

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