Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis

The Strategic Value of the Hamilton Harbour Stelco Lands: A Socio-economic Investigation

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The objective of this study was to find an evidence-based and realistic understanding of the socio-economic value of the 329 hectares (813 acres) of industrial land occupied by Stelco (the “Lands”) on the southern shore of Hamilton Harbour.

The short answer: the Lands should not sit idle, as they possess significant strategic economic value. Situated in the rapidly growing Greater Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario, the Lands are spatially and economically significant given their location (e.g., a 5-kilometre drive from downtown Hamilton and a 68-kilometre drive from the U.S. Border at Lewiston).

The socio-economic potential of the land is highly dependent upon a coordinated response by planners and economic developers across all levels of government. In that regard, what is at risk (i.e., foregone opportunities for significant economic uplift) of the land being mismanaged or suffering patchwork development has been measured over a 45-year planning horizon and includes:

  • For Hamilton: between 440,000 and 530,000 incremental job years (or an expected 10,800 per year on average) with between $31B and $38B in aggregate incremental wages paid in the region;
  • For Ontario: an expected 150,000 incremental job years (or an expected 3,300 per year on average) with between $2.4B and $3.2B in aggregate incremental provincial tax revenues across the province; and
  • For Canada: at least 38,000, and likely 115,000 incremental job years (or 800/2,500 per year on average) with between $150M and $520M in additional GDP per year.