The Gore Precinct

Posted on Feb 6, 2012 under

This triangular urban development – dating from the mid-19th century – continues as one of Hamilton’s most prominent public spaces and distinctive landmarks.  It’s located in the heart of our city along a stretch of King Street East between James and Catharine.  CLICK HERE to read the history of The Gore prepared by Hamilton Public Library.

The Gore Precinct features a variety of unique assets, including a refurbished cast iron fountain, a cenotaph, numerous monuments, and tree-lined pedestrian pathways.  A collection of historic buildings (many of architectural and cultural significance) face the park and provide an appealing structural border.  Unfortunately, due to a variety of reasons linked to years of neglect and disinvestment, The Gore has become a blemish on the image of our entire city.  Yet the tide has turned as public interest in re-energizing the Gore grows. Improvements are happening at a steady pace, enabled by a number of related factors, including municipal incentives, an activist Downtown Hamilton BIA, a proposed renewal master plan for the entire area, and the efforts of property owners, tenants and residents alike.

This renewal story is interesting due to its scale (large) and inherent complexity (the interdependencies of countless partners).  There’s also the question of financial viability: Is there sufficient market demand to warrant the significant costs related to re-purposing and maintaining historic buildings?  Will people return to The Gore?

Sample 2012 milestone moments that will be featured in The Gore Precinct video case study include:

  • Uptake on municipal incentives to stimulate building improvements
  • Public debate on the future of The Gore Master Plan
  • Opening and operation of The Gore Summer Promenade
  • Tracking proposals to re-imagine The Gore developed by young urban designers now living in downtown Hamilton
  • Efforts by the Downtown Hamilton BIA to help lead and facilitate change


Discoveries arising from these and other activities will also be used to shape the Renew Hamilton education and training curriculum.

Gore Park Precinct in Downtown Hamilton