Arlene VanderBeek is a friend and advocate for St Joseph’s Villa and Margaret’s Place and Councillor for Ward 13. Today Arlene gave her yearly “state of the ward” report to the club. Arlene began by thanking the club for the invitation and congratulated us for our great work in the community. She also acknowledged her pleasure in having Russ Powers rejoin Hamilton City council. She certainly appreciates the breadth of knowledge, skills, and experience that Russ brings to the chamber.

Arlene focused her report mostly on traffic in Dundas. She re-iterated that the reconstruction of the King St. hill was continuing to be “on schedule” but that means the hill is closed until Dec. 2022.
As for the bike lanes on Hatt St., these are here to stay. What is “pilot” in the project is the street car parking. If you have suggestions regarding the traffic flow on Hatt St. please sends these to Arlene now as Hatt St. is also scheduled for reconstruction.
The bike lanes will be extended to eventually run from Sydenham hill to Hatt to Baldwin, past the gas station and link to the multi-purpose path on Cootes, thereby enabling biking from rural Dundas to the west end of Hamilton.
She remarked that constituents have complained about speeding and running stop signs, and in general about more aggressive driving. To date a number of traffic calming devices have been deployed such as raised crosswalks and raised intersections, and PXO crossovers. She reminded both drivers and pedestrians to use these flashing cross walks and stop until the pedestrian is off the asphalt.

Arlene was pleased to support the urban boundary freeze by City Council and hopes the provincial government will accept this decision. However, she stated that Dundas and the entire city will now need to look at zoning reform in order to accommodate the population growth that is expected for this region over the next 30 years. She spoke of inclusionary zoning that complements existing zoning; small multiplexes that fit the neighbourhoods and provide what planners and architects call the “Missing Middle”. Freezing the urban boundary is good for saving farmland and food security, but we must be willing and ready to face the challenges created by this decision.
Arlene then took several questions from our members.
1) How do we manage the influx of “tourists”, especially on weekends, who chose not to follow any traffic/pedestrian guidelines while they “explore” the region’s trails and waterfalls. Arlene responded that the “reservation” system for permit parking has calmed some of this atrocious behaviour in Greensville (Webster’s and Tews Falls especially). But it is harder to deal with the naturalized areas on Old Dundas/Ancaster Road. The problem is also shouldered by Ancaster (Sherman Falls).
2) How vulnerable is Dundas to flooding?” Arlene conceded that the current flood map is up to date but not finished. She observed that much of Dundas had once been a lake and some new builds will need to raised considerably (11 feet in some cases) in order to comply with current Conservation policy. One challenge is that the provincial government has disallowed the dredging of Sydenham creek (it used to be done by the Town of Dundas). She said that the best approach to prevent flooding is for all the organizations to work together: RBG, HCA, community organizations and the City of Hamilton.
3) What about the problem with the "slip lane" on the Ogilvy hill?  Arlene indicated that city planners were working on this issue including the addition of a bike lane.
If you would like to be added to Arlene’s community update please email her at