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Hamilton City Council has developed a very important document that defines the mission of our local government and a vision for the future of Hamilton. A core set of values also exists to guide behaviour and actions concerning the management of the city.  For staff and residents of the City of Hamilton, the document represents a promise for the future and provides clear direction for where our city is going. To "get there", Council has also committed to a set of priorities, known as the strategic plan, where the City’s financial and human resources will be focused in the coming years.

Below is the complete text of Hamilton’s Mission, Vision, Values and Goal (strategic plan) statements. Take this opportunity to familiarize yourself with these statements, and expect to hear more about them in the months ahead as the City of Hamilton prepares to launch a new branding campaign.

Our Vision

The City of Hamilton’s vision is the shaping force for all of its policies, actions, behaviours and services.

It states:

The City of Hamilton is a safe, healthy, sustainable community and a great place in which to work, live and play, that offers residents and businesses growth and opportunity.

It is a city of diverse communities, led by Council, which together with staff, spends wisely and governs in an open and accessible manner.

Our Mission

The mission of Council and staff is to work together to create and implement strategies necessary to turn the vision into reality.

Our Values

The vision, mission and goals of the City of Hamilton will be guided by 10 core values.

  • Fiscal Accountability: to increase the efficiency of our city government through fiscal responsibility and prudence

  • Leadership: in our thinking and in our actions; encouraging individual and team initiatives that exceed expectations, and advocating what we believe in

  • Innovation: to think broadly and long-term; to balance both city-wide and neighbourhood responsibilities; to do more with limited resources

  • Integrity: to demonstrate honesty and sincerity in all of our dealings, upholding only the highest ethical principles; to provide open and transparent communications to create informed opinion

  • Respect: for the needs of all residents, for all viewpoints, and for the diversity of our community

  • Compassion: sensitivity to, and meeting the requirements of all residents with special needs and interests, and those less fortunate

  • Commitment: to fulfilling the vision and goals of the city

  • Teamwork: working in full cooperation and a spirit of collegiality with staff, Council, residents, businesses and external partners

  • Sustainability: to contribute to a balanced community, economy and environment; to minimize the footprint of our activities and to do no harm

  • Excellence: in our service delivery, through a quality workforce; and to show pride in our efforts and the community in which we live and work

Our Goals

Our strategic plan shows how we want to build a city that works. We want Hamilton to be:

1. A City of Growth and Opportunity

To secure a future of growth and opportunity for the City of Hamilton, Council commits to focus all available resources on economic development. Specifically:

a) Lower Commercial & Industrial Taxes

    Council will lower commercial and industrial taxes such that the city’s tax ratios will reach provincial thresholds in 3 years.

b) Investment in Infrastructure

    Council will pursue investment in strategic infrastructure necessary to attract and maintain business.

c) Developing Partnerships for Hamilton with Other Levels of Government

    Council will urge its government partners to take the steps necessary to support the city in its efforts

d) Attracting and Retaining Business

    Council will explore the best methods and quantity of resources necessary to attract and retain business.

e) City-wide and Balanced Investment

    Council will pursue initiatives at the airport, waterfront, and downtown areas to ensure the benefits of economic development are felt city-wide.

f) Keeping Hamilton Connected

Council will look beyond the borders of Hamilton to ensure that it is connected to the regional economies of Niagara, Western New York and the GTA.

2. A Great City in Which to Live

To ensure that Hamilton remains a great city, Council commits to providing quality services that residents can rely on and to support the community’s quality of life.

a) Providing Quality Community Services

    Council will work to provide quality community services, honouring community identity and varying needs and circumstances.

b) Supporting People in Need, with Care

    Council will seek to work with other levels of government and the community to ensure that people in need are supported and cared for.

c) Putting Our Best Face Forward

    Council will commit to working with the community to heighten awareness that littering and graffiti hurt our efforts to be a great city.

d) Walk this Way – A City of Trails

    Council will partner with the Hamilton Conservation Authority and other community agencies to integrate and promote a city-wide trail system.

e) Young Hamiltonians are Part of Being Great

    Council will commit to building a new city that makes a place for its best and brightest – our children and grandchildren; young people need to feel that they have a role in making our city great.

f) VISION 2020 – A Sustainable City

    Council is committed to VISION 2020 and will partner with ACTION 2020 in the implementation of its strategies.

g) Arts & Culture

Council is committed to promoting the development of arts, culture and heritage throughout the City.

3. A Healthy, Safe and Green City

To ensure the quality of life of Hamilton residents, Council commits to work with our government partners to improve our natural environment, the safety of our community, and the health of our residents.

a) Meeting Our Statutory Health Obligations

Council will take steps to ensure that the public health department is adequately resourced to meet all statutory obligations.

b) Cleaning Up the Harbour

Council will work with government, the private sector, and the community to work to clean up the Harbour.

c) Investing in Safe Water for Today & Tomorrow

Council will commit to measures that will help ensure reliable and safe sources of drinking water.

d) Reducing Waste Going to Landfills

Council will commit to an aggressive waste diversion rate to increase the lifespan of our landfill and ultimately reduce costs, both financial and environmental, for taxpayers.

e) Leading the Way in Environmental Studies & Management

Council will work with government, academia, the community and private sector to study issues related to our natural environment, provide valuable advice and put forward action plans.         

f) Public Safety for the Community, with the Community

Council will work for and with the community to improve the safety of all residents.

g) Improving Air Quality to Help Us Breathe

    Council will work with government, community stakeholders and the private sector in the pursuit of strategies aimed at cleaning our air.

h) More Trees Please

Council will commit to supporting efforts to make our city green by pursuing an urban forestry strategy.

i) Municipal Housing Program

Develop and implement a municipal affordable housing program.

4. A City Where People Come First

To harness the energy of the citizens of the new City of Hamilton and to fulfill our obligation to be open and accessible, Council commits to communicate clearly and effectively with the public; provide full information about services, their costs and how well they meet clear performance targets.

a) Annual Reports on the State of the City

Council will publish an annual report detailing the performance of the City.

b) Itemized Tax Bills

 Council will provide taxpayers with a clear account of how their money is being spent with an itemized property tax bill.

c) Benchmarks & Performance Measurement

 Council will work with staff to develop a list of key performance indicators to track the progress of the City of Hamilton against objective benchmarks.

d) New Opportunities for Public Input & Volunteerism

Council will pursue new and innovative opportunities to enable more people to share their views and contributions to the city, Council and its services.

5. A City That Spends Wisely and Invests Strategically

To get the best value for taxpayer dollars, and to ensure that we have the financial resources available to invest in our economic development and other community priorities, Council commits to increase the efficiency of our city government.

a) Maintain Service Levels

Except where mandated by statutory obligation or to address priority infrastructure deficiencies, Council will maintain, but not increase, service levels until its economic development program is complete.

b) Best Practices – Best Value

Council will pursue best practices to lower the cost of government and ensure best value in service delivery. It is recognized that best value is not just a calculation of dollars: it also includes accountability, service quality, accessibility and other community priorities which must be taken into account as per Council policy.

c) Smart Amalgamation

Council will complete the amalgamation in a manner consistent with its commitment to maintaining service levels and seeking best value set out in (a) and (b), while honouring community identity.

6. A City of Choice for High Performance Public Servants

Council commits to value Hamilton civic employees and to work with the management team to create the conditions where all employees can excel in their service to the community.

a) Employer of Choice

Council will support the administration in its efforts to:

  • Provide employees with challenging, rewarding, enjoyable and fulfilling work, and;

  • Assist staff in balancing work with home and personal commitments through supportive human resource policies and management approaches

b) Learning Organization

    Council will support the administration in its efforts to foster life-long learning and career development for staff.

c) Leadership

    Council will support the administration in its efforts to develop leadership at all levels in the organization, and to capitalize on its leadership capabilities to cultivate organizational energy, enthusiasm, and a shared sense of purpose and direction.

d) Business and Service Excellence

Council will support the administration in its efforts to provide excellence in public service, to be achieved through an integrated approach to planning and performance management, optimal use of technology, well-trained staff, and effective management of change.


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