Tag Archives: Property Standards By-Law


This is a quick message to remind you about this Saturday’s second monthly By-Law Crawl event, starting at 1 PM in Gore Park, in front of the Royal Connaught. The crawl will end with an afterparty at This Ain’t Hollywood, at 345 James St. North, starting around 4 PM.

By-Law Crawl is an event designed to locate, identify and report properties which are in serious violation of the City of Hamilton’s Property Standards By-Law, in hopes of proactively preventing further decay and demolition of Hamilton’s building stock, and ensuring that buildings do not pose a danger to the public. I’ll be distributing copies of the By-Law, as well as offering some guidance to participants on what we’re looking for, and the proper way to go about spotting these infractions.

Effective By-Law enforcement is the only tool we have as citizens to ensure properties don’t fall into disrepair and require demolition, or that vacant/derelict properties don’t detract from the communities that surround them. This isn’t just an issue of heritage preservation and public safety, it’s also an issue of waste- 30% of our landfills are composed of building materials. Not every building can be saved- but if we proactively enforce certain standards, it’s far less likely that an absentee property owner can allow a building to decay to the point that demolition is the only option.

Our first By-Law Crawl event in February was a success- approximately 75 people braved cold temperatures, and as a result, complaints on 34 properties were forwarded to By-Law staff, and our organization is currently waiting for an update on this enforcement. I’ll be giving an update on this during Saturday’s Crawl. You can view an interactive google map of the properties we reported on here.

In addition to reporting on By-Law infractions, I’d also like to take this opportunity to encourage people to clean up any litter along the way- actively cleaning up the streets. We’ll also be keeping an eye open for instances of rubbish, debris, and illegal dumping, and forwarding those complaints to appropriate staff in Property Maintenance.

To be clear, this event is not designed to crack down unfairly on property owners who are doing their part- the focus of this event is on the worst offenders- properties with a legacy of not meeting minimal standards as prescribed by the Property Standards By-Law.

I invite you to participate this Saturday, and pass along this info to anyone else who may be interested in attending.

If you need any information on the crawl, please visit www.bylawcrawl.ca, or feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Matt Jelly


by law crawl
On Saturday February 6th, Hamilton will see it’s first BY-LAW CRAWL, at 1 PM beside the remains of the Century Theatre. Please be advised that the date and time of this event have been changed from the original time and date (Friday Feb 5th at 7 PM).
Many people in our community are saddened to see another heritage building destroyed- demolition crews are dismantling the 97-year-old Century Theatre as I write this. Multiple parties are to blame for this prime example of demolition by neglect- the owners for not living up to their responsibilities as a property owner, and the City for not holding the owners to those responsibilities.
The public also has a role in this; by-law enforcement is complaint-based. We need to break the cycle of willful negligence and emergency demolition in this city. The only way for us to do that is by reporting property standards by-law infractions to the city when we see them. It’s the only way we can stop the next building(s) from being torn down.
We don’t need any new by-laws passed to prevent this from happening. The city simply has to enforce the by-laws we already have as they’re written. And the public needs to ensure that enforcement happens.
We will be printing up copies of the Property Standards By-Law for distribution at the event, and we will scour the core for the worst offenders. We will forward these findings to the city’s by-law enforcement, and ensure that these complaints are processed and acted upon. I will be in contact with senior by-law staff to explore ways in which we can work together to fix this problem once and for all.
Let me be clear- I haven’t organized this event to crack down unfairly on property owners who are doing their part. There are many building owners in Hamilton who do the right thing- they maintain their buildings and keep them vibrant and active. I want to focus on the worst offenders- property owners who have shown little respect to their neighbours, by allowing buildings to fall into disrepair and become a public danger. I want to focus on by-law infractions proven to be the most detrimental to the safety and lifespan of buildings and properties. I don’t want to attack those who keep business alive in the downtown core. The point of this event is to crack down on absentee property speculators who do nothing but keep business out.
I urge you to join us on Saturday February 6th at 1 PM, beside the remains of the Century Theatre. Let’s work together to solve this long-standing problem, and prevent the wrecking ball from claiming any more of our last remaining heritage buildings.
For more information and updates, I encourage you to join the facebook fanpage HERE.
Best wishes,
Matt Jelly
By-Law Crawl