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Human action on the land is causing the climate to change. Industry, transportation, residential buildings and commercial operations all produce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These function like a global greenhouse, trapping radiation from the sun and warming the planet's surface. Of all of the sources of GHGs, emissions from transportation are a key area where individual actions can have a meaningful impact.

City Data

Infographic showing the modal split of transportation in Hamilton: 67% car, 7% bus, 5% walk/bike.

Modal Split of Transportation

Single Occupancy Vehicles 67%

Transit 7%

Walk/cycle 5% 


Black and white engraving of a large factory complex with a sign on one of the buildings that reads “Dominion Steel Foundry Co.” Smokestacks expel black plumes of smoke into the sky..

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Hamilton's top sources of greenhouse gas emissions (excluding industry) are: transportation - 55%, residential - 24% and commercial - 20%. Transportation related emissions have increased by 20.73% from 2006-2017. As a result of awareness and action emissions from residential, waste, steel, agriculture and industrial sources have dropped significantly in this same period.
Dominion Steel Foundry, 1910s. From the collection of Hamilton Civic Museums.

Photo of cars driving on a downtown street. An intersection for Hamilton St. N. is in the background..

Transportation Emissions

61% of total transportation emissions come from light and medium duty single occupancy vehicles, making them the largest City wide contributor to transportation greenhouse gas emissions.

City Policy

Cover page of City of Hamilton report entitled “City of Hamilton Transportation Master Plan Review and Update.” There is a colour cartoon image showing people travelling by bus, car, bicycle, wheelchair, with a city and green space in the background. There is a blue circle in front of this image and the words “City in Motion”.

City of Hamilton Transportation Master Plan

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Black and white cover page of City of Hamilton report entitled “Cycling Master Plan Review and Update.” The City of Hamilton logo is at the bottom with the subheading “City of Hamilton Transportation Master Plan Review and Update.”

City of Hamilton Cycling Master Plan Review and Update

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Cover page of City of Hamilton report entitled “Corporate Climate Change Task Force” Subheading at the bottom reads “Corporate Goals and Areas of Focus for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, City of Hamilton, December 4, 2019.” The cover features a colour photo of the Hamilton skyline, overlooking a two-way street with traffic heading in both directions.

City of Hamilton Corporate Climate Change Task Force: Corporate Goals and Areas of Focus for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

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A colour photograph showing a row of Sobi Hamilton bikes. The seat and part of the rear wheel is visible, and the Sobi logo is visible above the rear wheel.

Ride with Hamilton Bike Share

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Black and white photograph depicting three men in suits standing next to a dark-coloured Studebaker car in front of a brick building. The man on the left is presumably handing a key to the man on the right. The other man is behind them.

Car Culture

Since the 1950s, the car has been the primary mode of transportation for many Hamilton residents. The streetcar networks and rail lines of the early 20th century couldn't accommodate the growth of the City and suburban sprawl, so cars became necessary. More cars result in greater greenhouse gas emissions from single occupancy vehicles, which are a key contributor to climate change.


Men standing beside a Studebaker Commander. From the collection of Hamilton Civic Museums.

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