Labour Day 2023

May 11, 2023

Labour Day 2023 Information Page


This Labour Day we will continue our traditional practice of having the parade followed by a picnic and gathering back at Bayfront Park. Consider this post as the best place to come back to further updates about everything happening that day.

NOTE: The HDLC receives partial funding for the Labour Day Parade and Picnic through The City Enrichment Fund. The fund comprises 6 Program Areas (Agriculture, Arts, Communities, Culture & Heritage, Community Services, Environment, Sports & Active Lifestyles) with funding streams and categories.

More information on each step will be filled in below, but the basic itinerary will be as follows on September 4th (any of this is subject to change depending on restrictions from Hamilton Public Health):

9:00-10:30 a.m.Assemble according to the DRAFT Parade Line Up (linked below).
10:30-11:30 a.m.Parade on the route (outlined below)
11:30-2:30 p.m.Picnic gathering at the park.

We will NOT be doing reserved spots in the park this year!

There is plenty of room around Bayfront Park for any local that wants its own space. When you show up on Labour Day morning, there will be plenty of room to stake a claim around the park for your group. If, however, you wish to show up early SUNDAY afternoon to set up, we will have afternoon and overnight security until people are at the site on Labour Day morning. A group from the Labour Council is usually there around 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on Sunday setting up.

Setting up a BBQ for your Local

Here are the links to the information regarding food serving at special events in Hamilton. Please note that any organization that serves food, even if provided at no charge, is considered a vendor and must comply with the requirements set out by Public Health for participation at special events.

The first link is to the city’s requirements for vendors. As the organizer of the event, the Labour Council is required to provide this information to you:

The second link is to the application form. Again, as organizer of the event, the Labour Council is required to collect this form from participants/vendors and submit them all at one time to public health. The completed form should be emailed to by August 15, 2023. Do not submit it directly to the city.

The city charges a fee of $41.80 (including HST) for each approved vendor. The Labour Council will invoice each vendor following the event.

FOOD: We will be pre-selling combo tickets for a hotdog OR hamburger and a drink for $5. Vegan options will be available. To pre-order tickets, contact Gillian Surette-Robinson at or Tom Atterton at A wireless credit card terminal will be available at the park for those who wish to settle up by credit card that day. Others can bring cheques or submit them at a later date.

ALCOHOL: We cannot pre-sell beer tickets, but you will be able to buy them that day. All alcohol must stay in the pre-designated/fenced area or the park.

FAMILY ACTIVITES: There will be children’s activities back in the park. We are waiting to firm up the details of what the list might entail.

COMMUNITY GROUPS: We have, many times in the past, invited community groups and coalition partners to march at the back of the parade. While we are still offering that option, we are trying to encourage many of our community partners to table back at the park so they can interact with our union locals as they return.

DRAFT Parade Line Up

Below is a link to the DRAFT Parade Line Up. It is in DRAFT mode until Labour Day because we will traditionally place bands at fronts of sections as we book them and endure striking or locked out workers are placed near the front of the parade.

We never have these details confirmed until far closer to date. If you have any questions or concerns about line up, please contact Anthony Marco ( You’ll notice that K-12 education locals have tentatively been placed in Section One as all of the K-12 collective agreements expire on August 31st. If you are a K-12 education worker local and you would rather march further back in the parade with other locals from your union, that’s entirely your prerogative.

Link to DRAFT Parade Line Up

Parking for the Parade and Picnic

We are planning free parking for the parade and picnic at two sites.

If you’re planning on staying for the picnic and can find a spot down in the main Bayfront Park parking lot before the streets are closed off, that would be your best option.

[NOTE: We will try, but cannot guarantee, to have a cart to transport people up the hill from the lower Bayfront Parking. If you do not see us confirm such transportation in advance, please organize your drop off routine to include accommodation for people who have issues tackling the slope back up from the parking area.]

Bayfront Park is Back : r/Hamilton

If you’re only going to be attending for the parade and then departing, we are pursuing another agreement we’ve reached with Metrolinx (in the past) to have all of their West Harbour GO Station parking open and free that day. If you enter the GO parking on James St. North (right across from the west side of LIUNA Station – pictured below) you can follow a parking lot that will take you parallel to the parade line up all the way down to Section Four (Hess Street). At most of the parade route, you can walk directly from the parking lot onto Stuart Street. If you are near the front of the parade, you may have to use the stairs or elevator in one of the main GO station towers to get up to street level.

Access to Learning, Cooling, and Washrooms (Pre-Parade)

If you arrive early to the parade line up and have figured out where your local is marching from, you might take the opportunity to have a short walk through the Workers’ Arts and Heritage Centre at 51 Stuart Street (right beside our Section One line up area). They are opening with special hours that day from 9:00 a.m. to noon where you can take in their most recent exhibitions and see some great labour history.

Workers Arts and Heritage Centre

Depending on the Labour Day weather (which always seems challenging) you can certainly cool down and find washroom facilities while visiting the WAHC near the front of the parade. If you’re in the back of Section Two or in Sections Three or Four, there will be accessible porta-potties placed between Sections TWO & THREE (Tiffany St.) and between Sections THREE and FOUR (Caroline St.).

Parade Route

The parade will start promptly at 10:30 a.m.. Bay Street North will likely close to traffic around 10 a.m., so if you plan on arriving after that, you will have to come down another access route.

The parade will be the same as the 2022 route (see image below):

  • Travel south on Bay Street to York Blvd.
  • Travel east on York Blvd. to James Street
  • Travel north on James Street to Strachan Street
  • Travel west on Strachan to Bayfront Park entrance

Back at the Park – Picnic Time

If local unions plan on bringing BBQs or other cooking appliances, they must fill in a permit which will be appended to our overall permit for our food preparation use and there may be a small fee involved. This rule was brought in a few years ago. We will provide a link to this form eventually on this page, but we’re just giving you the heads up for now.

At a later date we will place a map of areas in the park that locals generally go. When we open that up, you will be able to hold an area for your local.

Here’s what we are planning on having in the park at this time:

  • A BBQ serving hotdogs & hamburger (vegan options as well)
  • A fenced off area for serving beer and consumption
  • First Aid support
  • Tents and tables from local allies and community groups
  • Children’s Activities
  • Porta Potties
  • Live music (courtesy members of the Hamilton Musicians Guild)

With more information to come!


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