A few weeks back I had the pleasure of finally checking out 270 Sherman – the old Imperial Cotton Mill in the north-east end of town – which has been transformed into artist’s studios and other creative spaces. The area has a real historic industrial Hamilton feel and I was intrigued by the neighbouring buildings.
I wondered a little about how 270 Sherman came to be what it is today and had heard a rumour once that someone from the Zeidler family may have bought the building. FYI – the Ziedler family own both 401 Richmond and The Gladstone Hotel in Toronto. The transformation of 270 Sherman into a creative space would then all make sense, knowing that 401 Richmond is a transformed industrial space that is now home to artist’s studios and galleries, as well as various other creative workspaces. And The Gladstone is a refurbished boutique hotel that supports the Queen West art scene with gallery exhibitions, Come Up to My Room, and numerous other artistic events. Hmmm… I wonder. The rumour was recently dispelled as I learnt from a reader and staff member from 270 Sherman that in fact the building is locally developed and managed by The Crerar Group from right here in Hamilton. Sorry for any perpetuating of false rumours!
In any case I loved the 1900′s turn of the century factory -what a fabulous space! According to its history Hamilton was apparently not just a steel town but also a garment and textile town too with a multitude of textile factories spattered throughout the city. In the building there were still remnants of the former factory: old worker’s lockers, patches on the hardwood floor where the workers and factory machines treaded, and the steel plates on each of the steps leading up to the factory floor boldly embossed with Imperial Cotton Co. Ltd. 1900.
I was also really excited to check out the TH&B (2) exhibit that was being put on in the old factory space of 270 Sherman. I wasn’t living in Hamilton for the first TH&B but had read about it, and so I was super excited to kill two birds with one stone by seeing the building space and opening night of TH&B2 all in one go! The opening was amazing! A great show of support for the arts from local Hamiltonians. A bus load of folks from Toronto’s OCAD even came for the opening night. It felt so good to be a part of something like this, and to know that there ARE great artistic things happening in this city.
I enjoyed the exhibit and the building so much that I wanted to check it out again in the day light for Doors Open Hamilton. Here are some of the day-time photos of the exhibit and the building.
The night of the opening behind David Hind and the Aluminum Quilting Society’s piece there was some live aluminum quilting going on. The artwork above is actually the front of a mini enclosed workspace, where artists were working to etch and engrave steel plates live! It was pretty cool. Throughout the gallery space and the opening you could hear the industrious muted sound of metal being ground and worked.
The TH&B2 exhibit is on until May 12th.
*270 Sherman Ave. North, 905.547.8256