Archives: hamilton

franco fest

Festival season is quickly approaching. If you are looking to get a little sample of some summer festival happenings in Hamilton this weekend, then you should check out FrancoFest.

FrancoFest is a free three day open-air festival at Gage Park. It is a family-friendly festival that celebrates the diversity of francophone culture through live music, dance, and visual art.

For the kids there’s: circus workshops, art exhibitions, painting, drumming, reptile demonstrations, maquillage, and roaming artists.

Franco Fest

Some of the performances this year include: Karim Ouellet and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hamilton Aerial Group, Lua Shayenne & Co and many more.

FrancoFest has been around in Hamilton for 35 years but it is still pretty low-key (in a good way). You won’t be pushing a stroller through throngs of dusty festival crowds or staking out seats with your lawn chairs to catch the performances. It’s a festival that you can enjoy at a leisurely pace; pack a blanket and some shade, sample some eats from the food trucks and take a wander through the vendors (all beautifully curated).

Mental Floss Sideshow Franco Fest Franco Fest Hamilton Aerial Group Franco Fest2

There’s something about arts, and culture that the French just do better.

This was a festival that I attended last year that I really enjoyed. The vibe was just right. With little to no expectations of what the festival entailed; we grabbed some food from the food trucks, listened to some gorgeous music, wandered around the kid’s art painting station, and got a feel for just how cool francophone culture really is. 

FrancoFest is free and takes places June 24, 25 and 26. Parking on-site is $10.

*FrancoFest, Facebook, Twitter, #FrancoFest

 

spring time in durand

It’s around this time in spring, where lawns are greening in fluffy tufts of yet-to-be cut grass, starlings start their chirping at ungodly early morning hours and blossoms –oh the blossoms start to appear!

One of my favourite neighbourhoods to have a wander about is the Durand neighbourhood. Especially when I’m into daydreaming about how my life might be like if I was rich and lived in one of those insanely gorgeous old manors.

I consider Durand to be a downtown neighbourhood. It’s tucked behind city hall and pushed up back against the escarpment. The houses are not all castle-like mansions like on Ravenscliffe. Durand has an amazing mix of turn of the century apartments: 1960′s highrises, manors, and stone terrace row houses like Sandyford place on Duke (Hamilton’s limsestone version of Brooklyn Brownstones).

In spring I like to take an intentional trip to walk these streets and soak up all that is spring. The magnolia trees are especially breathtaking. Some of these trees are so old; their branches reaching wide and weighted heavily with blossoming magnolia pinks, white, yellow and purple.

 

Hamilton Durand Magnolias 2 Hamilton Durand House

I also love the ornate details on so many of the houses (especially on Bay) conical roofs, rounded windows, and slate or cedar shingles. Fine features that you just don’t see in every neighbourhood. I wonder about the houses that were levelled to build the highrises and city hall. And I think about Whitehern and how it’s just an island of historic refuge in the midst of redevelopment that must’ve hit the Durand neighbourhood all in one fatal swoop in the 60′s. If you’ve never checked out Whitehern’s secret little garden, then you should. It’s got beautiful ferns, and magnolias that would do for the perfect urban spring picnic. Hamilton Durand House 4 Hamilton Durand house 3 Hamilton Durand House 1 Hamilton Durand house 5 Hamilton Durand Magnolias 1 Hamilton Durand House 6

crawford lake

Sometimes I wish that spring in Ontario was a full four months; slow and gradual as opposed to how jarring it can often be. You know, snow storm one week and the next hot enough for shorts and sandals. But I shouldn’t be complaining. Spring is here at last!

If you’re looking for something to do on a weekend to enjoy this fine spring weather (with kids or without) I highly recommend checking out Crawford Lake; a reconstructed 15th century Iroquoian Village.

Whether you want to visit the old Iroquois Longhouses (which are actually super cool) or just got for a hike around the lake itself it is ALL worth checking out.

We went during maple syrup season on an unseasonably warm day in March. The sap was literally dripping out of their tree-taps like a leaky faucet.

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Our main mission for the morning was to wander around the lake via the lovely wooden boardwalk that circles around its entire circumference.

Crawford Lake

We packed a picnic and along with some friends we made a great morning treading along the 1.4km trail taking in the various vantage points and views of the deep deep lake.

The lake is unique in that its depth is deeper than its surface area and it is also a meromictic; meaning it has layers of its water that do not intermix. 

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Crawford Lake 2Crawford Lake is truly a magical place. Whenever I visit I imagine even if it’s just for a minute or two that these views are how much of Southern Ontario must have looked like a millenia ago.

I want to come back again to spend some more time exploring the Longhouses. And one day maybe we’ll venture for the longer 4-5 hour hike via the Nassagaweya Canyon Trail to Rattle Snake Point and back.

*Crawford Lake, 3115 Conservation Road, Milton, 905.854.0234

 

makeology

It totally puts me over the moon when things I’ve only dreamed of happening in Hamilton actually start to happen here on the regular: Fleas, Vintage Markets, Maker’s Market, and now Makeology.

Makeologist Spring Craft Fair

This Saturday, at The Cotton Factory, Hamilton’s largest craft fair is about to happen.

Melissa Lowry is the creative visionary force behind the event. She’s an illustrator, graphic designer, founder of Makeology, and maker of Milo&Ben (adorable hand-crafted felt animals). So it’s no wonder that she’s got a natural keen eye for helping to search out the best of the best makers (and then putting them all under one roof).

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Makeology is a one-day craft fair that will feature 80 vendors ranging from clothes and textiles, to jewellery, stationary, kids/baby goods, houseware and my fave –all things Made in Hamilton!

The Shoppery

The Shoppery, leather goodsTJ Indigo

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Coven, jeweleryHeidi van Veen Designs

Heidi van Veen Designs, screen printed totes, pouches, pillows & tea towelsThe Wild The Wild, accessories and apparel for kids, babies & adultsAren't You Fancy Aren’t You Fancy, sleep maskWolf Dottir

Wolf Dottir, upcycled reworked vintage china

Besides buying gifts for yourself (cause who doesn’t want to treat themselves) or others, you’ll be able to stay fuelled with caffein from Durand coffee shop (Hamilton’s newest hip cafe to hit the scene), Foundry‘s small batch gourmet ice-cream (flavours like roquefort & honey and vegan cherry chocolate coconut), and handmade confections from Sweet & Simple Co. For a little more substance Ramped up Catering will be on-site selling mouth watering bites to eat like their pork-belly sliders.

Foundry Ice Cream

Makeology is from 11am-6pm on Saturday, April 16th. Admission is $2. Kids under 12 are free. A dollar from all admission fees will go towards 541 Eatery’s button exchange (amazing!) and FYI there is an elevator to get you where you need to go.

The Cotton Factory is located at 270 Sherman, and In case you didn’t know, it’s an old 100,000 square-foot cotton factory and textile mill in centre of Hamilton’s Industrial heartland. The space is now a creative industrial complex dedicated to artistic endeavours and home to over 60 artist studios! The venue alone is worth checking out, especially if you’ve never been before.

 *Makeology, Saturday April 16th 2016, 11am-6pm, at 270 Sherman@Makeology, Facebook

 

 

lester coloma

I’ve been collecting pictures over the years of Lester Coloma’s work on the streets of Hamilton. I thought I would dig some of these photos up before they got entirely lost in the abyss of my ever-growing Hamilton photo collection.

I can’t remember which one was first anymore –the Super Crawl Elephant or the Tortoise & the Hare?

I’m pretty sure that the elephant was Coloma’s second piece.

The day I took this picture, may have been the day it was completed and installed on Mixed Media‘s wall (Cannon Street side). I even have a shot of “Mural by Lester Coloma” hand written in chalk on the wall (before the artist signed his name on the cross bar of the elephant’s bike).

Lester Coloma Supercrawl Elephant

Lester Coloma

This one of the Tortoise & the Hare on the old Tivoli Theatre has since been getting graffitied over. Here it is looking as fresh as ever back in 2014. Lester Coloma Tortoise and the Hare

Out front of Leon Furs (a building which I adore) was the most temporary Coloma mural I saw. It was there for just a short time as Store got set up to open on James Street. Lester Coloma’s Pan is gone but now you can buy your pottery and used books there.

Lester Coloma pan

In late summer and fall of last year I noticed the slow evolution of a mural on a dentist’s office on Jackson Street and Walnut starting to emerge. When I saw the bear go up (mid-mural completion) I knew that it was a Coloma. Now it’s nearly complete (I think) and two large sides of the building are entirely covered in a massive mural.

Thinking of switching dentists? I just might; based strictly on the assumption that a dentist that pays Lester Coloma to do a full-building-mural, must be an awesome one. Lester Coloma Bear Mural

 

In the future I think our city will see more Coloma murals and even a new partnership with Lester’s brother Norman. Check out their site here.

 

 

sugar shack

Nothing better to mark the arrival of spring than maple syrup season.

It already seemed like spring was well on its way in downtown Hamilton with crocuses budding and snowdrops blooming but up Highway 6 at Mountsberg the ice-storm we had last week winterized their Maple Town to make for the perfectly quintessentially Canadian maple syrup scene.

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I hadn’t been to Mountsberg for sugar shacking since I was a kid. I have all these beautiful memories of wagon rides, maple syrup drizzled on snow, pancakes, and the smell of sweet sweet maple syrup evaporating over an open fire.

It’s safe to say that my first revisit (as an adult and parent) to Mountsberg’s Maple Town  was just as great as I remember so many years ago. It had the perfect components for great memory making and an experiential adventure for my own kids. And if I’d had someone visiting from out of the country this would have been the most Canadian activity to have taken someone to. After all, tapping maple trees and making syrup has long been a tradition of the First Nations’ people for many hundreds of years. At Mountsberg they’ve been doing it for 150 years.

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A wooden fort perfect for this little guy. Just a little out of the way from the packed pancake house.

Over 600 maple trees are tapped at Mountsberg annually for their maple syrup season.Mountsberg2 20160325_132055

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The evaporator was steaming up the whole building melting its icicles and snow covered roof. We enjoyed free maple syrup sugar candy samples and warmed up our hands and toes in the toasty evaporator house.

20160325_140549Before leaving we went on a wagon ride. On this day (because of the icy weather conditions) the wagon ride was tractor pulled but on most fine days the wagons are horse drawn for a classic ride out to the sugar bush.

Syrup season is a short one and runs just until the start of April.

If you’re heading up to Mountsberg for an outing there’s plenty to do for the day. You can check out the Birds of Prey (eagles to owls and raptors) or spend a large chunk of time in the play barn or checking out some of the barn animals. Make sure that you save room to eat some pancakes! You can find the prices and menu for pancakes here.

Admission

Adult (15-64)$7.50
Senior (65 & over)$6.50
Child (5-14)$5.25
Child (4 & under)Free

Admission to one site gives access to ALL Halton Parks for that same day.

*Mountsberg, 2259 Milburough Line, Cambelville

 

 

tiffany falls

It’s amazing when I think that we’ve already lived in Hamilton for seven years and that we’ve only checked out a handful of the multitude of waterfalls in and around the city.

Most of my Hamilton waterfall viewing has been during summer months, sometimes planned after a large rainfall to really see the water flowing. Up until recently I had yet to see any of the falls in winter.

We wanted a mini-outdoor activity to get out of the house but with a three year old and baby in tow combined with icy and snowy weather conditions we needed a waterfall that was not too much of hike to get to and one that would be safe to get up close to with the little ones. We decided to check out Tiffany Falls.

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I can say that upon approaching Tiffany Falls I was pretty awestruck. There was a gorgeous blue-ish tinge to parts of the ice. The scale of the frozen falls and sound of the soft bits of water trickling off the massive 20 metre tall icicles was breathtaking.

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Tiffany Falls 1

I would definitely recommend doing some winter waterfall viewing if you get the chance.

Excited to check this one out again as spring approaches.

Located just off of Wilson Street East. Parking is available by the access point and it’s only a five minute walk to get to the falls.

day tripping in the hammer

I often get emails from people who want to check out Hamilton for a day. They want to know where to go for coffee, to eat, drink, check out some art, vintage, shops and generally get the scoop of all that is abuzz.

A few years ago a task like that wouldn’t have taken long. I could’ve quickly listed off my favourite spots, both old and new. However, now a job like that would take some serious thought, which don’t get me wrong is a good thing! I’d have to take inventory of all that has recently opened (for which there is a ton of) and is soon to open (something new on the daily).

So when Expedia.ca approached me a little while back and asked that I do a write up about the Hammer, I took it as an opportunity to give (all those wanting to get in on Hamilton) a quick and dirty one-day-tour of our city. It is by no means comprehensive and there is much room to expand.

For the purpose of this entry I will keep this trek a walking one with the potential start and end points being the train stations; for which Hamilton now has two of (conveniently located at the Southern and Northern tips of James Street).

So you’ve decided to check out Hamilton

Starting from James South at the Hamilton GO Centre, my first stop would be at Pinecone Coffee (a short jaunt east to John South) for a morning coffee and a little treat to eat. Sit for a bit and get your bearings on the city. Contrary to what you might geographically be inclined to feel, toward the mountain/escarpment is South, and the lake is North.

John South exp1

After your first taste of Hamilton’s growing coffee/cafe scene head north down John Street. Make note, if you’re still in the city for the evening, you might make your way back up this way for buck a shuck oysters, cocktails, and charcuterie (of the meat/cheese or chocolate variety) at Two Black Sheep, tacos and tequila (over 30 kinds listed on their menu) at Mezcal, or pints and pub fare on Augusta Street at local watering holes: The Ship (one of my favourite places for burgers in the city) or The Winking Judge; both of which have extensive lists of craft beer on tap.

Keep your eyes up around John and King to admire some of the architecture and the restoration of a Hamilton classic: The Royal Connaught Hotel.

If the time is right (past noon and not on a Sunday or Monday, when most shops downtown are closed) then head right from John onto King St. East to pop into any or all of these boutiques: Girl On The Wing, MODify Your Closet, Studio 205, The GiftedTundra Leather, and JH Gordon Books.

By now you may be in need for a little rest and refuelling for which your next stop should be Cafe Oranje.

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If you’ve got a hankering for German eats then make a stop at either Denninger’s Foods of the World or The Black Forest Inn (both have been in their locations for over 50 years). It should be noted that at the Black Forest Inn (a total Hamilton institution) your goulash and schnitzel will be delivered to you by servers dressed in traditional German dirndl and lederhosen. But of course, if you’re not into that, then there’s always Staxx’s Waffle House for burgers, fried chicken and waffles or Sparkle (a total hidden gem) for Northern Chinese: cumin lamb skewers and dumplings.

Before leaving King East or what some call the International Village, check off your list Out of the Past and Vintage Soul Geek‘s shops (if vintage is what you’re after).

Go west on King and hang a right going North on John; passing by my favourite building in the city -Treble Hall.

John North exp2

Just before you hit King William check out the latest art exhibit at Nathaniel Hughson Gallery.

Working your way west down King William you’ll find the recently opened HAM BRGR boasting some crazy mouth watering burgers, over the top caesars garnished with a mini-slider, and a good selection of craft beer. There’s also the Mule for gourmet tacos, tequila, bourbon, and weekend brunch, Made for you by Madeleine bakery (they mill their flour on-site), and Homegrown Hamilton Cafe and coffee roasters amidst many other notable restaurants and establishments.

As you approach James North you’ll see another beauty of a building -The Lister Block, which was restored and brought back to life just a few years back. It already seems strange to imagine that when I first moved to Hamilton and laid eyes on Lady Lister, she was all boarded up. There is undoubtedly an architectural renaissance that is starting to take hold in the downtown core.

Tourism Hamilton is on the main floor of the Lister, which is a good stop if looking for additional information on Hamilton. In case you didn’t know, Hamilton is known for its nature: waterfalls (over 100 of them), beautiful escarpment trails, waterfront, and Canada’s largest botanical garden.

James North exp2

Continuing up James Street North there is no shortage of cool shops, cafes and restaurants.

The Design Annex: Satellite branch of the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Half design furniture store gift shop half gallery event space.

Hawk and Sparrow: A vintage store favourite of mine. One of the first vintage stores to open on James nearly five years ago.

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Pretty Gritt: Mix of vintage and new design housewares and gift shop.

Hand Knit Yarn: For all your knitting needs.

White Elephant: Boutique of beautiful and quality designed women’s clothing, jewelery and accessories.

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O’s Clothes: Men and women’s clothing and lifestyle store. Everything from the iconic #HAMont t-shirts to lux Pendleton shawls, Fjalraven bags and jackets, and Chemex coffee paraphernalia.

Chaise Musicale: Great collection of mid century modern furnishings, and the best selection of books, vinyl and art cult movies for rental or purchase.

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Mixed Media: For every and any Hamilton visit Mixed Media should be a mandatory stop. They’re an art supply, stationary, gift shop and they just celebrated their 10th year of business.

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Tucked just east of James on Cannon you can pick up a coffee to go at Smalls. It has become my fail safe spot for a guaranteed ah-mazing coffee. Next to Smalls is The Burnt Tongue, soup joint, which is another one of my favourite places for burgers (plain and simple no fuss classic burger). Or if in the mood for something else, across the way is Pho Dao Bo, which delivers on good broth, bun, and my indulgent summer-time favourite a coconut milkshake.

Two art galleries at this corner worth mentioning are:

Hundred Dollar Gallery: Curated selection of works all priced at $100!

Hamilton Artist Inc: Home to some of my favourite art exhibits in recent years.

New to James North is Hamilton’s latest cafe; Saint James. It has a menu that changes up daily with Italian sandwiches, pasta, and cereal bars that rotate through childhood classic cereal flavours like Cap’n Crunch, Lucky Charms, and Fruit Loops. I recommend The Drive-Thru: a piping hot breakfast sandwich (English muffin with egg, sausage, hash-brown, and a spicy mayo). I could eat one every day!

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Next to Saint James for great fabrics and creative classes is the lovely Needlework.

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If you’ve got friends to meet up with or are in need of a place to relax, then hit up Mulberry Coffee shop. In addition to usual cafe spreads, they’ve also have a good selection of vegan and vegetarian menu options. On sunny days you can sit out on their corner patio soaking up the afternoon sun and the goings on of James Street.

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Moving on just a couple doors north is a Hamilton bar I love -The Brain. It has an extensive craft beer selection, great cheeses, hot and cold sandwiches, coffee, pies, and fancy cocktails. It’s a perfect hang-out.

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For further bites to eat at this end of James:

Venturas: Portuguese steak and seafood house. Massive seafood platters like the Mariscada: jumbo shrimp, mussels, jumbo clams, white snow crab legs sauted in a garlic and white wine sauce

Ola Bakery: Super delicious classic portuguese sweets and treats.

Knead Pizza: Gourmet pizzas like The Smoked Brisket, or Mango Tango: crispy pork belly, pickled jalapenos and mango. Eat in, take out, full pies or by the slice. Veggie options also available.

Saltlick Smokehouse: Southern cuisine with a menu organized by meat: hog, bovine, poultry, with sides like mac’n cheese, slaw, beans and croquettes. They’ve recently added weekend brunch: smokehouse style eggs benny.

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Lakeroad: Fancy, delicious and gorgeous presentation. They run the gambit of dishes from pizza, pasta, to Moroccan hen, flank steak, ribs and pork belly.

Green Smoothie Bar: A dose of healthy that looks and tastes delicious. Green smoothies, vegan lunch bowls, meal-worthy salads, wraps and desserts.

Jack and Lois: An all day and night kind of place. Breakfast, sandwiches, soups, and burgers and I might add a surprisingly large and amazing back patio for hangover caesars and summer time evening beers. My fav The Peter Rowe Breaded Parm Sandwich: Portobello Cap, Eggplant Cutlet, Roasted Red Pepper Caramalized Onions, Asiago with House Marinara on a Baguette.

Butcher and the Vegan: Their mission – serve delicious, local, sustainable and ethical food for every palate and persuasion. Their menu changes according to season but ranges from beet ravioli to duck pizza. They’ve also got you covered for weekend brunch.

Golden Brown: Located just east of James on Barton is the cutest little Korean sweet and spicy fried chicken take-out and delivery restaurant. Cash only.

Work: Rivals The Brain as my favourite bar hang out. In addition to great hangs, beers, and laid back vibes they also have a really fabulous and unique menu. My favs: banh mi fries and kimchi nachos. They’ve also got their foot in the ramen door too. Did I mention they also have a comedy night?

More shops and Galleries:

Record Stores: The three in the area are Cheapies, Dr. Disc and Hammer City Records (specializing in Punk, Hard Core, and Metal).

The Hamilton Store: For all your Hamilton heart-throb gift and good needs.

NewOlds: Men, women and kids vintage clothing and accessories.

b Contemporary: A must-see gallery for me on art crawls.

HAVN (Hamilton Audio Visual Node): A place to listen, view, and experience. Always an interesting place for live music and visual art.

You Me Gallery: The oldest art gallery on the block. Owner and artist Bryce Kanbara is a long time veteran of Hamilton’s art scene (like since the 70′s).

Workers Arts and Heritage Centre: Hamilton’s old Custom House (one of the oldest remaining ‘federal’ public buildings in Canada) is a museum with curated art exhibitions and programming about the culture and history of the working people.

At this end of James Street North the new West Harbour Go Station is a short two minute walk (west of James). But if you’re still looking for a few more notable destinations not necessarily on James Street (but worth checking out) read on!

Going out at Night:

The Baltimore House: Coffee house and pub by day, live venue for bands or club DJ and dancing by night. They also have Karaoke, trivia, open mic nights.

Homegrown Hamilton: Cafe by day, open mic and live music venue at night.

This Ain’t Hollywood: Some might call it a dive. It’s definitely no frills and it’s my favourite band venue in the city.

The Casbah: Bands play here and they’ve got lots of craft beer.

Yuk Yuks: Comedy club. Cause everybody needs a good laugh.

Serve Ping Pong: In addition to crap loads of ping pong they also have a supremely amazing menu and weekend brunch.

Gameopolis: Walls of games for unlimited board game fun. They’ve got you covered for snacks, beer, wine and coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and floats!

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Worth Mentioning:

Hamilton Farmer’s Market: Meats, cheeses, local farm produce. Plus, the market has recently upped its game with the opening of Eat Industries Inc‘s tacos, Pokeh Bar (sashimi grade tuna salmon bowls), Henry Brown’s (small batch ice-cream) and Eat Industrie’s latest venture a ramen shop. Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Art Gallery of Hamilton: A visit to Hamilton should not forgo a trip to the AGH. This gallery and art institution is probably one of the things I’m most proud of in our city.

Collective Art’s Brewery: Hamilton’s first large-scale craft brewery has recently made its debut in the city. Expect larger scale events and concerts to be held here in the future.

Art Crawl: During the second Friday of every month galleries, shops, vendors, food trucks and musicians pop up or stay open late along James North from 7-11pm. A great way to get a snapshot view of the city. It can bring a fabulous energy to the core, but can get very busy in good weather.

Supercrawl: An annual festival that promotes the art and indie music scene. Several street blocks close (to cars) for three days as numerous stages, food trucks, stalls/vendors and attractions line the streets. Named Ontario’s Tourism Event of the Year.

So Bi: Hamilton’s bike share. Great way for getting around the city.

For Further Hamilton Reading:

I Heart Hamilton: Kristin Archer, Hamilton’s sweetheart, has been living her motto of “being a tourist in her own city” for the past four years; blogging about restaurants, shops, music and events. If it’s about Hamilton, she’s blogged about it.

The Hungry Gnome: For all your food related Hamilton blogging. @TheRealChanry gets the scoop on all things new, old and good to eat in the city.

Cut From Steel: BIljana Njegovan’s music blog that covers concerts, reviews bands, promotes and showcases the amazing musical talent that comes out of Hamilton.

Rebuild Hamilton: Thomas Allan is a walking historical architectural encyclopedia about all things related to buildings in Hamilton. Super passionate about the city and everything that comes with it.

 

 

meeting on rooftops

One of my favourite places in Hamilton is Jackson Square’s rooftop. So I guess it shouldn’t have been a surprise (cause great minds think a like -right?) that it’d also be the chosen meeting place of Hamilton cheerleader and architectural lover Thomas Allen of Rebuild Hamilton. We met up on top of Jackson Square for an unusual evening gathering of likeminded folks.

We spent most of the night on various downtown rooftops talking about non other than our true love… Hamilton.

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The best thing about it was grabbing a few of these shots (above) but also connecting with the likes of Forris Borris aka Sex Drugs and Hamont aka Taylor Heres (beautifully talented photographic aesthetic) and Matt Carson (creator of Exhale Music and Eternal Summer music series).

These gents are doing some pretty cool things in this city. Check their links and follow them on insta. You won’t be disappointed.

reveling in fall

The last few falls have entirely escaped me. Last year I made a promise to myself that this year I’d revel in all its glorious splendour, which I definitely did.

At the start of fall there was no telling just how long it was going to be; a quick two-monther or a drawn out three maybe if we’re lucky four months? So every day that wasn’t cold (which there were a lot of) we spent it outside.

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There were days where we were out from morning until late afternoon; double park dates, collecting sticks and jumping in leaf piles in parks and trails all over the city. One particularly warm November afternoon we even ordered a pizza to the park!

I’ve felt so fortunate to be off on maternity leave; able to spend so many gorgeous days outside with friends and the kids romping around the city, parks, trails and hitting up various coffee shops.

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I’m already nostalgic in the memory that this was the last fall where both my kids were at home with me free-wheeling through the changing of the seasons.

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This fall was just gorgeous, it was long and filled with sunny days and pink fall sunsets. Here’s to  hoping that next September, when I’m headed back to work, that I’ll still be able to find the time to stop and enjoy the season.

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