Archives: hamilton stores

newold’s

Newold’s is James North’s most recent vintage clothing store to open.

I’d checked out the this store space a few month’s ago, when they hosted the Vintage and Handmade Market, back during March’s art crawl. But I popped in more recently (after Newold’s official opening in April) with fellow Hamilton blogger Kristin Archer of I Heart Hamilton.

Newold’s is exactly what the name implies. They’ve got a mix of new and old.

We got to chatting with Newold’s owner Airin McGuinty of Reservoir Vintage, who told us she’s been collecting vintage clothes, accessories, and trinkets since she was basically a kid. So when she finally decided to take the plunge, move to Hamilton and set up her own shop she was pretty much fully stocked and ready to go.

Kristin and I were loving Airin’s curated collection of vintage clothing so much so that we noted we’d need to make another trip back to the store to focus specifically on just shopping.

There was a substantial section of kids vintage clothing, which I loved. Look at these adorable leather moccasins!

In addition to the kids section there’s also men’s clothing plus an impressive selection of vintage footwear.

I was really admiring Rebecca Duyzer’s line called Replica Clothing. With their soft fabrics and comfortable designs, you can be sure they’d feel super awesome to wear. You can shop Replica Clothing here on Etsy or in store at Newolds’.

Lest I forget Noodles, the temporary shop cat. She’s adorable! We were lucky enough to have come just a matter of days after Noodles had given birth to a litter of kittens. Kristin and I peeked in on the kittens, who were living in a homemade cut-out cardboard castle -so cute! One of them had just opened their eyes for the first time! Such tiny little things. Even though I have allergies to cats and was about to have a major sneeze explosion, I was still super happy that I got to meet Noodles and her babies (especially since Airin was saying that Noodles won’t be a permanent fixture at the store). Oh Noodles…

For tonight’s art crawl be sure to stop by Newold’s and check out artist Alicia Nauta, who is Newold’s first featured monthly artist; with totes, prints, and shirts for sale.

While you’re there take a look at their selection of vintage match books and stickers you might find some real gems!

To check out Kristin’s post about Newold’s via her blog I Heart Hamilton click here.

*Newold’s, 240 James St. North, 647.284.2754, open daily 12-7pm

vintage market place

Over the weekend we made our way to Hamilton’s very first Vintage Market Place at the Hamilton Convention Centre. It was really nice not to have to trek all the way to Toronto for a vintage market sale -finally! There were was just the right amount of vendors so as to not feel totally overwhelmed and to still have the energy to go off and do something else for the day (like say see Oprah, go to the Food and Drink Fest or just go home and have a nap).

White Elephant was there selling a beautiful selection of vintage dresses. I happily noted that they carried dresses of a variety sizes too; not just the typical teeny tinies. Bodega was there representing their 80′s rock vintage wares, and Chaises Musicales was also there showing off their vintage furniture.

It was great to see a lot of vendors that I’d never heard of before like High Flute VintageVintage Soul Geek and Girl on the Wing, who by the way is soon to open up her shop here in Hamilton at 181 King St. East -can’t wait!

Rekindle Home Upcycled Furniture

I was happy to score two tops perfect for the summer and the ever (still -ugh) transitioning shape of my post-baby body.

I’m really looking forward to watching this Vintage Market really grow in the following years.

john street

Since moving to Hamilton, I have been keeping a close eye on a short stretch of John Street, South and North.

At first glance, the two-and-something blocks between Main East and King William may seem a semi-abandoned and derelict portion of a “typical” downtown Hamilton street. But if you look a little more closely you might notice signs of life, both old and new, and, dare I say it, rejuvenation.

I spend most of my walks downtown wandering with my eyes up, taking in the old architectural beauty of the Victorian cityscape and observing the history of the buildings that line the path of the daily meanderings.

There’s some great character and history to the buildings on John Street. Take, for example, the John Sopinka Courthouse (formerly the Dominion Public Building built in 1934). It’s a beauty of a building, the depth of an entire block, enveloped by Main, John and King streets. With its ornate Art Deco stonework and lettering on the exterior it’s not a surprise that on the inside, fitting with its architectural era, you’ll find glossy marble floors, and polished metal work decorating the elevators, tills and counters. Everything has a certain sparkle and sheen to it that you just can’t find in many buildings these days.

Across John Street, next to the abandoned Crazy Horse Saloon, you’ll find the old Royal Connaught. It’s hard to miss, as it too occupies nearly a full city corner (not to mention it’s been boarded up for the past 10 years).

When I walk by the old Connaught I sometimes get a waft of the musty dankness seeping from the cracks of its boarded-up windows, and with that I usually feel a little pang of despair as I wonder about its fate. Wrecking ball or refurbish? Word on the street as of late is that the Connaught will indeed see new life again. I can’t wait. What a difference it will make to the core and surrounding areas. Is it too early to say aloud the silent chanting I’ve secretly been saying in my head: “Ren-nai-sance! Ren-nai-sance!”?

Just past the courthouse and the Connaught, over the tail end of Gore Park and past the old 1940s Pagoda Chinese restaurant sign at King and John, you’ll find a scene that is typically Hamilton. It’s no frills. Hamilton is what it is and that’s what I like about it.

You’ll see folks going in and out of the John Street Clinic (one of the city’s methadone dispensaries), or waiting for the bus, leaning against the backdrop of yet another stretch of seemingly abandoned buildings such as the Golden Fortune Restaurant or Treble Hall.

However, despite the description, things here are not quite as they seem. This little stretch is teeming with life both old and new. There’s change happening here on John, slowly but surely.

Take Treble Hall, for example, one of my favourite buildings in the city. Built 134 years ago (that’s 1879), Treble Hall has been undergoing a full-haul restoration by owner Jeff Feswick of Historia Restoration. Moulin Rouge, a French-inspired café and clothing store, occupies two of Treble’s street-level retail spaces. A bit of Paris in Hamilton? Why not?

Just across the street from Treble Hall you’ll see Downtown Bike Hounds, which a few years back made the move to John (relocating from Cannon and James streets). Maybe owner Sean Burak had the same inklings of optimism about John that I do. Regardless, every downtown needs an urban bicycle shop and bike rental place in its core. Next to Bike Hounds is the tasty and always busy My Thai restaurant that has been going strong for a decade already.

If you are old enough to remember taking a dinner “vacation” to the Grotta Azzurra at the Capri Ristorante Italiano — a destination-themed restaurant from the ’60s — then you’ll know the Capri is a Hamilton fixture. Although the second floor “grotto” is no longer open, Capri is still serving up classic pizza and pasta on its main floor.

Recent to the block is my new favourite art gallery, the Nathaniel Hughson Gallery. The gallery features some fabulous established Ontario artists. It’s named after one of Hamilton’s city founders, who at one time owned much of the prime downtown real estate from James to Mary streets and from Main to the bay.

At King William and John is Lulu’s, serving one of the best shawarmas in the city. If you haven’t tried their chicken shawarma, you’ve been missing out.

There are many new and old businesses on John, ranging from shoe repair, hair weave and beauty supply to the London Tap House, a Greek restaurant, Korean BBQ and Chinese hotpot. They’re all — a pretty amazing and eclectic mix — on just these two downtown Hamilton blocks.

Let’s be honest: John, like much of downtown Hamilton, still has a long way to go. But I’m optimistic and excited to see these changing downtown streets start to take shape. I hope one day to see streets like James North, King William, John and King — all of them coming back to life — start to connect together. Imagine that, a full chunk of our city core hustling and bustling like it did back in the day.

Some may say my optimism, and my daydreams of the Hamilton I want to see, show me to be naïve. Perhaps I am. But how will Hamilton ever change if we don’t start to see the potential for all that we’ve already got?

Hamilton, you’ve got a soft spot in my heart. I’m here for the long haul.

 

This article was originally published in The Hamilton Spectator on Saturday, March 16th 2013. You can see the article from The Spec website here.

 

secret heart

I’m not someone who does a crazy amount of planning for special occasions. But I do often have little mini ideas mapped out in my head for treats that can easily be cooked up at any given time.

For this year’s Valentine’s Day I picked up a few gifts locally for some little surprises for my Valentine.

We love coffee at our house and since being home full-time I’ve seen my coffee consumption double! Steve, as of late, has been branching off from our traditionally consumed French-pressed coffee to espressos. So I thought I would indulge in his new coffee interest and get him a cute one-shot stove-top espresso maker. I picked one up from Faema on James North. They’ve got a pretty good selection of espresso machines, with a not-bad retro looking used one that we might actually be able to afford -eeek! If we end up getting it, it’ll soon be lattes and espressos all day long chez nous!

I also stopped by Ola Bakery for some Portuguese sweets. Ola has some lovely fluffy, flaky baked goods (and I’ve heard they do a great sandwich too).

As a Valentine’s mid-morning surprise I managed to put this spread together with a quickly crafted homemade Valentine’s Day card. Steve’s been really busy at work so it was nice to be able to share a quick coffee break midday in his at-home office while Omi napped.

I executed this next surprise Valentine’s treat that Steve has still yet to discover.

I recently saw a cute DIY post on Design Sponge about patching little moth eaten holes in sweaters with felted hearts. I really need to invest in some lavender sachets or a cedar something or another but I haven’t and so Steve and I both have a couple of sweaters with a few sad moth munched holes in them.

So besides needing a sweater with a hole, you’ll also need some felting wool and felting needles. I picked mine up from Needlework on James North.

You’ll also need 2 sponges to stack under the sweater for when you’re jabbing your wool with the needle. That way you won’t give yourself multiple stab wounds.

Next make a little stencil for the shape and size of the felted patch that you want. Flip your sweater so that you start felting your patch on the reverse side. Take a nice size bit of wool and start to felt away!

Once the shape is pretty solid from the reverse side, turn your sweater right side out. You should see the shape of the heart clearly. Take smaller and thinner pieces of wool to shape the heart and felt it until the heart looks nice and full.

I practiced first on my sweater with this red heart and did Steve’s hearts with grey wool. I thought the grey hearts on his grey sweater would be more subtle as I wasn’t so sure how he’d feel having bright red hearts felted everywhere.

Can’t wait for the day when he pulls the sweater out of the closet to wear and sees a few cute little grey hearts on his sleeve. Until then, shhh -don’t say a word.

moulin rouge

Since Jeff Feswick of Historia Restoration bought Treble Hall a few years ago (see my post on Treble Hall here) I have been waiting in great anticipation to see how this grand old beauty would be restored and who/what would occupy the street-level retail space once all shiny and refurbished.

On a regular basis I purposely detour my walks home to see the on-going progress of Treble Hall.

April 2011

June 2012

One rainy day I noticed that a set of red curtains and crystal chandeliers had appeared in the northern two storefronts of the building.

December 2012

January 2013

Moulin Rouge -a French inspired café and high-end boutique is soon to open its doors! I really, really hope that they have macarons and deliciously good croissants!

 

*Moulin Rouge -Café & Boutique, 10-12 John St. North, 905.220.2652

 

 

holy crêpes

If you didn’t already know, Hamilton has a crêpe place! Hargitai’s Creperie and Ice Cream shop opened in April and is located across from the Hamilton General Hospital on Barton Street.

I’m super excited that a place like Hargitai’s exists in the city (who doesn’t love crêpes) and I’m uberly happy about a place like this opening up shop on Barton.  Barton has all the right fixtures for a rebirth and I’m just counting down until the revitalization starts to really take hold.

The other day Kristin Archer of I Heart Hamilton and I decided it was high time for another rendez vous and double blog post (check out our previous double blog posts here: Apple Berry’s, J.H. Gordon Books, O’s Clothes & Relish Vintage). Kristin and I have taken a liking to exploring new places in Hamilton together sampling the goods and sharing our findings. So it was fabulous to catch up with Kristin and to hear about what she’s been up to.

I brought Omi along for the visit and for the most part he was on his best behaviour.

picture courtesy of Kristin Archer

We started off our crêpe sampling with a savoury cheese crêpe. As owner Maria made the crêpe we all chatted together about our fondness for Hamilton and Maria’s passion for starting her own crêperie here in this fair city.

Maria told us she was inspired to open her own crêpe shop after a visit to Toronto, where she lined up with a busy crowd of people at popular crêperie. Since the crêpe market in Hamilton had really yet to be cracked she decided to take the plunge and open her own crêperie -the first in the city! She’s set up shop on Barton knowing that it is only a matter of time before Barton, like Locke, Ottawa Street and James North, will experience its own renaissance.

the classic dessert crêpe: strawberry jam

For dessert Kristin went for the Sugar & Spice a cinnamon and brown sugar crêpe, which smelled heavenly, and I opted for the Classic a crêpe filed with strawberry jam.

Maria told us that although crêpes are traditionally known as a French delicacy it is also a shared culinary treat amongst Hungarians. Maria’s put a Hungarian twist on her crêpes with items like the Gundel: crepe filled with ground walnut mix, raisin, and topped with rich chocolate fudge, or The Palacsinta: crêpe filled with chicken breast topped with sour cream with your choice of cheddar or smoked cheese. In addition to savoury and sweet crêpes Hargitai’s also serves up smoothies, sundaes, shakes and ice cream.

Great to explore with you again Kristin! To read Kristin’s post check out I Heart Hamilton’s post here.

So Hamilton, if you’re looking to brighten a dull winter day with a little Hungarian treat pop into Hargitai’s. Although mostly a take out joint there are a some seats -just in case you can’t wait to dig into your crêpe you can eat them there.

*Hargitai’s Creperie & Ice Cream, 304 Barton Street East, follow on twitter @hargitai_s

totes

If you haven’t noticed there’s an amazing amount of Hamilton heart throb paraphernalia around this town in the form of T-shirts and tote bags.

For a birthday present this year I got one of my favourite Hamilton tote bags; a Jenna Rose silk-screened linen tote bag of a map of downtown Hamilton.

I’m told that it is a limited edition as Jenna is no longer making them. So get one while you still can at White Elephant.

For an assortment of other Hamilton wears go by Tourism Hamilton (or White Elephant) and you can pick up Russell Gibbs‘ You Can Do Anything In Hamilton tote or T-shirt, or The Print Studio (aka Centre 3) for an array of Hamilton art T-shirts. You can also find T-shirts with Hamilton’s Twitter Hashtag (#HamOnt) made by Best of Hamilton out and about the city, and at Mixed Media you can get a classic TH&B T-shirt too.

 

rock museum

When I was in my early teens I would often make my way to Hamilton from Burlington to shop along King Street; Deja Vu for vintage, Cheapies for CD’s and tapes and Rock N Tee’s for shoes and T-shirts. I can’t remember if I ever happened into Rock Museum back in the day, but boy was I ever happy about my rediscovery of this store in recent weeks.

Nearly twenty years later, having moved to downtown Hamilton I walk by Rock Museum about a million times a week without really giving it a second thought. Clearly taking for granted all that it has to offer as a classic neighbourhood fixture.

On occasion at a quick glance, a T-shirt in the window might catch my eye.  Like the one with kittens wearing cowboy hats, or one with wolves howling at the moon.  Sometimes I think I should go in there and pick one up -you know just for fun in that classic 80′s vintage T-shirt kind of way.

Well, the other day a friend was visiting from out of town and under her suggestion we headed on in to the Rock Museum. The store appeared to be relatively unchanged from the 80′s. It is quite a miracle that a store can stay so much the same when everything else seems to change so quickly. I guess that is what I found to be the beauty of this store.

The store is all T-shirts from wall to wall, and floor to ceiling ranging from hilarious slogans to classic rock t-shirts in the back.  For the most part the T-shirts are printed with kitschy pictures of unicorns, rainbows, wolves, cats, and even some shirts with those sparkly bubble letters.  All the shirts have that matte kind of gluey texture of the classic iron-on.

Yep, I did say iron-on. That’s how they do all their shirts.  You pick the shirt style and colour you want (or bring in your own shirt).  You pick the print or design.  Then they’ll iron it on for you.

In no less than 2-3 minutes your shirt will have a fresh and hot iron-on image bonded right on. So cool!

They’re definitely the iron-on experts as they’ve been doing it for over 30+ years!

I was so enthralled with the whole store and its infinite possibilities for hilarious and amazing gifts for friends and family that I was giddily spreading the word about my awe of Rock Museum to all those visiting us in Hamilton.

When my sister came down to visit she popped into the store and came out with iron-on letters of her name that she was going to put onto a shirt of her choice from home.  She advised that I should get my letters ASAP as they are in short supply mostly because the lettering is actually from the 80′s and they are running out of certain letters like for example the letter “I” which had to be craftily severed from part of a letter “H”.

So if you want your T-shirt emblazoned with your name in 80′s glittery rainbow lettering, you’d better hurry down to Rock Museum fast!

*Rock Museum/Klassy T-shirt (that’s classy with a “K”!), 101 King St. East, 905.525.5333

 

o’s clothes with i heart hamilton pt. I

On a lovely summer day, a short while ago, Kristin Archer from I Heart Hamilton and I had a rendez vous meet up for our second lunch at Appleberry Café.  Owner Opal Osiol was so sweet and cooked up an enormous amount of menu samplers for us to try out -so damn good!  If you’re in the King East neighbourhood, I would recommend stopping in for lunch for the BBQ chicken, mashed potatoes, fried dumpling, or butter pan-fried salmon (those were my favs).  Yum!  You can also read about our first visit to Appleberry Café from I Heart Hamilton here and from me here.

However, I detract from the purpose of this particular post and meet up with Kristin…

We wanted to check out two stores on Cannon Street -the recently opened O’s Clothes as well as the bright and fresh Relish Vintage.

O’s Clothes is a sassy little addition to the corner of Cannon just a tickle east of James Street North.

We stopped in to chat with owner Oliver Knutton about his new business.  It was easy to strike up a conversation with Oliver -he puts himself out there and was happy to share his stories and thoughts with Kristin and I.

When considering what type of store to open up in Hamilton his first thoughts were to open a record store but knowing Hamilton already has its fair share (Dr. Disc, Cheapies, Schizophrenic Records, Books & Beats etc.) he moved on to examine what that missing “je ne sais quoi” might be.  Noting a gap in urban men’s street wear in Hamilton, Oliver told us he decided the time was right to take the plunge (like many other young entrepreneurs in the city) and open up shop.

I follow O’s Clothes on Twitter (@OsclothesK) and love the instagram feed of photos he posts of his customers and their purchases.  I asked Oliver if for the most part it’s his friends that come by to shop.  He agreed that when the shop first opened just about two months ago his friends did make up a large portion of his clientelle but he soon found young guys from the neighbourhood -high school kids were dropping in picking up T-shirts, shoes and the like adding to his client base.

You can tell the stores got an appeal for young guys.  I loved how when approaching the store the “sandwich board” (which is actually a speaker) was pumping out some awesome hiphop -for sure a nice pocket scene I haven’t seen the likes of in Hamilton.  In my younger days in search of something of this sort I’d have to have trekked it in to Toronto, to stores like Uncle Otis, Noise or Get Outside. Well no more… Hamilton holds its own!

Oliver mentioned that after a fashion feature in The Spec titled The Shopper and as word of his store spreads he’s had visits from folks from all over the city and of all ages.  Oliver told us of two recent sales to an elderly man (65+) who picked up a pair of funky-swish sunglasses because they reminded him of a pair of glasses he used to have in his youth.  Another senior aged woman came by and picked up a gorgeous colourful Fjällräven backpack for her travels. So I guess it’s safe to say that O’s Clothes with their quality goods and apparel has got an appeal to not just the young folk but men and women alike both young and old.

Colourful vegan friendly Borel belts to the right of the photo also come in dark green, grey, white and brown. I ask you -who else in the city carries vegan belts?

The lovely Kristin Archer from I Heart Hamilton modeling some goods at O’s Clothes.

Oliver said that he’s making a special effort to carry local artist’s and designs in his shop.  Top left Kristin holds up a beautifully printed scarf by Hamilton local Rebecca Duyzer (she had a little vintage U-haul store at the August Art Crawl and also has an Etsy store you can check out here).  O’s Clothes also carries T-shirts designed and printed by Dave O’Connor like the centre image of the red Pizza Wizard T-shirt.

Unique to Oliver’s store, besides the brands and clothes he carries, are his custom made corrugated cardboard shelves that he designed (take note the next time you’re by the shop).  He says people often ask him about the shelves to see if they can get ahold of some -not only because they look super cool but also because they’re the perfect fit for storing a nice collection of vinyl.

Oliver’s store, his personality and open friendliness was all round awesome.  As Kristin and I checked out the goods friendly faces were popping in and saying their hello’s to Oliver.  In just a few short months of being open O’s Clothes already seems like a pretty solid neighbourhood fixture.

Had a great afternoon with Kristin from I Heart Hamilton chatting with Oliver.  Kristin looks amazing in those sunglasses doesn’t she? Looking forward to doing another meet up with I Heart Hamilton again -so nice to have a partner in blogging from time to time.

Don’t forget to check out I Heart Hamilton’s Post on O’s Clothes and Relish Vintage here!

*O’s Clothes,  8 Cannon St. East, 905.518.1455 , W-F 11-7, S 12-6, S 12-5, follow O’s Clothes on twitter @OsclothesK

relish vintage with i heart hamilton pt. II

Our second shop stop on Cannon was to non other than Relish Vintage!

Sometime ago when Downtown Bike Hounds had just moved to John Street, I blogged about the soon to open Relish Vintage (see that post here).  Since Relish opened over a year and a half ago, I have of course been by the store many times but had yet to do a blog post (and I did want to do one!).

So after Kristin from I Heart Hamilton and I visited O’s Clothes we decided we’d pop into Relish too to share some of our love for the shops holding it down on Cannon Street.

Love the super bright green storefront exterior!

Store owner Katherine Hollands has a good eye for vintage finds and for selecting fabulous items from unique local designers.  The store carries such a breadth of items that all seem to complement and work perfectly together.  Relish has everything from refurbished vintage furniture to classic vintage dishes, greeting cards, wallets, bags and beautifully crafted Canadian made and designed clothes.

Relish is often my go to place for when I need to find a unique gift for someone. I’ve bought a beautiful leather wallet, greeting cards, and a set of awesome Christmas cocktail glasses.

My friend Lindsay (of Hoot Furnishing) refurbished the desk on the right with a chalkboard top -selling for $75!  Both desks are perfect for the back to school season.

I also love the artwork that is for sale at Relish.  The artwork on the photo above and to the right is by Sarah Holland.  Her 4×4″ oil on canvas paintings are $25 a piece.

Artwork by artist Philip Grant -encaustic on board (with frame) $120.

Stop into Relish sometime there are always new things coming into the store.  Say hello to Katherine you’ll likely see her in the store with her newest little addition to her family or with her adorable dog.

You can also follow Katherine via her blog Be Enamoured or on Twitter @RelishHamilton.  Relish is on Etsy too -you can check out the on-line store here.

Loved touring the local shops and spots again with Kristin from I Heart Hamilton.  You can check out her post here.  Can’t wait up to explore together again Kristin!

*Relish Vintage, 6 Cannon St. East, 905.973.8269, W-Sat 12-6, Sun 12-4

 

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