Archives: parks

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.


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.


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.



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.

new music expo

In the past few years it has become a bit of an informal tradition to head down to Gage Park for It’s Your Festival.

I love summer festivals. Especially ones that are relatively close to our house.

But let’s be honest. I mostly love summer festivals because of funnel cake.

After I got my funnel cake fix we headed over to a little side stage tucked in back of Gage Park for the New Music Expo.

For the past two years this mini concert series has been a fav of Steve and mine. It’s off the beaten track and in many ways reminds me of days when I was weee little teenager and would see bands down by the lake at the gazebo for Friday Night Live in Burlington.

For the most part the bands are raw, kinda gritty, loud and experimental. What I especially liked was that it allowed for Steve and I both to enjoy a show together since Omi could be there too; tumbling around on the grass and clovers.

We only made it for Doobie Freaks and a smidge of Glasseylashes before we packed it up for the evening.

Last year my highlights were Pucumber Sassquash and The Mystics.

Pucumber Sassquash at the New Music Expo stage 2012

The Mystics at the New Music Expo stage 2012

Happy that there’s still a few summer festivals still kicking it here at Gage Park. Love the seafoam bandshell (don’t ever change), and also love that there’s the Seven Sundays of Gage Park summer concert series, which has a line up of some really great musicians such as the Dinner Belles, Harrison Kennedy, and Jesse Lanza (check her beautifully cool video below), plus there’ll be movie screenings and food trucks. The series kicks off this Sunday July 7th but you can also check their website here for their schedule.

The Dinner Belles playing the bandshell 2012

I leave you with Jesse Lanza’s most recent video shot in  Hamilton featuring Jed the dancing guy. Jesse will be playing at the Gage Park bandshell on Sunday August 11th at 7pm for the Seven Sundays concert series.

food in tins

The first really warm spring day about a week or so ago, I packed up some treats and headed out for a play date picnic with Omi at Gage Park.

I do love picnics. Especially meats, cheese and snack type foods.

I gathered some items that we had around the house along with some foccacia bread for make-your-own mini open-faced sandwiches.

Finally put this handy stackable tin lunch container to good use. This little contraption is called a dabba (or tiffin). We picked it up when we were travelling in India. It’s kinda like the Indian version of the obento box.

For dessert I made this super yummy treat. Get this -Mars Bar Rice Krispie Squares! Yeah, it’s pretty decadent, but they are so yum. If you can believe it there’s three Mars Bars in this one batch! Sometimes I have to remind myself about the three bars to stop myself from eating the entire tray all in one go. Three Mars Bars in one day is just totally unacceptable.



the gore

“The Gore on King Street,” as I’ve learned, was once what Gore Park was commonly known as by Hamiltonians a long time ago. It sits grandly in the middle of Hamilton’s downtown core and has done so for over a century.

I walk by Gore Park every day, and love the fact Hamilton has a park carved out in its heart. When I first moved here I heard from others of its “bad rap,” but I have never seen much trouble there anytime I’ve been by day or night. I wouldn’t be a stranger to having spent some time in Gore Park either. I’ve happily sat on a bench and eaten my sandwich at lunchtime watching the crowds go by. It’s a great spot for doing just that, taking a break, people watching, and just letting the day pass.

Gore Park is a lovely downtown park. It’s lined with trees, home to an ornate Victorian fountain, and three historical monuments! Not to mention it is a pedestrian haven in what is otherwise known as a car-dominated throughway among the numerous one-ways that cross downtown. You can walk for three blocks through the Gore feeling at ease, away from the busy road, shaded by the trees in summer time and beneath the Christmas lights and snow-covered trees in winter. It always reminds me a little of Europe.

Five years ago I spent a summer living in Berlin, and I adored the downtown neighbourhood pockets with their market squares surrounded by old buildings. Everything seemed to slow down in those public spaces. They were gathering places for weekly organic vegetable fruit markets, Sunday antique, arts and crafts and flea markets, and ice-cream shops and cafés that surrounded the public square with their chairs and tables overlooking the park. That summer I spent a lot of time relaxing in parks that were spattered generously throughout the city. My attraction to Berlin is not strange at all knowing that I chose Hamilton as the place where I want to live. Berlin — like Hamilton — is a city going through transition. It has a very young population of artists and those of the creative kind who have been choosing to remain in the city and to attract like-minded people invested in helping to transform the city into something really quite inspirational.

One thing I like about Gore Park is how old it is and the unique history that it holds. From its early beginnings nearly 200 years ago, The Gore on King Street was an unsightly dirty dumping ground for local and surrounding businesses. It was in such a state of dirty disarray that many proposals were made to remove the park to make room for new building developments. However, due to the consistent public outcry to keep the space a public one, we still have a lovely square in the middle of our city. The history of Gore Park has been a tumultuous one. A park gated and kept under tight lock and key in the 1860s; a massacre of “pesky” starlings and pigeons gunned down by hunters in the 1950s; expansion, and proposed diminishing of the park’s size; a clear-cutting of the tree-lined park 1970s; and still, all these years later, there is ongoing planning and talk of what to do with Gore Park.

On a short visit to New York City this past month, I couldn’t help but take note of the many old squares in that city too. On those glorious sunny and unusually warm March days, New Yorkers flocked to these sun-soaked patches to enjoy a break from the Manhattan daily grind. I like our public space at Gore Park. It can be our little piece of New York and Europe right here in Hamilton.

This article was printed by the Hamilton Spectator and can also be found here.


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