Sam Cooke. 1964. I like to quote classic lyrics; the songwriter talent for saying something in very few words is far beyond mine so I respectfully borrow. And this seems to aptly describe the revival of Hamilton that’s under way. I’m sometimes a little uneasy labeling a city a revival project, I worry I’m disrespecting what’s come before but the label simply signifies and celebrates positive change and that’s what this city is experiencing these days. BIG revival. There’s much to celebrate in its storied past but there’s a lot of cool happening in its present and future.
The local real estate market is hot (up 9% in March), sellers have enjoyed lofty selling prices and for the wave of homeowners moving further west from the Toronto area, the value for their dollar is exhilarating—you can buy space here! For much less! Hamilton is stepping into a new spotlight.
Rather than me blathering on, perspective is presented far more eloquently in this CBC Q&A with Jason Thorne, Hamilton’s new GM of Planning and Economic Development, here is CBC Hamilton and Meet Jason Thorne. While we’re talking CBC, the broadcaster now has a presence downtown on James St. N., it’s a great source of local coverage, check them out.
This past weekend I went to a sales event for a new condo development, 150 Main West in the old Federal Building near downtown. It looks spectacular. For those of you into architecture, the design comes from Lintack Architects responsible for some exceptional work including the Stinson Lofts, another gem in Hamilton and, in my town, the beautiful contemporary pavilion in the Dundas Driving Park (the park offers a gorgeous escarpment backdrop if you’re in the mood for a family outing some sunny day, a picnic, tennis…)
Downtown Hamilton is undergoing big changes with dedicated entrepreneurs and businesses setting up shop, promoting their offerings, their offerings supporting the renewal of the downtown core. James Street North is chock full of artists, galleries, independent shops, cafes, restaurants and a vibrancy that is really working. Check out the monthly art crawl, the must attend is the annual Super Crawl, crazy fun!
King Street is home to the iconic Royal Connaught Hotel, below, currently being resurrected as a must-live address condo development—I can’t wait to get in there! Gorgeous old building.
Proud residents here have been showing off and celebrating their Hamilton for years (here’s our official city site in case you want to do some research!). And now the Hamilton of 2014, yes in revival mode, is a pretty hot commodity. Come see!