City Life

Summer Photo Tour

Hamilton's downtown is beautiful. Go turn off your computer and enjoy it!

By Jason Leach
Published July 05, 2006

The Gore

You owe it to yourself to grab a bench here for an hour sometime this summer, especially if you haven't done this in years. Snag a coffee from Infusions or P.A.M.s, and reconnect with your beautiful, historic Gore Park.

HSR and Canada’s first 'scraper.
HSR and Canada’s first 'scraper.

Sing it!
Sing it!

Beautiful water
Beautiful water

Urban canopy
Urban canopy

Classic woman, classic hat
Classic woman, classic hat

Throw in a bike, too
Throw in a bike, too

More patios please
More patios please

Lion head
Lion head

Fountainbike
Fountainbike

Street sale...in the Hammer?  Call the bylaw officers. This is too much fun.
Street sale...in the Hammer? Call the bylaw officers. This is too much fun.

King East Streetscape

The streetscape along King East blends old with new, offering a stylish look without sacrificing its heritage. It recently received a temporary facelift as part of the set of a movie shoot. Can we keep these facades once the movie is done?

Pizza Pizza at King and John
Pizza Pizza at King and John

Pizza Pizza sign gets a new look
Pizza Pizza sign gets a new look

The Silver Rail
The Silver Rail

Every downtown needs a bakery
Every downtown needs a bakery

Boyde's Jewellers
Boyde's Jewellers

Boyde's Jewellers
Boyde's Jewellers

The Waterfront

With beautiful restoration over recent years and a new trolley line, the waterfront is prettier than ever.

The Marina
The Marina

William's Coffee Pub
William's Coffee Pub

Sea and sky
Sea and sky

Marine Discovery Centre
Marine Discovery Centre

Overlooking the Marina
Overlooking the Marina

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

3 Comments

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By Allison (anonymous) | Posted August 22, 2006 at 16:57:08

I disagree.

The architecture leaves a lot to be desired... the 'postwar renewal' theme was not a great one to start out with, and the dirt and grime overpower what could be mediocre (at best) scenery.

There is a lack of parkland, and what parks there are (Gore, for example) are plagued by welfare bums and homeless people asking for change.

It's not pretty, there's no decent shopping anywhere NEAR the downtown (unless consignment shops and last year's clothing are your thing), and watch out for mice in the restaurants.

If you want a pretty city, go to Montreal. For a clean and shopping-friendly city, hit up Toronto. For pure 'rawness' and a small view of the lower end of the society ladder, this is DEFINITELY your best bet.

But hey, don't take my word for it... go see for yourself.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

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By Allison (anonymous) | Posted August 22, 2006 at 17:03:13

... one more thing...

The pictures above ARE beautiful. Note, though, that many of them are in the surrounding area, not downtown Hamilton.

If we were talking about the Burlington downtown, which is beautiful and very quaint, then the marina pictures could be included.

Also, as nice as the temporary storefronts appear, they're gone within a week, and we're left with the dilapidated storefronts we're familiar with. (Hence the reason they covered them for the movie shoot.)

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 30, 2006 at 17:29:20

hey allison

Thanks for the feedback. I've been to Montreal a couple of times and loved it. Toronto I find too corporate and full of blue glass at every turn. Downtown Ottawa was cool (Byward Market area at least). Everyone's got their own 'thing' and shopping certainly isn't mine. I love the food, ethnicity, art, culture and buildings in downtown Hamilton. Perhaps it's not all it could be, but there's a fine line we don't want to cross where every big-wig corporate joe is trying to kick out Christophers Foods for a Starbucks or GAP. I love the realness and lack of pretention here. In fact, I think Montreal is a model we can try to emulate as we move foward. Toronto, Burlington - no thanks. By the way, thanks for the compliment on the pics....of the 21 pictures above only 5 are from the waterfront (I don't subscribe to the theory that the waterfront can't be included in the 'downtown' areas now that's it's nice. Back when it will all landfill and industry it was 'downtown'). The other 16 pics are taken from the immediate Gore. I only walked through the park on either side from James to John. Doesn't get more 'right downtown' than that! Cheers

Jason

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