Revitalization

Mini-Downtown Update

By Jason Leach
Published August 21, 2008

This has been a busy summer in downtown Hamilton with several reno projects, properties changing hands and many announcements of future projects.

Now that we're into the sunny dog days of summer I thought it would be a good time for a quick sampling of news from downtown Hamilton.

That'll do for now. Yes, I said a 'mini' downtown update. There's too much happening to keep up with these days and that's a good thing!

Sorry to those I didn't get to, but a final few reminders - the >Art Gallery of Hamilton is currently showing a great exhibit of Asian art and culture, the James North Art Crawl in September should be a great one and the Fringe Festival continues downtown until August 24.

Editor's Note: RTH will be publishing several reviews of Fringe Festival performances over the next couple of days.

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

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By Northender 98 (anonymous) | Posted August 21, 2008 at 12:25:11

An addition to all the happenings--La Petite Spa on James has new digs on East side of the street next to the "Loose Cannon" gallery. They have done a nice job with this small space. A bright spot in developments on James. Also, the ad signs are coming down from the old Jerry's Man shop/Hamilton Artist's Inc. building.
Northender

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By adam1 (anonymous) | Posted August 21, 2008 at 14:50:23

Certain mountain councillors would be wise to change their tune and start embracing the 1 way to 2 way street conversions. All the new places (tax $$$) on James and John are becoming hard to ignore.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 21, 2008 at 16:04:45

adam1, all the places on James and John are very easy to ignore by folks who are never on the streets downtown. Your point is well taken though, and deadly accurate - revitalization=money.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 21, 2008 at 23:31:53

as far as I know, nothing is happening on any of those sites. The Napier/Caroline condo seems to have sold decently based on the number of occupied units I see while walking by. The rest of it all seems stalled, cancelled or not in a hurry to do anything. We've seen this too many times in this city. I wish city hall would stop committing money to groups that aren't ready to break ground immediately. However, much continues to happen downtown despite this so we'll see what happens. Harry Stinson is right on the money - all these property owners don't want to invest a cent of their own money to help turn things around. They are all sitting around doing nothing, hoping that someone else (like him) will take the plunge. At this point I'd be overjoyed to simply see dozens of downtown properties put up for sale in order to get rid of the slumlords we've had doing nothing worthwhile in this city for too many years. Their day has come and gone. It's time for a changing of the guard.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 22, 2008 at 09:43:13

after my first visit last night, I can now confirm the rave reviews of Gallaghers on John South. This place has it all from great food, friendly service, laid back atmosphere, great decor etc..... Starting today they open at 11am for lunch with an expanded food menu offering sandwiches, pizza, panini's etc.... The nachos were great. This place would appear to be well on it's way to being one of the most popular spots in the city. It certainly deserves it.

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By MR (anonymous) | Posted August 22, 2008 at 16:23:33

I there any hope on Barton between James and Kenilworth? Moved from TO 2.5 years ago and have only seen it get worse. More hookers, more drugs!

Toronto is starting to look good to me again.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 22, 2008 at 18:44:51

I wouldn't say that Barton is worse now than 2.5 years ago. There have been a few reno's and the area around General Hospital seems to be slowly coming around. A few buildings have been fixed up between Hughson and James. Eventually, Barton will rebound once all downtown buildings are fixed up and rising in price. Similar to how attention turned to James North a few years ago after years of neglect, Barton's day will come. I wouldn't base your decision to stay or leave here on the worst stretch in town. There's a lot of good happening here.

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By New Place (anonymous) | Posted August 25, 2008 at 11:16:59

"al Centro" will open up in the former Infusions space in approximately 1 to 2 weeks.

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