Revitalization

Gore Park Tree Lighting Ceremony

By Jason Leach
Published December 09, 2006

I wrote this just after I bussed it back with the family from Gore Park tree lighting.

It was best time we've had! They've really done something right down there. The merry-go round was a huge hit with my three year old, as was the train.

I've long believed that a vintage merry-go-round needs to become a permanent fixture somewhere in the Gore, and seeing the response last night to a small, mobile one might give us an indication that we should be looking at finding a permanent venue, say, between John and Hughson or between Hughson and James. I think it would be a great feature of our downtown.

There were many more people than in other years, with a great mix including many young couples like us. The concert with Swick added a great element too - cheering people, lights, music. The park was packed well before the lighting and long after.

I was darn proud to be in my own Gore.

We walked over to Walts for dinner. It was jam-packed, as was Toby's. With a Bulldogs game, a busy AGH, The Nutcracker starting at Hamilton Place, a new Christmas show starting at Theatre Aquarius, and the James North Art Walk, it was a great night in the city.

Kudos to the downtown BIA and CHML for a much improved tree lighting event. Now let's see better light displays all along King St and James Street in future years to help turn this into a must-see event each year.

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 Dave (anonymous) | Posted December 13, 2006 at 20:52:58

Kudos to CHML for continuing to support the downtown with their tree lighting. I know that there would be no tree in the park without the financial support of CHML. While others abandon the downtown core, CHML practicses what they preach by supporting life in the core. I say let's show our support to the station by making a donation to their Christmas Tree of Hope charity. Thanks CHML!

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By Julie Twyford (anonymous) | Posted December 15, 2006 at 22:05:07

I too braved the rather cold night to go downtown to see the tree-lighting ceremony. And yes, I did think that it was one of those silly things that isn't really worth doing, except that it's an "ocassion", so we do it, and find that it was better than we expected.

It was lovely to stand in the cold darkness (except for the continuous flash of the assigned reporters' cameras marking their hunt for a heart-warming photo of family fun/cute, bundled child) and witness the Illuminating of the Illuminations. Silly, but lovely.

It feels as if it is safe again for surburban-raised, marginal urbanites to venture down into the Hamilton core after the sun has set. And even if the fun is still fairly tame/lame, it's imperative that supporters of a core revitalization agenda ensure that they make an appearance to as many of these little events as possible. After all, it's these silly little things that turn into the fond memories which will in turn encourage people to continue to support the integrity of our city.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 16, 2006 at 22:52:39

great point Julie We went back on Saturday (following week) and were quite impressed with the number of other young couples and even 'yuppie' looking folks with their families at Gore Park. Things are definitely changing downtown when folks from various incomes and walks of life are now hanging out together in the Gore. Like a proper city.

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By blah (anonymous) | Posted December 06, 2010 at 14:08:01

It would've been nice to go to Gore Park for the tree lighting. I read that Brian Melo was going to be there this year. There is always next year.

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