Downtown Bureau

Downtown Update

Jason returns with his regular rundown on the downtown.

By Jason Leach
Published May 05, 2006

A new bistro and art gallery is opening on Locke South. Watch this space for more details.

Shopper's Home Health Care Centre is closing their location at Main and Sherman and moving to the old JL Sound building at King and Ferguson. The regular Shopper's store at Main and Sherman will expand into the "new format" store.

Shoppers is still looking downtown for a location for a full "new model" store. They are eyeing King and Wellington and Hess Village.

Westgate Ford is moving to Centennial Parkway and their current location at Main and Ferguson has been sold and will be redeveloped into a mixed use project consisting of ground floor commercial, two to three floors of office space, and seven to eight floors of residential above that.

A mixed use project consisting of a new parking garage, upper floor condos and street front retail space along King William and Walnut is planned for the lot across from the Police Station.

New plans for the Century Theatre call for 74 residential units up from a previous plan of 50+ units.

King William Street is looking spiffed up from Hughson to Catharine although I can't figure out for the life of me why they chose grey stamped concrete next to grey sidewalks. Ferguson, by contast, looks very cool with its red stamped concrete.

Small details like this can be quite annoying when done incorrectly. Downtown needs colour and vibrancy in our paving materials, not more blacktop and grey concrete everywhere.

The Rouge River Restaurant has opened at James and Rebecca. Judging by the crowd inside on a recent walk-by, I'd say it's doing quite well already.

A new office building has been proposed for James and Vine Streets.

Papa Wheelies has just opened at King and Caroline ? it's a bike shop with some cool looking rides in the front window.

WestTown Bar and Grill is renovating the two spaces immediately to their south for a new eatery – no name yet that I’m aware of, but they’ve applied for a liquor license for both indoor and outdoors, which means there will be a patio at the corner.

More patios in the Hammer – Pan del Sole Bakery on John North has put out a new patio at their brand new location. They plan on extending hours and offering dinner in the near future.

Also, PAM's at the corner of King and James now has a patio with about half a dozen tables in the recessed area on James.

The Loose Cannon Gallery has joined Mixed Media in also providing a bench in front of their storefront. It’s great that all these young entrepeneurs in Hamilton understand what makes for a vibrant city. Simple things like murals, gardens, patios and informal sitting areas are what allow people to interact and enjoy city life.

Moose Bar and Grill has opened their patio on James South, although it’s not the nicest looking patio in town...I see they’ve built some garden areas along the perimeter of the patio which will certainly add colour to the space.

Chateau Royale hasn’t seen their streetscape end up like the initial renderings showed, but at least they are planning lots of flower pots out front. The pots are in place and they were wise to incorporate planters along the streetwall of the building. This will add some nice colour to James South.

Urban planet is a store owned by the same folks who own Stitches, but it’s better quality according to some folks I chatted with, and somewhat trendy and popular with young people/young adults. It should be a good addition to King and James, especially if they can get Yale to do something with the rotten outside façade at that corner.

View Magazine is moving their offices to Main and Locke, next door to the new 2Face clothing store. Call me crazy, but could some sort of funky, urban scene be taking root on Main Street? Sheesh, if businesses can survive on that crappy highway strip, then downtown has really turned a corner. Now if city hall would do something with the street to enhance business instead of killing it.

Barker Dog Boutique is leaving Locke South for James South, in the terrace building that is seeing somewhat of a renaissance these days with many new tenants.

And finally, some good news about the proposed VIA Station ... although I'm sure they'll now recommend a site next to Stelco or Columbia Chemicals.

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 I Beleive (anonymous) | Posted May 06, 2006 at 08:52:51

Good to get an update on Downtown. I was happy to hear about all the patios opening up. S I have been here in Brisbane Au. I have noticed that they have a lot of patios at there Cafe and resturants. Its good to see more of this in the hammer. I cant wait to get home and see all the happenings there.

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By jerry123 (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2006 at 00:32:59

Another good update. Just to interject, I spoke to the person inside 2Face clothings and apparently this boutique is opened by the owners of View who wished to give back something to the downtown. Their office is apparently going to be upstairs or beside the 2Face store.

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By A Robot (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2006 at 01:01:01

So that's why View has been packed with 2Face ads recently...

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By Bobo (anonymous) | Posted May 08, 2006 at 14:30:33

A welcomed change from the typical man-man love ads

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By james s. (anonymous) | Posted May 13, 2006 at 23:43:47

how about some sources to validate these rumours? i can't take anything like this seriously with all the bullshit "news" out there on the street about the downtown. i hear a lot of things as well, that doesn't mean any of it is true.

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