AN OVERVIEW OF HAMILTON CENTRE

EXPLORE OUR CITY

Hamilton, Ontario has become a regular conversation among Ontarians for its relatively affordable housing stock, unique restaurants, and breathtaking geography (not to mention its proximity to Toronto). The City of Waterfalls, as it has come to be known, is now considered to be one of the most desirable places to live in all the province.

In this second edition of our series examining the neighbourhoods that make up the city and guiding the reader through them, we will be surveying Hamilton Centre. Central Hamilton is a broad classification, applicable as the name of a specific neighbourhood in the city or generally to refer to the downtown core. For the purposes of this overview, we will be using the classification and borders laid out by the Real Estate Association of Hamilton Burlington. Because these overviews are designed to give you, the reader, a chance to get acquainted with the city, we will be offering both general and real-estate oriented information, such as average house prices, vacancy rates, and average rents, but also population and employment figures, anchor businesses, events, and institutions.

Hamilton Centre, as designated by the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) is bounded to the west by James Street. Readers familiar with the city will note that we discussed business along James Street South in our examination of West Hamilton. For the purposes of simplicity as to not overwhelm the reader with information, solely James Street South was discussed in the last portion. In this overview, we will be looking at James Street North. To the east, the district is bounded by Kenilworth Avenue, to the north by Hamilton Harbour, and to the south by the Niagara Escarpment.

Hamilton Centre, like West Hamilton, is divided into several neighbourhoods, such as Beasley, Corktown, Stinson, Landsdale, Delta, St. Clair, and Crown Point. As with our last feature, before we get into our discussion of the history and notable landmarks of the area and each neighbourhood, we’ll begin by looking at some of the stats that describe the area. As previously mentioned, population and employment figures originate from the 2011 Canadian Census, meaning of course these stats are five or six years out of date. Unlike the real estate market, such a timeframe is unlikely to have a consequential effect on demographics.

 

HAMILTON CENTRE NEIGHBOURHOODS

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BLAKELY / ST. CLAIR

Blakely and St. Clair lie at the lower city’s southern edge, running from Main Street East to the north and the escarpment to the south, from Wentworth Street to the west and Gage Avenue to the east. Arguably two of the most historical neighbourhoods in the city, with large, often-untouched century homes and wooded yards and avenues, these neighbourhoods have proven exceptionally popular with Toronto transplants.

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STINSON

Stinson is a residential neighbourhood in Hamilton that borders Main Street East to the north, the Niagara escarpment to the south, Wellington Street South to the west and Wentworth Street South to the east. It is a vibrant, history-rich neighbourhood that features many heritage homes and lots of cozy charming streets. It feels like an entirely downtown neighbourhood, but is isolated from the furious activity of the core. With the Central Memorial Rec Centre and access to the escarpment and a variety of lifestyle activities, Stinson is a community unto itself.

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CORKTOWN

Bounded by James Street to the west, Main Street to the north, Wellington Street to the east and the Niagara Escarpment to the south, Corktown is one of the original four Hamilton neighbourhoods. Home to the Hamilton GO Station, St. Joseph’s Hospital, and the pub district of Augusta and Young Streets, Corktown is a true downtown community.

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STIPLEY

Like Gibson and Landsdale to the west, Stipley is a neighbourhood of traditionally working-class citizens. A tight-knit community, the neighbourhood is home to the former Ivor Wynne Stadium, now rebranded as Tim Hortons Field. The neighbourhood will also be home to the recently-begun Bernie Morelli Recreation Centre, due to be completed in 2018.

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GIBSON / LANDSDALE

Running from Wellington to Sherman and the CN railway to Main Street, Gibson/Landsdale are predominantly residential neighbourhoods, sites of a recent flurry of investment on the part of the City of Hamilton and private developers. Home to such landmarks as Gibson School Lofts, the former Westinghouse Building, and Powell Park, Gibson/Landsdale are two neighbourhoods entrenched in Hamilton history.

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BEASLEY

One of Hamilton’s first neighbourhoods, Beasley, long one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the city, has recently witnessed a massive resurgence in interest, due in no small part to its proximity to neighbouring James Street North, arguably the most popular destination district in the city. Named for Richard Beasley, soldier, political figure, and businessman, Beasley was one of Hamilton’s first settlers. The Beasley neighbourhood is a tight-knit community of volunteers, business owners, artists, and activists.

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KEITH

Similar to the Industrial Sector Neighbourhoods, Keith is home to many of Hamilton’s working class citizens. During the Second World War, the neighbourhood was where you live and then walk to work in one of the then-booming factories, such as Studebaker, Stelco, or Dofasco. Since then, residents of the neighbourhood are working hard to remake Keith into a close community, one where Hamiltonians want to live and play.

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NORTH END EAST

Part of the Jamesville region of neighbourhoods, North End (or Bayfront) East holds some of the city’s most infamous landmarks, such as the HMCS Haida, Pier 8, the Waterfront Trail Lookout Point, and Williams Coffee Pub waterfront location. Due to its proximity to North End West, which holds Pier 4 Park and Bayfront Park, Bayfront East has become a hotspot of activity in the real estate market, with prices increasing by 30% in the neighbourhood in 2016. If you’re looking to purchase a home by the water, now’s the time!

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INDUSTRIAL SECTOR

In reality spanning six separate neighbourhoods (Industrial Sectors A – E & K), the Industrial Sector is defined primarily by the over 2000 acres of industrial land. Nonetheless, these neighbourhoods have their own character, shops and services, defined primarily by their proximity to the city’s industrial core. Though much of the activity that pervaded this area of the city has since left, many still live and work in these neighbourhoods, making them no less important than those others mentioned here.

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DELTA

Home to Gage Park, the largest municipal park in the city, and Delta Secondary School, one of the oldest high schools in the city, Delta is a former streetcar neighbourhood in the east-central portion of the city. With the rise in popularity of nearby Ottawa Street and the neighbourhood’s proximity the the escarpment and green space of Gage Park, homes in the Delta neighbourhoods (West, Central, East) have become some of the most sought-after in the city.

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CROWN POINT

Primarily residential in character, Crown Point suffered much during the long recession that claimed Hamilton during the 1980s and 90s, spanning into the early 2000s. Long one of the most desirable neighbourhoods for Hamilton steelworkers, many of the shops and services left along with the industrial economy. Since then, Ottawa Street, the heart of Crown Point, has become one of most popular areas of the city with unique shops and restaurants, such as the first Tim Hortons coffee shop, many holding true to the textile industry history of the area.

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TOP 10 LIST

PILLAR INSTITUTIONS

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STELCO / DOFASCO

1330 BURLINGTON STREET EAST

Much of the reason for Hamilton’s roaring success during the majority of the 20th century, Dofasco (founded as Dominion Steel Castings Company Ltd in 1912) and Stelco (founded as the Steel Company of Canada in 1910). By 1945, the two mills produced half of the country’s steel. In 1981, Stelco employed 26,000 workers. By 1990, that number will have fallen to approximately 14,000. By 1993, Dofasco employed 11,400 people and Stelco 9,300, marking the first time in the history of the two companies that Dofasco would surpass Stelco in number of employees. Since the 90s, Dofasco would remain healthy and profitable, ultimately being purchased by ArcelorMittal in 2007. That same year, Stelco is sold to US Steel for $1.9 billion in cash and assumed debts, reducing the number of employees to a guaranteed average of 3,105 workers. What would follow is years of neglect and arguable abuse of Stelco employees and pensioners.

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CBC HAMILTON

118 JAMES STREET NORTH

Launched in May 2012, CBC Hamilton is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s digital-only service, geared primarily to residents of Hamilton. Due to budgeting constraints and the fact that Hamilton lies within the coverage of the majority of Toronto’s main transmitting stations, CBC Hamilton does not include an over-the-air broadcasting element, meaning the entirety of the stations operations are digital- and web-based.

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JACKSON SQUARE

2 KING STREET WEST

Lloyd D. Jackson Square, also known as Jackson Square, is an indoor shopping mall, and commercial complex located in the city’s downtown core. The civic square is located in the centre of the city, bounded by several major arterial roads: King Street (south), Bay Street (west), York Boulevard (north) and James Street (east), with the appointed address being 2 King Street West. The mall officially opened in 1970. Since then, it has gone through several troughes and valleys, with the 70s, 80s, and 90s representing varying degrees of tough times for the commercial centre. Since the early 2000s, the mall has undergone a resurgence, culminating in the opening of Nation’s Fresh Foods grocery store – a sleek, 55,000 square foot venture with nearly half the store devoted to prepared food for the mall’s substantial foot-traffic

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HAMILTON POLICE SERVICES

155 KING WILLIAM STREET

Servicing Hamilton’s over 550,000 residents, the Hamilton Police Service has been in operation since 1833 and remain one of the oldest police services in the English-speaking world. From its Central Station Headquarters, located at 155 King William Street, the HPS operates its Corporate, Investigative, and Support Services Divisions, as well as its Division One patrol, which provides services from Sherman Avenue in the east to the old city’s border with Dundas Ontario at Main Street and Osler Avenue in the west.

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GORE PARK

2 KING STREET WEST

Established in the 19th century, Gore Park is home to some of Hamilton’s most historical and traditional events. Besides the erection of the historical statures, Hamilton’s landmark fountain, a cenotaph and more, Gore Park was and still is primarily known for its prime location as well as its events that are able to bring our community closer together.

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GAGE PARK

1000 MAIN STREET EAST

Comprising an area of over 3 million square feet or nearly 69 acres, Gage Park comprises nearly a dozen city blocks in size. Its amenities include a concert bandshell, museum, greenhouses, tennis courts, fountains, lawn bowling fields, baseball diamonds, and multiple playgrounds. Home to several music and food events, it was announced in October 2016 that the Festival of Friends, long a Gage Park mainstay, would be moving back to Gage Park for the 2017 edition after being hosted at the Ancaster Fairgrounds for the last few years.

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HAMILTON TIGER-CATS/ TIM HORTONS FIELD

64 MELROSE AVENUE NORTH

Home to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, otherwise known as the Ti-Cats, Tim Hortons Field replaced Ivor Wynne Stadium in 2014. Since then it has been host to the the 2015 Pan American Games as well as dozens of other events. The stadium has the capacity to seat 24,000 visitors and has such modern amenities as extensive wireless communications infrastructure, state of the art washroom facilities, and luxury boxes

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PIER 8 / HMCS HAIDA

47 DISCOVERY LANE

Home to several attractions as the Hamilton Waterfront Trolley, the Hamilton Tour Boat, and the Outdoor Roller and Skating Rink, Pier 8 also serves as home to several restaurant and dining establishments, such as Williams’ Fresh Cafe, Scoops Ice Cream Parlour, and Sarcoa. Nearby, you’ll also find the National Historic Site of the HMCS Haida, a Tribal-class destroyer that served in the Royal Canadian Navy between the years of 1943 and 1963. Near to the Haida you’ll also find the HMCS Star, home to Hamilton Naval Heritage Association and the Hamilton Naval Reserve Division.

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HAMILTON STREET RAILWAY / GO TRANSIT

36 HUNTER STREET EAST

The Hamilton Street Railway Company, commonly known as the HSR, is the transit Division of the City of Hamilton. The company’s name is leftover from the days when the majority of the of transit was carried out via streetcars, not buses, as is the case today.

GO Transit, operating out of its two Hamilton locations, the Hamilton GO Centre at James Street South and Hunter Street East, and the West Harbour GO Station on James Street North, services GO transit out of Hamilton to various destinations across Southern Ontario. The Hamilton GO Centre operations out of what used to the be the head office of the Toronto, Hamilton, and Buffalo Railway Corporation (TH&B), while the West Harbour GO Station is a primarily railway station that completed construction in July 2015.

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THE CENTRE ON BARTON

111-1321 BARTON STREET

Formely Centre Mall, the Centre on Barton is a outdoor shopping centre that comprises a 78-acre area north of Barton Street, from Ottawa Street North to Kenilworth Avenue North. Originally one of the first shopping mall built in North America at the time of its completed construction in 1955, Centre Mall fell into disrepair. In 2007, the owners of Centre Mall announced plans for a $100 million investment into the relic to turn it into a 23-building power centre, still the largest redevelopment project of the city’s east end.

restaurants

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MULBERRY STREET COFFEEHOUSE

193 JAMES STREET NORTH

Housed in what has come to be known as Hotel Hamilton, Mulberry Street Coffeehouse comprises the lobby space of the former Armory Hotel (named for its proximity to the Armory facilities across the street). The building was built in 1887 by its original owner, Thomas Allen, who christened it using his family name. Since then, it has been known as the Allen Building. Servicing delicious and irresistible baked goods and locally-sourced coffee, Mulberry has been a mainstay of the James North community since it opened its doors in August 2010

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THE BURNT TONGUE

10 CANNON STREET EAT

The Burnt Tongue started as a small venture on Cannon Street East, just east of James Street North by owner Leo Tsangarakis. Since it opened its doors, it has opened a second location on trendy Locke Street South, which we covered in our West Hamilton feature.

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JACK & LOIS

301 JAMES STREET NORTH

Home to James North’s ‘Stuffed Angel’ (a deep-fried wonton stuffed with black bean, onion, portobello mushroom, cilantro, ground almond, and served with spicy marinara), Jack & Lois is a must-visit destination. Often jam-packed and filled with people, Jack & Lois does not take reservations due to its size, so if you want to take the parents out for breakfast, the earlier the better!

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GORILLA CHEESE

131 OTTAWA STREET NORTH & FOOD TRUCK

Beginning operations in 2011 as Canada’s first grilled cheese food truck, Gorilla Cheese achieved resounding, widespread acclaim. Since then, it has gone on to remain the most in-demand food truck at Hamilton and area festivals, concerts, and events. Such was its success that in 2015 it opened its first brick-and-mortar location at 131 Ottawa St. N.

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541 EATERY

541 BARTON STREET EAST

541 Eatery and Exchange opened its doors at 541 Barton Street east in 2013. As an eatery, they provide “fresh, home-made meals and baked goods” in the heart of the city. As an exchange, they provide a space where people can share ideas and engage with each other and their community. They use their space to and the proceeds therein to provide community initiatives such as youth employment programs and skills training opportunities.

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LAKE ROAD

229 JAMES STREET NORTH

The brainchild of husband-and-wife chefs Dan Megna and Laurie Lilliman, Lake Road, like Twisted Lemon before it, is founded upon “redefining dining.” Their highest priority is to make fine dining about “great food, great service, and an experience that all should enjoy.

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CANNON COFFEE CO.

179 OTTAWA STREET NORTH

The Cannon Coffee Company (usually simply known as “The Cannon”) opened its doors at the corner of Ottawa and Cannon streets in 2011. Since then, it has provided the Ottawa Street neighbourhoods of Crown Point, Delta, and those beyond with delicious, locally-sourced coffee and waffle-oriented breakfast and lunch plates.

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LO PRESTI’S AT MAXWELL’S

165 JACKSON STREET EAST

Fine Italian food with an elegant, intimate atmopshere, Lo Presti’s at Maxewell’s has been a mainstay among the Hamilton fine dining community for decades. Known especially for its small private dining rooms in lieu of a main, large dining room, ideal for small business gatherings, the restaurant also utilitises large sliding doors within what main dining space exists to give the impression that every table in the space can be enjoyed in a semi-private manner.

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RAPSCALLION

61 YONGE STREET

Offering an ever-changing and meaty blackboard menu with a laid back style, Rapscallion largely caters to your favourite meat-eaters and getting them slightly out of their comfort zones. That said, they of course also cater to your vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free friends and family as well by providing a meatless menu, as well as guaranteeing most of their meaty meals are offered without gluten

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SHAKESPEARE’S STEAK & SEAFOOD

181 MAIN STREET EAST

Arguably Hamilton’s best-known restaurant for fine dining, Shakespeare’s started as a steakhouse when opened by Chef Franco Putignano in 1969. Over the years, as peoples’ tastes have shifted away from steak and toward more varied palates, the menu changed as well. Today, alongside corn-fed beef steaks, patrons can also access wild game such as caribou and venison.

shops

MIXED MEDIA
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THE HAMILTON STORE

165 JAMES STREET NORTH


Donna Reid, a pillar within the Hamilton community, took over HIStory + HERitage, Hamilton’s first privately-run storefront museum, from retired local businessman and activist Graham Crawford in Fall of 2013. At the time, HIStory + HERitage was a kind of love letter to Hamilton’s past – a “salute to the men and women who helped shape Hamilton.” The Hamilton Store is the museum’s natural evolution, a shop where everything has a history and connection within the city

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CENTRAL CYCLE

965 KING STREET EAST

A full-service bike shop servicing the Hamilton cycling community and the surrounding area, Central Cycle was opened in YEAR by former olympic cyclist Brian Chewter. Whatever your cycling needs, whether they be for Mountain, Cross, Touring, BMX, or Kids bikes, Central Cycle can provide.

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COLLECTIVE ARTS BREWING

207 BURLINGTON STREET EAST

Established in 1983 in Westdale and now holding additional locations in Burlington and Oakville, Walker’s chocolates has been providing hand-crafted, premium chocolate to Hamiltonians for over 30 years.

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O’S CLOTHES

150 JAMES STREET NORTH

Beginning as a tiny boutique on Cannon Street East, just east of James, O’s Clothes offers many brands that were previously unavailable in Hamilton. In April of 2015, O’s Clothes moved onto James North proper and into a much bigger space, having achieved resounding commercial success.

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MIXED MEDIA

154 JAMES STREET NORTH

Mixed Media has been a defining presence on James Street North since it opened its doors at the corner of James and Cannon in September 2005. A supplier of artists materials as well as gifts, local art, books, and stationery, Mixed Media exists to satisfy the supply need of Hamilton artists and art affectionados. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the James North area would not be the cultural and culinary hub that it is without Mixed Media.

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GAMEOPOLIS

223 KING STREET EAST

Hamilton’s first board game cafe, Gameopolis opened its doors to the public in July 2013. Part cafe, part lounge, part store, all board games.

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DENNINGER’S

284 KING STREET EAST

Denninger’s began as a small operation at the corner of King and Wellington streets, at the entrance to what has come to be known as Hamilton’s International Village. Since its establishment in the 1950s, Denninger’s was known for supplying patrons with high-quality sausages and meats. Since then, it has expanded its operations into Stoney Creek, Burlington, and Oakville, as well as offering prepared foods for the on-the-go crowds.

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HAMILTON FLEA

Owned and operated by John Strachan for over twenty years, Locke Street Antiques predates most of the other businesses in the area, harkening back to a time when Locke Street was primarily known for its shops providing antique furniture, artwork, and silverware.

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COMOTION GROUP

115 KING STREET EAST

CoMotion is founded upon the principle of coworking: bringing small businesses, startups, entrepreneurs, and professionals all together under one roof and sharing amenities in order to reduce overhead costs and inspire collaboration and networking. At their two Hamilton locations, one in the downtown core at CoMotion on King and the other in the historic neighbourhood of Blakely at CoMotion 302, the CoMotion group provides innovative and professional spaces for your workplace needs.

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AGH ANNEX

118 JAMES STREET NORTH

The AGH Annex is a beautifully restored 19th century heritage building and creativity lab where experimental exhibitions, performances and unique cultural happenings emerge and unfold on a regular basis. Paired with a locally-focused retail area and public venue space, the AGH Annex provides a cultural hub of activity and creativity in the heart of downtown Hamilton.

events

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WINTERFEST

PIER 8 – 47 DISCOVERY LANE

Occurring for a few weeks every February, Winterfest merges the celebration of community with the love for the winter season! Featuring winter-inspired exhibits, food, programming, classes and more all over the city, Hamiltonians can enjoy the winter season with their friends and families! Celebrating its 39th year as of 2017, Winterfest holds its annual Kick-Off event at Hamilton’s Pier 8 Bayfront with live entertainment, art, vendors, music, crafts and activities and open skate. This is a festival you shouldn’t miss.

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SPICE FACTORY

121 HUGHSON STREET NORTH

Located at 121 Hughson Street North, The Spice Factory is an event space and bar perfect for any occasion. Steeped in Hamilton history and housed in what was at one point, oddly enough, a spice factory, the old Sons of England Britannia Lodge No. 8 has been given new life. From art events to special occasions, we provide a unique setting dressed with elegance and sophistication. Equipped with a meeting room, a fully licensed patio and two event spaces, the Spice Factor has become one of the hottest venues in the city.

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BARTON VILLAGE FESTIVAL

BARTON STREET

With over 60 vendors and 2,000 participants, the Barton Village Festival strives to bring awareness to Barton Street and its surrounding areas. With an afternoon of dance classes, vendors, performers, musicians, activities, games, and more, this is a festival you won’t want to miss!

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FESTIVAL OF FRIENDS / MIDSUMMER’S DREAM

1000 MAIN STREET

Already mentioned above in our discussion of Gage Park, Festival of Friends is a 3-day free music festival usually held in August following the Civic Holiday. It remains one of Hamilton’s largest and most-attended festivals, usually garnering regular weekend attendance of over 250,000 people. Festival of Friends long served the Hamilton community as an extremely popular festival among many types of festival-goers. In 2010, Festival of Friends moved to the Ancaster Fairgrounds in order to attempt to shore up sponsors and attendance, as well as to allow for more parking. In October 2016 it was announced that the festival would be moving back to Gage Park for its 2017 edition. A midsummer’s dream, also held at Gage Park, is one of Canada’s biggest Colour Festivals, taking place toward the end of August each year.

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COTTON FACTORY / SHERMAN HUB

270 SHERMAN AVENUE NORTH

This industrial factory located in the heart of lower Hamilton is used as a creative industry complex with space for offices and businesses, events, workshops, studios and even manufacturing. The third floor is a large open concerts space often used for events, concerts, fundraisers, weddings, classes and more. This creative arts hub is home to over 60 tenants ranging from artists, photographers, designers, curators, potters, and film production companies. This is an ideal location to host both small and large events as well as take advantage of the many artisans within.

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MILLS HARDWAREs

95 KING STREET EAST

This well known event and entertainment space is located in the heart of Downtown Hamilton. Awarded the City of Hamilton’s 2015 Urban Design and Architecture Award of Excellence for Heritage / Adaptive Reuse, Mills Hardware is used for a multitude of things such as community groups, companies, organizations, festivals and more. If you’re looking for a space to use or an event to go to, Mills Hardware is just what you need!

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FRINGE FESTIVAL

Hamilton

Taking place over a week and a half every July in Downtown Hamilton, The Hamilton Fringe Festival is a highly renowned performance festivals that showcases live performances, dance, comedies, magic shows and entertainment from over 40 companies and organizations.

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THIS AIN’T HOLLYWOOD

345 JAMES STREET NORTH

In business for nearly 25 years, This Ain’t Hollywood opened its doors in the early 90s, when Hamilton’s music scene was defined by its punk and grunge, its Junkhouse, its Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. This Ain’t Hollywood remains a fixture on James North, providing a rock-solid venue for Hamilton musicians and their fans.

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PEARL COMPANY

16 STEVEN STREET

Located within the Landsdale neighbourhood, The Pearl Company is large and well known venue often used for the performing arts. This three – storey brick factory is owned and managed by musician Gary Santucci and arts activist Barbara Milne. Initiatives such as ARTBus, the Opus Mundi Festival, Festivals, performance workshops and more have been launched and run here over the last eight years

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ART CRAWL / SUPERCRAWL

James Street

What would Hamilton be without the James North Art Crawl? Taking place the second Friday of every month, the art crawl began as a way for artists and art-lovers to enjoy each-other’s work without having to schedule specific events. Since 2006, with the opening of the Factory: Hamilton Media Arts Centre, the Art Crawl has steadily grown, with additional galleries opening up along James, King William, and King Streets. The Art Crawl, and its culmination in the infamous Hamilton festival, Supercrawl, have had an undeniable effect on the fabric of the city.




NEIGHBOURHOOD CAPTURE



Interviews

STORIES FROM HAMILTON CENTRE

Throughout our features, we will be interviewing prominent business owners, politicians, citizens, and individuals in order to get a deeper and more personal view of what Hamilton represents.

For Hamilton Centre, we have Matthew Green – Hamilton’s Ward 3 Councillor.


Matthew Green

CITY OF HAMILTON: WARD 3 COUNCILLOR




DEMOGRAPHIC SNAPSHOT

HAMILTON CENTRE BY THE NUMBERS


With a total population of over 72,000, Hamilton Centre holds nearly 14% of the total Hamilton population. At the time of the 2011 Census, approximately 12% of the population were over the age of 65. This is down from West Hamilton, where the 65-plus population exceeds 16%. This difference in demographics is further reflected in the median age, with Hamilton Centre having one of 38.1 and West Hamilton a median age of 38.9. While this does not sound like a massive difference, when you consider a sample size of tens of thousands, that size of a difference is indicative of a substantial age difference between areas.
In terms of other stats, Hamilton Centre remains noticeably less affluent than the city average (similar to Hamilton West, where household income sat at around $45,000), but unlike West Hamilton, a small majority of occupied dwellings within the area are single-detached houses. In West Hamilton, this figure was substantially lower, at 34%. There are also a significant number of dwellings in need of major repairs. None of this is likely particularly surprising to our Hamiltonian readers: Hamilton between James and Kenilworth boasts some of the city’s oldest single-family dwellings. In addition, many were traditionally comprised of working-class neighbourhoods, primarily occupied by steel-workers from the Stelco and Dofasco plants. Only recently have many of these homes changed hands toward white-collar professionals within the digital industries looking to purchase their first home. Geographically, the census tracts around Ottawa Street South boast the highest average income at $72,000. Lower incomes are interspersed throughout the area. As with West Hamilton, then, we’re finding that each neighbourhood has its own characteristics, demographics, and sites worth seeing.

THE HAMILTON CENTRE REAL ESTATE MARKET

Like West Hamilton, Hamilton Centre is filled with varied and diverse neighbourhoods, each with their own history, landmarks, business, and institutions that have influenced their development. Turning now to the individual real estate markets, we are going to examine how the markets have progressed in each of these areas over the last few years.
Below, you will find summary tables of the change in average sale price for each of the three districts that make up the Hamilton Centre area. Each will be briefly discussed but the intention is that the tables speak for themselves.

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District 13

Comprised of neighbourhoods North End East, Industrial Sector A, Keith, and small portions of neighbourhoods Beasley and Landsdale, District 13 falls primarily in the city’s north end. Traditionally perceived as being one of the least desirable areas in the city, these north end neighbourhoods have received a massive upswell in interest over the last 2-3 years. As prices in the rest of the city reach heights that many prospective buyers perceive as beyond their means, they are turning to these more northern neighbourhoods, subsequently driving up prices. While some areas will see increases as large as the 20-25% range from 2015-2016, District 13 is the only district covered here so far (as well as in Hamilton West) with an increase in average sale price of over 30%. This is due in no small part to the previously (arguably) undervalued prices within the area, as well as the proximity of the district’s neighbourhoods to James Street North and the city’s waterfront, which has become the site of much of the city’s future development.


VIEW DISTRICT 13
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District 14

Unlike District 13, Hamilton Centre District 14 has been experiencing a very gradual increase in the growth of its prices. In District 13, growth rates escalated gradually from 7.7% to 12.7% over three years, then shot up sharply over the course of 2016 (34%). District 14 has been experiencing a much more leveled growth in price increases, with 2013-2014 experiencing the largest increase at 22%. This steadier growth can be attributed to the proximity of many of the districts neighbourhoods to high-traffic thoroughfares such as Main, King, Wentworth, Wellington, and Victoria Streets.


VIEW DISTRICT 14