Start 2015 with Good News about HAMILTON, Ontario

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2015 has arrived! Where did 2014 go? No matter. Shake off 2014, begin those New Year’s resolutions, and get back to work. Or, continue to work away, in my case.

I found myself working throughout the ‘Christmas Break’. I am married to a teacher, so I felt entitled to 2 weeks off to spend with him, but that’s not real estate. My career and work hours are not ‘typical’. The real estate market in Hamilton has not cooled off, like our temperatures. 2015 is expected to be no different. So, for my first post of the year, I thought I would simply share all the good news coming out of The Hammer.

Off the top, you should read the CBC Hamilton article Boom town: Hamilton housing predicted to stay hot in 2015. ‘Hamilton was the tightest market in the country all year.’– Doug Porter, chief economist, BMO Financial Group within the article. We expect it to continue in this way. Hamilton is a great place to live and invest and is truly HOT, quoting the article, of course. Best to join the party early. Also, select the links at the end of the article for further reading. These are related pieces discussing the Hamilton condo market boom and much more.

People still view Hamilton as a gritty, steel-milled, stink hole. Growing up, I recall friends calling my hometown the ‘armpit of Ontario’. Okay, we are not shiny or smell like roses, and maybe we never will. We are a working-class community trying to clean-up. But, you cannot deny the changes that are coming and are HERE! Gentrification is giving our downtown new life. For the full read, have a gander at the Globe and Mail’s article How Hamilton is revitalizing its downtown to bring new life.

To sum it up, you need to investigate our ambitious city for yourself. See it and Hear it – Have a stroll down James Street North, Locke St South, or Ottawa Street North and the character homes in and around it. Taste it –  Then, I would highly recommend you visit one or more of the top restaurants in our city. Huffington Post’s article Best Hamilton Restaurants: Where To Eat In The Hammer is the perfect guide. Experience the difference.

Finally, after you have warmed-up to Hamilton, come invest! Give me a call, shoot me an email, or post a reply, and we can discuss your real estate options here in my hometown – Hamilton (saying it proud with a mighty fist up to accompany the cheer)!

All the best to you in 2015! There is much more to come from this proud Hamiltonian.

The Month of Holiday Cheer

December is here! The month full of holiday cheer! As the snow starts to fall outside here in Hamilton, I decided it would be great to share the best way to kick off the month and really get into the spirit of Christmas –

Christmas in Gore Park!

CHML/Y108 Children’s Fund and the City of Hamilton to bring you Christmas in Gore.

Excitement starts December 4th at 6pm, Y108’s radio personalities will be broadcasting live from Santa’s Workshop in Gore Park for their 24 in the Gore collecting new unwrapped toys, food and cash donations for the CHML/Y108 Children’s Fund Operation Santa Claus.

On Friday December 5th at 5 pm The City of Hamilton provides free miniature train and carousel rides which will start operating daily until December 24th.

At 5:30 pm we will officially light up Downtown Hamilton’s Christmas decorations including the 40’ tall Christmas Tree of Hope followed by a FREE concert by CRANK presented by CHML/Y108.

Also, walk down to: A Victorian Night in the Village!

Friday December 5 from 6-9pm in the International Village located at Ferguson Station in downtown Hamilton. 3 hours of carolers, Christmas music, horse & carriage rides (1st come, 1st served of course), and sales at shops & restaurants.
The festivities continue on Saturday, December 6th in Gore Park when the Downtown BIA hosts Santa in Gore Park for free pictures from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Start your Christmas shopping in Santa’s Village. Free refreshments will be provided by Philpott Memorial Church. The whole family will have a great time with carolling, Christmas entertainment and free crafts!

Christmas Evening Tours at Dundurn Castle

See the castle lit up for the holidays. Start in the front hall with carol-singing, then tour Sir Allan MacNab’s lavish home, and enjoy traditional Christmas treats in the historic kitchen. $27.00 admission for all ages running Dec 5-7 and Dec 19-21 from 7pm-9pm.

And that is just the start of the month folks! Check the tourismhamilton.com site for a list of other family events (The Big Sing, Model Train Weekend, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and MORE).

So embrace the joy of the holiday season, be good to you and yours, and Happy Holidays

**image is one of my favourites from Susan Houghton Debus**

Winter has COME! Time to SHOP!!

Winter has come! It seems that everyone in the Hamilton area was a bit surprised at the winter wonderful we woke up to this Monday morning. Southern Ontario is ready for winter, whether we like it or not. So, it seems the best time to start truly thinking of the holiday season that is fast approaching.

I find the best way to get in that MERRY holiday spirit is to start Christmas shopping. I like shopping in November because the shops, boutiques, and especially malls are not unbearable, yet. If you are looking for a hand-made, unique gift, shopping at the Church/Parish/Community centre Christmas Bazaars & Fairs are the best 1st stop. It is only mid-November, but these craft events have been running since the start of the month. (Sorry I am a bit behind!) My favourite Parish craft and holiday event is at my own church, which is why I am posting now. Canadian Martyr’s is my home church and their Christmas Bazaar is THIS WEEKEND – Friday Nov 21 from 4pm-8pm & Saturday Nov 22 from 10am-2pm. Here is a sneak peak!

These hand-made children sweater, mittens, hats, scarves, slippers, AND SO MUCH MORE are exquisite, quality gems that are perfect gifts. The event also hosts some scrumptious food and activities for the little ones. Shop or just buy raffle tickets and win a gift card to a local shop or another great prize or gift. It’s a full weekend of fun.

If you can’t attend west Hamilton’s Canadian Martyr’s event, check out the Hamilton Spectator’s list via the link for other similar sales at the dozens of locations throughout the greater Hamilton area.

Happy Shopping!

Hamilton – One of Canada’s Most Underrated Places

WOW, I absolute love how the Hamilton Spectator headlined their article on Hamilton:  “Once the ‘Armpit of Ontario,’ Hamilton now one of Canada’s most underrated places.” It says it all. Once a place mocked by the rest of Ontario as the ‘armpit’, due to the steel factories, is now a hot, up-and-coming city that many outsider are attracted to.

Hamilton, Ontario is in the midst of a resurgence. You can see it, feel it, and hear it here in the city. Glad we are now an underrated place. View the list of other underrated places to visit in all of Canada according to MSN Travel.

 

Link

A Day Out – Hamilton Hot Spots

As I sit by the window, wrapped in a blanket with a tea, watching a blizzard rip through Hamilton, I wish only for spring to arrive. Or, to come back at least. Hamilton experienced a small taste of spring the last few days. As temperature touched 5-7 degrees, John and I took advantage of the sun and warmth. We had a wonderful start to the March break. We were out and about on Hamilton’s thriving James Street North and up-and-coming Ottawa Street North.

John and I started our afternoon at Burnt Tongue. I had the chance to try the delicious soups a time before, but this was his first visit and John LOVES soup, like a rabbit loves carrots. He instantly swooned over the soups we ordered. I have had 3 different creations before at the soup restaurant and I have not been disappointed. We added their simple but wonderful grilled cheese and amazing fries and the fantastic meal was just under $25. We will be back and often, I am sure.

But before we left to shop along James North, a piece of art caught our eye. We were directed to Mixed Media only three shops away. Mixed Media is just that; a store to purchase paints, paper, unique stationary, artwork and the like. John and I fell in love with a silk-screened print of “the City of Hamilton on 30 October 1958” by Raymond Biesinger, which was hanging up at Burnt Tongue, and bought it without hesitation.

We continued our shopping spree at Needlework. What a pretty shop! Full of colourful fabrics, sewing machines, and a spot for the shop dog. You can purchase material and related items to make your own creations or you can learn to sew. During this March break they even have sewing camp which is awesome! It was here that we purchased some material for our wedding.

Our next stop involved an autumn latte at Mulberry Street Coffee House. YUM! They also make my favourite London Fog (tea latte). Had a chance encounter here before making our way down James North. We popped into The Hamilton Store. Yes, there is a Hamilton Store,and it carries wonderful photos of the city, artwork, and the most knowledgeable Hamilton historian Donna Reid. Our pop-in ended up being a much longer visit with Donna which was inspiring. We are all very proud Hamiltonian’s. Finally, I needed to have a look around at the vintage finds of Hawk and Sparrow.

Why stop at James Street North (was our thought) on this fine spring-like day? Next stop Ottawa Street North in our own neighbourhood of Crown Point!

I can’t walk down Ottawa St, full of antique and textile shops, without a hot drink from The Cannon Coffee Co., so  grabbed another yummy tea latte. The Cannon is a gem on the corner of Cannon St and Ottawa St N serving sweet and savoury waffles and some incredible tea latte creations. I do love the bright yellow chairs and decor at the cafe too.

With our lattes in hand, I needed to visit a newer shop on the street in hopes of finding a once loved dress for a up-coming event. The Edit is a shop made for me! There are beautiful vintage clothing and accessories to die for. I love the mix of old, quality pieces with modern basics. The owner is pretty damn stylish herself. The shop is just another diamond on the strip. John and I felt that The Edit will help bring back the some-what rundown street to its previous glory.

Finally, after a purchase at Antique Avenue (a couple amazing Canadian Red Cross life guarding posters that pulled at John’s heart strings), we headed home where we discussed how lucky we are to be enjoying a spring day in such a wonderful city that is ever changing.

It seems this winter weather will never end. I do look forward to warmer temperatures and sun shine to have another day enjoying the joy of the city. Stay warm out there!

Can you tell I am a proud Hamiltonian?

Hamilton – Ambitious City

Hey! You know what?!? Hamilton is awesome and its videos like this that make me want to shout it from the roof tops!

Too often I find myself defending my hometown to others who reside in the GTA. Its tiring, but its necessary. When I come across little gems like this I need to brag about the efforts being made to turn this place around!

Watch this and remember this is a city full of history and its trending in the right direction thanks to many efforts of many people!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-BgySJ2c50

Can you tell I am a proud Hamiltonian?

Crown Point News and Gorilla Cheese in Crown Point

I am a new resident of the Crown Point Neighbourhood, which is a lovely area located between Gage to Kenilworth from the water to the escarpment. Just recently I have received some wonderful treats and I wanted to share them with you! Firstly, a few days ago I received a fantastic community newspaper about my neighbourhood and it was a wonderful read. As I read it, I was excited and extremely proud of the efforts made to create such a piece of media and proud of my neighbourhood. I was also over come with a sense of belonging and true community because I am proud to live here and the authors of the paper share these thoughts as well. If you live in my neighbourhood, you should read it. If you know anyone who does lives here, tell them about it. Or, if you are a proud Hamiltonian, read it. There are tremendous reasons to be proud of our home town and little gems like this make this city even sweeter.

http://crownpointhamilton.wordpress.com/

Another reason to be happy to be a resident of this wonderful area is because the famous grilled cheese food truck that rolls around town serving up delicious curb side food will now have a permanent residence in crown point!  Yep! Gorilla Cheese is opening up a restaurant on King St E near Gage Park and its going to be such a great add to this neighbourhood. It will attract all sorts of positive press, such as this, and positive vibes towards our neighbourhood and I really hope it will help change others views of this area. Too often people are overlooking this area and simply going down to James or Locke for dinner, which has tremendous places to eat mind you. But, this could be a major draw and my hope is its just going to help the area, mainly Ottawa St. Maybe it will entice some more business people to invest in this upcoming area! Here is a link to a spec article detailing more about this endeavor.

http://www.thespec.com/news-story/4394336-fans-go-ape-over-gorilla-cheese-s-latest-move/

Can you tell I am a proud Hamiltonian?