JUNO Awards in the Hammer!

The 2015 JUNO Awards are only 9 days away. The awards ceremony will honour Canadian music achievements in the later part of 2013 and in 2014. This wonderful event will be taking place in our fair city of Hamilton, ON. HOW EXCITING! The ceremony takes place downtown in FirstOntario Centre over the weekend of March 14 – 15 and televised nationally on CTV March 15. GREAT NEWS is that you do not have to wait till next weekend to enjoy the festivities in the city. There are various concerts and events related to the awards taking place as soon as tonight, March 9. Actually, there have already been pop up performances in the city…..anyway, get in on the fun! Plan ahead by checking out tourismhamilton.com’s Juno Awards – TURN IT ON! section and find a complete listing of events.

I will note, one event I do plan on participating in (so long as real estate work doesn’t get in the way) is Turn It On Music Crawl. It is an enhanced Art Crawl with live performances throughout the JUNO Zone – Jackson Square, James Street North/South and King Street East/West locations. In addition to music, you will be able to snack at food trucks, enjoy local entertainment, pop into shops and galleries. James St North specifically will have 10 stages set up throughout the day and then the Art Crawl itself will begin. Don’t miss a minute on Friday March 13 from 5-9pm.

HOORAY for JUNOs in the Hammer!

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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!

Victoria Day Weekend in The Hammer

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It’s Thursday night before the long weekend. It seems everyone is preparing to the escape from work as early as they can tomorrow to rush up north to some wonderful cottage retreat where they can celebrate the first long weekend of the spring/summer season. I, on the other hand, am happily staying in the city. I may not have the tranquility of a cottage location, but I do have awesome food, good friends, drinks, fireworks even, and a lake view (at the Bayfront of course). So here are a few events in the greater Hamilton everyone should attend this weekend.

Down by the Bay

Bayfront Park is the place to be this Friday May 16, 2014, from 4.30 PM – 8 PM. It will be the first of many Friday’s this summer where one and all can enjoy food, trails, shops, outdoor activity, great people and all the joy the area offers. Taste the creations from 15 different food trucks this Friday. Who wouldn’t want to start the weekend and the season off right?

Waterdown Arts & Music Streetfest

Head up to Dundas Street East (HWY 5) in the heart of Waterdown on Sunday May 18, 2014, to see and experience a street lined with vendors. From 11 AM – 11 PM you can enjoy 10 musical acts (stage located in from of the Mill Street and 5 American House), 40 street vendors, 15 food trucks, and the Niagara Inflatable’s. Family fun for everyone that has been in the works for 18 months now and will be a joy for the entire town and its’ guests.

Fireworks!

Sunday, 18 May 2014 head down to Dundas Driving Park at 71 Cross Street in Dundas Valley from 6 PM – 10PM for food trucks, snacks, soft drinks, glow sticks (available for purchase) and fun at the park all before the stunning fireworks show begins at dusk. Of course, the even is FREE but the Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club would appreciate any cash donation at the gate to help finance the club’s local and international service work. This Victoria Day Celebration is supported by the City of Hamilto

Happy Victoria Day Weekend!

Hamilton Festivals & Events

Hamilton Festivals & Events

I know the weather hasn’t been as great as we all hoped. It is May already and it truly doesn’t feel like May-like weather. But, considering it is May and there is no more snow at the very least out there, I am feeling the need to venture out into the city.

Hamilton has so many fantastic festivals that run from the beginning of June right until the end of September. I provided a list of events for my clients, family, and friends to have last year. I did not want them to miss out on an event either. I am starting to work on that list for 2014. As I browse the Tourism Hamilton calendar (which you can do easily via the link) I decided I will also provide this list to my followers. So, the list is in the works. I hope to have it up soon.

Now, my list is mostly festivals in the greater Hamilton area. But there are more fun and interesting events in this wonderful city I recommend everyone attend. So, in addition to my future list/blog post, I plan on posting some other awesome events on a monthly basis….starting Today!
Post to follow from your proud Hamiltonian!

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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?