Hello Real Estate Investors in Hamilton Ontario!
Did you happen to catch my last post on the secret of townhouse condos? Check out the questions and comments by some experienced Hamilton investors including Jeff Varcoe himself from Corner Select Properties who took the time to respond to some questions as well.
For this week’s post, guess what? Something different again 🙂 I’m in a course all week so between readings, classes, and servicing clients I had to delegate this week’s post to my wonderful assistant Maria who is a young go getter who goes out on the town more often than I do so here are Maria’s top 5(ish) Fun things to do in Hamilton. Enjoy!!
The Top Five Things Locals Do In Hamilton (aka Hammertown)
My Inbox Monday morning contained an email from Erwin asking if I would like to do a guest post on his blog. My first thought was, “I dislike writing … you know that!” Smart guy that he is, he did suggest the perfect topic for me, “The Top Five Things Locals Do In Hamilton.” “OK, kinda fun,” I thought to myself – and then it just flowed.
Matthew, my 21 year old son, happened to be in the room when I started this and the first
thing he said was, “it’s nature’s paradise” (not “Steeltown” as most would assume). In the summer, if you look onto the city from the escarpment you see an enormous amount of
greenspace, forests, fields, parks, walking, biking and blading paths. We even have FREE
outdoor fitness centers throughout the city called, “The Stairs”. Chedoke: 289 steps,
Dundurn Street: 326 steps, James Street: 227 steps, Wentworth Street: 498 steps (the
largest), Kenilworth: 229 steps and Uli’s unofficial stairs: 305 steps! I live between the 289 and 326 steps (yes I’ve counted them too) and it’s amazing the amount of people that use them daily – and yes – it IS fun.
#1 on the fun list is handsdown Greenspace/Hiking Trails and I have to include all the
waterfalls the city has to offer too. Too many to mention so please check out the Trail
Webpage the Waterfall Webpage and the Hamilton Conservation Webpage.
#2 on the list would have to be its Entertainment Scene. Yes readers, contrary to many beliefs, Hamilton does have entertainment! We support an array of local artists and host major events at Copps Coliseum, Hamilton Place, Hamilton Convention Centre and Theatre Aquarius.
The live music scene is abundant. I recently organized a group of neighbours to head over
to The Old Powerhouse in Stoney Creek, and with its success that night, yours truly was was unanimously appointed to get the party started (I have a feeling I now hold the position) with a larger group that headed over to Stonewalls this past weekend. Thankfully, I made reservations each time; they were both standing room evenings.
Check out The Augusta House on Monday and a great local hangout called Coach and Lantern on Wednesday; both are interactive music nights where the audience chooses the music. Start time is 8:30 and you “may” even see a local Realtor on stage.
The Corktown at 175 Young St. a fun and interesting pub. Yup, “sketchy neighbourhood,” my kids say – but always good entertainment and it’ll give you a sense of the “real Hamilton.” Slainte Irish Pub on Bowen is also a fun lively pub downtown (great memories in both these places)!
The Art Gallery of Hamilton is only one of the many galleries this city has to offer. There are galleries on Locke Street, Bay Street, Steven Street and many more. The second Friday of every month James Street North hosts “Art Crawl” and then there’s “Super Crawl”. Come hang out with me for a night. You’ll be astonished how many galleries there are within a few blocks. Trust me – you’ll miss a few! All I can say is follow the crowds into the doorways and up and down the staircases. Need a pick me up? Grab a coffee and an oh-so-yummy brownie at the Mulberry Street Coffeehouse (previously a laundrymat in the Hotel Hamilton building). I’d call it a cultured coffehouse/art gallery with a Soho feel and a Hamilton twist. Oh – can’t forget to mention Ola Bakery. Order “Natas” to go – Portuguese custard tarts, de-lish.
#3 fun to do is Shopping. Yes we have “the malls” and the “big box stores,” so does every other city. If you want “an experience,” head over to Locke Street South – you won’t be disappointed; definitely a place where neighbours meet with relaxed shopping at “street level” creating ambience and community. It’s a pedestrian’s paradise located in a neighbourhood setting just below the escarpment in Southwest Hamilton. A vibrant mix of specialty shops, restaurants, boutiques, galleries, organics, florists, shoes, clothing, gift shops, salons, cafes, book stores, antique shops etc. etc. etc. Hard to recommend one place on Locke so – I recommend pretty much every place on the street! Come on out Saturday morning – I’ll be at Starbucks around 8:30am after my stair workout.
A few months ago I saw a friend who lives on “the mountain” (its actually the escarpment). She brought her daughter to a salon on Locke Street to get her hair done and said to me, “Oh My God!, I never knew Locke Street was like this. Is it ALWAYS like this?” I replied with an ever so slight grin, “Georgia, there’s always a buzz on Locke … especially the weekends and summer.” When Hamilton mountain residents make their way down the escarpment, a whole new city appears.
OK, so I am a bit partial to the area. I live in the neighbourhood and you’ll find me here at least 3 times a week with friends and sometimes walking Chloe, my golden retriever. Join me for a stroll or a beverage.
Ottawa Street started off years ago being the “fabric and textile district” and, although still the place to go for home decor, it’s added a collection of cafes and antique shops and some other retail shops.
Concession Street is the oldest commercial district on the Hamilton Mountain. Entertaining throughout the year with its streetfests, eateries, shops, bookstores and more. Another great walking area – streetscape and door to door community.
James Street North has always been another wonderful pedestrian’s delight. Here you’ll find some cool European Supermarkets – the kind with the fresh herbs, flowers and fruit and vegetable stands out front. If you explore you may even find the European Cafe/Bars down a few hallways.
#4 makes the list with area Golf and Recreation. Again, too many to mention (Here, I’d like to note I get my monies worth when golfing) so here is the Golf Link (pun intended). Recreation – well, the Hamilton Tiger Cats and Hamilton Bulldogs do make the list. There is also the places every city has such as, Adventure Village and Go Karting on Van Wagners Beach Road, Lazer Tag, Paintball, Go Karts on Upper James, Rock Climbing on Frid Street, Outdoor Skating Rinks across the city, including the skating rink at Pier 8, and Cootes Paradise off the 403 when the lake freezes over. Bring a shovel and hot chocolate. If outside is too cold, the local movie theatres have a seat for you and if you’ve never been to the “ever so classic” Westdale Theatre you have to take your sweetie there. It’s ace! At some point check out The Movie Palace on Concession too.
#5 fun = Food! Lots of restaurants. Some of my personal favourites: Bar on Locke, Locke Street Bakery, The West Town (lots of Torontonians and film people come here), and the new Earth to Table Bread Bar all located on Locke Street South. Westdale good eats are the Bean Bar and for something quick, our local university stop, the The Pita Pit.
Summer time allows me head out to places like Baranga’s On The Beach, Gown and Gavel, Ceilidh House, Sizzle and Koi in Hess Village (2 bottles of wine and a parking ticket later – I think I lost track of time that day).
If European Cuisine is what you’re after large portions can be found at another Hamilton landmark, the Black Forest Inn.
Monday and Tuesday nights are the famous 1/2 price Wing, Rib and Pizza Nights at the Beaver and Bulldog on Upper James.
Check out the story and menus for the Rousseau House on Wilson and try the currant scones with devonshire cream and jam at Taylor’s Tea Room in Dundas. Speaking of Dundas, my new go to Thai restaurant is located on King Street, The Bangkok Spoon Deluxe. Vietnamese/Thai high marks continues to goes out to Lemon Grass on Garth.
Others good dishes can be found at the My-Thai Restaurants (Erwin has a new favourite after trying my curry dish) and I’ve taken quite a few friends and colleagues to the Pho Dau Bo Restaurant in Stoney Creek across from Eastgate Square. I’m sure I missed a few major ones, but that’s a start.
#6 fun thing to do (Erwin said 5 but this is “HAMILTON”). Can you guess? Timmies (aka Tim Horton’s). If you’re buying – I take mine black.
Well, this is just one girl’s perception to some fun in the Hammer. Feel free to send us more suggestions to try out.
Hey Erwin – for a girl who doesn’t enjoy writing, I think I went over my “suggested” word count – lol.
Maria, wonderful post!! For someone who doesn’t like writing you certainly didn’t show it!
Hope you all enjoyed that!!
Till next time – Happy real estate investing everyone!!
Real Estate Investment Adviser
PS: If you would like to learn more about investing in real estate in Hamilton please feel free to call 289-288-5019 or email me erwin (at) mrhamilton.ca.
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