Review by Danny Gaisin
Hamilton Ontario used to be known as strictly a lunch bucket community with two major steel factories, the escarpment and a number of waterfalls. Today we have a competitive CFL team, a modern stadium; a renowned symphony orchestra and a vibrant cultural assemblage. And those 100+ waterfalls!. We also have something called an Art Crawl which is three days of terrific. The artisans, performers; food trucks and restaurants; patio bars and resident’s temperaments attracts visitors for not only the ‘Golden Horseshoe’ but other neighborhoods as far as the U.S . border. Unfortunately, most media reports about the event only mention statistics.
I’m not going to iterate the number of performers; amount of stages or venues or especially the attendance figures. Nope, what’s most impressive to this citizen and his muse are the people – either acting, or as crew; the retailers in their tented booths; the plethora of food trucks and especially the atmosphere. Folks seem overly Canadian as they ‘Oops, Sorry’ for the slightest contact or failure to get out of a camera selfie or shot. We were able to admire and coo over the myriad strollered youngsters (one was celebrating his first birthday), getting camera advice for another ‘Nikon’® user; and finally, talking to folks who seemed like NOT ‘Hammer’-heads!. The predominance of motorized wheelchairs and walkers are always treated with courtesy & respect.
A surprise exhibitor was the State of New York. Hoping to entice it’s 45-minute north neighbor it was a treat to see the booth and the interest it was attracting. Wearing our motorcycling leathers we were approached numerous times about if we old Farts were really bikers. Fortunately the Honda was parked close enough that we could prove our credentials! The creativity and imagination displayed by the artisans underscored the actuality to the rumour that many creative folks have been moving from T.O. to our city with both a financial and cultural rationale behind the decision. There are two professional photographers; a set designer/painter; a craftsman; two actors; a theatre critic and a newspaper editor within a 100-meter radius of our home. All are recent emigre’s from John Tory’s fiefdom.
There are many reasons to settle in our city. The still ‘small town’ ambiance; the sense of community; and the positive attitude of both our city Council and the folks in general. It’s not perfect; but our Winters are slightly better than T.O.s; our still one-way traffic with synchronized lights on Main East means that one can set one’s ‘cruise control’ at Dundurn and go all the way to Ottawa street at 50kms/hr. Try getting two consistent green lights on ANY main thoroughfare in Burlingrton; Oakville; Brampton or especially ‘Tronna.’
We’ve been here for a decade…best decision we’ve ever made. Come visit; look around; talk to us (almost) natives then sit down with a Real Estate agent. You’ll never regret it!