Bordered by Gage to the east, Kenilworth to the West, Burlington to the north and the escarpment to th south, Crown Point is the westernmost part of what is now known as the East End. The East End was originally rural land belonging to Barton and Saltfleet Townships. The City of Hamilton annexed tha area in sections in the first half of the 20th century.
Crown Point is a vibrant lower town community in the midst of a renaissance. Best known for the Ottawa Street Fabric & Textile district and antique alley. Featuring everything from smaller starter homes, to larger 2-1/2 story brick houses nestled at the foot of the esparment.
Interesting Fact: Ottawa Street North is home to the original Tim Hortons restaurant, which opened in 1964. This birthplace of the Tim Hortons chain has recently been re-vamped as the Tim Hortons Museum.
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Looking for something to do this weekend? Architecture fan? Or maybe you never miss an open house? If you answered yes to any of the above, you will be happy to hear that Doors Open Hamilton runs this Saturday May 2 and Sunday May 3.
In its 13th year, Doors Open Hamilton “...celebrates our built environment. It’s designed to foster an appreciation and exploration of both heritage+ modern architecture and adaptive re-use plus the cultural history of our community.”
Here are five sites we think are pretty cool, but with 38 to choose from, you’ll want to take a look for yourself.
223 Weir’s Lane. The Weir’s Lane Lavender and Apiary, celebrating its 5th anniversary as a small family run lavender far (with bees!), has become known for its conservation efforts. New this year is a hazelnut grove and expansion of our apiary. Join in field walks and beehive viewing. Try your hand at making crafts with lavender.
14 James Street North. Probably best known as the Tip Top Tailor or the Sirloin Cellar building across from Jackson Square.
A rare opportunity to view a heritage building about to undergo an extensive renovation that includes adjacent properties at 10-12 James N and the alley in between. The 2nd floor — closed to the public for over 35 years — will be open.
1401 Barton Street East. Home of eastern Canada’s oldest Serbian Orthodox Parish(1913), the church’s architecture celebrates the Serbo-Byzantine style. The interior features hand-painted fresco iconography and traditional woodcarving in the Orthodox tradition.
56 Ferrie Street West. Semi-detached worker’s cottage transformed into an open- concept living space. Original structural boards and scavenged wood have been re-used. The house is a showcase of “Green” products and Hamilton’s sustainable companies. Ex-sulated house, solar energy, composting toilet, rain barrels and raised- beds garden.
2301 King Street East. The Bait un Nur Mosque “House of light” purchased by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at in 1998, returned to its original use as a place of worship. Explore a Quran exhibition, displays on Islamic teachings and the mid-century architecture.
Doors Open Hamilton is the signature event of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario – Hamilton Region Branch – organized by volunteers since 2003. Doors Open Partners are: The Hamilton Region Architectural Conservatory, the Hamilton Burlington Society of Architects, and Ontario Heritage Trust.+
Post-amalgamation Hamilton is subdivided into some 200 smaller neighbourhoods, some of the most up-and-coming lying in the area east of downtown, west of Stoney Creek, and north of the Escarpment. These neighbourhoods boast spacious traditional homes and roomy yards; an array of restaurants, shops and markets both long-established and innovatively new; and a surprising number of quiet green spaces and historical buildings only metres from bustling main roads and a sophisticated variety of shops and services.
Stinson, an Escarpment community to the immediate southeast of Central/Downtown, is comprised of lovely 19th and 20th century homes; two small, well-maintained parks; easy access to the lush Escarpment Trail; and a variety of apartment, retirement, and condominium complexes, including the Stinson School Lofts, a breathtaking assortment of highly individual units housed in an 1894 character building with inviting seating areas on the grounds and a small modern playground. Walking around Stinson on a summer evening on the way to the long stairway leading up to the Trail and Hamilton Mountain, only blocks from the central and busy King and Main streets, you will hear crickets and birds as loudly as on a country lane. The neighbourhood has of late been the focus of strong collaboration between the city and the Stinson Community Association’s SNAP (Stinson Neighbourhood Action Plan) team, which in 2012 presented extensive strategies for the maintenance and development of this vibrant zone.
East Central as a whole offers a variety of services from medical, dental, spinal and other specialists to art framing shops, from large grocery stores to a year-round Friday-Saturday Farmers Market, from second-hand shops to luxury bedding stores, and affordable family run food spots from long-standing Tony’s Submarines and Connaught Fish and Chips (est. 1930) to new favourites Donairs at Gage and the tiny, friendly Spanish/Caribbean food store La Bodeguita.
One formerly overlooked, currently booming area of Hamilton lies in the area around Ottawa Street and Gage Park. A Hamilton Magazine consultant as recently as 2012 named the Gage area one that he wished more people would visit, and residents of late seem to have taken him up on that, making the sprawling, gorgeously landscaped park with its monuments, huge fountains, blue bandstand and thriving gardens the site of events ranging from Canada Day concerts and festivities to The Midsummer Night’s Dream Colour Festival wherein attendees create a festival of peace using coloured body powder and glow sticks. Ottawa Street, a hip shopping thoroughfare filled with textile, antique stores, art galleries and cafés, deserves and will get a blog entry of its very own, and is the eastern boundary of a neighbourhood so much a model of livable street design it was a top five contender for the Canadian Institute of Planners’ Great Places in Canada Contest.
It will take several different entries to give a really comprehensive view of this series of historical, thriving and highly livable neighbourhoods comprising Central East Hamilton, but then your best bet is really to come see them for yourself. Like many others, you may soon find yourself wanting to stay.+
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