Westdale was Canada’s first planned community. Begun in the 1920’s, It was intended to be a self sufficient community, and remains so today, with banks, grocery store, schools, library, theatre and shopping all located at the centre of the neighbourhood in the quaint shopping district of Westdale Village.
The unique street layout ensures a walkable, aesthetically pleasing community, full of tree lined streets curving through neighbourhoods in a distinctive oval pattern. Houses range in size and styles, including Tudor-inspired, and Streamlined Moderne.
Today Westdale is a diverse and lively place, with both vintage charm and contemporary flair, containing a remarkable range of over 80 shops, restaurants, cozy cafes, unique boutiques and old-style bakeries along(and just off) King Street West, not far from downtown Hamilton.
Westdale was almost known as Vimy Ridge – for the World War I battle fought just six year before the community was built. 6,000 Hamiltonians entered a contest to name the new community. In 1923, the winning entry was announced -- and Westdale got it.
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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.+
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