Category Archives: news

We’re saying NO to a Downtown Hamilton Casino!

We’re well into January 2013 and many of us are back into a regular routine after a busy December holiday season. We are thankful and appreciative to all our customers who chose to shop locally in search of something unique and creative. Not only was our store busy, but many of our neighbours on James North saw an increase in pedestrian traffic as more and more people rediscover our historic stretch of storefronts.

While Christmas was a top priority for many – the other big topic of conversation in the shop was whether or not we all should be worried that a Casino would locate in the downtown core. I was encouraged by the fact that everyone who we talked to felt the same way we did. That a casino in the downtown core will only harm the many positive developments that are taking place on James Street North and in downtown Hamilton.

I still can’t believe we’re entering our 8th year in business. To think, when we opened in 2005 most of our friends and family thought we were nuts to locate on James Street North. We heard it all. That the “downtown was dead”, “no one shops downtown anymore” and “you’ll be lucky to last one year”. We’re proud to say that along with our hardworking friends and neighbours, we helped to change what was once an unloved and forgotten neighbourhood into a lively and exciting destination. What continues to happen on James North goes against decades of the same-old downtown large-scale renewal thinking. One has to just look at Jackson Square, Copps Coliseum and the Hamilton Convention Centre to see that that the guarantees of a renewed core through mega projects will never achieve the vitality or economics as promised. The idea of James North wasn’t brainstormed around a boardroom table or made possible by millions of dollars in civic grants and loans. The reason James North happened is that Hamiltonians wanted it to happen. Whether it is the thousands of people who frequent the monthly Art Crawl, the regular shoppers in search of a good coffee and unique finds or the Saturday night crowds enjoying live music at This Ain’t Hollywood and The Brain. The James North that is being written about in national media is what makes Hamilton special and different. Clearly we are being seen as something other the “armpit of Canada” and that is something we can all be proud of.

For the first time in a long time, there is a buzz about the city that is loud and positive. A downtown casino does nothing to enhance that. It creates a blackhole of economic stagnation and creates short-term gains for the operators and long-term pains for the community that hosts it.

This will hurt Hamilton. As life-long Hamiltonians and passionate supporters of this city, we ask you to say NO to a Downtown Hamilton casino!


Merry Christmas!

Escarpment Greetings photo courtesy of Hamilton Artists Inc.

Many thanks to all for shopping local and unique this holiday season! We continue to be amazed by your support and enthusiasm for our little shop. See you all in 2013!

Holiday Hours:
Dec. 24: 10am – 4pm
Dec. 25-27: Closed
Dec. 28-29: 12 Noon – 4pm
Dec. 30-Jan.1: Closed
Jan. 2: 10am – 6pm

Makers’ Market on James North – Dec. 1st

Above: Hamilton design items by Matt Jelly

I know lots of folks are looking forward to the annual Holiday Makers’ Market event taking place on Saturday, December 1st here on James North inside the historic Christ’s Church Cathedral. Lots of unique and locally-made goods will be featured and visiting the Market it is a great way to kick off the holiday season.While you’re on the street – grab a coffee and a treat at Mulberry Coffeehouse, browse the shops and galleries and be sure to swing by and say hello!

Lomography 20th anniversary

Got home tonight in time to hear some of the CBC As it Happens interview with Lomography founder, Mathias Fiegel on the twentieth anniversary of the Lomo camera.

“More than twenty years ago, Mr. Fiegel found an old Russian camera called the Lomo. And when he saw what it could do, he promptly formed what he called The Lomographic Society, in Vienna, Austria. And as a result of the Society’s enthusiasm, the Lomo has emerged as one of the most remarkable analogue triumphs of the digital age.”

As Hamilton’s supplier of Lomography cameras & film we love continuing to see the enthusiasm and creativity that comes with shooting the “old fashioned” way!

Our shop gets the Bernie Hudecki treatment…

Friend and customer of the shop, Bernie Hudecki recently finished this great painting of the front of our building (and my bike). If you aren’t aware of Bernie’s work, he loves to capture the feeling and energy of a subject with this wonderful use of points and color. Bernie regularly displays his work in Hamilton and we’re honoured that he took the time to showcase the curving front entrance of 154 James so beautifully!