Donna Reid is passionately positive about Hamilton – so much so that in 2013 she created The Hamilton Store on James Street North in the former HIStory + HERitage gallery space. She lives in the neighbourhood – north of Barton

Submitted by Donna Reid

Donna Reid is the creator / owner of The Hamilton Store on James Street North.   She is passionately optimistic about the city she loves – Hamilton! 

Opening the Doors – 15th Edition

Spring has sprung and Doors Open season begins! Between April and October this year over 45 events will be held. Hamilton’s 15th happens Saturday May 6 & Sunday May 7. There are thirty-seven sites inviting you inside. This is a free all ages event. You decide which sites and how many you want to visit.

Doors Open Hamilton is the signature event of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario – Hamilton Region Branch in partnership with the Hamilton Burlington Society of Architects ( Barbara Murray, North End resident, is Hamilton’s Doors Open Coordinator.

As Hamilton evolves it’s wonderful to see firsthand the creative use of older buildings. Doors Open Hamilton likes to feature adaptive reuse developments that preserve and revive our fine old buildings. Here are a few:

Site #4 at the corner of Locke Street S and Herkimer was built in 1919 as a branch of the Bank of Hamilton (later CIBC). It’s now the home of Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage – a busy real estate brokerage office housed in a former bank. A small jewel of a building renovated with care and attention to original architectural elements.

Also built in 1919, the former Hamilton Spectator on King Street East has new life as a contemporary co-working office space Commotion on King (Site # 9). Unique design elements & eclectic décor. When you visit be sure to go up to the roof for panoramic downtown views and photo ops!

What can you do with a 66,000 square foot industrial warehouse built in 1920? Create Hamilton’s largest movie, TV, film and location studio? Site #15 is Digital Canaries Film Studio. A rare treat for the public to go behind the scenes with guided tours of some of the sets. There’s a jail, courtroom, hospital room and The Oval Office! Plan to spend some time here and bring your camera!

While you’re touring the industrial north end, check out the Hamilton Port Authority’s brand new Boat Storage Facility and Maintenance Shop (Site #16). In addition to historic photos and artifacts be sure to visit the second floor for a unique panoramic view of Hamilton’s industrial waterfront.

At the same location, 210 Hillyard Street, Site #17 is the Randle Reef Viewing area – also open. But make sure you wear proper footwear children must be with adults at all times.**

It’s unusual to have residential buildings on Doors Open Hamilton but this year you may enjoy a guided tour of Rudy Hulst Commons (Site #23) a new, unique modern multi residential. A few tenants will open their apartments. Visit the sixth floor community room for great escarpment views.

That’s just the beginning. Grab your walking shoes, get out there and explore your city. Please share your photos and experiences online. Twitter @doorsopenhammer / Online guide: Map/Guidebooks: Tourism Hamilton & The Hamilton Store. Enjoy!