Beautiful shades of sky blue, burnt orange and brown frame a remarkable mural on Indwell’s newest supportive housing project at The Oaks. Ain-dah-ing (pronounced AH-da-ning) is one of three buildings that make up The Oaks. Ain-dah-ing means Home within our Heart. It is comprised of thirteen apartments for Indigenous tenants and is located on 219 East Avenue North. After opening this past July, the carefully crafted mural on the side of the building adds an eye-catching element to the area.

The recently finished mural titled First Layers by award-winning Hamilton artist Lester Coloma is a striking piece measuring 55 feet long by 12 feet tall.
Inspiration for the piece stems from a kayaking trip at the Pinery. Coloma says that he likes to hug the coast where the water meets the land. He says that you can see some interesting shapes and colours, and when the light diffuses down, some fascinating shadows appear. He used his many photographs from the trip as a source of inspiration for the mural. First Layers is a beautiful addition to the building’s exterior.

HOPA Ports was eager to get involved as a funding partner in this neighbourhood project, given the acute challenges people are facing finding safe and affordable housing in Hamilton. The redevelopment of this former dairy complex is a wonderful repurposing of space, and a celebration of Hamilton’s industrial heritage.