Submitted by Keith Thompson

I’ve been in love with the North End for a long time. Before we moved here last year, my wife and I would walk the blocks on our way to Bayfront Park and dream about making this neighbourhood our home. When we got our dog last year, he seemed to have this natural pull, always leading us into the North End. As we spent more and more time on the streets and sidewalks of the neighbourhood, our love continued to grow.

As in all things “love,” it wasn’t one thing. It was the trees. Or the mix of houses, each with its own style and personality. It was the churches sprinkled about on the corners of residential streets. It was the bayfront, the parks, and the elaborate front gardens. It was Grandad’s Donuts and the Ken Soble tower shining bright against the backdrop of a pink summer sunset. It was all these things, but most importantly, it was the people.

Even as strangers walking our dog in the neighbourhood, people would stop to say hello. When we finally moved into the area, we found this friendliness wasn’t some fluke. In the first few weeks, people would cross the road to introduce themselves and welcome us to the North End. Even now, people wave from their porches or offer a friendly “good morning” as we pass on the sidewalks. Our neighbours will get up early to cut our grass or grab our delivery packages when they see we’re gone for the day. There is something special about this neighbourhood; a sense of community that is more than the houses, the streets, the trees and the gardens. It’s a collection of amazing, caring & genuine people that make the North End “the liveliest, loveliest part of Hamilton, set apart by the neighbourliness and fierce pride of its people…the city’s most colourful characters.”

To celebrate this fantastic community, I’m helping organize a Walk the Block event. For a few hours, we’ll partially close the streets to vehicle traffic. We hope you’ll join us in getting out onto the sidewalks for this pedestrian-friendly event. We hope this will be a chance to say hello to your neighbours, meet new friends, and experience the community that makes this neighbourhood such a fantastic place to live. Keep an eye on the North End Neighbourhood Association website and Facebook page for more details about this upcoming event.
If you’re looking to get involved and help us bring this event to life, email Keith at thompskeith@gmail.com