This months Walkabout for December finds me reflecting, remembering & paying homage to the faces, shops and sadly some of those whom we lost along the way in 2020…

Last January was the start of my Walkabout series of the shops & people whom make and made a difference along the James Street North strip & King Street West Downtown core and within their chosen communities.

The course of my Walkabouts starting from the beginning of January 2020 till now has seen many changes due to circumstances and the change of landscape and the signs along the way…

I would like to thank the shopkeepers for their Motto’s, Quote’s/saying’s and the vision for keeping their businesses alive in 2020.

Here are some of these words from the shopkeepers themselves:

January 2020

James North General Store: Darren Kregar

“To support local artisans & small business together for success, there are alot of opportunities and if there are none then make them”

February 2020

Faema Company: Mario Ferri

“Live & Laugh” “Bella, Bella”

March 2020

New Horizon’s Thrift Shop – Welcome Inn Community Center: Amanda Smith

“Living Well Together” “Live each day if it were your last”…

April 2020

This Ain’t Hollywood {2009-2020: Kathy Stokes

“Goodbye to this cool, retrospective feel good bar with plenty of heart where you did find the best of live venues” thanks for the memories…

We also bid goodbye to:

“Born & Raised” and “The Brain” to name just a couple of the shops we lost during 2020 along James Street North Strip.

June 2020

Mave’s Variety: Ling Zhang, Susan Yu & Steve Zhao

“Bring the neighborhood what it needs now especially at this time”

In Remembrance of those within the Community that we lost in 2020 and friends that have passed on to greener pastures we Remember.

July 2020 

Norma Holliday {1940-2020: Community Chair Compass Community Health.

“I’m so glad we had this time together, to share laugh or two, but before you know it, it’s time to say goodbye”

September 2020

Mr. Edward A. Stewart 1929-2020

A Brother remembers and a true gentleman and Historian of Hamilton’s North End back in the good ole days and the founder of the North Ender of The Year Award…thanks for the history lessons.

October 2020

Welcoming the New Businesses along James Street North with Tokyo Smoke: Tarace Parlee


November 2020

Famous Recipe Downtown: Christine De-La Rosa

“Home style cooking with Old School Hands”

As the holiday season begins start by supporting the local businesses and those in your neighborhood and communities and for your shopping needs or feeds today and in the future.

I would like to thank once again to those who took the time to chat about their shops and what keeps the heart of the Downtown core ticking…just like the clock at the corner of James & Wilson. Take a stroll throughout the shop’s and get out for some fresh air as we are fast approaching 2021.

Happy Christmas! Cheers and take care.