by Ken Hirter

Spend a Saturday afternoon and take a stroll discovering the ever changing face of James Street North of today. In the midst of Art Town with old school charms in the midst of a progressive and changing city. Discovering the beauty that surrounds your neighbouhood. Start by grabbing a donut from Grandad’s, the best donuts in the North End. If bargain and vintage shopping is your thin, then drop by New Horizons Thrift Shop right next door to Hughson Street Baptist Church.

As you continue your stroll, the beautiful new “GO” Station at King and Strathcona which links Hamilton to Toronto is up and running right across from the old Hamilton Train Station.

The growth of a city is reflected in the number of cranes and James Street North is dotted with many.

Living in Toronto for over twenty years, I am reminded of The Annex; a vast array of restaurants, galleries and old merchants mingled with new. It has that Queen Street West feel too. Especially during Art Crawl on the second Friday of each month. “ Art is The New Steel!”

Living on James Street North these past few years has been exciting and not at all like the “Old Hamilton” I knew as a teen.

As you continue your stroll browse the shops and remember to support local businesses. Want to buy your sweetheart a Valentine’s gift? Burlap & Twine is one of my favourites if you like art, photography, home décor and  Canadian is your thing.

End your Saturday with a hot chocolate at the James Street North General Store, affectionately known as Hamilton’s mini  Drake.

From Burlington to James Street North, a little stroll will help you beat the winter blahs.

Till next month, tale care of yourself and those around you. Cheers!