Submitted by Ken Hirter
This month’s Walkabout is a fond trip down Memory Lane and we bid a fond final good bye to the “Hamilton City Centre” formerly known as the ” Hamilton Eaton Centre”
The corner of York and James Street North has seen a lot of changes since the late 1800’s. Once the home of Hamilton’s City Hall to the opening on June the 23rd, 1927 of the grand ole lady known as the Eaton’s Department Store with its top floor beautiful restaurant, charm and character of yesteryear as reflected in its architecture and regal elegance.
In 1989 the old building was then demolished and in its place 1990 saw a new era with the opening of ” The Hamilton Eaton Centre ” which reflected a downsized version of ” The Toronto Eaton’s Centre “. It showcases the design and architecture of 1990. Sadly in 1999 with the demise of the Eaton’s Department store chain closures it went from the Hamilton Eaton Centre to Hamilton City Centre Mall.
The City Centre celebrated its 50th Anniversary on August 22nd and as of this writing has officially closed its doors December 26th, 2022. This past November we saw pop-vendors, shopkeepers and residents gathering, reflecting back and saying a final goodbye and sharing memories. The mall will then be vacant by mid January with demolition slated to begin mid 2023. The last few days l saw many people taking their last photographs and cherished memories of that of Hamilton City Centre at the corner of James Street North and York Boulevard.
The bright lights will dim and the metal door connected to ” The Lloyd D. Jackson Square ” mall will close. (Please note that Harts Department Store will be relocating to 276 Kenilworth Ave N. the date is to be determined.)
In 2019 the City Centre Mall was sold to INB Development and in its place plan to build 4 residential towers ranging from 26 to 40 storeys above a 9-storey podium beginning sometime in 2023. The historic Clock Tower will be lovingly restored and relocated in the forthcoming huge pedestrian courtyard.
I will miss my walkabout through the City Centre Mall and the magical twinkling bright lights, the architecture seen from the glass elevator, the skylights and the pillars and posts. Like they say….out with the old and in with the new era. Thanks for the memories.
Happy New Year and till next month, take care and cheers.