Posts Tagged ‘Hamilton Ontario’

All Lives Enriched

May 4, 2009

First, some news: due to a current account problem I might not get a podcast up this week. I am working on it but I can’t make any guarantees on that. Rest assured that The Alder Fork Podcast will be back as soon as I can get it up.

Recently on the podcast, I discussed the Change the World Youth Challenge. I was working with Volunteer Hamilton to encourage youth aged 14-18 to volunteer during National Volunteer Week.  We received some media coverage but I wanted to use my space to congratulate the over 1200 students who volunteered last week. Collectively they contributed 7000+ hours to a number of local agencies.  Although the data is still being collected it appears that Hamilton has exceeded all other centres in Ontario.  I am absolutely amazed by the efforts of our young people.  We set out on this project with modest goals of 700 students (in a city of over 500 000 people) and 3000 hours.  It seems likely that the final results will give us more than double that.  Our success is a direct result of the efforts of teachers, administrators, and especially the students.  They took to this project with zeal, and I can honestly say that our future is in good hands.  I couldn’t find an exact number there must be around 80 000 – 100 000 students in this city.  We only counted registered students but I know that an equal number of unregistered students participated in volunteer activities during NVW, either because they volunteer every week, or because they participated in special events like the MS Walk of Earth Day Hamilton.

I am so proud of what young people have done in Hamilton.  For many of our participants this was just one stop on a lifetime of volunteering, and for others this is the beginning of something special.  Youth are often dismissed as troublesome or self-centred. I am grateful that I was able to witness quite the opposite in the many young people I encountered last week.  If you live in Hamilton, this is a good day to be proud of your city.

Vive Le France

February 14, 2009

The last couple of days have been wacky here at The Alder Fork as views have skyrocketed and a new blog was created. This means we can now get back to the usual business of this blog, Canadian culture, and other random thoughts that float through my head.  There is a book that sits open on top of my bookcase. It has been there since I moved into this room 5 years ago.  It is a collection of one man’s sketches and descriptions of Paris’ best architectural gems.  I periodically change the page so I can appreciate a new place for awhile. Currently I have the Musee d’Orsay and the Hotel de Salm (Palais de la Legion d’Honneur). The sketches are interesting not only for their detail but because limited space forces him to make a decision about which images to include. For example, the Musee d’Orsay is depicted as it appears from the Seine River, while there are 4 distinct views of the Hotel de Salm.  Like many people the thing I most loved about Paris is the coherence of architecture in the old part of the city. Although there are a number of styles represented, everything fits together like a well made quilt.  These two structures, which sit side by side on Quai Anatole-France, were originally constructed 100 years apart, under different prevailing architectural styles, yet neither looks out of place.  Most of old Paris is the same, even when old and new sit side by side.  I often wish that my city, Hamilton, had maintained more of its rich heritage.  It takes an uncompromising vision that outward beauty and complimentary facades create a more appealing living environment.  No one wants to live in an ugly building, sometimes we compromise because of what’s available.

I mention this because I want to be excited about proposed changes to downtown.  I’m not sure if the changes to City Hall, the Lister Block, the market/library and York Blvd. will really make a huge difference. But I am hopeful.

I just received the following email from James Clark about an upcoming show:

Just dropping by to announce a solo show that I have coming up next Tuesday February 17th. After your long Valentine weekend of romance, why not drop by The Free Times Cafe and hear some songs for the scorned and the forlorn?Depending on how your weekend goes you may need it. I’ll be playing solo versions of songs from “Sideshow Unattraction” as well as others.
I’ll be opening for singer/songwriter Joe Garant.
www.myspace.com/joegarantmusic
Here are the important details:
Tuesday February 17
The Free Times Cafe – 320 College Street (west of Spadina)
James Clark – 9 pm
Joe Garant – 10 pm
Cover – PWYC

Happy Valentine’s Day by the way. Created or not it’s a nice day for dating people to be more responsible to their partners. For you single people out there (whether by choice or not) make yourself a nice dinner and dessert tonight.

Oskee Wee Wee

January 18, 2009

And down on Imperial Street

Pinstripe Mystery

Imperial Street

Just want to send a quick plug to a recent commenter’s blog.  If you live in KW, or just want to visit check out the Kitchener Life blog. With the stated aim of showing that life in Kitchener is tolerable, it promises to be a great read, if the first few posts are any indication. You will find a permanent link to the blog over there –>.

Reading that blog reminds me of the most common question I am asked about Hamilton, what is there to do?  In recent years I have met a lot of new Hamiltonians who wonder what they can get up to.  I usually mention the most obvious things like Webster’s Falls, the Farmer’s Market, the Art Gallery, or any of the lovely civic museums (my former employer).  Any of those would be a great choice.  Depending on what your interest is you can do just about anything either in Hamilton or just a short drive away.

For sports lovers we have the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, the Bulldogs, Tiger Cats, Red Wings, Real McCoys, McMaster and Mohawk Varsity sports, and a thriving adult sports scene. I’d recommend Reach Forth sports and the South Hamilton Ball Hockey Club. If you want to watch harness racing or gamble on the slots, head out to Flamboro DownsFlamboro Speedway offers something for the speed freak in all of us.

The music scene is not on par with Toronto, or even Guelph, but there is still much to be enjoyed.  The Casbah and Hess Village are the two most obvious choices, but the Corktown offers a nice alternative to that scene. In addition we have lots of Jazz, Symphonic, and Blues music around.  The summer brings the Festival of Friends, It’s Your Festival, and streetfests on Locke, Concession, and in WestdaleFieldcote Museum offers an amazing summer concert series on Sunday evenings from June to August.

There are many more attractions that I should list, so I will follow up this post tomorrow with a part II looking at other attractions and the local theatre scene.