Christie Conservation Area Antique Show 2013

Tuesday 28 May 2013

One of the first posts I did on this blog was about my annual trek to the Christie Conservation Area's antique show. I posted about it again last year meaning Not My Typewriter has now been around for more than two years. [Insert pat-on-the-back here.]

This year I came home from Christies empty-handed, with the exception of a few Little Golden Books to add to my collection of vintage picture books. My thriftiness wasn't because I couldn't find anything I wanted to buy, rather my wallet is a little tight these days, mostly due to a spontaneous trip to Amsterdam I just booked for the end of August! It should be the medicine I need to cure the mild case of restlessness I've been suffering from this Spring.

Despite promising myself not to spend a lot of money, I still had a wonderful time wandering from booth to booth, looking at gems and oddities from generations gone by.

Exploring my City from Up High

Sunday 26 May 2013
 "I spent my happiest hours wandering alone by shore or hill or wood."
— Lucy Maud Montgomery

For the past five years, I've lived near the foot of the Niagara Escarpment, just minutes from the James Street Stairs, which connect downtown to the "mountain." I don't spend enough time exploring my own neighbourhood, so the Victoria Day long weekend seemed like the perfect opportunity. With a coffee from my favourite local coffee shop — Red Crow — in hand, I began my trek up the stairs, which were surprisingly free of joggers and fellow wanderers, giving me lots of opportunity to stop to take pictures.

From the stairs, the supports from the Hamilton and Barton Incline Railway, also known as the James Street Incline, are still visible. The railway, which carried passengers and wagons, to the top of the escarpment began operation in 1892. A trip up the incline railway took approximately 75 seconds. However, the rise of the automobile and the building of roads up the escarpment led to the railway's demise in 1932.


At the top of the James Street Stairs is Southam Park, which was formerly the home of the Mountain View Hotel. The park is named after the Southam family, who purchased the property before the hotel was demolished around 1940. The family donated the property to the city in 1944 under the promise that it would be designated as a park. Today, Southam Park boasts a beautiful view of the city and also houses a fountain dedicated to Major Gordon Southam who died in the Battle of the Somme during World War I.

The Mountain View Hotel, circa 1908. Photo courtesy of Hamilton Public Library's Local History and Archives.


After spending some time wandering Southam Park and the mountain brow, I slowly made my way back down the mountain, exploring some paths along the way.

This house on James Street South is an early work by James Balfour, who also designed Treble Hall.

 Durand Park

Doors Open Hamilton: Whitehern

Sunday 19 May 2013

The last time I wandered the gardens of Whitehern, they were a different kind of beautiful — covered in snow that reached above our knees and accumulated on evergreen trees. On Doors Open Hamilton weekend, the gardens were equally as beautiful, but much more alive, flowers poking out of the ground and budding on trees. My favourite sign of spring was the robin nestled above the pillars of Whitehern, the former home of Hamilton's McQuesten family.

Whitehern, which was built around 1850, wasn't one of my planned stops during Doors Open Hamilton, mostly because I've visited it at least a half dozen times. But because it was on my route to the Hamilton Library, I couldn't help but stop for another quick peek.

After dropping my books off at the library, I took a wander down one of my favourite pockets of the city, James Street North.

(This show was amazing!!!!!) 

Doors Open Hamilton: Treble Hall

Thursday 16 May 2013

Of all the buildings in Hamilton that have fallen into a state of disrepair, Treble Hall is the one I’ve most wanted to explore. Found near the corner of John and King, Treble Hall has been standing for nearly a century and a half but has been vacant for the last 50 of those years. Treble Hall was designed by James Balfour and opened in 1879 as a place to gather for dances, concerts, and meetings. Most recently, it’s been in the news as a “treasure trove” full of everything from liquor bottles to corsets from the early 20th century. 

Currently in a wonderful state of undress, Treble Hall was the final stop my dad and I took on our Doors Open Hamilton tour. 

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