Little Free Libraries

Friday, 27 June 2014
It took me a while, but I finally made my way to one of Hamilton's Little Free Libraries. This one is located at 73 Ferguson Avenue North, and I stumbled upon it, by accident, en route to Hamilton's General Hospital.

The Little Free Library on Ferguson Avenue is not the only one in the city. There are numerous scattered throughout Hamilton. The most recent miniature library opened its tiny doors just this month at the corner of Grosvenor Avenue and Sherbrooke Street. It was welcomed to the neighbourhood through the tiniest of ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

Hamilton's Little Free Libraries aren't alone. They're part of a larger movement created to promote literacy and love of reading, making books of a variety of genres accessible to all.

The Royal Connaught

Sunday, 22 June 2014

If only the walls of Hamilton's Royal Connaught could talk. Grandiose and elegant, the former hotel opened in 1916, and over the years, it hosted politicians and celebrities. For decades, it oozed with glitz and glamour, housing elaborate parties and love affairs, including those of Hamilton's most notorious murderess, Evelyn Dick. However, a decade ago it fell to disrepair, becoming a boarded up eyesore we're all too familiar with in Hamilton.

The doors of the Royal Connaught have once again opened, this time as a condo project that will eventually boast 122 units that range in size from 555 square feet to 1084 square feet. I was lucky enough to be invited to the building's gala grand opening, and I can only imagine it was as glamorous as the Connaught parties of the past. The event, which took place in the Connaught's bright lobby, came complete with bubbly, oysters from Two Black Sheep, a sampling of beer from Nickelbrook breweries, and the music of pianist Scott Whittington. A mix of modernity and classic elegance, the Residences of Royal Connaught are an urbanite's dream. The suites, aptly named for Hamilton streets — the Charlton, the MacNab, the Dundurn, the James, to name only a few — are now on sale. 

Stories hung in the air as we all shared our own memories of the Royal Connaught. For me, the Connaught was a place we stole sips from flasks at high-school semi formals, but for others, it had deeper meaning. Stories began with "My grandmother worked here," and "I remember the time my father first brought me to the Royal Connaught," and they ended with genuine happiness that the building will live to see another day. In a year when we've already lost a number of Hamilton's prominent buildings, it's wonderful to see a landmark with so much history return to its former glory, one suite at a time.   

Quotable: David Foster Wallace

Thursday, 12 June 2014
“If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don't bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don't bullshit yourself that you're not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote.”

— David Foster Wallace, Up, Simba!
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