"if you can't walk out your front door and find at least five things within a 15 minute walk that make you passionate about where you're living, then you're living in the wrong place."
Here's what I'm passionate about within a 15 minute walk from my front door:
1) Good restaurants - whether in the Augusta Street neighbourhood for some high end pub food or enjoying one of the many local ethnic eateries in and around the James Street stretch, you're not starved for choice in Hamilton. I'm thrilled about the huge "eat local" focus many newer restaurants are going for, particularly in the James Street South and Locke Street neighbourhoods. As a consumer (both financially and of food) I'd rather eat local any day and I am willing to pay a bit more for that when it proves to be of better quality, as it usually does.
Shrimp on garlic roll with homemade potato chips offered at Acclamation Restaurant, 191 James Street North - during the "Tastes of Downtown Restaurant Walking Tour"
2) Walkable neighbourhoods/Interesting local architecture - I'm a big fan of being able to walk where you live, and in the downtown area the Kirkendall (403 to Queen Street, south of Main) and Durand (Queen to James, south of Main) neighbourhoods are home to some of the grandest old homes in the city, many dating from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, which makes it a treasure trove for pedestrian sightseers. Nestled in amongst the highrise apartment buildings and office towers you can find what wikipedia.org describes as "quite possibly the largest concentration of early 20c castles/mansions in Canada"
Photo taken from St. Joseph's Hospital looking out onto Hughson Street South showing the steeple of the Church of the Ascension to the right
3) James Street North - the thriving art scene and the interest in the community for this neighbourhood to excel is fascinating to watch. James Street North is a fun and vibrant place to be.
Open Streets - James Street North - Sunday, June 23, 2013
ARTrageous Gallery, 243 James Street North, Hamilton
4) Locke Street - This street has long been a destination for shoppers and diners alike who are drawn to the eclectic diversity of high end shopping, neighbourhood restaurants and antique shops. As new businesses crop up, the street is ever changing and growing, offering a new experience with each visit.
Canadian made baby's onesie - Citizen Kid - 188 Locke Street South
5) Food trucks - different from restaurants because you don't sit down and technically they count as being in my neighbourhood when they're in Gore Park for the Promenade every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11:00am - 5:30pm throughout the summer. You can also catch them at "Food Truck Alley" on Aberdeen by Longwood every Thursday and various times during the week when the trucks don't have other bookings. Food trucks have come a long way from the fried chip wagons of my youth.
Gorilla Cheese Food Truck