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A Slice of the Downtown Core Community

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Lindsay Newton was born and raised in Hamilton and after spending time in St. Catharines and Toronto to obtain her university degree and post-graduate certificate in publishing, she returned to Hamilton where she found her true passion within its small business community. With aspirations to open her own business, she has taken on a number of internships with small businesses in the downtown core and is currently interning at Cake+Loaf and White Elephant Vintage.

 

  1. 1. You grew up in Hamilton and over the years have been back and forth for school. What keeps bringing you back?

I didn’t feel like a part of a community when I was living in other cities; I didn’t know my neighbours, I wasn’t close to my family or my friends, and I wasn’t a ‘regular’ anywhere. Places in Hamilton cultivate a sense of community, and I want to be a part of that.

 

  1. 2. What are your favourite local spots in the city?

I love Mulberry Café on James Street North; I love their raspberry mocha latte. They have done amazing things with the space, it’s just beautiful, and I like that they showcase local artists.

Even before I was lucky enough to intern at White Elephant, it was, and continues to be a place I really like to spend my time. The shop itself has been set up and decorated so well, and the products (jewellery, housewares, vintage clothes) are all lovely, one of a kind items.

All of the pubs on Augusta are great too. Along the one street, you can visit a few different places, and each one offers you something different, but always with the same comfortable atmosphere.

  1. 3. What do you think is in store for Hamilton’s future?

I hope that the small business community continues to develop downtown. It’s doing a lot for the core as it fosters a strong sense of community. There has been a lot of talk about people buying buildings downtown to develop real-estate, condos and businesses. I think that is exciting and hopeful for Hamilton’s future because it will bring more people into the core, which will allow it to develop and grow, and change the face of the community. There is so much to do down here, we just need more people to invest and help the city move forward.

 

  1. 4. What do you think are some of the city’s biggest challenges in getting there?

I think that Hamilton’s reputation sometime precedes itself and people tend to write it off before they even come here and get a chance to see the beautiful buildings, the shops, the restaurants, the parks. There are so many misconceptions about the downtown core that make people afraid to come down here – but if they would, they would see how much it really does have to offer.

 

  1. 5. If you could change one thing in Hamilton, what would it be?

It would be so great if Gore Park could be somewhere nice that you could go and sit and eat your lunch, and not be hassled or feel unsafe. They are working on that now, and the promenade is doing a good job of that, but Jackson Square seems to be a magnet for some questionable people that look like they are into some questionable activities. Even some of the shops in the mall seem ‘off.’ If we could revitalize Jackson Square, perhaps bring in some new stores, I am sure a different crowd would come along with it.

 

  1. 6. For someone new to Hamilton wanting to get involved, what would you recommend they do / how could they become a part of this change?

The city has a lot to offer in terms of catering to your interests, for example, The Print Studio on James Street North teaches print making and offers other art classes, The Cossart Exchange offers seminars and networking events. There are a lot of opportunities in the city to get involved in something you are interested in, and if you do, it ultimately betters the entire city. The more you support local business, the more you really are cultivating these neighbourhoods, and bringing money into the community.

Oh, and if you’re a small business, Hamilton (or #HamOnt) LOVES Twitter, so sign up and start tweeting and you will make lots of community connections. Find me at @We_Interns and say hello!