Back for another edition: The International Village

An undeniable energy exists in Hamilton, driving an incredible culture of food, entertainment, entrepreneurship and most importantly community collaboration. Through the channeling of this energy, Try!Hamilton has emerged. Try!Hamilton was born out of the innate recognition of a city amidst a renaissance and is driven by a desire to highlight this cultural movement. With a shared vision in mind, that of a greater community, a group was formed to contribute to the present and ever changing landscape of Hamilton. A landscape where we celebrate, support and appreciate the arts, live entertainment, and the community in which we live. This group consisted of purveyors of the arts, design and wellbeing, others were professional Realtors®, and one was a Property Manager. Each person was invested in the vision of Try!Hamilton and most importantly the city, whether it be our place of business, entertainment, our home or any combination of such. For myself, Hamilton has been all of the above for sometime now, and ultimately the place I call home.

We planned for our first event with a focus on Barton and Kenilworth, an area recognized for its incredible past and optimistic future. Our premiere event brought together artists, community groups, architects, restaurant owners and community members with the purpose of demonstrating the community culture that exists in Hamilton, and the opportunity to invest in it. When I speak of investment I am not specifically relating to financial investment, although it is included in my statement. I am speaking also of the opportunity to invest oneself emotionally and physically in Hamilton. The purpose of our first event was to showcase all that Barton and Kenilworth are, all that they aren’t, and everything they could be. We presented a case of opportunity, demonstrating the need for investment. Many guests would later share with us a new affinity for an area they had previously written off. For those of us involved, our discovery was that there is an already incredible amount of investment in that area.

We began to look for and identify these communities throughout Hamilton. One such area that we took a look at was the International Village. The International Village has long been an important part of the commercial fabric which exists in Hamilton. Initially, an area offering services to those traveling by rail, the International Village now exists as an eclectic gathering of retail, restaurants, entertainment and services. The proximity in which the businesses exist to one another make it the ideal area to wander down the street, browsing shops, stopping at cafes, having lunch, or catching a show.

The International Village has faced its challenges over the years, as have many areas throughout Hamilton, but it is poised to meet any future challenges head-on. In recent years there has been a slow and meaningful resurgence of businesses in the International Village. These businesses are a visible demonstration of the growth taking place throughout the city. We chose to bring our next event to the International Village to recognize and celebrate the businesses which exist in the area, the community that has been developed, highlight the opportunities still present and to recognize the challenges ahead.

Our next Try!Hamilton event takes place Saturday, February 11th as part of the City of Hamilton’s Winterfest. We invite you to join us at the Ferguson Station where we will have interactive ice sculptors, local artists, food and drink vendors, entertainers and horse-drawn carriages. Businesses within the village are opening their doors to the public as part of a self-guided tour. Throughout the tour, you will have the chance to reacquaint or familiarize yourself with the many independent businesses in the area and learn of their individual experiences and rich histories. A series of pop-ups will be in place along the tour highlighting incentives for investing in the International Village. The event will also look at upcoming developments in the area.

Acting as the eastern gateway to our downtown, the International Village is an exciting part of Hamilton with a great history, quaint charm and a great community. With over 125 businesses in close proximity, it has accomplished an intimate village feeling. We encourage everyone to join us Saturday, February 11th to explore the International Village and experience it for yourself. We ask you to Try!Hamilton!

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