As a counterpoint to our contemporary exhibition taking place in our Main Gallery, WAHC explores the historical development of James St. North as a major commercial centre and burgeoning community through archival photographs and a street-scape mural photographed by artist James Chambers and created by the WAHC staff.
Running through the centre of Hamilton and dividing the city between east and west, James Street has always been an important pedestrian and transportation hub, bustling with activity, community life and commerce, and as the initial point of entry for many immigrant communities.
Like many major streets in cities the world over, James Street North has seen its share of ups and downs. By the mid 1980s a plan to designate James Street North as a heritage conservation district was considered by the city of Hamilton although the recommendation was not acted upon. In the last ten years James Street North has become a magnet for artists and other cultural workers. Helped along by the monthly art crawl and the yearly Supercrawl a renewed and vibrant James Street North draws thousands of people to the street and to the city of Hamilton. This historical exhibit aims to show the various iterations of James Street North and its significant contributions to the city of Hamilton.
Curated by Florencia Berinstein, Gloria Geller, Andrew Lochhead, Ingrid Mayrhofer. WAHC thanks the Hamilton Public Library’s Local History and Archives Department, specifically Laura Lamb and Karen Milligan-Thurston for their much appreciated assistance.