It’s an exciting summer in Hamilton, to say the least! July is absolutely filled with events, and yesterday was no exception. An impactful initiative touched down in Hamilton. TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) celebrates its 25th anniversary by bringing urban pop-up parks to various Canadian cities this summer. Hamilton is one of six cities chosen, along with Toronto; Surrey, B.C.; Calgary, Alberta; Laval, Québec; and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (check out all of the Canadian projects here). TD FEF landed here in Hamilton on Tuesday, transforming a concrete lot on 46 James North (right across from the City Centre) into an interactive park which will remain until this Saturday, July 18th (open 10am-8pm daily).
The local community is invited to enjoy free activities, food, and entertainment that promote green initiatives and work with our local businesses and artists as well. The pop-up park promotes TD FEF’s #GreenWhereYouLive campaign, in which 100% of the proceeds go directly to supporting greening projects in the community. Also, a $25,000 grant was announced to a City of Hamilton Parks project. It was revealed at the launch that this grant will go toward Durand Park’s revitalization project, which was amazing to hear!
I woke up to distant rumbles in the air and warnings of heavy rainfall and potential thunderstorms, but armed with an umbrella, it wasn’t bad at all. A little rain didn’t stop people from coming out to see this park in action. When I arrived on site for the unveiling (wearing bright green pants and sunglasses for the occasion, of course), I was greeted by lush greens, colourful flowers, and carved wooden tables, chairs, and little huts. Making things nice and summery, there was even a lemonade stand. I’m sure there will be sunny, dry days to come this week, but it was actually quite nice with a little rain.
To welcome everyone, a TD representative said a few words to share information about TD FEF’s initiative. He joked that the rain was just Mother Nature’s way of christening the park. He noted that green spaces are vital to the well being of our communities, and pointed out the features of the park – including the clever “apple trees” which are trees with iPads hooked up to them! Councillor of Ward 1, Aidan Johnson, also spoke, as well as MP David Christopherson; both were super enthusiastic about the cause.
The launch featured live music from recent Hamilton Music Award nominee Jack De Keyzer. You could hear the sounds of Jack’s music all the way down the street and around the corner of King William. The bluesy, soulful music drifted in the humid, rainy summer air. Jack’s music was so nice to listen to while enjoying samples from a favourite local food truck, Johnny Blonde. I can never resist the deliciousness of their “Peachy Blonde,” and it’s always nice to see Jonny and Layal!
Some people took advantage of a soccer net that was set up (fitting with all of the Pan Am festivities) and there was some yoga scheduled for later on in the day. Definitely stop by throughout the week and enjoy the park while it’s here!
Here’s a rundown of the remaining Pop-Up Park programming – the park is open from 10am-8pm until this Saturday, July 18th:
- Wed. July 15, 10am – noon: Environment session with Green Venture – “Making the right food choices”
- Thurs. July 16, 5pm – 7pm: Hamilton Farmers’ Market serving up fresh local produce
- Fri. July 17, 12:30pm – 2:15pm: Traditional print-making workshop with artist-run print and media arts organization Centre
- Sat. July 18, noon – 5pm: Soccer tricks with freestyle soccer artists, Johnny Blonde until 3pm, free smoothies from The Green Smoothie Bar
Note: I attended the event as a guest of TD FEF and was compensated for my work, but all thoughts about the event are my own.