Who are you?
I’m Kristin Archer – I run the blog I Heart Hamilton which works with the concept, “Be a tourist in your own city.” I’m from Hamilton, and I’m all about discovering my hometown and drawing attention to all that is here. I hope to encourage everyone to get out and explore the city. I cover a wide range of local content on the blog: music, food, shops, art, nature, events, and more.
I’m an avid supporter of Hamilton’s music scene and book and promote local shows at various venues. I also host “I Heart Hamilton” the radio show on 93.3 CFMU on Fridays at 2pm. It’s a great extension of the blog where I interview and feature local musicians, business owners, personalities, and events.
What area of the city did you grow up in?
I grew up in the east end, very east, pretty much at the borderline of Stoney Creek.
What area of Hamilton do you currently live in?
I currently live in the same spot in the east end. I like that is feels tucked away but is still a short bus ride or drive away from downtown.
What do you think has changed about Hamilton over the years if anything?
Hamilton has changed so much, even just in the four years that I’ve been running I Heart Hamilton. Thinking back to that first Art Crawl I went to in May 2011, they are so much bigger now. Supercrawl gets bigger and better each year – it has been amazing to note the change from year to year and to see it extend into a multiple-day festival that attracts people from all over. That’s such an indication of our growing arts and culture scene. And there are so many more shops and restaurants popping up all the time. I’ve been so proud to watch the city evolve in the way that it has in these last four years, in particular.
What do you think the best and worst things about this city are? What are the areas that you would like to see improvements in?
I love that Hamilton is such a supportive community. We are a large city but it feels like such a small, tight-knit community at times. People are very receptive to new ideas and I think the amount of people taking risks and opening up businesses, sharing their art and talent, is so amazing.
The downtown core has improved so much, and slowly but surely it is getting better, but still needs work. We need more people living and working downtown to keep it thriving and supporting all of these new businesses so they can sustain.
What advice do you have for anyone considering a move to Hamilton?
What are you waiting for? Hamilton is really the place to be. There are so many incredible things here – our music scene, food scene, all of our events – I can’t say enough. There is constantly something exciting happening – it’s hard to keep up! I think you will find it a welcoming, colourful, affordable community to live in.
People are very receptive to new ideas and I think the amount of people taking risks and opening up businesses, sharing their art and talent, is so amazing.
What are your favourite places and things to do here?
Oh, man, it is so hard to narrow this down! My list must change all the time. Here’s a solid Top 3!
– Supercrawl (and Art Crawl – but the annual Supercrawl in September is my favourite event of the year)
– The Waterfront (my favourite spot, no matter what season)
– The Baltimore House (Bar/music venue – I love this place so much) **RIP Baltimore House – the space is now home to The Diplomat!
Of all the things going on Hamilton these days – what are you most excited about?
I always come back to the music scene in Hamilton – it is world-class. The talent here is unbelievable. I also love what a supportive music community it is. We do need more people in Hamilton to regularly go out to see local shows – but the ones who do are so supportive and loyal, and it is fantastic to see how supportive musicians are of each other. I love being involved in our music scene.