Who are you?
Patrick Guilbault and Yigi Chang, Owner+Operators of Ark and Anchor Espresso Bar, moved from Toronto in the Summer of 2015. Patrick has been serving in cafes for over a decade and reads lots of fiction. Yigi is an illustrator and sweater enthusiast. **read about Ark + Anchor and Hamilton’s love o’ coffee shops**
Friends of ours made the move a few years back and when we came to visit they would show us all the things of Hamilton they knew we would love. Everything from green spaces to the food scene, beautiful historic buildings to interesting new development. Once we decided we wanted to open our own business, Hamilton made a lot of sense financially but also it really felt like the city we wanted to live in.
Where do you live?
We live at the border of Central Hamilton and Strathcona, at King and Queen. We chose the neighbourhood for our cafe because we saw a need for daytime business; and a trend towards development and renewal.
What resources were helpful to you in making your decision to move here?
We were supremely lucky to have good friends here in Hamilton who were very dialled into the commercial and residential markets. Thanks to them, we found the area we wanted and the kind of space we dreamed about.
The cafe is becoming the business we hoped it would be, but more importantly we already feel like folks have made us a part of their daily lives, and for that we can never be thankful enough. Hamilton is Good People.
What resources do you WISH you’d had access to that would have helped?
Some kind of event/neighbourhood guide that covered most of the city. We found there were lots of good resources to find events or talking about specific areas, but something was lacking in the realm of an aggregated citywide guide.
What surprised you the most about Hamilton?
From where we live; I can walk twenty minutes in one direction and be right downtown, surrounded by food, art and culture, or I can go twenty minutes in the opposite direction and be totally immersed in wilderness. Nowhere else I’ve lived has given us this amazing merging of city and country.
What advice do you have for anyone considering a move to Hamilton?
Take the time to find the space and area that feels right to you. There is such a variety here; spend time walking about, visit the local shops, chat with the people who live there and you will find like minded people and a space that is right for you.
What are your favourite places and things to do around the city?
We love the Strathcona; for drinks and amazingly tasty nachos(both vegan and omni), the Real Foodcourt in the Hamilton Farmers Market for Poke and Ramen, and Board Games Central in Jackson Square for all my nerdy needs.
Of all the things going on Hamilton these days – what are you most excited about?
As we do almost all our groceries and shopping by bicycle(or on foot), seeing a shift in awareness around both cycling and pedestrian movement through the city is very exciting. Hopefully we will see more positive changes in the days to come.
Anything else you’d like to add?
We are so fortunate have been welcomed into our neighbourhood but such amazing people. The cafe is becoming the business we hoped it would be, but more importantly we already feel like folks have made us a part of their daily lives, and for that we can never be thankful enough. Hamilton is Good People.