Who are you?
My name is Margaret and I am the designer behind Wolf Dottir here in Hamilton. I re-purpose vintage plates and turn them into irreverent wall art, along with a complement of other housewares. I moved here with my Husband, Alex, 3 years ago.
We are both from small towns and really like being part of a community built on trust and mutual respect. Our lease was up in Toronto and it never really felt like “home”; we were tired of the rat race and really wanted to be in a city with down to earth people. Being an artist myself I was really attracted to the vibrant community of artists in Hamilton. I am pretty easy going and chill, and I like to feel like I am part of a community. Hamilton ticked all the boxes.
Where do you live?
Before we even started to look we decided we wanted to focus on finding an older home. We both loved the idea of something full of character and craftsmanship. Hamilton has some of the most beautiful Victorian and Edwardian homes, so we were right in our element. The house we ended up buying wasn’t even on our list of “go sees”, we took a wrong turn and ended up stumbling upon the open house. Voila, love at first sight in the Sherman Hub.
What resources were helpful to you in making your decision?
If time permits it’s always a good idea to take a walk or bike around a new neighbourhood. See whats around and what kind of feel you get from it. Do your research. Having a friend from here helps too, so you can ask lots of questions and see if it’s a good fit. But honestly Hamilton is thriving and the neighbourhoods are all pretty great, so you can’t go too far wrong with most places.
What sort of resources do you WISH you’d had when moving here?
I kind of wish in retrospect that I had had an agent that was from Hamilton. It’s always good when you have someone helping that lives in the city, knows the city, and can figure out what would suit your personal needs in terms of hoods.
What surprised you about Hamilton – good and bad?
I was pleasantly surprised by how welcoming and kind the city is. The arts community in particular is something I have never experienced before. Everyone supports and encourages one another, where as in Toronto it was a lot more mercenary, every man for himself. That’s not my jam. The music scene is also amazing, although that’s no surprise, Hamilton has always been known for great bands. The only truly bad thing I have noticed in Hamilton is some bike safety issues, very few locals in my hood use lights or helmets and don’t dress for night riding. So visibility is poor for drivers and other cyclists. I have had several friends in bad accidents so bike safety is important in my mind.
What advice do you have for someone moving to Hamilton?
I would say come here with an open mind. Hamilton is its own city and has a heart that’s been beating strong well before any lifestyle magazines decided to feature it. So if you are going to move here don’t expect it to be Brooklyn or Toronto. It defies comparison.
What are some of your favourite things in the city?
I love art crawl and Supercrawl of course, I try to be an active participant in both of those. I love the Black Forest Inn and Pokeh for restaurants, and the surrounding trails and waterfalls can’t be missed.
What are you most excited about happening here?
I am most excited about old buildings being restored (the Westdale cinema project for example), again art crawl (I hope it continues and doesn’t get screwed up by red tape). And just that Hamilton is coming into its own again