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  #1  
Old Posted Dec 12, 2006, 2:40 PM
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Hamilton's Forgotten Street: Kenilworth Ave

This is a series of photos I took on Kenilworth Avenue in Hamilton. I forgot about these pics, which is appropriate because I think the city forgot about this street too: it was really dirty, the flower planters had weeds growing out of them, and the massive wooden utility poles really stand out. There's a strong Eastern European presence around Kenilworth. While a lot of the shops are closed, strangely enough, some of the remaining shops are unique specialty shops (try to spot them).

Main and Kenilworth





















You might think this is a dangerous and nasty street, but this is what the residential areas look like in this part of town:


































This must be the stupidest graffiti ever:




































































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Old Posted Dec 12, 2006, 3:50 PM
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the city didn't completely forget about this area...they still collect taxes and make sure that this part of town pays a large share of the sprawl subsidy. Heaven forbid Home Depot pay for their own development out in the sticks.
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Old Posted Dec 12, 2006, 4:34 PM
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I met a girl on lower Kennilworth. And when I was a kid I use to hang out on Upper Kennilworth at Markson Cresent.
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Old Posted Jan 10, 2007, 4:28 PM
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The street is def interesting. It was once a major artery for all the working Dad's who travelled from their working class east mountain homes, down the highway access road known as the Kenilworth Access. The Access is now very dangerous, cars travel at high speeds, higher than it was built for, but now that it doesn't carry all the thousands of workers that is once did, it is open road and prone to bad accidents.
The strip was also home to the highest concentration of bars in the city. Afterall, steelworkers needed a drink after work. And believe me those bars were Union only. Like the beginning of the movie 'The Deer Hunter'. The shops were also there for the Dad's to pick up a few things afterwork as well. Afterall, in the 60s and 70s most families had one car and the Mom was home with the children. I was one of those children.
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Old Posted Jan 10, 2007, 4:41 PM
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Also very cheap rent in the apartments above the stores. I know a guy who paid $300 /month for an loft apartment that had to be 2000 sq feet.
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Old Posted Jan 10, 2007, 9:40 PM
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thanks for the tour, flar. The street looks really run down... unfortunately (in my opinion) not in a very interesting way.
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Old Posted Jan 10, 2007, 10:30 PM
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^^yeah, that's why it wasn't part of the series in the city photos section
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Old Posted Jan 11, 2007, 3:37 PM
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I love those hydro poles.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2007, 2:51 PM
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The poor cousin of Ottawa Street.
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Old Posted Jan 17, 2007, 5:36 PM
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Cool tour! Thanks!
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Old Posted Mar 19, 2008, 5:03 AM
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EHR is pretty steadfast and firmly implanted in that neighbourhood!

And the residential neighbourhood is actually quite nice approaching King St.
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Old Posted Mar 19, 2008, 7:01 AM
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Indeed, Kenilworth is an interesting specimen. It can be a very depressing walk even on the warmest, nicest summer day. I have a feeling the transformation of Centre Mall (and displacement of many stores to the surrounding neighborhoods) will revive the stretch of Kenilworth near Barton. The part North of Barton however... well I think that's always going to be a hell hole. That small stretch of street between Barton and Burlington St. reminds me of Detroit.
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Old Posted Mar 19, 2008, 9:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Millstone View Post
EHR is pretty steadfast and firmly implanted in that neighbourhood!

And the residential neighbourhood is actually quite nice approaching King St.
Kenilworth North and Kenilworth South are very different creatures. Aside from the name, I hardly think of them as the same street. North looks a little rough, while South is a rather nice residential street considering it's a main thoroughfare.

Hopefully, some of the displaced Centre Mall shops will find their way onto the street.
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Old Posted Apr 18, 2008, 7:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt602 View Post
That small stretch of street between Barton and Burlington St. reminds me of Detroit.
I agree 100%, I always got that feeling too.

When I was on the road as a traveling salesman, I used to call on the AMCAN plant on Hilyard, I always approached it by turning left off of Burlington. That first two blocks with the hump over the rail tracks always screamed Detroit to me...

God I love the Hammer!
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Old Posted Apr 19, 2008, 4:08 AM
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I've gotten stuck at the rail crossing underneath a crossing arm. The arm repeatedly came crashing down on my hood before I could back up. The mark is still there.
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  #16  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2008, 1:47 PM
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hmmm ... Kenilworth Ave. brings back memories ... I still go down that street on an almost daily basis but the above photos are great because I rarely pay much attention to the street anymore.
I grew up in the back alleys and adjoining streets of Kenilworth ... damn ... that was too long ago.
We had two theatres .. the Windsor ( near Main St) and The Kenilworth near Hope Ave. ( 15 cents got you 2 features, a serial and a cartoon .. and the fun of being in there on a Sat. afternoon with about five hundred other brats ..).
I saw my first technicolour movie at the Kenilworth .."The African Queen" still one of my favourites.
Damn .. I can still remember when the Centre Mall was a race track ... but that's whole other story (s).
The fifth photo with the bike on the wall, I think that used to be The Marigold Restaurant ... or Pete's Pool Hall. And the Croation Centre ... that might have been the old Golden Pheasant or as it was known 'The Ruptured Duck'.It was a hangout for the local 'gangsters' .. was in there one night when a fight started and a guy pulled a gun and put a whole in the clock above the kitchen .. I believe that's where Pops Papadopolous (sp) got his start.
The firehall was on Garside and Roxborough then .. it's a nursery school now .. and the shop on the corner of Cambridge was a bike shop and they had an old unicycle up on the roof ... i think it became Shiptons Heating .. they were at the corner of Brittania as a fruit market originally.
We had 'beer parlours' too ..The Homeside ( Homecide) ...Driftwood (Soggy Log) and the Gladstone ( The Happy Rock ) and the Kenilworth House.
Had my first illegal beer in the Homeside... I think I was 17 or 18. ( draught beer 20c)
The bricked up place was the old Firestone Veterans Club....
About the most attractive building on the street has been left out though .. the Library ... especially in summer when the ivy covers the walls.
Definitely a street that needs some intervention ... a lot of east enders are hoping the changes at the Centre Mall will be a motivator ..
I can't honestly think of the last time I spent any money on Kenilworth ...
The East Hamilton Radio has always been a stalwart on that corner .. started as East Hamilton Stove Exchange.
And a mention of Kenilworth would be remiss without 'Pollocks Groceries' .. east side between Newlands and Barton ... used to be cheap smokes and they cashed cheques ... also a drop for welfare cheques .. back when people would be picking up three or more a month, and getting away with it.
Loyds smokes , the little ricketty shack next to the parking lot, used to be Miller's Smoke Shop... ahh .. 'Joanie' Miller .. anyway ..
I should take a walk down there some day .. maybe take a few pics for old times sake .. run into a few ghosts as well perhaps.
Well .. yard work waits and I'm beginning to maunder ..Peace!
Mack
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Old Posted Apr 19, 2008, 9:35 PM
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Wow, thanks Mack! Your post puts a whole new layer onto those photos. I can't wait to read your thoughts on some of Flar's other photo posts.

There are so many areas in Hamilton where you can see the traces of a perhaps grander and certainly livelier past. You managed to make the ghosts jump right out of the pictures.

I'm glad you've joined us.
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  #18  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2008, 8:17 AM
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I used to live around there when I was a little kid for a couple of years (69-71), Cope Street at the end of Hope Ave. I went to Holy Family School.
I remember when Cannon Street east of Kenilworth was built. There was just a dirt field known as "the pipeline". It started at Main and Ottawa and cut northeast through all those streets. Aside from the Cannon extension the rest is all fixed up into a trail and parkettes.
I remember the older woman next door used to get drunk at the Homeside. Years later it became the Hotline Tavern, a strip club. (the city actually had as many as nine at one time). I guess it's Boomers now, or one of those bars?

Somebody mentioned they loved those hydro poles. There were even bigger ones on the other side of the street. The poles almost dominated the streetscape.

Does anyone remember the cops and the fire department being in the same building at Roxborough? It was sort of a Deco style building. Almost twenty years ago the cops moved to the East End/Stoney Creek Station. The firefighters of course are still there in a new building.
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Old Posted Apr 20, 2008, 11:41 AM
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I was raised on Weir St., just three blocks west of Strathearne (attended Ballard School).That was almost the city limits at the time. Then they built what were referred to as 'wartime houses' and the 'limits' moved east to the old Hamilton Airport ... yes ... the original airport was located about where Woodward Ave. School and the Woodward Fire Station are located. I believe bits of the runway are still intact in the field behind the housing developments.

From The Hamilton International Airport History Page:

"Hamilton's second airport, the Hamilton Municipal Airport, with two hard surface runways housing several commercial operations, was opened by the City of Hamilton near Red Hill Creek. By 1931, the airport was equipped for night flying. A civil aviation report from that year stated, "Hamilton Airport is owned by the City which has spent $300,000 on its development without assistance from the government… With the exception of Vancouver, no city has made a larger investment in aviation". This facility remained in operation until the transition to the already built military airfield at Mount Hope for public use occurred."

That was the original home of 'The Hamilton Aero Club' .. I recall it operating into the 50's
Barton and Strathearne was home to 'Magnovox' .. they made radio and radar parts during the war ... seem to recall they were there into the 50's, we would scavenge the junk piles for radio parts that we knew nothing off ..little diodes and transisters .. things that amazed boys .. still do I suppose.
I recall a guy across the tracks, behind where The Centre is now, had a dump of old discarded army stuff from WW2 .. helmets, belts, ammunition pouches ...we would sneak over ther and grab junk .. everyone had an army helmet or two and web belts and old army knapsacks were everywhere. I reacall that Bob Brattina had something to do with that.
We could travel all the way along the 'pipeline' to Van Wagners Beach .. we would actually fish in the ponds there .. and eat our catch .. I had a favourite spot on top of a concrete sewer outflow ... as a kid, I couldn't figure out why there were so many fish there ... like they say .."you eat a peck of dirt before ..."
The beach was a destination during the summer .. either Van Wagners or we would line up at the 'East Ham Radio' and take the bus to the canal and the amusement park.
I seem to recall that Hurrican Hazel, in '54, altered Van Wagners Beach somewhat and was the beginning of what's there now ... everything was moved down to the present location from 'the Cove'. Hutch's is the last remaining name. The one other I remember is 'Abe Sovonkin's' (sp)... he ran a restaurant down there ... played for the old Tigers and wrestled 'pro' for a while. I believe until his passing a couple of years ago, raised prize poodles .. I remember he and his daughter would put on wrestling exhibitions behind the restaurant.
Speaking of wrestling .. we had regular matches at both the 'mune' ( 'Jimmy Thompson Pool' ) and the old lacrosse stadium that sat where Scott Park Arena now stands. Big names .. Whipper Billy Watson, Yukon Eric, etc.
The baseball park .. now the soccer pitch, was home to 'The Hamilton Cardinals' .. PONY Leaque team ... Farm team of St.Louis ... a few big names of the day went through here. My grandmother and an aunt ran 'Peggy Anns Grill' .. corner of Gage and Cannon, now a Chinese Restaurant ... the ball teams .. Tigers and Cardinals , would hang out there.
My grandmother also loved the ponies ... at least once a week she'd have to go to the 'Jockey Club' and 'watch' the races. I was too young to get in so with a few other kids, we would hang around the green fence along Barton St. and watch the bookies and others ( there were several crap games going when ever the races were on ) Older version of The Flamborough Slots?
In those days, the nearest police station was at Sherman Ave, east of Barton, and the police drove black cars, and had a black paddy wagon we called 'The Black Maria' .. no siren, just a bell .. when ever the police decided that a raid of the illegal gamblers was warranted, they would come tearing down Barton St. with bells clanging, thus warning the 'neredowells' to get their boards and other ecoutrements off the street.
Very few arrests were ever made and I found out in later years that the only time they ever acted was on complaints from either the local churches or disgruntled wives.
As kids, we would hang around and pick up the loose nickels and dimes that were left behind by the fleeing gamblers ... usually accompanied by a boot in the butt from one of the coppers.
The track was gone in '52 and the Centre Mall was running in '55.
I think the building of the Centre Mall was a major turning point for 'The East End', positive and negative.
On the positive side, it provided us with Canada's first big 'shopping Centre' ( not enclosed at that time either ) and became the main shopping destination for families in the area. With the Mall, Gage Park, Ivor Wynne ( Civic Stadium ) the Municipal Pool, lots of schools and bus a street car coverage, as well as all the big industries along Burlington Street, the east end was flourishing. The exodus to the mountain was just underway at the time and realestate was quite hot between Gage and Parkdale.
On the negative side, The Centre spelled doom for Ottawa St. and Kenilworth Avenue, as well as a few other local shopping enclaves in the area.
My grandmother disliked the 'Centre' .. probably a lot to do with the loss of the racetrack as much as anything else ... until her final days, she insisted on shopping on Kenilworth or Ottawa Street. Not sure how she satisfied her gambling habit, but back then 'bookies' were a part of most neighbourhoods.
Ottawa Street is coming back to life, remains to be seen, I suppose, if Kenilworth can pull a 'Phoenix'. Perhaps the changes at 'The Centre' will help ... personally. I have my doubts.
Ottawa was blessed with some fairly substantial buildings, mostly brick, whereas Kenilworth was built, mainly, on the 'cheap'. Wood frame, ashphalt siding, no basements ...
Right now we have a handful of buildings worth noting .. Holy Family, The Fire Station, The Library and Tim Horton's ... the rest, sad to say, probably wouldn't be missed.
OK .. as my wife say's ..'enough already!'

Mack
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Old Posted Apr 20, 2008, 11:44 AM
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By the way .. love those pictures 'Flar' ... bring back loads of memories, many that can't be related here ... out of respect for good taste and sensitive dispositions ...lol

Mack
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