Five really cool photos from Hamilton’s past


Published May 6, 2020 at 3:09 pm

The city of Hamilton has come a long way since George Hamilton first laid down roots here in the early 1800s.

The city of Hamilton has come a long way since George Hamilton first laid down roots here in the early 1800s.

We are lucky to have had a number of local institutions dedicated to capturing and preserving the story of our development and our people.

Here are five images from Hamilton’s past that will provide a little insight on how far we’ve come as a city and will hopefully bring back some fond memories for some.

5. Police car and Officer Luca

This picture was shared by the Hamilton Police Historical Society and Museum via Twitter, last month. What you may or may not know is that Hamilton’s police force is one of the oldest in Canada. This photo shows how colourful and awesome the Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Police cars were and who doesn’t love a dog on duty? Luca served on the force in the 1980s.

4. Man behind the counter

This photo comes from The Hamilton Public Library’s (HPL) History and Archives via Flikr. Hunter’s Sanitary Store was located at 150 Maple Avenue in Central Hamilton. The limited information provided with the photo says it was taken in the 1930s. Today, it’s a convenience store. So really, it’s serving a similar purpose as it was nearly 100 years ago. Look how organized those shelves are!

3. Terrifying Jack o’ Lanterns at the Farmers’ Market

Here’s another gem via the HPL’s History and Archives. There is no information accompanying this image on the library’s Flickr, so it’s anyone’s guess what year this was taken. (I’m thinking 1940s?) It was taken at the Hamilton Farmers’ Market and it seems the name of the vendor is Gallagher’s Family Produce. Judging from the coats and the absolutely terrifying display of jack o’ lanterns, it’s sometime around Halloween. Looks like some Hamiltonians around that time took terrifying little trick-or-treaters pretty darn seriously.

2. Gore Park in the 70s

Vintage Hamilton shared this beauty just a short time ago. It shows a westward view of Gore Park in the 1970s. The Cenotaph, which has since been repositioned, is the centrepiece, and off to the right, you can see the old Kresge’s sign and in the distance the still-under-construction Stelco tower above Jackson Square (it opened in 1972). It’s a photo that shows our downtown in its booming prime in the spring.

1. Classic computing

This image comes to us via the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s Archives Instagram account. If you’re not following them, you should; it’s so much fun. It shows HWDSB students hard at work on a Commodore (64?) at an unknown city school. Again, as I type away on my light-as-a-feather laptop, with a world of information at my fingertips, I can’t help but wonder at the distances we’ve travelled in the years since this picture was taken. Who remembers how complicated and time-consuming loading a program on these beauties was? Who can name some of the programs we used on these? The first video game I played on one of these was Burger Time (not school-related).

For more super fun photos from Hamiton’s past, check out this story!

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