Mahony Park: Bears, baseball and a little piece of east Hamilton history

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Published February 28, 2022 at 1:30 pm

Mahony Park is located at the corner of Barton Street E and Adeline Avenue in Hamilton. (Google Earth, 2021)

If you grew up in Hamilton’s north-east end neighbourhoods or if you’re a fan of baseball, chances are, you’ve visited or at least heard of Mahony Park.

Over the years, the park, located on Barton Street E, one block west of Parkdale, has become synonymous with the legendary Mahoney Bears, the minor baseball association that has been in operation for close to 80 years that calls the park home.

The park has seen some changes over the years to bring it into the 21st Century, but its function as a community hub in Hamilton’s Normanhurst neighbourhood has remained unchanged over the years.

So where did the Mahony name — a name many east end Hamiltonians associate with Bears and baseball — come from?

The park was named for Thomas Joseph Mahony (1881-1961) who settled in Hamilton in the early 1900s after emigrating from Ireland.

Mahony served as a member of the Hamilton city council for a time and also as the managing director of the Ontario Good Roads Association.

According to the Hamilton Public Library’s digital archives, his dedication to improving and building roads earned Mahony the moniker ‘Mr. Good Roads’ and saw him named ‘Man of the year’ in 1954 by the International Road Federation.

The park and a street that runs perpendicular to the park were both named for Mahony.

In the wake of the Second World War, however, the park was renamed Crerar Park after the celebrated war hero General Henry Duncan Graham Crerar (1888-1965) who was from Hamilton.

Several decades later, however, neighbourhood residents pushed for the park’s original name to be reinstated and since April 1983, the park has been called Mahony.

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