New Year’s Reflection – How Adventures in Hamilton started.

New Year’s is a great time for reflection, to ponder and to giggle at how things came to be. I truly moved to Hamilton kicking and screaming but I was lured by the great deals in real estate. My daughter had flown the coop leaving me an empty nester, Burlington where I was living at the time was lacking in adventure. So, I made the decision to buy a condo in the city and embrace singledom here in Hamilton.

What an adventure it has been, I started in Hamilton knowing no one. My friends from Burlington refused to travel into Hamilton and I was reluctant to go back to Burlington. It was time for new adventures, new friends and to create the new chapter we all talk about. I started those adventures at a local bar, where my friend was the DJ and it was a great place to hang out. They were great nights filled with lots of laughs.

Knowing I wanted to expand my horizons past the bar scene, I decided I would make dates with myself to get out and explore Hamilton. I remember starting those date nights with myself at the AGH, going to the movies and even going to Improv at The Staircase.  I then continued to expand my horizons taking a day to try rowing lessons at Leander followed by lunch at Williams, exploring Locke St. Enjoying breakfast at the Locke St. Bakery or going to James St. stopping for an afternoon dessert at Ola or walking at Bayfront Park these are places where my love affair with Hamilton began.

The one of the most memorable date night with myself, was my first trip to the Art Gallery of Hamilton, arriving back in Hamilton on Friday at 7pm on the Go Bus, exhausted, hungry after a long day at work. I had made a promise to myself it was time to get out to explore all that Hamilton had to offer. This was the perfect opportunity, the first Friday of the month at AGH is free, it was a great place to explore alone, and you can truly take the time to focus on the exhibitions.

I remember entering the gallery and there was a reception desk setup at the bottom of the stairs, there was a great buzz of excitement in the air, the fella who greeted me was so excited as he told me I was on the 7:30 tour, I had to make sure to be on the second floor by 7:25 and he placed a sticker on my shoulder and directed me up the stairs. I had no clue what the exhibition was, I was interested in hearing the guitarist that was playing that night, though the gentleman’s enthusiasm spiked my curiosity. More than anything I just wanted to get out the house and enjoy something about Hamilton after tiring of hearing my friends and co-workers tell me what a mistake I had made moving here.

I have to admit by the time I went to the second floor, I was excited about the exhibit, anticipating what I was about to see. I certainly wasn’t prepared to see the Vincent Van Gogh exhibit, it was such great surprise. Vincent Van Gogh is my favourite artist, this exhibit not only showed his art but it shared the letters he had written to his brother. These letters provided invaluable insights into to art on display. It gave you the opportunity to step back in time and bear witness to a true master’s creation.

Here is the excerpt from the official press release from The AGH:

“Art Gallery of Hamilton announces its Spring Exhibitions

 On view from May 28 to September 23, the banner exhibition Great Master Series: Vincent van Gogh focuses on a select group of major oil paintings by Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) on loan from galleries in Canada, United States and France. By presenting five significant works from the major periods of the artist’s career, and interpreting the works contextually, the exhibition will highlight the roots and development of van Gogh’s style and themes. Exhibition sponsored by Orlick Industries. Exclusive Magazine Media Sponsor: Hamilton Magazine.”

So whether you want to go out on a date night with yourself, with that special someone, get a group of friends together or take the family out The AGH has great programming for everyone. It created such a beautiful memory for me and affirmed that were lots of adventures to be embarked upon in Hamilton. That night raised my curiosity of what might be behind the next door in Hamilton.

I have since opened many doors, had lots of adventures in Hamilton, date nights with myself, day tripping, staycations, joined many groups, even hosted hundreds of events & get togethers, made lasting friendships, met many wonderful acquaintances, became a Big Sister and embarked upon a great relationship with a wonderful fella. One thing that as remained constant is my love affair with this Hamazing city, never did I think I would discover so many adventures, find so much happiness here but I have, and for that I am truly grateful to those doors and the opportunity to share with each of you.

One the best ways by far to get out and explore Hamilton is a Meetup group called Adventures in Hamilton that evolved from that night at the AGH we are now quickly closing on 1001 adventures with the help of many incredible volunteer organizers that make all the adventures possible.  Hamilton is a city that is constantly evolving, so we are constantly discovering new Adventures in Hamilton and putting twists on our favourites.

Wishing you all, an Hamazing 2013 filled with many Adventures in Hamilton!

Where will your next adventure in Hamilton be in 2013?

If you want to start your next adventure at The AGH, enter here and you can win a pair of tickets. Just answer what was the year of the banner exhibition Great Master Series: Vincent van Gogh was at The Art Gallery of Hamilton?

All names with correct answer will be entered into a random draw.

The draw will be held Saturday, 5th January 2013 at 10 am.


Wishing you all, an Hamazing 2013,

                                              filled with many Adventures in Hamilton!



  1. The Great Master Series: Vincent van Gogh was on display at the AGH in 2006!

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