The Grand Durand – Hamilton’s Mansions

South Durand is home to one of the best and most architecturally diverse collections of pre-war residential architecture in Canada.  Constructed from the 1850’s to the 1930’s, a time when the revival styles of architecture where in fashion and Hamilton’s economy was booming, the owners and architects who built here had the freedom to express themselves through architecture. Owners could choose a style that best expressed their heritage or financial status and they had the means to build on an ambitious scale with quality materials and talented craftsmen. This resulted in homes that are excellent examples of an amazing array of architectural styles; Gothic Revival, Tudor Revival, Classical Revival and many that combine multiple architectural styles or experiment with new ones in a spirit of innovation and one up-man-ship that one still feels walking in the neighbourhood today.

Although not as highly valued in monetary terms as similar neighbourhoods such as Toronto’s Rosedale or Montreal’s Mount Royal over time South Durand has retained its’ architectural value better than these places. Infused with a culture of conservation and an understanding of the uniqueness of their homes by the activism of the Durand neighbourhood Association in the 1970s and 80s the home owners in the neighbourhood have embraced and protected the architecture of their homes. There have been very few unsympathetic additions, renovations or new developments over the last fifty years. Let us hope that this culture of conservation continues and that this irreplaceable collection of magnificent residential architecture is maintained as its architectural value is sure to increase far into the future.

Do You Love Your City?

This is a reading of an article I wrote that appears in the November 2011 edition of urbanicity. It’s from the heart – 100%.


SLEEK 2 is coming to Hamilton HIStory + HERitage on November 11 and runs until February 10, 2012. The exhibition features another 6 modernist residential residences designed by Canadian architects between 1955 and 1975.

For each of the homes, the exhibition will feature exteriors, interiors, facts about the home and the architect, floor plans.

A beautiful book of photographs and facts will feature 12 SLEEK homes. It will make a great holiday gift or personal keepsake.

Stay tuned.

Come On-A My House – Growing Up Italian In Hamilton’s North End

The book includes remarkable family photographs dating as far back as the 1920’s, as well as recipes from Anita’s own hand-written recipe book. The photographs reveal the story of Italian immigrant family and their life in Hamilton’s North End on Bay Street North where Anita’s parents and her own house still stand today. The recipes reveal a culture of food, from taralli, to stuffed Ascolano olives, to ravioli. All done Anita’s way.

The exhibition includes dozens of photographs and a 15 minute multi-media piece that tells the story of Anita Malloni. Of her marriage to Umberto. Of her children Laura, Rosemarie, Len and Albert.

Whether you’re Italian, or another nationality whose family came to Canada and to Hamilton in particular, you’ll see your own family history reflected in this exhibition.