POINT 3 | La ligne bleue | #HamiltonVilleAccueillante
GORE PARK | 1 Hughson St S, Hamilton
A majestic public square.
"A majestic public square that has withstood the onslaught of commercial and political interests since 1846, thanks to the fierce determination of Hamilton's citizens."
In English, the word "gore" refers to a triangular tongue of land where the roads meet. The Gore Park triangle, crossed by Hughson St S, is over 200 metres long. It now offers visitors more than half a kilometre of paved trail.
Going around the majestic statue of Queen Victoria, with a lion at her feet, (erected in 1908), we walk among the pigeons to reach the superb fountain (replica of the one inaugurated in 1860 for the royal visit).
East of Hughson, the nine panels of Veterans Square are anchored by the cenotaph (empty tomb) erected in 1923 to honour veterans.
Other times, other customs!
In the 1880s, the park was fenced off, among other things to prevent tree theft. One hundred years later, in July 1983, citizens were horrified to discover that all the trees in the park were being cut down, with the approval of the city council.
The subsequent start of construction of two hideous concrete buildings caused a public outcry. Council backed down, razed the buildings' foundations and undertook costly renovations to the park.
There is also the story of 122 volunteer hunters who answered the call of the City on January 25, 1954, to shoot thousands of starlings that were invading the park...
FOR THE CURIOUS
The French touch
You will notice the name P. Hebert engraved in bronze at the feet of Queen Victoria. He is Louis-Philippe Hebert, from Quebec. Yes, it was a Quebecer who won the commission to fashion the great queen of England. It is important to know that at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1889, Hébert won the bronze medal, a first for a Canadian artist!
Pull up a Chair
During the summer, Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11am to 3pm, the Hamilton Downtown BIA launches the Gore Park Promenade, adds chairs to the park and offers live music from noon to 2pm. Programming can be found on the BIA website:www.downtownhamilton.org/2022-gore-park-summer-promenade
TO POINT 4...
(Distance = 180 metres)
From Gore Park, walk north on James St N to the Afrolicious restaurant. Be sure to look up to see the historic Lister Block at the corner of King William St. It is a classic renaissance building dating back to 1923.