POINT 5 | La ligne bleue | #HamiltonVilleAccueillante
TAJ MAHAL SUPERMARKET | 77 James St N, Hamilton
Updates in May 2023 : Business has closed its door.
Specialized grocery stores, to keep one's culture and make it known.
"Specialty grocery stores around town are a testament to the vitality of their respective small communities, and to each other's excitement about culinary diversity."
Seen from the outside, one does not realize the great variety of merchandise that awaits us in this small supermarket.
At the back of the store is a large halal butcher shop, not far from rows of sets of small cups and saucers. On the shelves, there is a host of food items described in Arabic.
If you are not familiar with Arabic culture, don't hesitate to ask the staff questions, who will be happy to initiate you. For example, you will discover the fragrant wood bakhoor or various aromatic wafers, which are placed on the burning coals of a mabkharah or on a copper burner to perfume the house.
BEHIND THE SCENES
The most common languages spoken at home among immigrants in Hamilton (besides English and/or French) are Arabic, followed by Italian and then Spanish.
The Arab presence has doubled in 20 years. While there were 5,390 Arab immigrants in Hamilton in 2006, there were 10,070 in 2016.
It is therefore not surprising to notice businesses with Arabic on their storefront, such as Red Sea Clothing, facing the Taj Mahal Supermarket, which sells clothing and accessories for Muslim women.
In addition to the Taj Mahal, Hamilton has more than a dozen markets offering Middle Eastern foods.
FOR THE CURIOUS
Hamilton has an impressive number of ethnic markets that allow immigrants to continue their culinary traditions and others to develop their palates.
Around La Ligne bleue, there are two Portuguese fish markets and two Latino markets (discussed below). There is also Rama Tropical Foods (346 James St N), with its assortment of African and Caribbean products, as well as Tan Thanh Supermarket (115 Park St N) with its Asian merchandise.
In the rest of the city, other communities find their landmarks: kosher products from Hamilton Kosher Meat Market, Russian, Polish and Ukrainian food from Starsky, etc.
TO POINT 6...
(Distance = 115 metres)
Return to the east side of James St N and continue to the mural on the side of the building north of Wilson St.