The Westdale and Ainslie Wood area is unlike any other Hamilton neighbourhood. I marvel at the well-planned pattern and arrangement of our streets, the aesthetic and charm of Westdale Village, the snippets of intellectual conversations I hear in our cafe?s. A favourite evening is a romantic dinner at 1010 Bistro followed by a movie date at our historic art-deco movie theatre. We debate the plot and characters as we window shop and get two steamy drinks to go. My favourite server makes the vanilla-bean lattes, and I eye a new teapot on the shelf.
I savour the chocolate croissants at Weil’s and specialty cheeses and Ace baguettes at the Global Village Market. I adore the challah and cream cheese at the Westdale Delicatessen. I walk to The Barn with my new stroller cart and pack away our weekly groceries. I love the Barn’s fresh produce and the perfectly sane size of the store. I pick books for my wish list at Bryan Prince and order my husband’s Fast Food Nation. We dream of summer as we visit Adventure Attic and are pleasantly distracted by the woolly sweaters and smart parkas. Errands are quickly completed at the pharmacy, bank, and post office.
Yes, we relish our Westdale traditions. The kids joyfully select their “cool” footwear every season at Jack Carruth Shoe Store. We are thrilled by the McMaster Students Union and George R.Allan pumpkin-night hike at Halloween, and our
kids enjoy the parade through the village. We can skate at Churchill Park in the winter because our community has volunteers dedicated to our winter cheer. We toboggan at Cootes and picnic at the park. We visit the neighbourhood plots at the Teaching Garden. We have ice cream and frozen yoghurt on our stroll home from dance lessons at St.Paul’s Church. We order panzerotti from Valentino’s and falafels from Basilique on busy weeknights.
My kids skate and play hockey at Coronation and swim at Dalewood. We love the rail trail and the fish count at the Desjardin trail. We hike at Cootes Paradise, walk through the Mac campus, and visit the birds at the Aviary in the same afternoon. We meet new friends in the library as we select our books and play with the train set. My children will learn French through the schools’ immersion program, and we appreciate the convenient day-care arrangement. I love to see my children thriving in a caring community that will cater to their needs at every age and stage. I catch myself feeling nostalgic over yesterday.
I can walk everywhere, and I do. I love Westdale’s greenscape and parks, the old trees,the diversity,the amazing schools, the caring community. Can I pick one thing I love above all others?
Alice Sabourin, Vice-President, AWWCA, Spring 2005 newsletter, p. 5