Special places: 5 Hamiltonians took us to places in the city meaningful to them

Ticat Adrian Tracy's whole family is moving to Hamilton, one by one. Musician Harrison Kennedy says the city is "no longer tribal." They're among five Hamiltonians who shared their meaningful places with us. Share yours too.

A Ticat, a musician, a hiker and others show us Hamilton places special to them. Where is yours?

"I can't imagine my life without Hamilton in it," says Adrian Tracy, Hamilton Ticats defensive lineman. He came to Hamilton to play football. Now his brother lives here and his parents are looking at moving. He also does community speaking engagements. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)
As part of our series exploiring Hamilton's evolving identity, we asked five Hamilton residents to show us places that are meaningful to them in the city. 

Read and watch about theirs, and then share with us a photo and short blurb about your meaningful place in Hamilton. Details on how to submit an item are at the end of this story.

Adrian Tracy

Defensive lineman, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Meaningful place: Locke Street.

Why: It's where he first ventured out by himself when he moved to Hamilton. And he loves food. Tracy moved here in 2015 for football. Now his brother C.J. goes to McMaster University, and his parents are pondering a move too. Tracy also does motivational speaking here, and wants to do more of it. "I can't imagine my life without Hamilton now."

Ticat Adrian Tracy on Locke Street

5 years ago
Duration 1:35
Adrian Tracy, Hamilton Ticats defensive lineman, lives in Hamilton full time now

Harrison Kennedy

Canadian blues legend

Meaningful place: Birchway Sound.

"I used to think of Hamilton as tribal," says Harrison Kennedy, with Ed Sculpthorpe at Birchway Sound. "I am pleased to report that it's no longer tribal. It's just Hamilton." (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

Why: He sees it as part of the new energy infused into Hamilton's music scene. It's also owned by his long-time friend, Ed Sculthorpe. "Individuals like Birchway Sound, the Cotton Factory, Mills Hardware, they see and feel that vibe. They're contributing to that kind of organic thing that's happening with music."

Harrison Kennedy at Birchway Sound

5 years ago
Duration 1:33
Harrison Kennedy talks about Birchway Sound

Abra Bergen

Artists' model

Meaningful place: Bruce Trail.

Abra Bergen, a long-time Hamilton resident, says she sees marginal improvements in the city, but it also makes it less affordable. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

Why: As a McMaster University student in religious studies, she practiced Sanskrit out loud on the trail. Now it's a type of meditation. Bergen has mixed feelings about the changes in Hamilton. "The city is becoming much less affordable," she says. "There is a small contingent, including relative newcomers to Hamilton, quite vocal about Hamilton pride and active in civic life. But I think too much of that is a whole lot of sound and fury with little true change."

Abra Bergen on the Bruce Trail

5 years ago
Duration 0:48
Abra Bergen describes her meaningful place - the Bruce Trail

Jaimie Lickers

Lawyer, Gowlings WLG

Meaningful place: Her house on Melbourne Street.

"I lost eight or nine houses in bidding wars," says Jaimie Lickers. "Every time I found a house I loved, it went to the competition." Finally, she found her Melbourne Street home, and she's not letting go of it. Lickers is a partner at Gowlings WLG and specializes in Aboriginal and constitutional law. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

Why: Originally from Six Nations, Lickers moved back to the area three years ago. She wanted an urban neighbourhood close to good food, and lost nine houses in bidding wars. Now she and her six-year-old daughter have a garden and big yard at their three-bedroom, pre-Second World War home. "This is the house for us," she says.

Jaimie Lickers at her home

5 years ago
Duration 0:41
Jaimie Lickers, Aboriginal and constitutional lawyer, on her Locke Street area home

Kambreia Cumberbatch

Co-manager, Hamilton Youth Steel Orchestra

Meaningful place: "The pan yard" rehearsal space, Wentworth St. N.

"We're a family," says Kambreia Cumberbatch, a Mountain resident who joined the Hamilton Street Youth Orchestra when she was eight. "It doesn't matter if you've been here for years, or if you've been here a few months." (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

Why: Cumberbatch joined the orchestra at age eight, when she was too shy to leave the doorway. Now she's a mentor to the younger players. "A lot of people want to join us and jam with us, and it doesn't matter what they play," she says. "We had some refugees come through who didn't speak a word of English. We communicated through music."

Kambreia Cumberbatch at the panyard

5 years ago
Duration 0:44
Kambreia Cumberbatch

What Hamilton place is meaningful to you?

Send us a photo of a place in Hamilton that is meaningful to you along and short blurb explaining why. We'd like to include some of your responses in a future roundup of Hamiltonians in their special places. You can send the item to hamilton@cbc.ca., post it to our facebook page, tag us in a tweet (@cbchamilton), or  post to Instagram with the hashtag #hamontidentity.


Samantha Craggs is journalist based in Windsor, Ont. She is executive producer of CBC Windsor and previously worked as a reporter and producer in Hamilton, specializing in politics and city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca