Paul Wilson

Latest from Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson: Don't go to Barton & Sherman on New Year's Eve

The Britannia Tavern, around since the 1920s, has issued a party invitation. Don't believe it. Also in this edition of Sign Past Its Time, Dack's is back... and sadly, the Christmas windows of Eaton's are not.

Paul Wilson: No one sees downtown's most beautiful room

They closed the Hamilton post office more than 20 years ago. The grand lobby's marble and bronze treasures from the 1930s still shine, but you have to get past a man with a metal detector to see them.

Paul Wilson: Hamilton's secret guitar maker to the world

Good quality guitars are now coming out of China. But in Hamilton's factory zone, a maker of high-end guitars says business is great. And Aerosmith's bass player just loves his.

Paul Wilson: Grand & Toy quits store in core; Roots rolls on

Grand & Toy, stationers, opened their first Hamilton outlet in 1956. They shut their stores in the suburbs eight years ago, and now downtown will fall too. Meanwhile, at the other end of Jackson Square, Roots is still in business – even though it too left the suburbs of Hamilton behind.

Paul Wilson: Hamilton's oldest puzzle is made of stone

Three years ago they tore down the Thomas Building, beside the Lister Block on James North. The facade is now in a thousand pieces, but will rise again. Why can't that method work for the buildings under threat on Gore Park?

Paul Wilson: Love your city more at the new Hamilton Store

Clobbered Cranberry mustard, a fridge magnet with your now-demolished school on it, city maps from a century ago – find everything Hamilton at a new shop on James Street North.

Paul Wilson: Big Top Restaurant's long-lost circus mural is back

The Big Top, at the corner of Main and Sherman for more than 60 years, just finished some renovations. The owners made the most amazing discovery.

Paul Wilson: Wreckers wait for Grove Hall, 1930s palace of play

Grove Hall, still beautiful and used every day, has provided recreation on the grounds of the old Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital for more than 80 years. Soon it will be torn down.

Paul Wilson: Crowbar Restaurant on Barton – first stop after jail

The restaurant across from the Barton Street Hilton has been known as the Crowbar ever since the jail was built. There have been many proprietors along the way, and Maria is the latest. She takes no guff, but can show kindness to the men in jailhouse orange.

Paul Wilson: Grey Cup bets – Hamilton's worst losers

Mori and Ray always bet $100 on the Grey Cup. Somebody had to lose, but they didn't have to cough up gracefully. How about a Brink's truck full of pennies? A toilet full of concrete? The winnings stashed in a mess of smelly sardines?

Paul Wilson: The Jones House – trespassers and developers beware

An 1800s house in downtown Stoney Creek has been in the same family for more than 60 years. It will soon go on the market and heritage fans are worried.

Paul Wilson: Late to the party, Hortons finally unveils cup sleeve

No more double-cupping of hot drinks at Hortons. Next week, long after the other chains, Hortons starts using cardboard sleeves.

Paul Wilson: Mystery fire – exorcist says Crabby Joe must go

The blaze that ripped through an eatery on Main West is just one more misfortune at that address. An exorcist who tried a dozen years ago to rid the building of its bad karma says it's time to surrender.

Paul Wilson: Hamilton's master gas jockey hangs up the hose

The service station that bears his name has been a fixture on Upper Wellington for nearly 60 years, but Keith Whitwell is finally calling it a day. However one of the last independents in Hamilton will keep filling your tank and wiping your windshield.

Paul Wilson: 75 years after Nazi rampage – the girl who got away

Hamilton marks the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the dark night that opened the door to the Holocaust.