Things To Do

5 things to watch for at Open Streets Hamilton

Click here for an in-depth interactive map of Sunday's Open Streets festivities.
Aasir and Taleen Diab colour on the James North sidewalk during June's Open Streets Hamilton event. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

Open Streets Hamilton is back — and it's much, much bigger.

This is the first ever multi-location Open Streets event in Hamilton, as McMaster and Westdale will be car-free and full of places to explore Sunday.

James Street North will be open to wandering eyes, too.

"We're trying to invite people onto campus to see what resources are available, even for non-students," said program co-ordinator Kathryn Wrong.

Open Streets is an initiative that tries to get people out and engaged in their community — and to do it without a car.

"If you're walking to a store you're celebrating the local economy and still being healthy," Wrong said.

In that spirit, here are five events to look for among the hordes of things happening at Open Streets this Sunday.


Ever want to watch university students clad in golden spandex chase each other with brooms between their legs?

You can at Open Streets. It's called quidditch — an adaptation of the fictional sport invented by J.K. Rowling in her immensely popular Harry Potter novels.

The sport started spreading into the real world in 2005, and now boasts an annual world cup tournament with 100 teams. You can catch the action just outside the John Hodgins Engineering Building.

Shoot to win with the Bulldogs

AHL hockey is set to garner more attention this fall with the NHL in a lockout — so check out the Hamilton Bulldogs Summer Festival Tour at open streets for the chance to win prizes.

For a donation to the Bulldogs Foundation you can put your hockey skills to the test in their shoot-to-win game.

Prizes include:

  • 4 tickets to the home opener versus the Toronto Marlies (X2)
  • Top Dogs magazines (30)
  • 2 for 1 ticket vouchers (80)
  • Bulldogs magnets (50)

Neighbourhood Food Drive

There's a food drive at both Open Streets locations, so keep it in mind and bring some non-perishables when you're heading out on Sunday.

On James Street North people can drop items off just outside Mission Services at Barton and James.

Then over at the university, the McMaster Student Union Bread Bin group will be collecting non-perishable items with wheelbarrows around campus.

Bike Tours

Bike tours are happening throughout the city to get people to and from Open Streets locations.

"We'd like people who aren't used to bike trails and the downtown to come and try it out," Wrong said.

Here are the locations:

University Plaza (park and bike location): 

Meet in the parking lot between Shoppers Drug Mart and Metro. Departure times at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Mac Cycle:

Outside Wentworth House on campus.

Departure times: East to James Street at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m., and West to University Plaza at 12:40 p.m. and 1:40 p.m.

James Street:

Departure times: Westbound to University Plaza at 12 p.m. and 4 p.m., as well as Eastbound to Gage Park at 4 p.m.

Gage Park (park and bike location): 

Meet in the parking lot near Lawrence Road. Departure time at 11 a.m.

Community Motion Awards:

While getting active and exploring the community, think about the Community in Motion Active Transportation Awards.

This award is used to recognize members of the community who have made an effort to actively support and promote the use of healthy and sustainable forms of transportation like walking, cycling, and public transit.

Anyone can be nominated, and anyone could win.

James Street North will be closed to cars and open to pedestrians, cyclists, and human-powered transit from King Street to Guise Street from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

McMaster's campus will be car-free along with Sterling Street from Forsyth to Dalewood, with activities in Westdale Village from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Shuttle buses are running to the University every hour from York and James, and from the psychology building at McMaster towards James Street.

These are just a smattering of the events happening over during Open Streets. For a complete listing, zoom in on McMaster or James Street on the interactive map below and have a look around.