Hamilton Alleyways Project(s)

Alleyways are a defining feature of older urban neighbourhoods. Such extensive networks of passageways and open spaces offer easy access to homes and businesses with minimal car interference. Rather than developing alleys for the benefit of the community, they have become forgotten, underused and abused public spaces. City staff has said illegal dumping, overgrown vegetation, and drainage problems top the list of complaints. Ward 3, which includes the GALA neighbourhood, has over 37 kilometers of Alleyways, representing 37% of all alleyways in Hamilton and the largest percentage of alleyways in any ward (City of Hamilton, Alleyway Review).

Beautifying community spaces by adding green, public space not only renews the space, but has been proven to improve our community’s water quality, build neighbourhoods, increase bicycle and pedestrian connections and increase natural habitats for birds and butterflies.

Through our Hamilton Alleyways Project, Green Venture is working to identify spaces, plan, design, and revitalize urban pubic spaces.

2017 Alley Projects

From March 2017 through to March 2018, over 40 volunteers helped transform three of Hamilton’s alleys into more dynamic, greener spaces. The three alleys included Lottridge Alley, Sherman Alley, and the Trocadero Alley. Funding was provided courtesy of the Hamilton Future Fund.

Lottridge Alley

Lottridge Alley, running north of Barton St E between Lottridge St and Barnesdale Ave N, received several upgrades. These include a mural depicting Hamilton’s steel work and health care history, planter boxes to house traditional Indigenous plants along with some herbs and veggies open to the community, numerous birdhouses and bird feeders placed around the area, and a garbage can to encourage more responsible waste disposal for those passing through the alley.

Sherman Alley

The Sherman Alley runs between Sherman Ave N and Earl St, north of Barton St E. The improvements to this alley include a large honey bee mural on the back of a local business, a little free library to spread the love of books, pavement art, planter boxes planted with native and pollinator species, bird feeders, and seating to encourage people to spend time browsing the books in the little library.

Trocadero Alley

The Trocadero Alley, aka “Lois’ Lane”, runs between Westinghouse Ave and Sanford Ave N, also north of Barton. It earned its nicknames from the community’s recognition of the Trocadero Restaurant and its owner, Lois. The restaurant has been a staple of that block for over 75 years, and Lois is well-known in the area for continually cleaning up the alley. In partnership with the Beautiful Alleys team, a large-scale mural depicting an Italian restaurant scene was added, along with a fence art installation of a superhero. A painted rain barrel was also added to help with storm water management, and planter boxes to grow local veggies. The Hamilton Naturalists’ Club and Pollinators Paradise provided a native species garden bed as well.

2015 Project

Westmill Alley

Our pilot project took place in 2015 just north of Barton St, between Milton Ave and Westinghouse Ave, to include native species gardens, solar lighting, local art, natural playgrounds and games, and so much more.

In September 2015, over 30 volunteers came together to transform the “Westmill Alley” (running from Westinghouse Ave to Milton Ave, north of Barton St E) by planting native species wildflowers and plants, installing benches, lighting and birdhouses, and adding a mural!

See all of the pictures from the Westmill Alley pilot project here.

Watch a video by Liz Chernichenko about the Westmill Alley project

Click here and here to listen to our interviews on CFMU 93.3 about the project.

Westmill Alley Project Funder

Westmill Alley Project Partners