Checking in with Downtown

Part 2: Joyous January

We understand that January can be a complicated month, with many conflicting experiences and feelings that can make it difficult to navigate. On one hand, it can feel like a time of renewal and growth due to the recent New Year’s resolutions that many of us made. On the other hand, there is a lot of pressure that comes with keeping on track with these resolutions, and the weather recently has been very gloomy with fewer hours of bright sunlight to help cheer us up. This is also a difficult time for businesses as well, as the hustle and bustle of the holidays have worn off and they may not be as busy as they were during the holiday season. This presents a perfect opportunity where both parties can benefit, as you can visit any one of the incredible businesses in the downtown core to make your January a little more joyous while simultaneously helping some of the businesses that make our community so great all year!

One action that is sure to make your January more joyous is treating yourself to a delicious cup of coffee, something that is sure to warm you up during these cold and rainy days. One amazing option that you will be sure to enjoy is Relay Coffee Roasters, located at 27 King William Street. This café serves small batch, fair trade, and organic coffee, acting as a staple of Hamilton since 2008. Their business model focuses on improving the sustainability of the coffee industry, as they believe in the economic independence of the farmers and the development of their communities, and that coffee should be grown and harvested sustainably to ensure a healthy planet and communities. In addition to a classic cup of coffee, their menu also includes cold brew, iced tea, lemonade, beers, and hard teas, any of which you are sure to find delicious. They also sell delicious treats such as cookies, savoury biscuits, and waffles. Relay Coffee Roasters has created a café with a great atmosphere and even better food and drinks, sure to be a bright spot in this dreary January. You can find more about Relay Coffee Roasters and shop online through their website here, and then follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

If you are looking for a fun and exciting experience to attend this January, look no further than The Assembly, located at 68 King Street East (within Redchurch Café+Gallery). The Assembly is an artist run co-op that showcases contemporary art on a rotating basis. They currently have a new exhibit running until January 29, entitled “again and again and again” that features the works of artists Sarah Kernohan, Gareth Lichty and Mark Prier. Kernohan’s work involves collages from photographic fragments of rocks, assembling and re-configuring them into new rock configurations. Lichty creates woodcut prints on paper, using lines and colours to create optical distortions. Prier utilizes coolers, ropes, and tennis balls, transforming them into unique forms that are both unsettling and mundane. This gallery space has new exhibits on a consistently rotating basis, and they are an easy way to incorporate some beauty and fun into your routine. You can find more information about The Assembly and its exhibits on their website here, and then follow them on Facebook and Instagram.  

If you want to buy yourself something new as a treat, you should make an effort to visit LEN: Democratic Purveyors of Fine Art & Beautiful Things, located at 22 Wilson Street. They are a store that has a truly impressive range of products, selling art prints, clothing, home products, books, and general gifts like mugs, candles, pins and patches, amongst much more. You can ring in the new year with a new 2023 calendar, or buy one of the many Hamilton-themed products to show your support and love for our city. You can find more information about Len: Democratic Purveyors of Fine Art & Beautiful Things and shop online through their website here, and then follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

If you are looking to visit a restaurant and enjoy a great night out, you should make an effort to visit Capri Ristorante, located at 25 John Street North. This restaurant focuses on homemade Italian comfort food, with classic dishes like gnocchi, risotto and cannelloni, and new favourites like their signature pizzas baked in their wood-fire pizza oven. Their joyous dining room and friendly staff will make you feel right at home, and you are sure to find anything from their menu delicious. You can find more information, including their menu, on their website here, and then follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

The final thing that could make January a little more joyous is to pamper yourself, and Vagabond Saints Tattoo Lounge & Spa, located at 10 John Street North, is a perfect option. The start of a new year is the perfect time to add something fresh to your look, and Vagabond Saints offers tattoos, piercings, and nail services that would make an amazing choice that will leave you looking and feeling incredible. You can find more information about the services that Vagabond Saints Tattoo Lounge & Spa offers and meet some of their artists through their website here, and then follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


January can be a tough month, both for individuals and businesses, but it doesn’t have to be! There are steps to take that can help make January a little more joyous for both you and the local businesses in your area. Visiting these businesses and purchasing something can help make your day a little brighter, and will help these local businesses during a traditionally slow time in their year. The businesses listed in this blog post are only some of the incredible options to make your January more joyous, so make sure to pay them a visit soon!

If you are a Downtown Hamilton BIA member business and would like to be featured in a blog post, please email Emily Gilruth at



The Downtown Update is the e-newsletter sent by the Downtown Hamilton Business Improvement Area to keep both members of the BIA and interested supporters of Downtown up-to-date with activities and issues in the core of our community.