Checking in with Downtown

Part 1

At Home for January

It has started to feel like restrictions and shutdowns are a new January tradition over the past few years. While this is one tradition we hope doesn’t stick around, we wanted to give a bit of a refresher on what you can still do during this stage of the pandemic and how we can continue to show up for and support our favourite businesses.

Ontario has moved to a modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen meaning the restrictions in place, now until at least January 26, we have seen before in some shape or form. In this step restaurants and bars are closed for indoor dining (take out is permitted), retail settings, including shopping malls, are limited to 50 per cent capacity, and concert venues, theatres, cinemas, museums, galleries, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions are all closed to visitors. Personal care services (like hair, nail, tattoo & piercing services) are permitted at 50 per cent capacity and additional restrictions on certain services. In terms of meeting up with others, social gatherings are limited to five people indoors and 10 people outdoors. For a full rundown of changes to restrictions please click here.

In the best of times January can be a slow and dragging month, for businesses but also for everyone as a whole as we get over the holidays and move into typically dreary weather. By now many of us are well versed in working from home or staying in, but it is important to check in with your favourite businesses to see how they are adjusting to restrictions and what policies they are enacting. Although retailers are permitted to be open at 50 per cent capacity some shops might not find it safe or sustainable to stay open and may switch to curbside or delivery options. For example, one of our newest downtown additions, Upcycled Aviary, has closed in-store shopping until February 1 but their online store continues to be open with Canada-wide shipping & free curbside pickup. Mablellie’s Drawer has moved to appointment only for in-person shopping, you can book an appointment by phone at 905 536 4247 or by direct messaging them on their social media. Personal care services are adjusting as well, you can find full details on changes and what services are available at Vagabond Saints Tattoo Lounge & Spa on their Instagram here.

Many of us are still recovering from the hustle and bustle of the holidays, take out is a great option that takes one less thing off your to-do list and is vital to help your favourite restaurants stay afloat. A full list of restaurants in our area can be found online here. While most restaurants are found on one or several popular delivery apps, consider calling restaurants directly for delivery or take out if the option is available. Delivery services are a great way for our restaurants to reach as many people as possible, but if you are able to order directly it can help assist restaurants in cutting down some of the fees required to use these services. Along with the downtown staples we have come to know and love there are some great new restaurant options open now including Taste of Lagos (54 James St. N), Afrolicious (46 James St. N), Mumma’s Burritos (96 Main St. E), and Acropolis Greek Taverna (85 John St. S).

The weight of continuous pandemic uncertainty has been heavy and stressful for so many. If you are able to support restaurants and retailers with purchases throughout these trying times the effort would be beyond appreciated. What could be a simple meal or little pick me up for a customer means the world to a small business.  Having options for food, retail and more still available brings a little bit of joy to a difficult experience.

If you are a Downtown Hamilton BIA member business and would like to be featured on a blog post please email Suzi Ozer 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.