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We open at 188 Locke St. in Hamilton, Ontario later this spring.  But first a little history.

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Locke Street is located in Hamilton’s southwest corner, at the foot of the Niagara Escarpment.  Most of the homes and buildings in this area were built in the first ten or twenty years of the last century.  More recently the street has evolved into a vibrant and eclectic destination for locals and out-of-towners to meet for coffee, shopping, lunch or dinner, get a hair-cut, attend church, or just to hang out.

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Below is what 188 Locke Street looked like when we first knew it would “soon” be the home of Citizen Kid.

collectorsstoreThe building itself was not in very good shape.  The “Collector’s Store” had some great stuff in there but it was time for this corner to get freshened up.

A casual conversation with the owner of “Antiques on Locke” included an interesting bit of information about the building.  You can see where an old painted sign on the exterior wall was left uncovered when the building was plastered some years ago.  The sign reads “Jeffery’s Shoe Store”.  I was told that Mr. Jeffery was a very successful distance runner and, with the prize money from his victory at the New York Marathon, he opened his own shoe store here in Hamilton.

Below is a picture of what the building looks like now.

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I think I was able to catch the last moments of the “Jeffery’s Shoe Store” sign with these shots.  Some needed improvements are being made.  This includes windows.  Four on the street level and five on the upper level.

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Later this week the entire wall facing Locke street will be coming down.  It has some structural faults.  I will certainly try to get some photos of that operation!

Below is an architect’s rendition of what things will look like upon completion.  I found out today that there will be some major cosmetic differences from this picture in the end.  You will have to stay tuned to see how it turns out.

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Hi!  Welcome to the home of the Citizen Kid Blog. This space will be used for us to share information and updates about our store, Citizen Kid.

This is no ordinary toy store.  We are independent and locally owned. We’re excited and proud to be a new part of our community in Hamilton, and all of Southern Ontario.

Why are we called Citizen Kid?  We chose the name to highlight the idea that decisions made by kids (or on their behalf) reflect on that individual as a member of a good society.  A good citizen helps somebody cross the street,  holds open doors, and participates in their community.  We think they also make ethical decisions about what they buy.  One can choose high-quality, long lasting, and eco-friendly toys.  It’s an important concept to us – something we try to teach our own children.

So our toys are very carefully selected in accordance with some strict criteria.

  • They must be beautiful and well designed.  We understand that this is subjective but just wait until you see the store!
  • We strive to select toys that reflect an ethical approach to consumerism.  There is an emphasis on eco-friendly and fair-trade products.  That’s why so many of the toys we carry are made of natural materials and renewable resources and many are also certified “fair-trade” products.
  • They must be safe. We only carry toys from manufacturers who can ensure the safety of their products. Many of our products are made in Europe and North America. Those that are produced in Asia are made by reputable companies that have strict quality control, and have never had recalls for harmful substances in their toys, such as lead or other heavy metals.
  • Toys must stimulate a child’s desire to play and engage his or her imagination and creativity.

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We look forward to telling you more about the wonderful toys we carry and the ongoing development of our store.

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