Yes, it’s true. On Sunday May 8th from 9am to 2pm Chef Danielle will be working off the menu to bring you some original, delectable, treats for a Mother’s Day Brunch. Come early to get a seat. Bring your mother or bring someone else’s mother, but don’t bring Whistler’s Mother unless you intend to leaver her here!

Happy Mother’s Day!


From Vancouver to Montreal to Toronto, from Rain Forests to Universities, the work of this young artist strives to evoke the wonder and struggle of growth. Her work is playful, evoking a sense of surprise and delight in the world around her.

Anna works primarily with water colours but has a soft spot for salvaged and vintage materials with all the history and memory latent in found objects. She keeps a blog at It is about sprouty things and art. I like that she see the sadness implied in our facility with cynicism and our unfamiliarity with awe.

Anna Borstad’s art is on exhibit at the Heart of the Hammer Cafe from April 1-30 2011. She invites you to join her at the cafe on the evening of April 15th from 5-8pm; a nice chance to discuss sprouty things, art and awe.

One of our returning favourites, Fred Magie, has been writing and performing for ten years. He had a great 2010 including the recording of his fourth album and a nomination for a Hamilton Music Award. His music is reminiscent of Neil Young, but unlike him Fred Magie is one of those people of whom we will all be able to say “I knew him when…

when he played at the Heart of the Hammer”.

Come on out to the cafe on Thursday March 24th to help us appreciate such talent in our own little neighbourhood.

The grass is not always greener. Hanna Kostanski, a Hamiltonian with a BFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design, is inspired by urban landscapes. Her textured paintings of the abandoned architecture of Detroit capture the feelings of our own steel town tremors; a sadness mixed with optimism, decay usurping grandeur.

Hanna Kostanski was born in Szczecin, Poland in 1983 and came to Hamilton with her family in 1988. She has nurtured “a lifelong relationship of active observation and interaction with my surroundings. My experiences with landscape have allowed me to distill my aesthetic choices and forced me to recognize the environment as fragile, volatile, and constantly changing. My current body of work references the role of memory in the amended landscape, exploring a personal retelling of the experienced environment.”

Hanna’s work, Still Standing: Detroit, January 2009 to January 2010 can be seen at the Heart of the Hammer Cafe until March 31st 2011.

Naomi Martin has been creating art for longer than she can remember. At the age of three, in order to raise money for orphans in Africa, she initiated a “Colouring Recital” where adults and children can make art in different media. Coinciding with her 4th annual Coloring Recital, Naomi’s own art will be on exhibit at the Heart of the Hammer Cafe, including pottery and a series of self-portraits.

Drop by the cafe before the end of February to support a local emerging artist, and if you fancy making art yourself, swing by her Colouring Recital on Saturday February 12th from 9am-12noon at Ryerson United Church, 842 Main Street E, Hamilton On. This year’s recital features live music by Kori Pop, Crystal Niemi and Amy Savin with visual arts by you, and the many other folks who are inspired by this young artist.


Like the rest of your red-blooded, community-oriented neighbours, you probably dream of spending an intimate Valentines Brunch huddled over a hot drink with the smell of something chocolatey permeating the air amid the sound of… well… the rest of your neighbours?

Join us at the Heart of the Hammer Cafe on Sunday February 13th from 9am-2pm for Valentine Crepes with Chef Danielle. The menu includes ♥ Chicken Molé ♥ Roasted Tomato and Pepper Compote with Woolwich Chevre ♥ Spiced Pumpkin with Dark Chocolate ♥ Roasted Apple and White Chocolate with Toasted Almonds

Sundays just don’t get sweeter than that!

Hello Good Neighbours! We’re looking forward to a fun-filled holiday season, some time off for good behaviour and new hours for a new year. Please see below, spread the word, tell your friends and shout it from the rooftops cause I will feel bad if you show up in a snowstorm with no where else to go and I am not here!

Holiday Highlights:

  • Thursday December 16th: Chris Hau and the Bloody Five, live at 8pm
  • Friday December 17th: Beer Tasting with Cameron’s Brewing, 5-8pm
  • Saturday December 18th: Stories from the North Pole with BJ Elf, 10am
  • Sunday December 19th: Chef Danielle serves up crepes, 9am-2pm
  • Wednesday December 22nd: Christmas Party featuring BJ Elf, Neighbourhood Ornament Exchange and Cookie Contest, 4pm onward


December 23rd – January 3rd: CLOSED except for Happy Hour with Don Grunsten on:

  • Tuesday December 28th, 5pm onward
  • Wednesday December 29th, 5pm onward
  • Thursday December 30th, 5pm onward

NEW HOURS FOR A NEW YEAR: (Starting January 4th 2011)

  • Mondays: CLOSED
  • Tuesdays: 8am-10pm
  • Wednesdays: 8am-10pm
  • Thursdays: 8am-11pm
  • Fridays: 8am-11pm
  • Saturdays: 8am-11pm
  • Sundays: 9am-2pm

So if you come by and see the lights on over the holidays it will be either a) Happy Hour with Don Grunsten, b) a family visit c) evidence of acute agoraphobia or d) a burglary. Please feel free to investigate! See you soon.

Cameron’s Auburn is rapidly becoming the favourite Craft Beer in Hamilton, if not the favourite beer altogether. Since we have only one tap at the cafe, that tap is reserved for the Auburn. When folks ask me what it tastes like I say things like “It’s my favourite” and “I didn’t like beer before I tried the Auburn”. Well, this wasn’t quite enough info for Anna and Carla so after they tried it, they wrote their own description and preserved it for posterity:

On Friday December 17th from 5-8pm you can sample the finest craft beer in Ontario and ask all the questions you want from the knowledgeable folks at Cameron’s Brewing.


This is a busy month at the Heart of the Hammer. We’ll update the events page with new events as they appear. And yes, if you’d just love to treat your team to happy hour at the cafe, give us a call!

Thursday Dec 2: TK Dallman live at 8pm

Friday Dec 3: Happy Hour with Guernsey Girl 5-8pm

Saturday Dec 4: Cartoons & Cappuccino, 7am-10am

Saturday Dec 4: Kid Crafters with Sarah Merritt at 3pm; make hand made Christmas stockings!

Saturday Dec 4: Live Jam with Steve Currie, 4pm

Sunday Dec 5: Crepes Brunch from 9am-2pm

Tuesday Dec 6: Book Club with Julie Gordon, 7pm

Thursday Dec 9: Shelley Adams, live at 8pm!

Saturday Dec 11: Cartoons & Cappuccino, 7am-10am

Sunday Dec 12: Crepes Brunch from 9am-2pm

Thursday Dec 16: The Bloody Five and Chris Hau live at 8pm

Friday Dec 17: Beer tasting with Cameron’s Brewing, 5-8pm

Friday Dec 17: Happy (Birthday!) Hour with Julie and Karen, 5-8pm

Saturday Dec 18: Stories from the North Pole with BJ Elf, 10am

Sunday Dec 19: Crepes Brunch with Chef Danielle, 9am-2pm

Wednesday Dec 22: Heart of the Hammer Christmas Party, Ornament Exchange and Cookie Contest, 4pm-Ornament Exchange with BJ Elf, 6pm Holiday Cheer – All Welcome! (Bring your best home-made cookies to share, be judged and win a prize for yummiest or most artistic!) Oh- and Karaoke Christmas Carols!!

Holiday Hours TBA (We’ll be closed for a bit, suffice it to say!)

Community Christmas Ornament Exchange

Friends and neighbours are invited to create an ornament for the cafe’s Christmas tree. Make it, bake it, create it but bring it in as soon as possible to share with the neighbourhood. Then at the Christmas party on December 22nd, Santa’s own BJ Elf will be on hand to facilitate an ornament exchange so that you will have a different ornament to hang on your tree at home!

In addition, our featured artists have been asked to create original ornaments which will be hung on the gallery wall – and will be for sale!

We know there are a lot of very creative people in our city and we hope this collaborative art project showcases some of your talent.  Have fun!

Have I mentioned the Christmas Party? Stay tuned for a note about all the great stuff going on at the cafe this month!