Beautiful Alleys’ 3rd City Wide Cleanup took place Saturday April 16th. Up here on the mountain, volunteers met at 11am on East 23rd and, armed with garbage bags and gloves, the cavalry set off in to the alleys between east 22nd and East 24th as well as roughly 100 other locations throughout the city to see what beauty they could uncover.

Bullet Proof Heating and Cooling’s very own Phil Bradshaw was there once again this year to photograph the event on Concession Street and to, of course, get his hands dirty and help out the group. Despite a small turn out for the event this past fall, the city wide volunteers were able to achieve some amazing things.

A Look at Last Year’s Numbers – Beautiful Alleys Fall 2015 achievements include:

  • Cleaning up at Least 60 alleys across Hamilton
  • Filling 900 yard waste bags
  • Picking up 600 garbage bags worth of waste
  • Separating 200 bags worth of recyclables

Imagine, if you will, a community where everyone was interested in dedicating just a few hours of their day a couple of times a year to pretty up their city and what that effort could achieve.

Hamilton has an abundance of stunning examples of architecture and rich history along our streets, it really is a shame that we take the beauty of Hamilton for granted. Everyone is so busy being busy in a large city that we sometimes forget to take pride in our neighborhoods.

If we are capable of accomplishing so much with a smaller than expected turn out think of how sparkly our alleys could be if we all just decided, instead of binge watching 8 episodes of our favourite television show, to get up and help out our community. Beautiful Alleys will continue to happen and hopefully continue to grow and maybe even become so large one day that it becomes a general city wide clean up, not just relegated to alleys, but our streets, parks, waterfalls, and hiking trails.

If everybody were able to just dedicate a few hours a year to keeping it fresh and clean Hamilton could become one of the most beautiful cities in Ontario, Nay the world!

I know this sounds lofty and I know I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here, but the point that I am dramatically trying to make is that Beautiful Alleys is a worthwhile effort and the more people involved the more pride we can take in our home town.

This year the movement started with about 600 volunteers that had signed up, by the end of the day roughly 1000 Hamiltonians had come out to lend a hand to this city wide makeover and it’s only going to keep getting more beautiful. The event organizers have stated that the next step is going to be to plant gardens, incorporate local art, and install better lighting.

The dream of a city where the citizens don’t avoid the alleys at all costs, but instead take their kids on neighbourhood walks just to go down and see the beauty in them, is not so far off any more. Beautiful Alleys is doing something incredible, you can feel the excitement, you can see the difference it is making, here’s to the beginning of a new Hamilton!

Final approximate numbers for neighbourhood clean-up April 16, 2016:

  • 650 Volunteers
  • 200 Alleys
  • 1300 Garbage bags
  • 650 Recycle bags
  • 700 leaf and yard waste bags
  • 500 Bulk items
  • 50 needles

Thank you to everyone who came out to help make our community that much nicer!