Thanks to the I Heart Hamilton blog and Instagram account, Kristin Archer has become an ambassador for her hometown of Hamilton, Ont.
For Kristin Archer, 29, creator of the I Heart Hamilton blog (@ihearthamont on Instagram), Steeltown has always been home. And as someone who learned all about local activities and hot spots from her parents, she was tired of hearing from high school friends that there was never anything to do. That's why, after graduating from McMaster University in 2011, she started her blog (with the tagline "Be a tourist in your own city") and got busy exploring her town and the surrounding area.
Since then, she's written about and taken snaps of innumerable restaurants, shops and festivals—becoming a Hamilton ambassador of sorts in the process—all with the aim of showcasing a thriving city. Kristin's pictures, and those of her BFF and photo contributor, Lisa Vuyk, are bright and unstaged. "I like the shots to look as natural as possible," she says. "I want them to reflect my life and experiences in Hamilton."
Her passion for celebrating the city on Instagram encourages people to rethink their out-of-date ideas of a town that's been all about industry. "I've always loved it here. I want to share it with everyone, and inspire others to explore it, too."
Kristin's fast four:
1. Coffee shop: Cannon Coffee Co.
"They have all these waffle sandwiches that are the best; you can get sweet or savoury."
2. Restaurant: Work
"It's super friendly, with an eclectic menu—I love the avocado fries. It's right next to a great music venue, This Ain't Hollywood."
3. Shop: Girl on the Wing
"Hamilton is big on vintage culture. This shop has unique pieces and a lot of contemporary brands, too."
4. Art crawl: James Street North Art Crawl
"The second Friday of each month is a great time to check out galleries and live music."
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