Hamilton residents celebrating Locke Street in wake of vandalism spree
Hamilton City Councillor Aidan Johnson (left) and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath (right) are shown at Hamilton's #LoveLockeDay on Saturday.
Chris Fox, CTV News Toronto
Published Saturday, March 10, 2018 11:04AM EST
Hundreds of Hamilton residents have descended on Locke Street as part of a grassroots campaign that was organized after a roaming mob of vandals caused about $100,000 in damage along the popular downtown street last Saturday night.
Hamilton has declared today #LoveLockeDay in celebration of the street and in support of the downtown business community that is still reeling in the wake of the senseless vandalism.
To mark the day, a number of Locke Street businesses are offering special deals and promotions and residents are being urged to share their love for the street on social media using the hashtag #LoveLockeDay.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has also paid for 250 donuts to be handed out to residents by staff at Donut Monster, which was one of the affected businesses.
“I have felt a lot of sadness about what happened and a lot of anger and fear but most of all I have been impressed by the incredible outpouring of love that I have seen since last Sunday morning when the community picked itself up, swept up the glass and really made a statement about who we are and what our values are,” Ward 1 Coun. Aidan Johnson said during the launch of the event on Saturday morning. “We clearly said last week that even though glass shattered in our neighbourhood love is unbreakable and we have continued to show that by taking care of each other and even coming out today just to be part of this beautiful weather and this absolutely spectacular moment for what is for most of us the best street in the world.”
Police have not made any arrests in connection with the vandalism spree but have said that it may have been connected to an anarchist book fair that had been taking place in the city.
The suspects, about 30 in total, were wearing masks and were carrying a sign that read, “We Are The Ungovernables,” according to police.
Speaking with those gathered at Locke Street on Saturday morning, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Keanin Loomis said that while he was “completely disheartened” by the vandalism last weekend he was “amazed” by the degree to which the community rallied around the businesses that were targeted.
About 12 businesses ended up being damaged by the vandals.
“Whenever tragedy hits this community we demonstrate that in fact this community is the best community in the world and Hamilton rallied around these businesses,” Loomis said.
A number of dignitaries are attending today's events on Locke Street, including Hamilton resident and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.