News / London

New tree sculptures help promote Hamilton Road neighbourhood

Hamilton Road merchants are hoping some funky forestry will help bring people to their side of the city.

Hamilton Road corridor will be home of 10 hand-carved sculptures made from tree trunks. The first one, Bucky The Tile Town Beaver, will be unveiled Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Tile Town 
(465 Hamilton Rd.).

The Hamilton Road Area Business Association came up with idea as a way to promote local business activity. They’ve teamed up with London Tourism and hope to have all the trees completed by year’s end.

The sculptures are being made from recycled trees and carved by four artists. Each business involved will be identified with a particular tree that can also be found on the tourism London website.

The hope is that the trees will generate interest and traffic for the Hamilton Road area and its businesses, which include a bar and grill, a library, three public schools, a church, and an insurance company.

“If we start with this kind of thing, the businesses will come together and we can get cash flow and funding for improvements and turn Hamilton Road into a Wortley Road,” said Dave Broostad, vice-president of the Hamilton Road business association.

The idea for the project came up after the association commissioned a moosehead tree sculpture on the lawn in front of its own business.

“People were knocking on our door asking about it,” said Broostad. “We weren’t expecting the attention it got … it was off on a side street and no one knew it was there.”

The association is working with Tim Hortons to make a life-size figure skating couple to promote the World Figure Skating Championships here in March 2013. It will be located near the intersection of Hamilton Road and Highbury Avenue.

There will be QR codes on each tree that people can scan with their smartphones to get information about the carvings, the businesses, as well as the GPS coordinates to the next sculpture.

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