News / Toronto

Hamilton and Toronto to lift the Steel Curtain

With local food, flags and music, the pop-up consulate coming to Toronto is designed to attract business and investors.

Hamilton is trying to move past its industrial image with a new diplomatic mission in downtown Toronto.

Hamilton Spectator

Hamilton is trying to move past its industrial image with a new diplomatic mission in downtown Toronto.

A new consulate will pop up in Toronto this week — not from some recently independent city-state but a blossoming boomtown just an hour away.

Representatives from Hamilton are staging a temporary consulate to try to overcome their reputation as a “cultural hinterland,” said Glen Norton, director of economic development for the city.

“It’s about changing awareness of Hamilton as a place to do business,” he said.

The cities have always had a close relationship, but this week will take it to the next level. A round of speed dating will give Torontonians and Hamiltonians a chance to mix, mingle and share insights about “The Hammer.”

The line-up for Supercrawl, Hamilton’s annual music and art festival, will also be announced, with performances from a group of Hamilton artists.

Norton said people often think of Hamilton as a “one-horse town” but it’s actually the most diversified economy in the country, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

“We do make steel and we’re very proud of that, but it isn’t even our biggest employer anymore,” he added.

Representatives from nascent industries such as tech and fashion will be on hand at a number of events, including a fashion show featuring Hamilton designers.

Local designer Angela DeMontigny is leading that show and is eager to champion Hamilton’s “bourgeoning fashion industry.”

“It’s letting people know that there’s all sorts of fabulous creative stuff going on here that people probably don’t know about,” she said.

“I think people will be really pleasantly surprised.”

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