The International Village has been a thriving community for well over a hundred years. Though the commercial fabric has changed dramatically over the years, it has always been a meeting place for people and businesses from all corners of the world.
The commercial nature of the Village began in the mid-1800s by providing services to those people who traveled by rail.
Ferguson Station, the heart of the International Village, was the Hamilton terminal for the Grand Trunk Railway Company and the principle passenger station for all of Downtown Hamilton. In the early years, Ferguson Street formed the eastern boundary of Hamilton.
At that time our area consisted of merchant tailors, ladies milliners, dry goods shops, confectioners, a watchmaker, flour and feed outlets, livery stables, a laundry, a blacksmith and two hotels.
By the mid 1940s our commercial area had increased in the number of businesses and also in the type of business available to our customers.
These included a pharmacy, a meat and grocery store, several restaurants, mens and ladies clothing shops, shoe repair, bake shops, furniture and home appliances, a card shop, hardware, oriental carpets and a flower shop.
In 1953 there was a train derailment at the corner of Ferguson and Rebecca Streets. This photo shows the mural that was painted at the corner of Ferguson and King depicting this event.
By the mid 1970s the rail line had long gone and the commercial viability of our neighbourhood had become more eclectic, including a book store, a sewing centre, a linen shop, more furniture and appliance stores, more ladies and mens clothing shops, more restaurants and bake shops, a pet store, a hobby shop, textile shops, ladies and mens shoes, two cinemas, several hair salons and car parking lots.