James Street is the street of trade, commerce, and civic administration. Throughout its mile and a half James Street has but two movie houses. None of the city’s half dozen night clubs is there, and eating places don't rise above the bakelitetable-and-paper-napkin variety. It is not the longest street in Hamilton nor, as far as land values are concerned, the richest. But it is, and always has been, the most important. In one stretch of three hundred feet most of the city’s daily reserves of folding money (about 12 million dollars’ worth) repose in the vaults of half a dozen banks and trust companies. In this same block you can buy a diamond pendant for $50.000 or a pair of earrings for fifty cents, order a fortymillion-dollar bridge or a forty-dollar suit, buy as many stocks as you dare and as many tranquilizers as you need. This block is the solar plexus of the street and the heart of the city."

Frank Croft in “Streets of Canada: James” from Macleans Magazine, October 24, 1959

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