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Cultural study examining Hamilton neighborhoods


Expressing Vibrancy is a study that aims to find out what a community needs to be truly “vibrant”.

The research project is being led by the non-profit organization CoBALT Connects-a team fostering creative communities-in conjunction with McMaster University and is also supported by the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Mitacs.

After seeing the term “vibrant communities” pop up in municipal cultural planning documents, the team wondered what that really meant.

The project chose eight neighborhoods to study with the goal of really getting to the root of what makes people feel that their community is vibrant. This could be a street with available benches, parks with big trees, a safe way to walk your kids to school, or anything at all.

The chosen neighborhoods are listed below:

Locke Street South
Downtown Dundas
James Street North
Concession Street
Barton Village
Westdale Village
Ottawa Street



Right now, the project is in one of it’s final stages and is looking for volunteers to take part. The commitment is for only about two hours. For this study, participants will be placed in McMaster’s new LIVE lab (kind of like a big, technologically advanced movie theatre) and see images of neighborhoods (Sidewalks, parks, shops etc) and will be asked to record how different things in the images make them feel about that community.

Participants will go a long way in helping to prove or disprove some of Expressing Vibrancy’s theories. Plus, I hear there may be refreshments!

These opportunities are coming up. For more information please get in touch by emailing Karen at

You can read about the entire research project here.



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