For Peter Mercanti it all started in Abruzzo Italy, the second born to Giuseppe and Iolanda Mercanti.  Traditionally the people of Abruzzo have been known for their kindness and exquisite cuisine, hence Peter’s passion for people and food.

Giuseppe Mercanti and Iolanda Mancini  were born and raised in Abruzzo where the two families farmed the land on a sharecropping basis, it was here where Giuseppe fell in love with his beloved Iolanda.  After a short eight month engagement, Giuseppe and Iolanda were married, September…

Volunteers collect tons of garbage
The Bay Observer
More than 24,000 volunteers rolled up their sleeves and collected more than 7,600 bags of garbage and recyclable materials. It’s all part of the City of Hamilton’s Team Up to
The Bay Observer
Financial statements issued by the Hamilton Waterfront Trust show the agency continues to struggle to survive as a going concern. This, despite a revenue-producing contract with the City to oversee
MacKids Miracle Weekend Raises More Than $250,000
The Bay Observer
McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation celebrated its annual Miracle Weekend earlier this month MacKids, their families and hundreds of community members joined together for the weekend which  featured two major events:
Joseph Brant Hospital expansion
The Bay Observer
Brad Coulter apparently never forgot the special care he received in the nursery of Joseph Brant Hospital. The first baby ever born there in 1961 is now 56, living in
Wind: 10mph W
Humidity: 87%
Bay Area Weather
Hamilton schools get Indigo school library grants
The Bay Observer
Three Hamilton elementary schools are among 30 Canadian high-needs elementary schools across the country who will receive the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation’s annual Literacy Fund grants. Those getting grants
Almost Smooth Sailing for HPA
The Bay Observer
From handling soybeans to salt to real estate, the Hamilton Port Authority had a robust 2016, reporting a profit of $8 million dollars. According to the HPA, the revenue boost
Gretzky will relive Canada Cup glory at Carmen’s gala
The Bay Observer
As early as the age of 11, the world’s best hockey player had the cash registers jingling at arena box offices. The largest crowd in Burlington’s hockey history – 2,300
The Bay Observer
Council did not vote on 2011 EA With the deadline for public commentary on the LRT Environmental Assessment approaching, at least one group is preparing a challenge to the EA.



Trump, Trudeau and Wynne?  Forget about it.  The first question I’m often asked, either by phone or in person isn’t about politics. It’s “how are the Rowdies?”  The Rowdies are Rocky and Sunny. Bichon and Yorkshire Terrier. My buds.

I introduced the Rowdies to the pages of the Observer after the passing of my wife.  The Rowdies had gone silent.  Little interest…

Monthly Editorial

Written by:

The case has been well made that members of Hamilton City Council should be able to have meals served during meetings. Anybody who remembers the bad old days when council met at night sometimes after tarrying a bit too long at the cocktail hour will say it is much better to bring the food service in-house.

And it was probably OK to serve the lunches for free at a time when councillors were effectively part-timers, earning a part-time salary. But those days are long gone—councillors are now earning, if not an executive salary, at least a good living of nearly double the median wage in Hamilton.

There is now no excuse to continue a practice that in this age of close scrutiny and fiscal constraint suffers from poor optics. $33,000 a year, the annual council food budget, is indeed a drop in the bucket, and –we’re not going to resort to the time-honoured bromide of listing all the things that $33,000 could buy—but the message of entitlement that this practice sends out is unacceptable.

Payment is quite…

Written by:

Now that US media outlets are starting to openly discuss impeachment with regard to Donald Trump, it’s probably a good idea to look back at the only impeachment that resulted in a president resigning—that of Richard Nixon. Going online, the first thing that strikes one is the relatively measured and low key tone of the media coverage in 1974. Reading the stories filed in the Washington Post by reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein you can’t help but draw a contrast between the tone of those stories and the hair-on-fire stuff we currently see on CNN. Then the reporters crafted stories that simply piled fact on fact in an almost dispassionate tone. It took the New York Times and the broadcast media a while to catch up to the Washington Post, but again there was little of what we see now – a race between news outlets to be the first to report some small tidbit. Of course the big difference between now and then was the absence of cable news. The only TV…

Written by:

This is not directed at those members of Hamilton City Council, who read reports, ask probing questions and generally try to master their portfolios. But it has to be said that too often things are slipping through the cracks in a system that seems designed more to manage City Council than to report to council. There once was a time, when councillors were considered part-time and perhaps could be forgiven for gaps in subject expertise.  But now in Hamilton we are paying these representative nearly double the median individual wage and it is time to demand more, now that the municipal level of government is increasingly shouldering the burden in so many aspects of daily life.

Take for example the annual budget process. Council may think they are voting on a budget, but what they are really voting on is a binder full of PowerPoint presentations, crafted by staff who have no incentive whatever to reduce staffing or costs. Nowhere is there line by line financial detail. Many years ago councillors would sit in budget…

Culture & Living

This Australian opus delivers a festive “feet, do your stuff” kaleidoscopic pageant of colour, music and movement. Visions of Astaire, Kelly, Rogers, Miller and Murray (“Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing In A Hurry”) dance in memory to a once celebrated art form. Dancing in this age is defined by arm waving, grinding and bumping to high decibel thumping in crowded night clubs, while ballroom dancing is just a footnote in the public conscience. This show then is a welcome return of the classy sophistication once enjoyed by practioners who whirled, twirled, and dipped on the dance floor

The standard narrative (underdog gaining respect) adds drama, but the classic music and dance is the major factor, a motivation for the talented cast and for winning audience pleasure. When was the last time you enjoyed dancing to, or watching, the traditional variations of graceful movement at the core of the beguine, tango, waltz, flamenco, samba, etc.
“Strictly Ballroom” started out as a student play about competitive dancing. In 1992, Oz director Baz Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge”) transformed the work into a movie which attained cult status. Now the narrative has come full circle. Luhrmann is the father of the production now on stage in its Toronto North American premiere.

The plot is essentially a fable about artistic freedom of expression, a metaphore for believing in personal achievement. The show follows the fortunes of Scott Hastings (Sam Lips), a talented young dancer in 1980s Australia. The well known “creative differences” have caused a rift between Hastings (the dance lead) and the…


Canadian Mystery reviews
Beneath the Wake is author, Ross Pennie’s fourth medical mystery
Jackie Shane lives!
Reading the Globe story about legendary R&B performer Jackie Shane
Canadian Music icons to highlight Burlington Performing Arts new season
Together on stage Executive Director Brian McCurdy and incoming Executive

The Subaru Forester is Quaker plain. Park it anywhere and it blends into the landscape like clover in a lawn. That may be one reason it’s a solid seller for Subaru. No flash– all function.

I just finished test driving a $32,000…


2017 Mini Countryman Review
Years ago I used to judge the Trillium awards with
Bryan Baeumler Anwser’s questions about Spring
As Spring arrives, many encounter issues with water and humidity.
Community Comments
MPP Cunningham served as MPP 1975-1984, leaving
Great article! We agree that while many people m
Great article! We agree that while many people m
And yet the writ won't be issued for another yea
The Bay Observer
As a rookie cabinet minister Karina Gould is burning the midnight oil trying to create a better life for Canadians. But the Burlington MP and Minister of Democratic Institutions must
Works operation gets a second probe
The Bay Observer
Following a private consultant’s report that described a dysfunctional city operated Ontario Works system, the city’s internal auditor has released 11 recommendations to try to turn around the troubled department.
Scathing report on Ontario Works raises few eyebrows at City Council
The Bay Observer
Despite a damning report that describes the Hamilton Ontario Works office as suffering from low morale, non-existent communications, poor business practices and failure to meet provincial standards; there was little
Tips for Athletes and Weekend Warriors
The Bay Observer
As the weather becomes warmer, people move outside to become more active. Weekend warriors begin to emerge as they focus on getting involved in sports, exercise and training. Along with
The Bay Observer
Our affluence has allowed us the luxury of bypassing the necessary search and acquisition of the day’s nutritional needs of our ancestors. We smell food, we see food, we think
Lyme Disease – The Great Imitator
The Bay Observer
Great Imitator There is an unacknowledged epidemic occurring around the world. Lyme disease is the fasted growing infectious disease and most common vector-borne illness in Canada and United States. It
The Bay Observer
Terrapure Environmental, with headquarters in Burlington and operations in Hamilton,  recently received an Environmental Leader Award for Product of the Year for its creative use of technology – the centrifuge
Governance Confidence Failure
The Bay Observer
There have been two particular governance situations that makes one wonder if minds and attitudes are properly shaped at the governance level – Home Capital and Bombardier. Boards need to
The Bay Observer
The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported a record 3,208 new listings were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing ServiceSystem in May, which is 41.1 per cent higher than the