Boots & Pine


Melanie Hill in Hamilton

Where did you grow up? 
The lovely little town of Collingwood, Ontario.

What brought you to Toronto?
Well, I actually no longer live in Toronto, but did for almost six years prior to this Autumn. Originally I moved to Toronto to attend University and live the big city life. Funny enough, I still go to school in Toronto, but now find myself running (to Hamilton) away from the big city life.

What do you do for a living?
Currently, I’m a full-time student doing a joint-degree in Acupuncture & Western Herbalism which I hope to translate into a living one day as a healer and as an apothecary. On the side, I work as a nanny, gardener, and at a sweet little restaurant here in Hamilton as a hostess. I sort of consider myself a domestic life renaissance woman. 

How did you get started?
I guess I’ll apply this as a general answer to all things listed above. I have always been attracted to nature, art, health, and working with people as a whole. It’s been a very complicated process to getting where I am, but interestingly enough it’s been a bit of a full circle. Forever I have known that my future must incorporate these elements in a holistic way, but I think I’ve finally found a clearer path to where I ought to be going.

What’s your favourite thing about your neighbourhood?
I actually just moved to Hamilton in August, and have been in the process of really exploring the neighborhood I’ve relocated to. I suppose it would be considered the James North neighbourhood; this really adorable, post- industrial artsy hub near the Lake Ontario waterfront. I don’t know enough about the history yet to feel confident in giving it a real disclaimer, but it’s wonderful.
Needless to say I think my favourite part has got to be the proximity of a rail yard to my house, where I can hear them shuffling trains around when I’m in bed at night, I find it incredibly soothing. 

What’s the last treasure you found?

The Hamilton Farmer’s Market. It’s open pretty much every day, is indoors, and has the most lovely diversity of vendors. There is a sourdough bread maker that my partner and I just can’t get enough of.

If you were going to eat your last meal in Toronto, where and what would you eat?

I find this question incredibly difficult. That is easily the one thing I miss about Toronto the most. I think it would be a tossup between either an elaborate potluck with all of my friends who are all the most incredible chefs, washed down with litres of red wine, or a night-out with my main squeeze to Nazareth.

If you could have a sleepover with anyone who has ever existed, who would it be?

Probably Madame Blavatsky. That would be an interesting evening.

If your life was a TV show, what would be the theme song?

Gypsy – Fleetwood Mac or Are You Leaving for the Country – Karen Dalton (A more sombre drama version perhaps…)

What does Toronto need that it doesn’t have now?

Less condos. Less unsustainable development. More thoughtful lakeshore attention.

Look at Melanie’s pictures on her Tumblr

© 2012 Arden Wray