This post includes a traveler’s guide to the city of Hamilton Ontario. For further details, please keep scrolling.
City of Hamilton Ontario
Nestled between the Niagara Escarpment and Lake Ontario, the city of Hamilton is a historic port city and a city like no other. The city is one of Canada’s most renowned and important industrial centers. While most of the city was centered by industries in the Hamilton Harbour area, the city is also home to outstanding natural beauty.
The city has a rich history and is surrounded by nature and culture. Besides that, it has a bustling downtown and a unique urban feel. The city has a lot to offer if you ever think of visiting it over a short vacation. In a short period, you can explore a lot. Hamilton offers amazing parks, waterfalls, restaurants, shops, museums, and exciting locations.
Today, the city is a thriving location with a gorgeous waterfront, art communities, and historic towns. And even then, Hamilton Ontario hasn’t always been among the top choices for tourists because maybe people don’t much about the place. However, by the end of this article, Hamilton Ontario will be on your list, and we will make sure of that.
In this post, we will tell you the top 10 reasons why you must visit Hamilton Ontario. But before that, how about checking up on a few facts about Hamilton?
Interesting Facts About Hamilton Ontario
The first to host the commonwealth games:
Did you know that Hamilton Ontario was the first city in the world to host the commonwealth games? It was held in 1930.
Hamilton is the waterfall capital of the world:
The city of Hamilton Ontario, has the most waterfalls, over 130 waterfalls, making it the world’s waterfall capital.
Hamilton has sister cities:
Hamilton shares seven sister city relationships, including Flints, Pittsburg, the United States, Sarasota, and others.
Hamilton is home to Canada’s largest botanical gardens:
The Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton is the largest botanical garden in Canada and a National Historic Site.
You can go on a whole day trip to this garden, yet you wouldn’t have explored the entire area, because it is that big.
Hamilton has a nickname too:
The city of Hamilton has got a nickname that all the residents use. Hamilton is popularly known as Steeltown. And all credit for this goes to the years of steelwork that made Hamilton what it is today.
It’s iron and steel industry accounts for a major part of the national steel output.
Well, these are just a few interesting facts about Hamilton. Once you visit the place personally, you will discover a lot yourself, and that’s more fun. But why would anyone visit Hamilton Ontario, over any other tourist destination, right?
This is a common question that might come across anyone’s mind because a place should always be worth the trip. And we are here to provide you the answer to that. We will tell you some of the best reasons why you must visit Hamilton Ontario.
So, let’s get started then, shall we?
What is Hamilton Ontario Famous For?
Before visiting any place, wouldn’t it be great to know what the place is famous for?
Hamilton is actually well known for its industrial heritage. But with passing years, the city has grown into bustling neighborhoods. This is why it is both a perfect place to live and visit.
In addition to that, Hamilton is home to one of the best research universities in the world, McMaster University. So, from the education aspect, Hamilton Ontario is quite ahead in the race.
And Hamilton is part of the famous Golden Horseshoe region in Ontario.
And now, finally, it is time to check up on the very reasons why you should visit Hamilton Ontario.
Top 10 Reasons To Visit Hamilton Ontario
1. The Royal Botanical Gardens
Hamilton is home to the largest botanical garden in Canada, and you do not always get to visit such a large garden. So, this has to be one of the top reasons to visit Hamilton.
Technically, Royal Botanical Gardens is located in Hamilton’s neighboring city, Burlington, just a 10 minutes drive east of Hamilton.
There are four gardens in total which cover a vast area of over 2,000 acres. The gardens are home to 1,000 different species of plants, from rare species to endangered species and species local to the region. The place is a treat for birders, as various species can be seen all year round.
The entire land area is separated into different sections so that it’s easy for the visitors. Otherwise, the area is so big; you cannot tour the whole thing in a day. Out of that, the most visited and famous area is Hendrie Park, which is also the largest.
Hendrie Park is the largest cultivated garden, where you will find a charismatic Morrisson Woodland Garden and an attractive Rose Garden with a variety of hardier Canadian types.
When to visit?
RBG can be visited any time of the year, but the best time is during spring when the entire forest floor is littered with the provincial flower trilliums.
Hamilton is known as the waterfall capital, so it is pretty obvious that the waterfalls are one of the reasons why people visit Hamilton in the first place.
There are over 100 waterfalls in Hamilton and all within the downtown area. Most of them are easy to access, just within few miles, and free to visit. These waterfalls offer great opportunities for families to spend some fun and relaxing time together.
Plus, they offer beautiful backdrops so that you will come out with great photographs.
The most popular of all the waterfalls is the Albion Falls, which is popularly known as the lovers’ leap. The waterfall is 20m tall and offers spectacular views. It flows down the Niagara Escarpment in the Red Hill Creek region.
The most beautiful aspect of the waterfall is that it flows down a series of steps, causing the water to cascade.
Other worth visiting waterfalls are the Devil’s Punch Bowl, Tiffany Falls, and Tews Falls.
3. Booming Breweries & Wineries
With the booming population of Hamilton, the city also has a thriving culinary scene, and to keep pace with that, and there’s an ever-growing development in the lineups of cedars, wines, and beers. So, when in Hamilton, you will never feel thirsty.
One of the best places to be in is Merit Brewing. It is the most popular brewery, kitchen, and bottle shop located in James Street North. There are many taprooms and patios where you can raise a glass and have a great evening.
Merit’s amazing team offers the best service in town with a great menu that pushes traditional flavor boundaries. Their food services alone are worth a visit, in addition to their specially curated bottle shop.
Other such great places to visit are the Grain & Grit Beer Co. and Collective Arts Brewing. Actually, there are plenty of places, so you won’t have to search a lot. You can also contact them in advance to know what’s currently on taps.
The patio season runs during the summer months, mostly June, July, and August.
4. Dundurn Castle
To get a glimpse of authentic Regency-style manor in Canada and step into the mid-19th-century lifestyle all at once, Hamilton offers you the Dundurn Castle. A beautiful castle overlooking the bay.
Dundurn Castle is a neoclassic mansion that is worth every visit and every penny. It is a national historic site, which was built originally in the 1830s.
The castle was once home to Allan Napier MacNab, railway magnate, lawyer, and Prime Minister of the Canadian government. The castle has 40 rooms and 1,700 square meters of living space, and visitors can take up guided tours to experience the whole area.
The major attraction of the castle is surely its neoclassical architecture, but also the four huge pillars at its main entrance. It is like a museum for the visitors as their tour includes seeing the original decor and furnishings of the house.
And if you visit during the winters, the castle is also decorated with Christmas festivities and lights. In addition to the indoor tours, you can also get a free garden tour.
5. Vegetarian Food Fair
The Vegetarian Food Fair is an annual food festival, which deserves to be one of the reasons to visit Ontario Hamilton.
Everyone knows the food always brings people together, and what is better than a food fair to serve that purpose. This food fair has been hosted in city Hamilton for over 20 years. And each year, it draws hundreds and thousands of people.
The Hamilton Mountain Seventh-day Adventist Church hosts the fair, and it always brings communities together. It was started in 1997 by Janie and Danny Macesic and has been a great success ever since.
The fair presents mouth-watering and delicious vegetarian foods from ethnic communities. They have live cooking demonstrations, games for kids, and outdoor veggie grills. And there are other services at the event, such as health screening, massage therapy, and blood pressure check-ups.
Along with tasty food, the fair aims to outreach an initiative for a healthier lifestyle.
6. Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, located in John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport, was founded in 1972.
The museum is dedicated to preserving the collection of aircraft flown by the Canadian military and Canadians. It is now home to around 50 aircraft, a gift center, and an exhibit gallery.
You can see one of the world’s flying Lancaster bombers, and there are only two of them in existence, one of which is in this museum.
The best thing about this museum is, many of the aircraft still fly so that you can book a ride too. And as for the kids, there is a weekend sleepover program that they can take part in.
Special events are hosted throughout the year, and visitors can take group tours of the facility with a guide.
Speaking of visiting museums, you might also want to check out the Museum of Steam and Technology. This museum preserves Hamilton’s industrial heritage. Hamilton has been known for its industries. So, where better can you get a glimpse of its heritage other than the museum that preserves it all.
7. Westfield Heritage Village
Just about a half-hour drive into west Hamilton, is the Westfield Heritage Village which certainly takes you back in time. And well, a place like this has to be one of the best reasons to visit Hamilton Ontario.
The village is located in the community of Rockton, and it is well known to preserve the region’s fine history. On an 840 acre site, the town has 35 historic buildings, general stores, and a maple sugar shack.
Upon reaching the village, you can interact with costumed interpreters, who recreate the cultures, traditions, and lives of Canadians from the early 1800s to the 1900s.
There are guided tours available for the visitors, and people demonstrations crafts and skills. You can also explore the trails through the woods and meadows; that’s another exciting experience.
Be sure to check out the maple sugar shacks, and you will get to see how they make the maple syrup and get a taste.
8. Stoney Creek
Stoney Creek is one of the best communities to explore and live in Hamilton. This community is a crazy mix of natural green spaces and historic downtowns.
This community has everything you need, amazing eateries, fine dining, shops, wineries, tourist sites, coffee houses, and treats.
This community is truly blessed with mother nature and is located on the lakefront of Lake Ontario. From here, Downtown Toronto is just a 40 minutes drive. So, it is the ideal location for many.
There are plenty of conservation areas and waterfalls in this space, so you explore all you want. The most scenic lookout is the Devil’s Punchbowl. One must go there to witness mother nature at its best.
If you want to experience monthly summer activities, there are beaches and water activities. And if you are looking for a relaxing, soothing time, Stoney Creek and its surrounding area is the gateway to Niagara’s Wine Country.
So, there is a plethora of vineyards and wineries where you can take a tour and sip some fine wine.
9. The Historic Bruce Trail
When we visit a place, we are always looking for some exciting activities. And hiking is one such activity. And when in Hamilton Ontario, you get a chance to hike a historic trail.
The Bruce Trail is an 890-kilometer long trail, with over 400kms of associated side trails. The trail starts from the Niagara River and ends at the tip of Tobermory Ontario. The trail is located exactly in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area, just a few minutes west of downtown Hamilton.
This mighty trail can be broken down into small adventures if you are not too adventurous. You will not have a single moment of disappointment throughout the hiking trail because you will pass by some breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls.
For diehard hikers, this trail is sort of heaven on earth. So, be ready for some action and an amazing experience.
10. Art Gallery of Hamilton
For the artistic heads, a place is never complete without an art museum or a gallery. For them, it is like either art is the way or the highway. And luckily, Hamilton has one.
The Art Gallery of Hamilton is a must-visit for those with an eye for art. It is now located in King Street West and was built in 1914.
The gallery features artworks by Canadian artists as well as international contemporary arts. Currently, there are over 10,000 artworks on display. Along with artworks, the museum also organizes exhibits regularly, and there are the guided tours too.
In addition to that, there is a small gift shop and a cafe on site.
As per news from visitors and residents of Hamilton Ontario, these are the reasons people should visit Hamilton. And honestly, the reasons do not end with this list. There are many more things to see and explore in Hamilton Ontario, to give you one of a kind experience.
One such amazing experience is the African Lion Safari. It has been one of the top-visited and favorite attractions. The Safari park is just outside the city limits in a great location. Animals are wandering around the park, and you get a closer look at all.
For more information, you can check out their page.
Hamilton is a place that will keep you entertained and busy throughout your trip. And that is always one of the top reasons why one should visit any destination in the first place.
Plus, you can go to other amazing places from here like Toronto, New York, U.S; Hamilton Ontario has great rail and freeway services.
I hope the reasons we have provided you with get you all excited about Hamilton Ontario, and you soon plan a trip.