Hamilton lies at the extreme western end of Lake Ontario. The site was visited by the French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, in 1669. Settlement began with the arrival of loyalists fleeing the rebellious 13 American colonies in 1778. Today, Hamilton is a vibrant, active metropolis, shaking off the decline of its traditional manufacturing base and aggressively embracing the future.
Hamilton is the home of McMaster University , First Ontario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place) performing arts centre, the Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League, and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum. Also in the vicinity are Dundurn Castle (1835; a 72-room mansion built for politician Sir Allan Napier MacNab), the Royal Botanical Gardens (1941), and Stoney Creek Battlefield Monument, the site of a decisive battle of the War of 1812. Don’t miss the HMCS Haida, a Tribal class destroyer that served in the Second World War, the Korean Conflict and the Cold War, and now sits in Hamilton Harbour at the HMCS Haida National Historic Site.
The Art Gallery of Hamilton is one of Canada’s largest and finest collections of Canadian art. Nearby African Lion Safari houses some 1,000 animals roaming freely throughout a park setting. The Museum of Steam and Technology preserves the city’s industrial heritage, and the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum displays military aircraft from World War II to the present.
Perhaps a visit to the nearby Hamilton Farmers’ Market is more to your liking – with local seasonal produce; quality meats, poultry, eggs and fish; cheese, breads & dairy; fresh pasts and prepared foods; and local artisans and specialty gifts, there is something for everyone. See more in this YouTube video.
Of course, when visiting Hamilton you might want to build time into your schedule to visit some of Niagara’s famous wineries and Niagara Falls.