Hamilton may be best known by its Canadian neighbours as simply being the "Steel City", but it holds so much more. It is the eighth largest city in Canada and has the third highest proportion of foreign born citizens of any city in the country. "The Hammer", as it is affectionately known, sits on the mouth of Lake Ontario, halfway between Toronto and Niagara Falls. In 2000, Hamilton amalgamated with five surrounding municipalities (Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Glanbrook and Stoney Creek) to become the new "City of Hamilton". In addition to festivals, cultural events, and sites of tourist interest, Hamilton is also the Waterfall Capital of the World with at least 125 waterfalls - a fact many Hamilton residents don't even realize!
Busy at the intersection of King and James but fading somewhat from its classy old days - still has some sub-neighbourhoods worth mentioning:
- Hess Village - a cobblestoned segment of Hess Street between Main & King and a few cross streets lined with pubs, patios, and clubs - so busy in the summer that the road sometimes gets closed to vehicle traffic.
- Jamesville/James St. N - an intersection of the old-world Italian and Portugese businesses with new art galleries.
Lower City (Below the Escarpment)
- Beach Strip - on Lake Ontario, there is no swimming at this beach, but there is a nice walking/rollerblading trail and the famous Hutches for fish and chips shops moving in as well.
- Dundas - was an independent town pre-amalgamation, Dundas has a charming downtown on King St to walk down and poke into shops and cafes.
- North End - of note, but not recommended for tourists. The historic 'wrong side of the tracks' area where the steel mills are located. Nowadays filled mainly with blue collar workers and recent immigrants.
- Stoney Creek - another of the previously separate municipalities, Stoney Creek is on the fringes of the Niagara wine region, and has several sites of tourist interest as well.
- Westdale - a neighbourhood surrounding McMaster University; a few blocks of King Street includes a couple of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, an independent cinema, and shops.
Mountain (On the Escarpment)
- Ancaster - a mostly residential & previously independent town - good for big box stores in the Meadowlands section and a several independent businesses in the old centre.
- Upper James - a street on the 'West Mountain' - now a long stretch of mostly chain businesses and restaurants.
- Waterdown - a previously independent town (part of Flamborough) with several interesting local businesses; sits on Grindstone Creek and the Bruce Trail system.
- Mount Hope - a rural community; Hamilton International Airport is located here.
Sights and Activities
- African Lion Safari
- Art Gallery of Hamilton - Visit on the First Friday of each month from 5pm-9pm for free admission to the first floor
- Royal Botanical Gardens
- Dundurn Castle
- Whitehern Museum
- Hamilton Harbour Tours on the Hamilton Harbour Queen
- Battlefield House & Museum
- HMCS Haida
- Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology
- Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
- Westfield Heritage Village
- Flamboro Downs - horse racing & slots
- Hamilton Children's Museum
- Canadian Football Hall of Fame
- Hamilton Farmer's Market
- Wild Waterworks
- Hamilton Military Museum
- Haunted Hamilton Ghost Walks
- Friends of the Aviary - visit the exotic birds on Sundays from 1-4 for a donation
- James Street North Art Crawl - stroll the many small art galleries and shops along James Street North between Wilson St & Barton St, 7-11pm, second Friday of each month
Explore the Outdoors
Events and Festivals
- Winterfest - assorted family events around the city designed to beat the winter blues -
Apple Festival - January 24 - February 8, 2009
- Maple Syrup Festival - Westfield Heritage Village - Learn how maple sap becomes syrup, and how it was prepared in past times - take a horse & buggy ride, visit the re-enactment village, or have a pancake breakfast - Apple Festival - March weekends
- Around the Bay Road Race - 30 kilometre running race that attracts international competitors - Apple Festival - March 28, 2010
- Food and Drink Festival at Copps Coliseum - sample wine, beer, and great food at this festival - Apple Festival - April 9-11, 2010
- GritLit - Hamilton Writers Festival - Enjoy readings from various authors, and writing workshops and events or enter the annual writing contest - Apple Festival - April 2-5, 2009
- Hamilton ECO Film and Arts Festival - Five day festival with screenings of environmental films and performances by local musicians - Apple Festival April 21-25, 2009
- Doors Open Hamilton - visit museums, galleries, landmarks and more FOR FREE this weekend annually - Apple Festival - May 1 & 2, 2009
- Tulip Celebration at the Royal Botanical Gardens - Rock Garden - Apple Festival - early to mid-May
- Stoney Creek Flag Day - a celebration of the Canadian flag with a parade and more - Apple Festival - May 29, 2010
- Lilac Celebration at the Royal Botanical Gardens - Arboretum/Lilac Dell - Apple Festival - late May
- Ancaster Heritage Days - Wilson St, the main street of the town closes down for a parade, face painting, vendor booths, and the old town centre comes alive - Apple Festival - early June
- Dundas International Buskerfest - enjoy street performers from all over the world as well as food and vendors - don't miss the Saturday night Fire Show! - Apple Festival - June 5-7, 2009
- Re-enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek at Battlefield House - see the re-enactment of this War of 1812 battle and experience the sites and sounds of the encampment - Apple Festival - June 5-7, 2009
- Iris and Peony Celebration at the Royal Botanical Gardens - Laking Garden - Apple Festival - early to mid-June
- Canadian Military Tattoo - marching bands, pipes, and drums in the Military tradition perform - Apple Festival - June 12-13, 2010
- Hamilton PRIDE Festival - A parade, vendors, food, and a great party celebrating the Hamilton LGBTQ community - Apple Festival - June 13-21, 2009
- Hamilton Waterfront Wingfest - midway, arts & crafts, entertainment, beer tent, boat rides on the Hamilton Harbour Queen - and, of course, chicken wings - Apple Festival - June 12-14, 2009
- Hamilton Turkish Festival at Gage Park - experience Turkish food, art, & culture -
Apple Festival - June 14, 2009
- Rose Celebration at the Royal Botanical Gardens - Hendrie Park - Apple Festival - late June to early July
- It's Your Festival - Large festival at Gore Park celebrating Canada Day and Canada's multicultural heritage - Good headlining bands, arts & crafts booth, international food vendors, & a midway - free entrance - Apple Festival - July 1-5, 2009
- Hamilton Fringe Festival - Independent plays on the 'fringe' of theatre - Apple Festival - July 16-26, 2009
- Y108 Rock and Roll Picnic - See quite popular bands for free at this event at Gage Park - Apple Festival - August 1, 2009
- Ice Cream Festival at Westfield Heritage Village - Watch ice cream being churned and explore the historical village - Also face painting, hay rides, and more - Apple Festival - August 2 & 3, 2009
- Festival of Friends - international food, arts & crafts booths, and some great bands (headliners around 7-11pm each night) - all free at Gage Park - Apple Festival - August 7-9, 2009
- Dundas Cactus Festival - downtown Dundas (down King St) shuts down for a parade, food, music, and booths of arts, crafts, and other vendors - Apple Festival - August 14-16, 2009
- Winona Peach Festival - find the peaches at the Easternmost section of Hamilton (on the edges of the Niagara growing region) - enjoy peach desserts, arts & crafts & vendor booths, midway, and performers - Apple Festival - August 28-30, 2009
- Mustard Festival - enjoy jazz and mustard related food in the "International Village" at the core of central Hamilton (Ferguson Street N from Main St E to King St E) - Apple Festival - September 4-6, 2009
- Locke Street Festival - the street known for antique stores and cafes comes alive with vendors on the street, food, and more - Apple Festival - September 12, 2009
- Binbrook Fair - A Regular Agricultural Fair experience! - Apple Festival - Sept 18-20, 2009
- Ancaster Fair - Midway, School Fair building, Produce Competitions, Animals at 'Old MacDonald's Farm', Demolition Derby, and more - Apple Festival - September 25-27, 2009
Apple Festival at Battlefield House - apple goodies, demonstrations, entertainment, and a pancake breakfast at the historic house - September 26, 2009
- Rockton World's Fair - agricultural competitions & animals to see, entertainment, demolition derby, food, & more - Chrysanthemum Show - (Canadian) Thanksgiving Weekend - October 9-12, 2009
- Haunted Halloween at Westfield Heritage Village - learn about the origins and folklore behind Halloween through reenactments and plays in the village - Chrysanthemum Show - October 23-24, 2009
Chrysanthemum Show at Gage Park - floral display made of chrysanthemums! - - October 23 - November 2, 2009
- The British Show - celebration of all things British -International Telephone Calls - Late November (had taken a year off in 2008 - back in November 2009!)
- Victorian Christmas at Dundurn Castle - perhaps the best time to visit; the 19th century manor 'decks the halls' with Victorian Christmas splendour - November 28, 2009 - January 3, 2010
- Twas the Night Before Christmas at Westfield Heritage Village - Learn about Christmas in the past and around the world, fireworks every evening & a visit from St Nick - International Telephone Calls - December 5, 12, & 19, 2009
- Dickens of a Christmas - Head to downtown Dundas to meet Santa (over breakfast, if you'd like), have horse drawn trolly rides, and free hot cider and gingerbread cookies - International Telephone Calls - November 28-December 20, 2009 (Saturdays & Sundays only)
John C Munro International Airport, Hamilton - fly WestJet or Air Canada within Canada or with FlyGlobeSpan to selected cities in the UK
Amtrak, VIA Rail, and GO trains arrive at the nearby Aldershot Station - from there, take a quick bus into Hamilton city centre
Redeemer University College
Hamilton Tiger Cats - CFL Team - play at Ivor Wynne Stadium in the East End
Hamilton Bulldogs - AHL Team - play at Copps Coliseum downtown
See also International Telephone Calls
Postal service is provided by Canada Post, a crown corporation owned by the government but run as an independent business.
To format the envelope of a letter sent within Canada, put the destination address on the centre of its envelope, with a stamp, postal indicia, meter label, or frank mark on the top-right corner of the envelope to acknowledge payment of postage. A return address, although it is not required, can be put on the top-left corner of the envelope in smaller type than the destination address.
The lettermail service allows the mailing of a letter. The basic rate is currently set at $0.63 for one standard letter (30 grams or less). The rates for lettermail are based or weight and size and determine whether the article falls into the aforementioned standard format, or in the oversize one. The rate is the same for a postcard.
Mail sent internationally is known as letterpost. It can only contain paper documents. The rate for a standard letter is of $1.10 if sent to the United States, and $1.85 if sent to any other destination. Oversize or overweight letters may be charged a higher fee
Larger parcels can be shipped via Canada post both domestically and internationally, the rate is dependent on the weight and destination. 
Federal Express or DHL also provide interntional shipping from Canada.