Hamilton (Ontario)

Travel Guide North America Canada Ontario Hamilton



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 - Hamilton 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



Getting There

By Plane

John C Munro International Airport, Hamilton - fly WestJet or Air Canada within Canada or with FlyGlobeSpan to selected cities in the UK.

By Train

Amtrak, VIA Rail, and GO trains arrive at the nearby Aldershot Station - from there, take a quick bus into Hamilton city centre




  • McMaster University
  • Mohawk College
  • 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



Keep Connected


Internet usage is wide-spread in Canada. Wi-fi is available in many locations in larger cities, sometimes free and sometimes at a cost. You will find Wi-Fi in coffee stores, some restaurants and also hotels and motels more and more offer this service for free, but with a code usually. Internet cafes are common along major streets, and and in larger cities, charge between $3 and $4 for an hour, usually in 20-minute increments.


See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Canada is: 1. To make an international call from Canada, the code is: 011. Emergency services can be reached by dialling 911. This number will give you free access to Police, Fire and Ambulance services and can be used from landlines, phone booths and cell phones.

The populous areas of Canada along the border with the USA have excellent cellular and wired telecommunications, meaning that travellers are never fair from an international phone call home, a WIFI connection or an internet cafe. Depending on the mobile phone provider, coverage could be either CDMA and GSM coverage. Travellers wishing to purchase SIM cards for GSM phones should look for Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility, which all offer nationwide availability.


Postal service is provided by Canada Post, a crown corporation owned by the government but run as an independent business. Most post offices keep hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm though in bigger places longer hourse might be available.

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. [1]

Federal Express, TNT, UPS or DHL also provide interntional shipping from Canada and are usually very quick and reliable though might cost a little more compared to Canada Post.



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This is version 13. Last edited at 7:39 on Apr 21, 17 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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