Things to do in Hamilton, Canada
Hamilton is a port city in the province of Ontario, Canada. Known as an industrialized city in the Golden Horseshoe and located at the westernmost end of Lake Ontario, midway between Toronto and the US border. The city folds around the lake and continues towards the Niagara Cliff, referred to by locals as the mountain or the steel town because of so many industries located in this city. Hamilton has a population of 536,917, and a metropolitan population of 778,400 so it’s the metropolitan area has been listed as the ninth largest in Canada and the third largest in Ontario. The locals of this city are known as the Hamiltonians. Today it also has a thriving art community, historic sites, and a lovely waterfront. Hamilton in Canada is not as famous as the Hamilton in the United States of America. It is not on many tourists lists of places to go in Canada, but there are numerous things to do and see in the city. Everything from shopping to outdoor recreation can be enjoyed, and it even has a lively nightlife scene. Let’s have a look at the best Things to do in Hamilton, Canada.
#1 of 20 Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Wander Around the Dundurn Castle
The extraordinary Dundurn Castle has a neoclassical Italian-style villa architecture. It is a large mansion that was built in the 1830s. It was owned by Sir Allan Napier MacNab, former Premier of the Province of Canada. It took three years to build this 1,700 square meter mansion.It has 40 lavishly decorated rooms within the castle. It that is surrounded by lush green grounds and a beautiful stocked garden. which has been preserved in its 19th-century condition and continues to grow fruit, vegetables, and herbs. The daily guided tours provide extensive insight into Canada’s past and the reality of life at Dundurn in its early years. The grounds are a popular destination for weddings here. It is located on York Boulevard of Hamilton, Canada. The Hamilton city purchased this Dundurn Castle in 1900 and since then it has been open to the public for visitation and serves as the National Historic Site of Canada.
The Hamilton Military Museum is housed in a building on the grounds of this castle.
#2 of 20 Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Enjoy the Art in Art Gallery of Hamilton
It is known among one of Canada’s oldest public art galleries. This Art Gallery of Hamilton is located right in the heart of Downtown Hamilton. It is a splendid gallery that houses a collection of over 10,000 works of art, making it the third largest gallery in the whole country. Approximately 300,000 people come to this art gallery annually to see the art collection of Canadian contemporary, Canadian history, and European historical art. In reality, it does have one of the strongest Canadian modern and contemporary art collections in the country. Along with art collection, it features a sculpture atrium and a magnificent 762 square meter glass pavilion.
In addition to the permanent collection, this art gallery also hosts around 30 different temporary exhibits throughout the year.
#3 of 20 Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Visit the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum highlights Canada’s military and aviation history. It offers a great introduction. The museum’s total collection includes around 40 airplanes, helicopters including Bristol Bolingbroke, Spitfire, and Hawker Hurricane. Many of these aircrafts have been restored perfectly here and are on display as part of their ongoing exhibitions. The important aircraft of the museum is the Avro Lancaster, which was used in WWII struggles and is painted in the devotion of Victoria Cross recipient Andrew Mynarski. There are only two of them in existence and this museum has the one. The staff authorities here are friendly and provide plenty of information for any questions you may have.
Many aircrafts placed in this museum can still fly and offers you the opportunity to book a trip in one of them. This place is interesting and a good attraction for kids in Hamilton, Canada.
Credit: Ken Mist
#4 of 20 Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Explore a Historic Navy Ship
The renowned HMCS Haida destroyer is now a museum ship that has been designated as a National Historic Site of Canada. It was used in many Wars including Second World War, the Cold War, and the Korean War. It is the Canadian Navy’s most popular ship and docked at Pier 9 on the waterfront of Hamilton Canada. This ship is very much a popular landmark of Hamilton Harbor area.
You can explore this remarkable museum ship on your own as self-guided tours are available here. Guided tours are offered too here in which you can learn many secrets things about this destroyer. On the plus side, this museum offers a free tour to its visitors.
#5 of 20 Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Visit the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre
This little building is located in the downtown area of Hamilton, Canada and was founded in the late 1980s. This Workers Arts and Heritage Centre were basically created to preserve, promote and honor the culture of working community in Ontario Province. It also represents the 19th history of working community in Ontario through art and performance contribution. It hosts permanent and temporary exhibitions and performances throughout the year.
#6 of 20 Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Stroll Around the Hamilton Farmer’s Market
The Hamilton Farmer’s Market is considered the oldest market in Hamilton city. This old market dates back to 1837. The market is an indoor establishment and there are shops of grocery, gift items, fruits, vegetables, fish and many more local food shops. You can find everything in this market. This market represents the culture of Hamilton and promotes other cultures too by having shops of different culinary food. It is located at the corner of York Boulevard and James Street.
#7 of 20 Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Visit the African Lion Safari Park of Hamilton
The safari park of Hamilton is a Family owned safari park. It is one of the most popular attractions for visitors in Hamilton. It is located outside of the city but it is an interesting place. It features over 1000 animals including mammals and birds in this 300 hectares large facility. The popular highlights are African Lions, White Lions, Cheetahs, Egyptian goose, wildebeest, and White rhinoceros. All of them roam freely in the area and you can see them real close. Don’t forget to take the picture of these beautiful animals. You can visit the facility in the protected buses by the authorities and explore all seven areas of this safari park.
#8 of 20 Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Visit the many Waterfalls of Hamilton
Hamilton is sometimes referred as the city of waterfalls. This is due to the fact that this city has over 100 waterfalls in the Niagara Escarpment. The most impressive waterfall is the Webster’s fall which is 30 meters wide. It features an associated park facility in which you can find picnic spots and a large botanical relaxing area. But you have to climb some stairs to reach there. The ribbon waterfall and Tiffany Falls are 21 meters and known as the tallest in this area. Other famous waterfalls are the 19 meter Albion Falls and Devil’s Punch Bowl.
#9 of 20 Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Visit the Canadian Football Hall of Fame
The Canadian Football Hall of Fame was opened in1972. It is located in the downtown Hamilton. Since that time, this hall of fame has grown to be a large hall. Now it is filled with many football related that focus on the football sport and its best players. The museum features the history of Canadian junior football leagues and the Canadian university football. This Canadian Football Hall of Fame is a non-profit museum and visits are free. It is also operated by the Canadian Football League.
#10 of 20 Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Eating and Drinking at Hamilton
The Hess Village is a popular spot for eating and drinking in Hamilton. From Hess Street to the Main Street and then towards the King Street West, you can find the best restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, and nightclubs. This whole area is pedestrian and you will enjoy the walk on cobbled pathways. The area is surrounded by so many historical building.
In the summer season, the whole area is adorned with live music concerts, DJ playing the tunes, and open-air patios of every pubs and restaurant in the area. This becomes the top attraction for visitors
#11 of 20 Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Enjoy a Festival
Just like the many other cities of Canada, Hamilton enjoys festivals with full energy and passion. Popular festivals of Hamilton include the Festival of Friends. This is known as the largest free music event in Canada that happens annually and draws out the tourists from all over the world into Hamilton.
Other festivals include the Mustard Festival, Hamilton Fringe Festival, Supercrawl, and the culinary Hamilton’s Festival with Taste. This one is for foodies especially. It features over 150 exhibitions of local wines and craft beers along with the special recipe foods. Just blend in and enjoy the different culture here.
#12 of 20Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Play Golf in Hamilton
Canadian people have a thing for golf. There are several golf courses located throughout the Hamilton. Some of them are private and well-known which features 18-hole golf courses. Among them, the Hamilton Golf & Country Club has hosted the Canadian Open. These are for members only so you can’t visit them unless you are a member. On the other hand, you can visit the Chedoke Beddoe Golf Course. It is a public golf course which hosts a few local tournaments in the area. The King’s Forest Golf Course here was voted as one of the top public courses in the whole province of Ontario once.
#13 of 20 Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Relax at the Gage Park
Canadian people always love their green spaces in urban cities. Just like that Gage Park is beautiful public space and get away from the city’s urban life. This historic park is located right in the middle of the city. It is considered as the city’s largest park and hosts numerous local events festivals. This Gage Park also highlights the two important landmarks of Hamilton, the Gage Park Fountain, and Gage Park Bandshell. Other highlights of this place include a Children Museum and a long beautiful Escarpment Rail Trail. This park in equally good for some private time alone and for a picnic with your family.
#14 of 20 Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Go to the Beach
At the east of Hamilton Harbor, there is thin street land that crosses over Lake Ontario. This whole area is known as the Beach Boulevard. This Beach area has many landmarks which appeal visitors towards themselves. Among these historic landmarks, a lighthouse, Burlington Canal Lift Bridge, and the statue of Pebbles on the Beach are notable to visit. The Dieppe Veterans’ Memorial Park is located along this lower city street.
From this beach, you can have spectacular views of the Hamilton Waterfront Trail which is quite famous for their walking, cycling, running, and ice skating pathways.
#15 of 20 Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Check out the Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail
This is a beautiful, totally off-road trail which is popular for hiking and biking among the locals. It is built on the resurfaces railway tracks and 32 kilometers long. It starts from the west side of Hamilton and ends at the Jerseyville. It covers the areas of McMaster University campus and the Dundas Valley. People can try walking, hiking, cycling, and horseback riding on these trails.
Local people do exercise on these trails with awesome views of the area.
#16 of 20 Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Explore the Bruce Trail
Another beautiful trail in Hamilton is the Bruce Trail. It is located in the beautiful scenery of Hamilton. This trail is almost 900 kilometers long and was created in 1959. This Bruce trail runs through the edge of Niagara Escarpment. It is also a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. This can be accessed through many points within the city. People enjoy walking and cycling on this trail. Visitors can explore the city’s beauty through this.
#17 of 20 Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Visit the Spencer Gorge Conservation Area
If you are visiting the Hamilton in spring season then you must come to this Spencer Gorge Conservation Area. It is basically a park along with the natural Tew’s Falls. This waterfall is 42 m high and the tallest in whole Hamilton. It is not famous like the Niagara Falls but is a thing of beauty. Enjoy the natural beauty here as much as you can.
#18 of 20 Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens
Canada’s Royal Botanical Gardens is located in Hamilton. It is known as the largest botanical gardens in the country which features a rock garden, a wild sanctuary, and an arboretum. A special highlight of this place is a Centennial Rose Garden. In this garden, you can find thousands of different rose species blooming. This vibrant garden is fully flourished annually from June until October. This is a very beautiful garden and it is kids friendly too.
#19 of 20 Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Crazy Shopping
There are plenty of places to do shopping in Hamilton. It is a home to few shopping districts and a great place to shop trendy and fashionable items. Ottawa Street which is also known as the Fabric & Textile District is a popular spot for shopping. Lime Ridge Mall and Jackson Square Mall are the largest malls in Hamilton which feature top-notch brands of today’s world. These malls have other activities area for kids playing and many food courts to fill your appetite. In short, must visit these malls for a worthwhile experience.
Westdale Village has plenty of local shops too if you are looking for economical shopping.
#20 of 20 Things to do in Hamilton, Canada – Haunted Hamilton Ghost Walk
Just like Ottawa, this city also hosts a few Haunted Ghost tours in the dark alleys of the city. In Hamilton, if you are looking for an interesting adventure then you should really try this haunted ghost walk. The guider will take you into the darkest streets of the city where all buildings are basically ruined and will tell you the stories of Hamilton’s dark past. You need to be dressed in a frightening costume and you may win a few cash bucks here.
Also, check out our other articles based on Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Victoria.