15 Best Things to Do in Hamilton, Ontario

15 Best Things to Do in Hamilton, Ontario

Hamilton is a harbor city in Ontario, Canada. It is situated west of Lake Ontario. The city has a population of less than 800 thousand and is one of Ontario’s fastest growing economies. The city benefits a lot from the adjacency of major seas and land routes. It has high standards of living and is a perfect place to live in or visit. The middle months of the year are the coziest and hence are the best time to travel to the city.

Hamilton is known as the steel capital of Canada. It is home to one of the top research University of the World, “McMaster University”. The city has a booming agriculture industry. The city is vibrant, has a lot of green space, plenty of waterfalls, artsy and is lively throughout the day.

You can discover Hamilton through various budget friendly transportation modes such as a bike, local busses, local trains or cabs. Fun fact: founder of “Tim Hortons”, (one of the largest fast-food restaurant chains globally) Mr. Tim Hortons opened his first coffee shop here in Hamilton, Ontario! Allow me to take you on a virtual tour of this sweet town and all the things you must do while you stay at Hamilton:

Witness the wildest waterfalls in the world

Hamilton waterfall
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With around a 100 waterfalls, Hamilton is known as the city of waterfalls. But some of these waterfalls are so surreal that you must visit them on your trip to this city. The devil’s punchbowl in Stoney Creek Community is one such waterfall. The waterfall is divided into two sections: Upper falls and Lowers falls. The lower falls is a small waterfall, whereas the Upper falls is the major attraction. This marvelous structure was supposedly created by the end of the last ice age, when the glacial water melts jabbed over the Stoney Creek Cliff, creating the punchbowl effect that stands still even to this day. There is also a huge 10 meter tall cross at the top of the falls and is lit up every single night. Just at a stretch from the parking area you will find a viewing platform that gives you splendid look of the falls, the Hamilton harbor and Stoney Creek.

Time travel back into history at the Dundurn Castle

Dundurn Castle
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Built on the land of Burlington Heights, Dundurn Castle is a three floored, Italian-style villa that belonged to the Canadian Political Leader, Sir Allan Napier MacNab, and is now open for tourists. This 40 room royal villa represents how the wealthy Canadians lived during the 19th century. The villa is embellished, decorated with huge sparkling chandeliers, shiny ornaments, wooden masterpieces, velvet sofas, a large dining area and an enormous garden that opens into the front. There’s a main floor, upper floor and a basement which served as the servants’ quarters. There’s a lot of heritage and cultural values one can learn on this guided tour of the villa.

There are various fun workshops and educational programmes conducted by the community for the tourist to understand practical knowledge of the life of the liberals during ancient times such as the one where they teach you to cook historic dishes using vintage utensils. The two acre heritage garden is open to public and is one of the largest in Canada.

Cruising on the Detroit River

A two-hour sightseeing cruise on the Detroit River is an ideal way to tour this city. There are lots of cruises that offer you this option on the bay, and the tour is pocket friendly. The cruises are in the Windsor city, and there are cruises for every occasion down there. You could choose one that fits your interest, and you are set to sail!

During the journey, the organization will tell you plenty of fascinating stories about Canada and the historical importance of the Detroit River and the Macassa Bay. The cruise sails across the Detroit coastline, Belle islands, River walk city and other historically important scenic views. The commentators will also announce the significance of each place in the making of the rich Canadian history.

Wander around at The Spencer Gorge/ Webster’s Water Falls Conservation Area

The Spencer Gorge/ Webster’s Water Falls Conservation Area
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This picturesque spot covers three geographically dynamic areas of Hamilton. They are the Webster Falls, The Tews Falls and Dundas Peak, each of them being a drive away from the other. You start off from the Webster falls. To reach Webster Falls, you have to take a 40 minute hike from Christie Lake to the falls. During the hike you get to witness the luxurious tropical landscape of Hamilton and you get to learn so much of the spot’s geography and the vegetation.  

The waterfall is a breath-taking drop scene. It sends out a pleasant and wonderful view. There is an open ground around the falls where you can stand and click some wonderful pictures. Next up, we have Tews Falls. This is one of the prettiest waterfalls in Canada. There are layers of bedrock at the bottoms of the falls, and the falls have a very scenic view. There’s an open space at a safe spot close to the falls where one can stand and witness nature’s magic at its full swing. The Dundas Peak is at the estuary of the Spencer Gorge and shows off an astounding view of the Dundas Valley.

Visit the Fifty Point Conservation Area

Fifty Point Conservation Area
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On Baseline Road in Stoney Creek which is just a short drive away from the city, the Fifty point Conservation Area is a large scale 80-hectare Park, perfect for family outings, outdoor picnics, fishing, swimming, camping and so many other recreational activities. It is a serene, viridescent and modest lakefront perfect for a weekend getaway from the crowded city.

There is so much one can do here depending on their curiosity. There is a stocked fishing pond where you can go catch some fish. There are various picnic areas with roof shades, you could just lie down and listen to the sounds of waters or you could grill some BBQ. You could go for swimming at the clean, sandy, crystal water beach. You could take a stroll down the quaint marina. You could go camping at the camping grounds. If all of this makes you hungry (I am sure it will), you can have lunch at “The Landing Restaurant” in the area. The restaurant offers some calm and charming views of the marina and the lake.

Art Gallery of Hamilton
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On 123 King Street W in Hamilton, this art museum is one of the oldest museums in Hamilton. If you want to engage with and understand the city and its history, you must visit this art gallery. There are plenty of historical, cosmopolitan, modern day art pieces created by the finest artist around the globe. The museum inspires you to bring a change and development within the communities. If you are into philosophy, art, or just want to get the hang of something artsy, make sure you check this gallery out on your next visit to Hamilton.

Go shopping in Hamilton

Hamilton skyline
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Wander around on the streets of Hamilton with shopping bags in your hands and experience the city’s street style. There are plenty of malls in the downtown area; the biggest of them is Lime Ridge. All the malls have a wide range of national and international brands to choose from and old-fashioned food courts that serve everything from fast food to ice creams to salads. Te Awa in the base is a shopping centre with fine architecture and has many shops to shop form. The more popular malls would include Sherway Gardens, Vaughan mills, etc.

Relax at the Bayfront Park

 Bayfront Park
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Bayfront Park is in the western areas of the Hamilton Harbor, close to Bay Street North. It is on 16 hectares of land and is a perfect tourist destination if you are traveling with kids. This used to be a barren piece of land that got transformed into a lively green square. The coastline serves as a natural habitat to fishes, sea vegetation and herbage. The park is the perfect spot for a summer trip. There is a sheltered, clear sandy beach. Various other aspects of the park include a fishing area, boating area, a huge parking lot and bicycle trails. There are a few yacht clubs nearby and Pier 4 park.

Tour the Canadian War Plane Heritage Museum

Canadian War Plane Heritage Museum
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Situated on Airport Road on Mount Top Hamilton, this heritage Museum is every Aviation enthusiasts dream. There are over a 40 military planes stationed in the museum. You can take a customized tour of the museum, book a flight on the available vintage flights, and experience the life of a military pilot.

Theirs is an exhibit gallery where you can watch the aircrafts, their models, their mechanical parts and what goes inside a cockpit. Book a flight on one of the pre-historic aircrafts and witness an idiosyncratic experience. The most fascinating aircraft here would be the Avro Lancaster used during the time of the Second World War; you can purchase a flight in this masterpiece. There is a gift shop in the museum to purchase tiny souvenirs of the aircrafts that are reminiscent part of the Canadian History

Drive around the HMCS Haida National Historic Site

HMCS Haida National Historic Site
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The historic site is on the Catherine Street North, Hamilton. The site displays HMCS Haida, one of the last surviving tribal class destroyers of the world. This Lancaster bomber was used in The Second World War and the Korean War. You can take a guided tour of the site that explains to you in detail about the massive ship and how it helped protect Canada. You can climb inside the ship out for display and have a peek into the interiors and understand the working of a war ship closely.

Go for a walk at Locke Street

Locke Street
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Locke Street is a very popular destination to hangout among the residents of Hamilton. The street is a growing spot and there are a lot of fun activities going around here. You can start off by trying the famous Monster Doughnuts that are available at any café here. There are made of brown butter and are delicious and they melt in your mouth. Make sure you try these baked delicacies when you are in Hamilton. The street is in a quiet area of the city and is ideal for tourists and residents alike. There are juices shops, cheese shops and dozens of other local restaurants to dine in.

Party hard in Hess Village

Hess Village
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Hess Village is another bustling spot in Hamilton. Canadians love the Irish festival, St. Patrick day, and this place is supposedly the best place to celebrate the festival. The place is filled with bars, pubs, parties and alcohol. It is a perfect to celebrate a night and to zone out of a busy work life. Hess village is at Main Street and goes on till Hess Street. The unique feature about this place is how the buildings are designed. The properties have a very ancient, rural look, which is how it got its name as a village. Most of the restaurants have an outdoor seating arrangement having the view of the street. Live bands and DJs play music all night long here.

Attend a festival

There are lots of festivals and concerts happening around the streets of Hamilton regularly throughout the year. One of the most famous and the most popular events is “Festival of Friends”. This is the largest music event in Canada and is free of cost. It is held annually. Tourists from all over the world come to attend this event. Another popular event is “Hamilton’s Festival with taste!” It is a culinary art event and there are fine wines, beers and top cuisines from all the restaurants around the city on display. This could be every foodies dream! Now, if you are into dramas, there is an eleven day theatre event by the name “Hamilton Fringe Festival” Be sure to attend any of these on your next trip to Hamilton.

Chilly adventures at Haunted Hamilton Ghost walk

This ideal ghost house is on King Street East Hamilton and is the best way to run chills down your spine. Hamilton is rich in horror history, and when the night is dark and the moon is out, there are plenty of ghost activities taking place down the streets of Hamilton. There are vivid options to choose from for a horrific background story. And then you walk through the tour, not knowing what will happen on every next step you move. It is eerie, creepy, and will leave you restless. It is definitely worth a try, especially if you are into haunted adventures.

A fresh day at Hamilton’s Farmer’s market

This farmers’ market at 35 York Boulevard is not just a farmers’ market. They’re around 60 vendors selling flowers, seeds, herbs, fruits, vegetables, coffee, meat, eggs, seafood and wines. You can walk around the market and shop for groceries, gifts and booze. You could try the baked goods on display. Vendors sell brands that have a market both nationally and internationally. The place is breezy, light and green.