HAMILTON (Ontario)


Hamilton is the capital of Canada's steel and iron industry. It is the center of an industrialized and very populated region at the southwest of Lake Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe. In fact, the region covered by Toronto and Hamilton is considered the foremost industrialized area in Canada.

It has a population of a little less than 500,000 in 2006 with over 20 percent born outside of Canada. This made Hamilton the third Canadian city with the most percentage of foreign-born residents, with Toronto at number one with 49 percent of its population and Vancouver at number two with 39 percent. Immigrants living in Hamilton are mostly from countries in the Middle East and Asia. Less than a quarter of the immigrant population is made up of Italians, Scot, Englishmen and other people of European descent. More than three-quarters of the population consider themselves Christians, with more Protestants than Catholics. Other religions are making their presence known, particularly those brought in by immigrants.

Weather in Hamilton is considered moderate continental. Summertime in Hamilton tends to be humid with the warmest temperatures occurring in July (average of 22 degrees Celsius).

Hamilton is also gaining popularity as an ideal location for shooting films and TV episodes, most probably because of the diversity of its surroundings. The city is getting well-known in other countries because of its growing culture and arts scene, independent film outfits, and music studios. Also, McMaster University and Mohawk College are located in the city. These public learning institutions help in training the city's growing immigrant community to get by in an English-speaking country.


Hamilton town was first formed in the early 19th century English businessman George Hamilton bought the farm holdings of fellow Englishman James Durand. Hamilton retained many of the roads going east and west, but the roads going north and south were put on a grid-like pattern. This pattern is often used in towns in Canada at the time.

Since the beginning, Hamilton town has the reputation of being blue-collar. The growth of industries dealing with steel and iron gave the city a skyline filled with smokestacks. This probably contributed to the independent communities and neighborhoods which made up an older version of what will be Hamilton City. A newer version of the city was formed in 2001 when the six municipalities in the surrounding region were forced to merge.


╣Canadian International Military Tattoo. This is an annual event usually held in June. It is two and a half hours filled with music, drums and pipes from various military and civilian bands from all over the country. The event focuses on Canada's military heritage and the fight towards national sovereignty.

╣Hamilton Waterfront Wingfest. This is an annual three-day event held in June. Who knew that fried chicken wings can come in a wide variety of flavors? If you are traveling with your family, don't forget to check this festival out and sample the chicken wing dishes of various local restaurants. The event also features various rides for the children and an art show for interested folks.

╣Royal Botanical Gardens, which covers lands both in Hamilton and in the city of Burlington. It is one of the foremost destinations for people visiting Toronto and Niagara Falls since it opened in the 1940s. It is 980 hectares of sanctuary for plants, as well as for birds, amphibians and reptiles in Canada. It is home to various species of plants, especially the endangered ones.

╣Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. It features aircraft used by the Canadian military, many still in airworthy condition. The museum also restores aircraft used during World War II. The museum organizes airshows to display its collection. What's more, some of the planes are available for short flights to museum visitors.

╣Bruce Trail. If you are into hiking, then you would want to try this hiking trail which follows the Niagara Escarpment and spans the central and southern Ontario. The trail is one of UNESCO's Biosphere Reserves. As expected, there are many waterfalls as well as rivers along the trail. However, you will also encounter a wide range of wild plant life, as well as an eye-opener on the effect of human activity on nature.

╣Canadian Football Hall of Fame. It displays significant achievements of the Canadian Football League, as well as junior football and university football. It also displays metal busts of members inducted to the hall of fame.

╣downtown Dundas, the center of the Dundas community in Hamilton. Many productions both for film and television were done in the Dundas community, like “Man of the Year” which starred Robin Williams and episodes from the television series “The West Wing.” Downtown Dundas is the site of the annual Dundas International Buskerfest in June where a wide variety of street performers and entertainers delight the family. It also holds the annual Dundas Cactus Festival during August, a three-day event which features sidewalk vendors and merchants who sell a wide variety of items, as well as live performances and games.

╣Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH). It opened in 1914 and is now one of the oldest galleries in the country. It is also the third biggest public gallery in the province of Ontario and is rated highly by the Canada Council for the Arts. It houses a very comprehensive collection of historical and modern art done by Canadian artists, as well as contemporary works from European and American artists. It also organizes various classes and activities for people of all ages to try to develop a better appreciation for culture and the arts. It has also been the subject of numerous songs and poetry.


The city's public transportation needs are serviced by Coach Canada, GO Transit buses bound for Toronto, and Greyhound Canada.

Shops in the Ontario usually accept payment through credit cards or debits from cards or ATMs. Canadian stores usually accept credit cards like MasterCard, Visa, and American Express. You can be charged up to $2 per ATM transaction, but you should clarify with your home bank on other fees it may charge you.