A lot of people are talking about Hamilton these days – including some of North America’s top travel and lifestyle writers. The city was featured recently in no less than the New York Times, Elle Canada magazine and major dailies like The Globe and Mail and Montreal’s Le Devoir, where it’s been called “a burgeoning hipster haven” and “full of promises and surprises”. Read on to travel in the footsteps of those in the know, and get the experts’ take on not-to-be missed spots in this urban centre that is definitely trending!


Spectacular Sights

Webster’s Falls, Spencer Gorge

Benoit Legault of Montreal’s Le Devoir recently visited Hamilton and raved about the vibrancy of the city. The travel writer of Canada’s esteemed daily francophone newspaper spent time in the city exploring its culinary and live music scenes, along with beautiful historic sites and “remarkable” museums. Legault suggests that Hamilton has emerged from the shadow of Toronto to compete with Canada’s largest city as a must-see destination, with recommendations to visit Dundurn Castle, Whitehern, Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. To take in and enjoy the area’s “bucolic natural settings”, he suggests heading to Royal Botanical Gardens and Spencer Gorge Conservation Area.


The Local Food Scene

Radius

The consensus is that Hamilton’s local food scene has exploded, and according to the Globe and Mail, one reason is that restaurant veterans are “ditching Toronto for Hamilton”. It lists at least five top Toronto chefs who have relocated to open buzz-worthy spots like Hamburgr, Aberdeen Tavern, The Heather and The French. Benoit Legault of Montreal’s Le Devoir raved about some of the same spots, specifically recommending The FrenchRadius, and Aberdeen Tavern, while giving a special shout out to the Hamilton Farmers’ Market.

Elle Canada also explored a few of the spots that are pioneering the Hamilton foodie landscape, eating its way across Hamilton with delicious results. The magazine recommends Earth to Table Bread Bar for “truly insane pizza” along with The Burnt Tongue for its changing roster of hearty daily soups and Belgian fries.

Of the New York Times’ “five places to go”, three eateries were mentioned, including Nique, a spot that pays tribute to Canada’s ethnic mosaic with a menu that leaps from sushi nachos to braised beef cheek. The Times also praised its “playfully named cocktails”, specifically the bourbon-infused Thai Cat, a homage to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Saint James is described as a packed daytime-only eatery, where weekend crowds “queue for brunch staples like peppery avocado toast, crunchy falafel salad and house-made scones.” Steps from the James Street North strip, the tiny, all-white espresso bar Smalls offers “meticulous artisanal coffee alongside pillowy pastries from De La Terre, an organic bakery 29 miles to the east in Vineland”.


Arts Explosion

The Assembly

In its feature story on Hamilton, the New York Times noted that the city is getting a big boost from creatives fleeing Toronto’s skyrocketing real estate costs. The Times found much of the buzz centered on once-rundown James Street North, which is percolating with a vibrant art scene. At The Assembly, sixteen prominent Ontario artists, including the painter Daniel Hutchinson and the sculptor Andrea Carvalho, started a bi-level cooperative gallery as an incubator for edgier work — and an alternative to Toronto’s competitive art scene.

Read more about this up and coming city and see for yourself why everyone is buzzing about “The Hammer”.

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Camping at Kelso

Kelso Conservation Area / Glen Eden

5234 Kelso Road, Milton, ON, L9T 2X7

Additional campers are $10 / person

Now thru July 3

Slither & Crawl

Mountsberg Conservation Area and Discovery Centre

2259 Millborough Line, Campbellville, ON, L0P 1B0

Meets in the Cameron Courtyard. *Children must be accompanied by an adult. $10 per person...

July 23

Watercolour Fun for Beginners

Royal Botanical Gardens

680 Plains Rd W, Burlington, ON, Canada

10:00 am - 3:00 pm

June 2 - August 31

Seeing the Invisible at RBG

Royal Botanical Gardens

680 Plains Road West, Burlington, ON, L7T 4H4

Adult: $19.50 Senior: $16.50 Youth/Student: $16.50 Child age 4 to 12: $11.50 Child under 4:...

Now thru December 31

Guided Walking Tours in Milton

16 James Street, Milton, ON, Canada

June 1 - August 17

Growing Your Own Food: Workshops

Royal Botanical Gardens

680 Plains Rd W, Burlington, ON, Canada

Fee: $20 per session or $50 for all three sessions + Service Fee (Members 10%...

Now thru October 15

Camping at Brant Park

Brant Conservation Area

119 Jennings Road, RR #4, Brantford, ON, N3T 5L7

Now thru May 23

Michèle Pearson Clarke: Muscle Memory

Art Gallery of Hamilton

123 King Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8P 4S8

Now thru October 31

Camping at Rattlesnake Point

Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area

7200 Appleby Line, Milton, ON, L9T 2Y1

Additional campers are $10 / person

Now thru December 31

Serial Production

McMaster Museum of Art

McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8S 4L6

May 22 - September 18

Turbo Tubing For Beginners: Five Oaks Trip

Grand River Rafting Company

119 Jennings Road, Brantford, Ontario

$33 per person plus HST Includes turbo tube, paddle, pfd jacket, upstream shuttle ride, map...

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