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”.

Travel Deals View All >>

Experiences & Tours View All >>

Now thru November 30

Go Karts and Paintball Fun

Cameron Speedway & Amusements

2633 Upper James St. Mount Hope , ON L0R 1W0

Mon - SUN: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm All prices are per driver, no splitting...

Now thru March 13

Ice climbing

One Axe Pursuits

7200 Appleby Line, Milton, ON, L9T 2Y1

Must request Ancaster location. Saturdays 10am to 4pm. $250 per person plus HST.

Now thru April 30

Nith River Forest Hiking Experience

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

Trip offered on Saturday, Sunday or Monday from October 3, 2020 to April 30, 2021....

Now thru December 31

PRIVATE GROUP BEER TOURS – GROUPS OF 8+

Original Hamilton Beer Tours

5 Hamilton St. N; Hamilton, Ontario, L0R 2H0

4 to 9 hours Price: From $105 per person + HST Contact to arrange your...

Now thru December 31

Christie Lake Conservation Area – Swimming, Picnicking

Christie Lake Conservation Area

1000 Highway 5 West, Dundas, ON, L9E 5E2

Open 7 days a week, from sunrise to sunset, unless otherwise posted. Per Vehicle and...

Now thru November 30

Upper Nith River Experience in Fall

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

Fall Colours!

Now thru December 31

Virtual Tour – The Hamilton Military Museum

The Hamilton Military Museum

610 York Boulevard, Hamilton, ON, L8R 3H1

November 28 - March 21

Family Weekend Getaway – Nature’s Escape

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

Trip available on Friday, Saturday or Sunday November 28 to March 21. Cost: $449

Now thru December 20

Christmas Ferris Wheel Experience

Downtown Hamilton BIA

20 Hughson Street South, Hamilton, ON, L8N 2A1

Free Available noon-8pm every Thursday-Sunday from December 5 to December 20. Must wear Mask.

Similar Stories View All >>

Pour A Perfect Pint This Winter

Hamilton Halton Brant’s True Brew Path excel at making beers, ciders and wines that pair perfectly with sub-zero temperatures

Read More

Gift It Forward

Amazingly giftable experiences that your friends and family will adore!

Read More

Say Cheers To Cozy Winter Craft Beer Vibes

Check out our combinations of beer, outdoor activities and cold-weather comfort foods for the winter months ahead

Read More

Holly Jolly Hometowns … The Grand River Country Edition

Explore Grand River Country this Holiday Season

Read More

Holly Jolly Hometowns … The Halton Hills Edition

A burst of joy in Halton Hills

Read More

Holly Jolly Hometowns … The Burlington Edition

All things merry and bright in Burlington

Read More

Holly Jolly Hometowns … The Oakville Edition

Get into the Holiday spirit in Oakville

Read More

Holly Jolly Hometowns … The Hamilton Edition

Find the perfect gift in Hamilton this Holiday season

Read More

Holly Jolly Hometowns … The Dundas and Ancaster Edition

Celebrate the season in Dundas and Ancaster

Read More

8 Made-In-Ontario Gift Ideas

Gift Ideas Guaranteed to Make The Holidays A Little Cozier

Read More

Just One Night

Need a change of scenery? These 2-day itineraries will get you on your way.

Read More

Trick or Treat Tradesies

Scare up some fun in Hamilton Halton Brant!

Read More

Get Travel OffersEvent Details and Planning Ideas for Your Next Trip

Sign up to receive the latest Hamilton Halton Brant travel news delivered right to your inbox.