There’s a rumour going around that Hamilton is to Toronto, what Brooklyn is to New York City. Some credit Toronto’s sky-high real estate prices with driving artists, musicians and chefs out of the city to set up shop in Hamilton. Others say the city of steel has always been cool, and is just finally getting the credit it deserves.

Why don’t you be the judge? Just like Manhattanites can hop on public transit to get to Brooklyn, GO Transit makes it easy for Toronto residents to get to Hamilton to explore the much buzzed about scene for themselves. Your best bet is to take the Lakeshore GO Train west from the city as far as the Aldershot Station, and then take a quick bus connection to get to downtown Hamilton.

Wondering what sights should be on your must-see list once you get here? Well, that depends on your interests.

Art lovers should plan a stop at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. It’s Canada’s third-largest public art gallery and is home to over 9,500 works of art. Just down the street you’ll find the Art Gallery of Hamilton Design Annex. Time your visit with one of the hands-on classes offered here, shop for unique art pieces in the Art+Design store, and take in one of the gallery’s experimental exhibitions. A great way for out-of-towners to tour through some of the city’s independent art spaces, including galleries, shops and studios, is to attend the monthly James Street North Art Crawl. It’s held on the second Friday night of every month.

Foodies will want to make some time to explore the Hamilton Farmer’s Market. It’s been providing the city with fresh food since 1837 and is a great starting point for getting a taste for the city’s signature flavours. If you’d prefer a guided tour for your taste buds, consider tagging along on Hamilton Food Tour’s James Street North Food Tour. The 3.5-hour walking tour is offered every third Saturday of the month and is a fun way to get to know the city’s restaurant scene. Hamilton’s independent restaurant scene is cooking, so the only problem you’ll have finding a great restaurant is narrowing down your options. The restaurant round-ups you’ll find from Tourism Hamilton, Elle Canada and Huffington Post will help you choose.

Music lovers need to schedule their visit so they can take in some of the city’s amazing live local music scene. Popular music venues include This Ain’t Hollywood and The Casbah. If you’re only visiting during the day, get your music fix flipping through vinyl at the very cool Dr. Disc.

Just like Brooklyn, Hamilton is a city of distinct neighbourhoods, so leave some time to do some exploring. Locke Street South is one of the city’s hottest commercial districts with great fashion and gift stores. Ottawa Street is known as the city’s design district, with great fabric shops and sources for scoring unique vintage finds.

Don’t keep your Hamilton discoveries to yourself. Share photos of your favourite finds on social media by tagging them with #HamiltonHaltonBrant.

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Experiences & Tours View All >>

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 March 31

Work from Hotel Package

Best Western C Hotel by Carmen’s-Hamilton

1530 Stone Church Road East, Hamilton, ON, L8W 3P9

Now thru April 5

Sugarbush Season at Mountsberg

Mountsberg Conservation Area and Discovery Centre

2259 Millborough Line, Campbellville, ON, L0P 1B0

Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Holidays, 9am-5pm, Fee: Non-members - $10(Adult), $8(Senior), $7(Child), Free(Children 4 &...

Now thru 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 April 1

Paris, The Arlington and The Grand River Staycation

Omega Tours

3175 Rutherford Road #55, Vaughan, Ontario L4K 5Y6 Canada

March 12 - April 5

Mountsberg Sugarbush Daytime Tours

Mountsberg Conservation Area and Discovery Centre

2259 Millborough Line, Campbellville, ON, L0P 1B0

Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Holidays, 9am-5pm, Fee: $10 + Gate Fee

March 12 - April 5

Mountsberg Sugarbush Evening Tours

Mountsberg Conservation Area and Discovery Centre

2259 Millborough Line, Campbellville, ON, L0P 1B0

Thursdays to Sundays, Holidays, 5-10pm, Fee: Members & Non-members - $25(Adult), $20(Senior), $18(Child), Free(Children 4...

Now thru March 31

Date Night in Paris

Arlington Hotel

106 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M5

Sunday-Thursday: $225 (Gratuity+HST), Friday&Saturday: $250 (Gratuity+HST)

Now thru March 31

Winter Wine Patio Experience

Ridge Road Estate Winery

1205 Ridge Road, Vinemount, ON, L8J 2X5

Reservations required. Email to book your reservation.

Now thru April 30

Brantford Eats Local

Tourism Brantford

399 Wayne Gretzky Parkway, Brantford, ON, N3R 8B4

Now thru April 30

Nith River Forest Winter 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 March 21

Winteractive

Royal Botanical Gardens

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

Fee: Included in General Admission, Time: 10am-5pm

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