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.

Travel Deals View All >>

Experiences & Tours View All >>

Now thru November 6

Seeing the Invisible at RBG

Royal Botanical Gardens

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

Thursdays to Sundays, September 23 to November 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Now thru September 30

Date Night – Painting Experience for 2

studio k2

156 Parkdale Ave N, Hamilton, Ontario L8H 5X2

$165/2person including all materials. Host a couples paint party (max 10 guests in studio unlimited...

Now thru November 18

Grand Voyageur – Guided

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

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

Availability: This trip is offered daily, between April 20, 2021 to November 18, 2021 To...

Now thru March 26

Tastings at Tall Post Craft Cidery

Tall Post Craft Cider Company

1170 Hendershot Rd, Hannon, ON L0R 1P0, Canada

Open Monday to Saturday 10:00 am to 6:30 pm. Closed Sundays.

Now thru October 15

Experience the Grand – 2 Day/1 Night Package

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

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

Costing: Per Person, Based on Double Occupancy, Choice of Canoe, Kayak or Bike: Canoe $289.65; Kayak $299.00;...

Now thru October 31

Fun Farm Yard

Springridge Farm

7256 Bell School Line, Milton, ON, L9T 2Y1

Now thru November 2

Rentals – Canoe, Kayak, Bikes and River Tubes

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

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

Now thru October 15

Paddling the Grand – Self-Guided Group Trip for 10

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

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

Availability: This trip is offered daily, between: March 10, 2021 and October 15, 2021 To...

October 9 - November 27

Virtual Kids Studio Class: Paint, Draw, Print!

Art Gallery of Hamilton

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

Saturdays, October 9, 16, 23, 30, November 6, 13, 20, 27 10:00 am - 11:30...

Now thru October 22

5-Day Bruce Trail Waterfall Walking Tour

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

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

A UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Offered every day.

Now thru October 31

2-Day Bruce Trail Hiking Experience

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

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

Nature-Based Overnight Escape

Now thru October 15

Voyage of the Iroquois

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

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

Grand River - Highway of the Iroquois

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