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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Now thru October 2

KRAZY KARS

Adventure Village

580 Van Wagners Beach Road Hamilton, Ontario L8E 3L8

Opening Canada Day weekend! Call for pricing! Hours Mon to Thurs 12-9pm; Fri 12-10pm, Sat...

Now thru December 31

Virtual Tour – The Hamilton Military Museum

The Hamilton Military Museum

610 York Boulevard, Hamilton, ON, L8R 3H1

Now thru October 30

Weekend in Paris Adventure

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

113 Grand River St N Paris, ON N3L 2M4

Start at 113 Grand River St. North, Paris at 9:00 am Canoe - Weekend $/person...

Now thru August 30

Sunday Music in the Gardens

Royal Botanical Gardens

680 Plains Road West Burlington, L7T 4H4

Admission-Adult $18; Youth/Student $15; Senior $15; Child age 4 to 12-$10; Child under age 4...

August 22 - 23

Adult/Teen Summer Art Classes – Outdoor Photography

Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant

20 Ava Road, Brantford

10 am – 4 pm each day; Location is at the Coach House & Gardens;...

Now thru October 15

Guided 2 day /1 night Youth River Trip

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

113

Starting point at 113 Grand River St N, Paris; Starting time at 9 am; Canoe...

Now thru November 1

Self-Guided Grand River Group Trip

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

113 Grand River St N Paris, ON N3L 2M4

Various times available; Starting point at 113 Grand River St North This trip can launch...

Now thru December 27

Nickel Brook Brewery – Online Only

Nickel Brook Brewery

864 Drury Lane, Burlington, ON, L7R 2Y4

Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance to ensure your spot on...

Now thru October 15

Grand River Adventure Getaway

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

113 Grand River St N Paris, ON N3L 2M4

Start at 113 Grand River St. North, Paris at 9:00 or 11:30 am; Canoe -...

Now thru September 4

Girlfriend Friday One day Retreats

Burlington Beach Rentals

1094 Lakeshore Rd Burlington, Ontario

9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Must register in advance online. Limited spots per date. Ladies...

Now thru October 15

Paris to Brant Park

Grand River Rafting Company

31 Mechanic Street, Paris, ON, N3L 1L1

Summer | June 20 to September 13, 2020 - Monday to Friday - Various times...

Now thru October 15

Overnight Grand River Canoe Camping Trip

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

113 Grand River St N Paris, ON N3L 2M4

Starting at 113 Grand River Street North, Paris.

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