📍 Hamilton, ON
Population: Upwards of 500,000
Location: ~ 60km from Toronto, ~ 70km from Niagara Falls
The port city of Hamilton lies on the western end of Lake Ontario and within its city boundaries, is separated into two substantially different “upper” and “lower” territories. With the Niagara escarpment running through the majority of the city; it plays a natural divide from Downtown to what the locals call uptown; “The mountain”.
Let’s start with Downtown.
The 19th century had already seen Hamiltons economy grow steadily over the years, however the beginning of the 1900’s saw two manufacturers open their doors for the first time subsequently putting the city high on the industrial map of Canada for years to come.
‘Steeltown’ was born.
Stelco and Dofasco create more than 60% of Canada’s steel.
Both companies over the years went through massive highs but unfortunately both no longer exist as they started; however the industry lives on shaped from these two steel giants.
As smoke continues to billow over Lake Ontario, it is a daily reminder of what gave Hamilton it’s Steeltown name.
Taking a short drive up the hill with manufacturers and factories fading into the horizon behind you, you find yourself entering a new widely diverse suburbia.
Of course both halves are one in the same; the altitude must play a part in creating a more laid back take on things compared to an action packed Downtown.
Focusing on the escarpment; the divide of two worlds. This vast strip of nature gives a certain spark to the mountain that makes it so special. Up here, there are several trails, hiking and walking paths, forestry and wildlife that isn’t at all too far from reach.
One of the more prominent tracks here known as the Bruce trail comes with a span of over 800km, and been said to be the oldest and longest marked trail in all of Canada.
Along this trail you will find not all, but most of Hamilton’s great waterfalls they have to offer. Considering there are over 100 to choose from I’d take a couple of days at least to capture as many as you can! Many are open to the public and offer great short tracks and viewing platforms however quite a few on the list are located on private property so special access may be needed!
So wether it’s the hustle and bustle and sky high towers that you crave; or simply the serenity of the land around you, Hamilton, be it high or low; is one.
It’ll always be my home from home.