Here are some of hamilton’s charming neighbourhoods, from north to South:

Flamborough

Flamborough is the mostly rural part of Hamilton northwest of King’s Highway #5 out to the the municipal boundary, just shy of the #401. At the junction of King’s Highways Nos. 5 and 6 known as Clappison’s Corners, and just east (and connected by continuous residential and commercial buildings) is the community of Waterdown.

Flamborough has 38,000 residents prior to amalgamation into the City of Hamilton. Because of the approval of new homes in Waterdown, at least 6,500 more houses in the near future

Waterdown has a theatre company, a YMCA. The Flamborough area is home to the Flamborough Speedway for auto racing, and Flamborough Downs for thoroughbred (horse) and harness racing. There are numerous golf course, Conservation areas, and the southern edge of this largely rural community has the Bruce Trail along the edge of the Niagara Escarpment.

Ancaster

Ancaster is the most westerly point of the “Golden Horseshoe” and is a bedroom community for those who work in downtown Hamilton as well as in Brantford, Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga or even Toronto. The community, which largely lies atop the Niagara Escarpment, had a population of 28,000 prior to annexation into Hamilton in 2000.

Ancaster was surveyed as Ancaster Township in the 1790s, and in 1851 became part of Wentworth County, and was one of the three original potential capitals of Upper Canada based on being close to water and with a strong defensible position, but in the ended was considered too close to the American border. Its pioneer settlers deforested the land and planted agricultural crops.

For a century it was an unimposing gristmill hamlet, and the restored Ancaster Old Mill today serves as restaurant and banquet hall. The Barracks of 1812 still stand on Wilson Street as a reminder of the war of 1812 between the British and Americans. Development in Old Ancaster, the historic village core, has been tightly controlled. There are ghost tours run throughout the summer with guides telling haunted stories of the area.

Ancaster has lots of indoor and outdoor recreation. On it west side, the Escarpment and the Dundas Valley Conservation Area, on its east side the Iroquois Heights Conservation Area, both connected by the famous Bruce Trail (from Queenston with Tobermory), in the middle, the Hamilton Golf & Country Club and on the eastern edge the Ancaster Fairgrounds as well as a Silver City theatre in the Meadowlands Power Centre. For those seeking insights into history, there’s the Fieldcote Museum.

Dundas

Dundas, just west of Westdale, was a town since 1848, and had a population of 20,000 prior to its annexation into Hamilton in 2001. It was nicknamed the Valley Town for its location inside a bend in the Niagara Escarpment. Its population has been stable for decades at about twenty thousand. Just above the Escarpment, to the west of Dundas is the community of Greenville.

Notable events are the Buskerfest in early June, while the Dundas Cactus Festival is held annually in August.

Dundas has significant recreational opportunities with the Dundas Valley Conservation Area, now operated by the Hamilton Conservation Authority, to its west and which via the Hamilton-Brantford Rail Trail links up with the Bruce Trail. Other green spaces include the Borer’s Falls Conservation Area, Crooks Hollow Conservation Area, Dundas Driving Park, Veterans Park and Cootes Paradise. The famous Royal Botanical Gardens also lie to the east side of the community. Dundas also has an indoor pool and an indoor arena.

Hamilton - Hess Village area - sliver (Steve Bates)

Hamilton – Hess Village area – sliver (Steve Bates)

Hamilton Downtown (Centre)

This part of Hamilton lies between Hamilton Harbour and the Escarpment (Mountain) and between James on the west and Kenilworth on the east. It includes such traditionally working class neighbourhoods as the North End, Beasley and Corktown , and a number of other neighborhoods east of downtown on both sides of Barton and Main Street.

Hamilton’s North End, has a rich history as a rough working class neighbourhood popular with Irish, Scottish and later Eastern Europeans immigrants over the years, who worked in the nearby factories and docks. The North End is separated from downtown by railroad tracks, literally on the ‘wrong side of the tracks’.

This blue collar area was heavily pro-union with residents part of the Teamsters, Longshoremen, United Steel Workers of America, and many other unions, and the seedier organized crime and gambling adding ‘character’ which became synonymous with Hamilton.

Corktown is the area settled by the Irish, on the south east side of downtown. At The Delta, where east-west Main Street and King St intersected, and around the huge Gage Park, are the communities of Blakely, Stipeley, Crown Point, and The Delta.

This area has extensive recreational opportunities, ranging from parklands along the Niagara Escarpment, including the Escarpment Rail Trail, Gage Park which is home to Hamilton’s Children’s Museum, and along the waterfront at Bayfront Park and Pier 4 Park which are home to several marinas and yacht clubs. For those preferring their team sports, there is Ivor Wynn Stadium, home to the cities CFL Ti-Cats. There are the Jackson Square and Broadway movie theatres and at the Centre Mall.

Hamilton - Devils Punchbowl - sliver (Steve Bates)

Hamilton – Devils Punchbowl – sliver (Steve Bates)

Hamilton Mountain

Escarpment viewThis part of Hamilton lies above (and generally south of) the Niagara Escarpment. This area is newer than the part of Hamilton below the Escarpment. The major north-south streets align with those in lower Hamilton, but have “Upper” preceding their names, for example Upper James aligns with James.

Hamilton Mountain is connected to the rest of Hamilton by roads that must traverse the Escarpment’s slope so if you head north on Upper James, you will end up on Victoria, and in the reverse direction, if you start head south on James, you end up on West 5th Street. Several major streets have no connection, like Upper Wentworth, Upper Sherman, Upper James and Upper Ottawa.
Fountain in Gore Park
The area is traversed east-west by the #86 Lincoln Alexander Parkway, which connects to the #403 in the west (and in turn to Brantford in one direction and Burlington & Toronto in the other). Soon, the new Red Creek Expressway (expected to open in 2007) will provide a direct connection to the QEW between Niagara Falls and Toronto.

There are a number of parks and natural areas, including the whole escarpment along the community’s northern edge, which is home to the famous Bruce Trail. There are also the Iroquois Heights Conservation Area, Chedoke Civic Gold and Ski Club in the west side of the community and the many parks along Red Creek, including the Mohawk Sport Park, Kings’ Forest Park, Mount Albion Conservation Area, and the Falker Falls Conservation Area. This community is served by three golf courses, plus several more in the largely rural area to the couth.

For those looking for movie entertainment, there are theatres at Meadowlands, Lime Ridge and Upper James. For those looking for historical inspiration, there is the Native Village and Burial Grounds by Ryckman’s Corner, and the Mohawk Trail School Museum

Hamilton - Stoney Creek Square - sliver (Steve Bates)

Hamilton – Stoney Creek Square – sliver (Steve Bates)

Stoney Creek

The community of Stoney Creek is located east of Hamilton where Stoney Creek flows into the south shore of western Lake Ontario. The community’s historic area, originally settled by United Empire Loyalists following the US War of Independence, is known as the “Old Town”, and lies below the Niagara Escarpment. These were joined by emigrants from the British Isles as well as from Italy, Croatia, Holland, Poland, the Punjab, Serbia, and Ukraine creating a very diverse population. In 1974 the old town of Stoney Creek merged with Saltfleet Township and in 1984 Stoney Creek became a city which in turn was amalgamated into Hamilton in 2000. Prior to its amalgamation, it had roughly sixty thousand inhabitants.

Stoney Creek SquareDue to the temperate environment on the western end of the Niagara Peninsula, in part due to the shelter created by the Escarpment, the Stoney Creek area was (and still is) known for fruit growing and more recently for growing grapes and making Ontario wines. Most of the area of Stoney Creek remains agricultural, and the communities of Elfrida, Fruitland, Tapleytown, Tweedside, Vinemount, and Winona still showcase the agricultural legacy of Stoney Creek and Saltfleet township

The major transportation artery in Stoney Creek is the QEW connecting the community to Niagara Falls and Buffalo to the southeast and Burlington, Oakville and Toronto to the Northeast. The community connects to Hamilton via Barton Street and the #8 (Queenston Rd).
Battlefield house in Stoney Creek
The area is bounded by Hamilton Beach to the west, parkland along Stoney Creek itself, the Bruce Trail for several kilometres along the Niagara Escarpment (which also includes the Devils Punchbowl, Vinemount and Winona Conservation areas), and the lakefront Fifty Point Conservation Area which also has a marina. The community has a number of historical sites and museums, including the Battlefield Park and the Erland Lee Museum.

Glanbrook

Glanbrook was formerly a rural township of about ten thousand inhabitants south of Hamilton, which (most importantly) contains the city’s international Airport at Mount Hope, but also the community of Binbrook. These townships were surveyed n the 1790s, and after being deforested by pioneer settlers, Glanbrook was suitable for grain cultivation and mixed agriculture, though this are was not as suited to fruit growing as the rest of the Niagara Peninsula.

Glanbrook is wholly located above the Niagara Escarpment. It typically suffers from heavier winter snowfall, heavier spring runoff. Although it appeared relatively flat, the land slopes to drain the northern portion into Lake Ontario and the southern portion drained into Lake Erie.

During the Second World War, the Royal Canadian Air Force built an airfield in Glanford Township as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, training pilots, navigators and wireless (radio) operators. The graves of 13 Britons and a Jamaican who did not survive their training are interred in a local churchyard. After the war, the RCAF Station Mount Hope was declared surplus and was converted to civil aviation in 1963. Over time it has grown into an international airport.

In 1974, when the municipal amalgamation process began, Glanford and Binbrook were amalgamated to form the Township of Glanbrook, and in 2000 they (and several others in the area) were amalgamated into the new & larger City of Hamilton.

A flood control dam was built at Binbrook Conservation Area 1971, near the source of the Welland River. Since this conservation area is operated by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, the reservoir was called Lake Niapenco. Binbrook Conservation Area offers fishing, boating, hiking and birding opportunities. For history buffs, the airport is home to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. The Glanbrook area also is home to a number of Hamilton’s golf courses.

Caledonia

Caledonia is just south of Hamilton, Ontario on Hwy #6. The Grand River runs through Caledonia and the landmark nine span bridge connects the community of heritage and growth. Caledonia has 10,000 residents, more than half have moved here in the last twenty years.

The heart of Caledonia’s outdoor recreation activities lies in the Grand River runs through the heart of the community, including the The Ramsay Walk and the River Walk.

Dunnville

Dunnville is a quiet, picturesque community of 12,000 on the Grand River and on Hwy# 3, between the Niagara and Hamilton regions. Byng Island Conservation Area and Rock Point Provincial Park are a nature lover’s paradise