Hamilton, Ontario, is situated at the west end of Lake Ontario; it is 68 km southwest of Toronto and 66 km west of Niagara Falls and the American border. The boundaries expanded in 2001 to include Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Stoney Creek, and Glanbrook. Hamilton is a steel producer.
Hamilton is built over the land formerly inhabited by the Neutral and Mississauga nations. Hamilton first began as a town envisioned by George Hamilton, who purchased the Durand farm after the War of 1812. This town quickly became a densely populated, industrialized area at the west end of Lake Ontario called the Golden Horseshoe; in 2000, it grew to include other neighboring towns.
The economy in Hamilton has traditionally been highly dependent on the heavy manufacturing and steel industries. Still, there has been a shift in the service sector, like health and sciences, within the last decade. This includes educational institutions such as McMaster University, Royal Botanical Gardens, and Mohawk College. McMaster University is ranked 4th in Canada and 69th globally by Times Higher Education Rankings 2021.
Google maps Hamilton
Hamilton’s population has paralleled its economic cycles. After 1857 when Hamilton lost the Great Western Railway plan, 20-25% of the population left the city within 7 years. Still, in the final decades of the 19th century, their economy and population grew steadily, primarily driven by British immigrants. From 1900 to 1913, industrial expansion increased territorial annexations, attracting industrial workers from Britain, Italy, and Poland. Then in the 1920s, refugees arrived from central Europe and the Baltic States when others elsewhere suffered economic hardship.
Hamilton is in Southern Ontario, on the western end of the Niagara Peninsula, and wraps around the westernmost part of Lake Ontario. The majority of Hamilton lies on the south shore. Hamilton’s geographical center lies in the middle of Golden Horseshoe, with Hamilton Harbour on its northern limit. The city is bisected by the Niagara Escarpment, which cuts across its entire breadth and splits it into upper and lower parts. The highest point is 250m above sea level.
According to all records from local historians, the district was called Attiwandaronia by the native people. The first Indigenous peoples who settled in the Hamilton area called the bay Macassa, meaning ‘beautiful waters’, and Hamilton is one of 11 cities showcased in a book entitled Green City: People, Nature & Urban Places by Quebec author Mary Soderstrom that examines the city as an example of an industrial powerhouse co-existing with nature. Thomas McQuesten and his family become champions for parks, greenspace, and roads in Hamilton during the 1930s.
From Hamilton’s deep seaport, the QEW and the Canal Lift Bridge provide the only entrances to Hamilton. The sandbar that provides passage from the ocean was deposited during higher lake levels in an ice age and extended southeast through the central lower city.
Head-of-the-Lake was initially named because of its location at the western end of Lake Ontario, and it was described in 1803 as a forest except for its beaches.
George Hamilton, a settler and local politician, set up a townsite of sorts in the northern portion of Barton. He kept the east-west Indian trails but made the north-south streets on a grid pattern. Streets were either east or west if they crossed James Street or Highway 6. Streets were called north or south if they crossed King Street or Highway 8.
George Hamilton was inspired by the common grid street plan of many towns. He placed eighty town lots with a fifty-foot frontage; each lot faced a broad street with twelve-foot lanes on the backside. It took at least ten years to sell all the original lots, but following increased commercial activity elsewhere in the village, Hamilton added more blocks around 1828–1829. The placement of a market square attracted more people, but growth occurred on the north side of Hamilton’s original plot.
The Hamilton Conservation Authority manages 11,100 acres of land and owns 4,500 hectares. The city of Hamilton is responsible for 310 acres of parkland spread throughout the region. The Bruce Trail, which runs the length of the escarpment, is a popular hiking path for people in Hamilton. Visitors often go swimming in creeks near the trail during summertime, although it is not advised. The City of Hamilton is experiencing high E. coli levels in most waterfalls due to runoff pollutants from the city’s storm sewers. Notably, it was recently revealed that 24 gallons have been leaking sewage into the Chedoke creek and Cootes’ Paradise regions.
According to Köppen, Hamilton’s climate is humid-continental. This means that the weather can be unpredictable. You can also see it as borderline Dfb and Dfa climates found around southern Ontario because of the average temperatures in July, 22 degrees Celsius. Hamilton’s climate is moderate and sits beside an embayment on the southwestern corner of Lake Ontario. Pollution levels in the lower city are primarily due to steel-producing factories, though some are also due to regional vehicle pollution. Though the Dfa climate zone is usually found at the southwestern end of Lake Ontario, this does not include the immediate lakeshore.
Hamilton is a rural area, which means it will be colder, and the snowfall is higher than in cities located in lower areas. The coldest temperature recorded was -30.6 °C (-23 °F) on January 25, 1884.
Did you know?
- Haudenosaunee people have been in the area of Western Lake Ontario for at least 6,000 years. About 20,000 to 40,000 Haudenosaunee people were living in 1650. They lived on neutral grounds because they had not participated in the battle between the Huron and Iroquois people.
- Hamilton was a small community in the 1820s before constructing a canal to business bay improved access. With immigration from the UK, Hamilton continued to grow and prosper. Soon plans for steamships, a bank, and a railway were made.
- The Neutrals have been historically difficult to study due to an unclear history, but recently, it has been possible to identify new findings. There are recent developments in the understanding of the Neutral people, and it is thus becoming more straightforward to determine their history.
- Hamilton, Ontario, is the leading industrial center in Canada. In the mid-1800s, Hamilton became Canada’s biggest steel producer.
- The railway construction was delayed due to an economic panic in 1837. The construction was delayed until the early 1850s, and most of the service was led by Sir Allan MacNab. He helped coordinate city involvement in Great Western Railway and also other railways.
- As the world entered its first major war in both World Wars, Hamilton’s factories had shifted to serving wartime production needs. After the Second World War, Hamilton changed its focus in time for the lasting post-war boom for appliances, automobiles, and houses.
- The city has a lot of financial opportunities and is home to one of Canada’s largest open-air markets.
- Hamilton has a harbor that is 8 km from Burlington Beach. This harbor was an obstacle to urban development until the end of World War II, as Hamilton’s escarpment created barriers.
- Downtown Hamilton has residential areas, like the old elite Durand District, Westdale, Ancaster, Dundas, and Waterdown. These are all middle-class communities that are close to the west end. There are also diverse communities in Hamilton, like Britannia, which has a lot of ethnic neighborhoods.
- McMaster University is a wealthy institution showcased in Hamilton since 1930.
- In 1967, Mohawk College evolved from the Provincial Institute of Textiles and later became the Hamilton Institute of Technology. The institution also welcomed Redeemer University College in 1982, specializing in an undergraduate Christian liberal arts college.