With a population of around 500,000, HAMILTON lies at the extreme western end of Lake Ontario, about 70km from Toronto. The city takes its name from George Hamilton, a storekeeper-turned-landowner, who surveyed the area after he moved here following the destruction of his homestead during the War of 1812. By the early 1900s, Hamilton had become a major steel producer and today its mills churn out about half the country’s output, though the city’s industrial heyday has faded and in recent years it has struggled to keep itself afloat. Industrial cities are rarely high on tourist itineraries and Hamilton is no exception, but it does have one or two quality attractions, most notably the sprawling Royal Botanical Gardens. Other than the gardens, all the city’s key attractions are in – or within comfortable walking distance of – a surprisingly compact downtown core. This runs east to west parallel to the lake shore along King Street West and Main Street West, between Bay Street North and James Street North. Beyond here, Hamilton becomes a large and sprawling city with a confusing one-way street system.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Canada features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
19 phenomenal pictures of Canada

19 phenomenal pictures of Canada

Canada is famous for its stunning vistas, from the Arctic shores to the Rocky Mountains. But that's not all the country has to boast about. It also has engro…

30 Jun 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Video: the most beautiful places in Canada

Video: the most beautiful places in Canada

Simply put, Canada is stunning. The second largest country in the world, Canada is a land of crashing waterfalls, turquoise lakes and magnificent soaring mounta…

29 Jun 2017 • Olivia Rawes videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook