There’s a lot to look forward to in Hamilton this year.

Think headline-making new eateries, big music acts, and a legendary football game.

We’ve also got fresh new takes on some favourite. Hamilton festivals, new exhibits and experiences, and a swanky new hotel to relax in after a day exploring the city.

Here are a few dozen new reasons to put a visit to Hamilton on your 2023 bucket list.

Take a bite of of these new restaurants

  • 11:11 Cocktail & Raw Bar: This moody new spot features shareable charcuterie and oyster plates and unique crafted cocktails. Find them on James Street South under also new presecco bar Secco.
  • My Father was Famous: Find this new underground speakeasy down the stairs and behind a bookshelf, just under Caro Restaurant on James Street North.
  • Pintoh Cuisine: This much-loved Thai restaurant is opening downtown on John Street after shutting down its Burlington location.
  • Fisticuffs: Night market vibes meet Chinese Malaysian snack foods at this cool new Barton Street East spot.
  • Plank Resto Bar: This chef-inspired resto-bar serves up fresh creative comfort food on bustling Augusta Street.
  • Lady Glaze Donuts: Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Butter Tart are among the flavours at this popular donut shop’s first Hamilton location on Concession Street.
  • Kitchen Island: Mouth-watering baked goods like fresh Challah loaves, chocolate Babka, and cinnamon twists are waiting for you at this artisanal bakeshop in the city’s east end.
  • Beloved Ramen counter Mystic Ramen has opened their first sit-down location on King William Street, steps from 80s-inspired Electric Diner’s new second location.

Music Acts You Won’t Want to Miss

  • The Queen of country-pop Shania Twain brings her Queen of Me World Tour to Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre June 20th.
  • The CMAOntario Awards will celebrate great country music with a weekend of live events capped off with an awards show at Theatre Aquarus June 2 – 4.
  • Experience the magic of immersive performances with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, celebrating its 50th season.
  • Check out CORE Entertainment for more big concert announcements coming soon.

Cheer on these sports teams

  • Hamilton will celebrate its deep football roots at the 110th Grey Cup, coming to the city’s Tim Hortons Field November 19.
  • The oldest footrace in North America Around the Bay returns March 26 for its legendary course around Hamilton Harbour.
  • Cheer on your favourite sports like Hamilton’s new Lacrosse team The Rock, 2021 OHL champions Hamilton Bulldogs, legendary Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and CPL soccer champions Forge FC.

More visit worthy exhibits and events

  • Warm up this winter with local craft beer and cider sampling at Because Brrr Feb 17 – 18, complete with live music, food and a free retro arcade.
  • Embrace the beauty of winter at this year’s reimagined Winterfest, bringing installations, and performances to the rooftop of downtown’s Jackson Square Feb 10 – 20.
  • The region’s biggest block party Supercrawl returns this September to take over Hamilton’s downtown core for a weekend of incredible live performances and large-scale art installations.
  • Escape into a world of beauty and reflection at Art Gallery of Hamilton featuring world class exhibits year-round including the new Radical Stitched show exploring contemporary Indigenous beading.
  • Step into a tropical rainforest and explore RBG’s Winter Exhibit, Frogs: A Chorus of Colours. With daily animal encounters and after-dark events, the entire family will enjoy their time with the frogs.
  • If you have a plane or military enthusiast in the family, you’ll want to check-out the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, especially during HeritageCon XV where you can see Canada’s greatest plastic scale model contest.
  • The biggest and best Food Truck festival around, Sew Hungry, returns to Hamilton’s historic fabric district along Ottawa Street North May 13 for its 10th anniversary.

New Street Art

  • The new mural project A World of Welcome celebrates the unique and diverse experiences of women of colour in downtown Hamilton and features works by artists such as Olka Art Collective.
  • A must-see mural is local artist Scott McDonald’s newest piece, the Peregrine Falcon. The blue, green, and yellow piece you see today was the people’s choice.
  • Mother Earth created by Toronto based artist, Bacon, will stop you in your tracks. The piece is meant to symbolize the harmony that can exist between nature and technology.
  • Harmony by Robyn Lightwalker boldly brings to life the concept that animals, humans, and nature can co-exist within the urban landscape of the city.
  • Bike or walk your way up the Keddy Access Trail and explore the vibrant new murals of six artists and artist teams that bring life to the barriers and columns on the public trail.
  • For more murals to explore visit our Guide to Hamilton Street Art.

lay your head down for the night

After a long day exploring the city, unwind at Hamilton’s newest downtown hotel on bustling Augusta Street. Hamilton Laundry Rooms combines the convenience of a fully furnished short-term stay with the service and design of a great hotel.

Lose yourself in this old Dundas farmhouse restored and reimagined as a stunning spa retreat. Each of the new The High Acre’s four suites has its own private sauna, steam room, cold plunge/bathtub, and fireplace.

New shot-in Hamilton releases

This year, Hamilton has a starring role in even more shot-here movies and tv shows. Follow in the steps of these productions and see for yourself where the cameras rolled.

  • The Big Cigar – This Don Cheadle produced miniseries follows the extraordinary true story of Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton’s escape to Cuba. Just some local backdrops include Bayfront Park, Hamilton City Hall, Ottawa Street North, and Trocadero Restaurant.
  • Fubar – A father and daughter’s relationship is tested when they learn they’ve each been working as a secret CIA operative. The Netflix movie stars Arnold Schwarzeneggar and was filmed in part at Valens Conservation Area.
  • Accused – This new anthology series coming to Global TV tells 15 stories of crime and punishment – each in a different city and stars a huge cast including Abigail Breslin, Rhea Perlman and Malcolm-Jamal Warner. Locations include James Street North, Barton Street East, and Tim Hortons Field.

New Flights to and from Europe

This summer Hamilton International Airport will welcome PLAY Airlines, offering low-cost daily and direct flights from Hamilton to Reykjavík-Keflavík International Airport. Travelers can explore the wonders of Iceland or connect onwards to 26 iconic destinations across Europe. And travel from Europe to Hamilton for a steal!

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