As we say goodbye (and good riddance) to 2020, we’re looking ahead to a new year in Hamilton.
While we still have to remain vigilant about each others’ safety, we all need things to look forward to.
From new restaurant openings to planned events to all the things we can still enjoy doing safely, here’s our list of 10 things we’re all hoping to experience in 2021.
1. Welcoming a Tall Ship to Hamilton
Hamilton is poised to welcome tall ship TS Playfair to our shores this summer. The 72-foot tall ship operated by the Brigs Youth Sail Training will sail into its new home at the West Harbour later this spring. The sailing training vessel was commissioned by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1973 and remains the only Canadian ship to be commissioned by a reigning monarch. Stay tuned for information about public deck tours this summer.
2. Digging In To These New Restaurants
Looking to bite into something new while supporting local in 2021? Here are just some of the recently opened eateries you should add to your must-try and order-in list this year.
- Cowabunga Pizza – This tiny takeaway pizza joint on Upper Wellington is cranking out some of the city’s best pies. Phone lines open in the morning and their delicious pizzas sell out fast, so order early.
- The Dirty South – This food truck favourite now has two brick and mortar locations – on Barton and Concessions Streets – for you to pick up their famous fried chicken waffles and pulled pork tacos.
- Caro on James – Fans of this friendly and delicious neighbourhood eatery on Ottawa Street now have a 2nd location on James Street North to try. Or recreate their delicious pies at home with their take-home pizza kits (also available with cocktail kits).
- Martellos – Dig into some seriously special Italian snacks and dishes from this beautiful new James Street North restaurant from the owners of nearby Nique.
- The Fritter Shop – This family business born from a successful Amsterdam based bakery recently opened up in the Hamilton Farmers Market, selling melt-in-your-mouth, hand crafted fritters in a huge variety of fruit flavours.
- Wingporium @ The Price Eddy – This new sports bar just moved into a lovingly renovated space in the former Prince Edward Tavern on Barton Street and specializes in really good saucy wings.
- Rapscallion & Co. – Two favourite former John Street South eateries – Rapscallion and Two Black Sheep – are being revived as Rapscallion & Co. in a new location on James Street North this year. Look for the newly merged delicious venture in the former Ventura’s space in the coming months.
- Art Gallery of Hamilton will launch its much anticipated exhibit: Esmaa Mohamoud: To Play in the Face of Certain Defeat in February. When visiting the gallery, look for the playful new lobby installation Imaginal Worlds by Sandra Meigs as well as a new mural called Masquerade by Hamilton muralist Lester Coloma.
- Or enjoy all this without leaving your home with AGH at Home packed with behind the scenes interviews, virtual tours, online art-making workshops, and online film festivals.
- And be sure to check out what other galleries across the city are offering, including exhibits to enjoy from home.
- Or enjoy a street level, outdoor gallery experience on a neighbourhood walking tour of some of the city’s newer street art and murals.
- Hit the trails on foot or snowshoes (rentals available at Adventure Attic in Dundas) at one of Hamilton’s endless scenic trails. Visit our hiking guide to find your perfect snowy trail.
- Lace up and practice your figure eight at a scenic outdoor skating rink like Pier 8 or Dundas Driving Park.
- Explore the peaceful landscape at Hamilton Conservation Areas or the trail network at Royal Botanical Gardens.
- Hunkering down at home? Get comfortable and see how many local spots you recognize with our shot-here guide “10 Binge-Worthy Shows and Movies in Hamilton“.
- Venture out on a self-guided walking tour of these “9 Famous Filming Locations” or fan out with our complete guide to two seasons worth of Umbrella Academy Locations.
- Still not convinced of Hamilton’s bona fide filming cred? in February Aeon Bayfront Studios will start moving into its West Harbour film studio and future Creative Industries ‘live-work-play hub’ for filming studios, offices, retail and residential spaces.
3. Being Inspired By Art
4. Getting Outside
No matter what, the great outdoors is not cancelled.
Hamilton makes it easy to enjoy the healing power of nature with its natural built-in outdoor playground formed around the Niagara Escarpment, endless trails, waterfronts and conservation areas.
5. Seeing More of Your Hometown On The Big and Small Screen
Most of us have been watching a bit (okay a lot) more movies and shows. Chances are that by now you’ve spotted a familiar Hamilton backdrop or landmark. Think Ottawa Street North transformed into 1950s Dallas in Umbrella Academy or superheros competing at Tim Hortons Field in The Boys.
6. Celebrating a BIG Birthday
Hamilton turns 175 years awesome in 2021. To mark this anniversary of our incorporation as a City in 1846 we’ll be giving ourselves the present of a brand new website that will lay the groundwork for a virtual Museum of Hamilton.
We’ve also got our fingers crossed for a hoped-for signature event, likely mid-summer.
7. Welcoming Canada’s Biggest Sporting Event
Hamilton is ready to welcome the CFL’s 108th Grey Cup to Tim Hortons Field this December, 12th. It will be our football-loving city’s 11th time hosting the CFL’s biggest game.
Black and gold wearing season pass holders are in luck with priority access to Grey Cup tickets.
8. Planning a Cozy Winter Staycation
Looking for a change in scenery while staying close to home? Treat yourself to a staycation getaway this year at one of Hamilton’s leading accommodations.
Looking for packages in 2021 at our award-winning local hotels and bed & breakfasts including a cozy Winter Staycation Package at Carmen’s Hotel or treat yourself to a night (or two) at Barracks Inn, a stunning stone manor in Ancaster.
9. Driving a Zamboni
If getting behind the wheel of a Zamboni isn’t already on your bucket list, it should be.
While we wait to gather for live music and sporting events again, CORE Entertainment is cooking up a fun way for us to get back inside FirstOntario Centre safely with their brand new Zamboni 101 class.
The classroom sessions will include a venue tour as well as a chance to drive the Zamboni yourself (commemorative photo included of course).
Stay tuned for details.
10. Showing Local Love for Hamilton
We all know that turning the page on a new calendar year won’t fix everything. The many hard-working local businesses that make Hamilton such an amazing place to live in and visit need our support more than ever.
We’ve gathered some great ways to explore and enjoy the city with food and retail roundups and eight neighbourhood guides to help you to keep supporting local well into 2021 and beyond.