Roller Skating, trolley rides, a floating museum, and incredible year-round events.
Find all this and so much more at Hamilton's evolving and fascinating West Harbour, located at the foot of James Street North and spreading out from there in both directions, along the shoreline of Hamilton Harbour.
Here are 12 stops to get you started.
1. All Our Relations
This striking public art installation welcomes visitors to the West Harbour at the foot of James Street North. It's hard to miss the five striking 40-foot panels made of more than seven thousand colourful glass spheres. The piece, designed by local Cree/Metis artist Angela DeMontigny, honours the sacred relationship between trees, animals, water creatures, plants, and Indigenous cultural and spiritual symbols.
2. Pier 8 Outdoor Rink
This unique waterfront rink welcomes roller skaters during warmer months and ice skaters when the temperature dips. Skate rentals of all sizes (including safety equipment) are available year-round.
3. Theodore Tugboat
When not sailing the Great Lakes, you'll find this hugely popular replica of Canadian TV icon Theodore Tugboat, docked at Pier 8, welcoming visitors and posting for selfies.
4. HMCS Haida
Canada's "most fightingest ship" is a floating, hands-on museum and National Historic Site docked at Pier 9. The WWII Tribal Class Destroyer gives visitors a hands-on, up-close chance to learn what life was like for crew members serving with the Canadian Navy.
5. Copps Pier Park
This waterfront promenade honours the city's unique industrial heritage with its thoughtful design. Enjoy chess tables with umbrellas, a sandy beach area with loungers, and an outdoor stage and event space - all along the water's edge. Look out for the can't-miss bright yellow gantry crane – this area's landmark.
6. Hamilton Waterfront Trolley
This hop-on-hop-off, trackless trolley gives visitors a unique view of Hamilton's shoreline with informative commentary shared along the 12-km ride.
7. Visit Worthy Events
Much-loved annual events at West Harbour include Because Beer, Dusk Dances, Lucky Lion Night Market, and Canada Day celebrations. During the summer months, look out for weekly music, salsa, and rollerskating nights as well as special Pop Up events with movie nights.
Sonic Runway is a must-experience light-art installation that translates audio signals into patterns of light that travel down a corridor of 25 LED lined arches, letting you see sound waves as you walk through. Art installations and live performances will accompany this temporary art installation. Free to experience nightly from Nov. 1 to Nov. 26.
8. Selfie Stations
Take your best shot while here with some help from Tourism Hamilton's selfie stations, located along Copps Pier and near Williams Fresh Cafe. Say cheese and tag your post #HamOntViews to be featured.
9. Hamiltonian Boat Tour
Hop aboard this 12-passenger boat for an intimate tour of one of North America’s most fascinating harbours, narrated by the captain as you pass recreational, natural and industrial areas.
10. Bayfront Park
Locals and visitors flock to this peaceful and beautiful waterfront park. You'll find everything here from picnicking families, dragon boaters, people fishing, cyclists, and year-round events like food night markets, and Canada Day celebrations. The interactive Pirate Life children's attraction is also docked here during the warmer months.
11. Waterfront Eats
- Williams Fresh Cafe at Pier 8 offers indoor and patio seating and a casual menu with some of the best waterfront views of the city.
- Next to the outdoor rink is Waterfront Grill with hamburgers and fries.
- Save room for ice cream from Hamilton Waterfront Scoops.
- Nearby on James Street North is one of Hamilton's most iconic food stops: Grandad's Donuts.
- Over at Bayfront Park you'll find classic burger and ice cream fare at Hutch's.
12. Getting Here and Around
Hamilton's West Harbour is a breeze to access, thanks to the nearby West Harbour GO Station, with all-day service in and out of Toronto. It's a 15-minute walk from the station or you can grab a SoBi bike share bike or Bird e-scooter and explore on two wheels. If driving, there's parking at the waterfront.