Ancaster is one of Hamilton’s oldest and most established neighbourhoods. Located a short drive from downtown Hamilton, Ancaster sits atop the city’s Niagara Escarpment on what locals refer to as “the mountain”.
The community is home to its own charming downtown, historic sites and museums, as well as trails with breathtaking views.
And then of course there’s the food. After you’ve strolled, shopped and hiked, you’ve earned a place at a table at one of Ancaster’s many restaurants, pubs or coffeeshops.
Ancaster Village is this neighbourhood’s historic downtown, home to historic buildings, many dating back to the early part of the 19th century.
Highlights on any walking tour include the town’s regal Old Town Hall and St. John’s Anglican Church, whose cemetery has tombstones dating back to the early 1800s.
Explore an impressive list of historic buildings to look up for here. Or take this fascinating, self-guided Ancaster Village Hiking Loop.
- Explore Ancaster’s fascinating past at Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museum – a cultural heritage centre surrounded by beautiful gardens and walking trails.
- Nearby Griffin House National Historic Site is the preserved early 19th century home of Enerals Griffin, an early black settler in Hamilton. The museum is set on a hilltop overlooking the Dundas Valley and also surrounded by trails.
- Discover the ruins of a once grand estate in a forest at the Hermitage Gatehouse Museum, a location popular with hikers and visitors interested in the paranormal. Stick around at night to do a ghost walk where you’ll learn the spooky legend about the ruins and a doomed coachman.
Sip, Snack and Dine
Ancaster has your sweet tooth fix with French-inspired baked goods and pastries and light bakery fare at Caniche French Bakery, or head next door for ice cream at Purple Pony, serving delicious, high quality ice cream (your little ones can even catch a ride on a purple pony out front)
Popular restaurants include:
The historic Coach & Lantern serves up English pub fare in a 200-year-old stone building with a ghostly past.
Or treat yourself to one of Hamilton’s most iconic fine dining experiences at Ancaster Mill, housed in a beautiful old stone flour mill overlooking a waterfall.
Traveling with kids?
Book a tee time at one of Ancaster’s beautiful courses:
- the historic Hamilton Golf & Country Club (home of the RBC Canadian Open)
- the picturesque Knollwood Golf Club.
Ancaster’s natural beauty is on full display on its many hiking trails. Iroquoia Heights Conservation Area offers ideal hiking along the Bruce Trail and Chedoke Raidal Trail, where you’ll pass by waterfalls and striking views of the city.
Ancaster’s Tiffany Falls is easy to reach through a forested trail and over bridges that crisscross a stream. It’s an easy hike from the parking lot on Wilson – making it a great spot for kids and families. There’s also a connection to the Bruce Trail if you’re up for a longer hike.
How to get Downtown?
If you are staying in Ancaster there are multiple ways to get Downtown Hamilton. You can take our bus system (HSR). Here’s a map with directions: