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About Hamilton

Hamilton, Ontario

 

 

 

 

Hamilton is a port city in the Canadian province of Ontario. Conceived by George Hamiltonwhen he purchased the Durand farm shortly after the War of 1812, Hamilton has become the centre of a densely populated and industrialized region at the west end of Lake Ontarioknown as the Golden Horseshoe. On January 1, 2001, the new City of Hamilton was formed through the amalgamation of the former city and the other constituent lower-tier municipalities of the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth with the upper-tier regional government. Residents of the old city are known as Hamiltonians. Since 1981, the metropolitan area has been listed as the ninth largest in Canada and the third largest in Ontario.

Hamilton is home to the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, the Bruce Trail, McMaster University and Mohawk College. The Canadian Football Hall of Fame can be found downtown right beside Hamilton City Hall and across town to the east, theCanadian Football League's Hamilton Tiger-Cats began playing at the new Tim Hortons Fieldin 2014, which was built as part of the 2015 Pan American Games.

Partly because of its diverse environment, numerous TV and film productions have been filmed in Hamilton, regulated by the Hamilton Film and Television Office. A growing arts and culture community garnered media attention in 2006 when the Globe and Mail published an article called "Go West, Young Artist" about Hamilton's growing art scene. The article highlighted local art galleries, recording studios and independent film production.

 

 

 

 

 

History

 

 

 

In pre-colonial times, the Neutral Indians used much of the land but were gradually driven out by the Five (later Six) Nations (Iroquois) who were allied with theBritish against the Huron and their French allies. A member of the Iroquois Confederacy provided the route and name for Mohawk Road, which originally included King Street in the lower city. In 1784, about 10,000 United Empire Loyalists settled in Upper Canada (what is now southern Ontario), chiefly inNiagara, around the Bay of Quinte, and along the St. Lawrence River between Lake Ontario and Montreal. They were soon followed by many more Americans, some of them not so much ardent loyalists but attracted nonetheless by the availability of inexpensive, arable land. At the same time, large numbers of Iroquois loyal to Britain arrived from the United States and were settled on reserves west of Lake Ontario.

The town of Hamilton was conceived by George Hamilton (a son of a Queenston entrepreneur and founder, Robert Hamilton), when he purchased farm holdings of James Durand, the local Member of the British Legislative Assembly, shortly after the War of 1812Nathaniel Hughson, a property owner to the north, cooperated with George Hamilton to prepare a proposal for a courthouse and jail on Hamilton's property. Hamilton offered the land to the crown for the future site. Durand was empowered by Hughson and Hamilton to sell property holdings which later became the site of the town. As he had been instructed, Durand circulated the offers at York during a session of the Legislative Assembly and a new Gore District was established of which the Hamilton townsite was a member.

Initially, this town was not the most important centre of the Gore District. A permanent jail was not constructed until 1832 when a cut-stone design was completed on one of the two squares created in 1816, Prince's Square.  Subsequently, the first police board and the town limits were defined by statute on February 13, 1833.  Official City status was achieved on June 9, 1846, by an act of Parliament, 9 Victoria Chapter 73.

As the city grew, several prominent buildings were constructed in the late 19th century, including the Grand Lodge of Canada in 1855, West Flamboro Methodist Church in 1879 (later purchased by Dufferin Masonic Lodge in 1893), a public library in 1890, and the Right House department store in 1893. The first commercial telephone service in Canada, the first telephone exchange in the British Empire, and the second telephone exchange in all of North America all were established in the city between 1877–78. The city had several interurban electric street railways and two inclines, all powered by the Cataract Power Co.

In pre-colonial times, the Neutral Indians used much of the land but were gradually driven out by the Five (later Six) Nations (Iroquois) who were allied with theBritish against the Huron and their French allies. A member of the Iroquois Confederacy provided the route and name for Mohawk Road, which originally included King Street in the lower city. In 1784, about 10,000 United Empire Loyalists settled in Upper Canada (what is now southern Ontario), chiefly inNiagara, around the Bay of Quinte, and along the St. Lawrence River between Lake Ontario and Montreal. They were soon followed by many more Americans, some of them not so much ardent loyalists but attracted nonetheless by the availability of inexpensive, arable land. At the same time, large numbers of Iroquois loyal to Britain arrived from the United States and were settled on reserves west of Lake Ontario.

The town of Hamilton was conceived by George Hamilton (a son of a Queenstonentrepreneur and founder, Robert Hamilton), when he purchased farm holdings of James Durand, the local Member of the British Legislative Assembly, shortly after the War of 1812.[10] Nathaniel Hughson, a property owner to the north, cooperated with George Hamilton to prepare a proposal for a courthouse and jail on Hamilton's property. Hamilton offered the land to the crown for the future site. Durand was empowered by Hughson and Hamilton to sell property holdings which later became the site of the town. As he had been instructed, Durand circulated the offers at York during a session of the Legislative Assembly and a new Gore District was established of which the Hamilton townsite was a member.

Initially, this town was not the most important centre of the Gore District. A permanent jail was not constructed until 1832 when a cut-stone design was completed on one of the two squares created in 1816, Prince's Square. Subsequently, the first police board and the town limits were defined by statute on February 13, 1833. Official City status was achieved on June 9, 1846, by an act of Parliament, 9 Victoria Chapter 73.

As the city grew, several prominent buildings were constructed in the late 19th century, including the Grand Lodge of Canada in 1855, West Flamboro Methodist Church in 1879 (later purchased by Dufferin Masonic Lodge in 1893), a public library in 1890, and the Right House department store in 1893. The first commercial telephone service in Canada, the first telephone exchange in the British Empire, and the second telephone exchange in all of North America all were established in the city between 1877–78. The city had several interurban electric street railways and two inclines, all powered by the Cataract Power Co.

Though suffering through the Hamilton Street Railway strike of 1906, with industrial businesses expanding, Hamilton's population doubled between 1900 and 1914. Two steel manufacturing companies, Stelco andDofasco, were formed in 1910 and 1912, respectively, and Procter & Gamble and the Beech-Nut Packing Company opened manufacturing plants in 1914 and 1922, respectively, their first outside the US.[21]Population and economic growth continued until the 1960s, with the 1929 construction of the city's first high-rise building, the Pigott Building, the move of McMaster University from Toronto to Hamilton, the opening of the second Canadian Tire store in Canada in 1934, an airport in 1940, a Studebaker assembly line in 1948, the Burlington Bay James N. Allan Skyway in 1958, and the first Tim Hortons store in 1964. Since then, many of the large industries have moved or shut down operations and the economy has shifted more toward the service sector, such as transportation, education, and health services.

On January 1, 2001, the new city of Hamilton was formed from the annexation of the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth and its six municipalities: AncasterDundasFlamboroughGlanbrook, and Stoney Creek. Before amalgamation, the "old" City of Hamilton had 331,121 Hamiltonians divided into 100 neighbourhoods. The former region of Hamilton-Wentworth had a population of 490,268. The amalgamation created a single-tier municipal government ending subsidization of its suburbs. The new amalgamated city has 519,949 people in over 100 old neighbourhoods, and surrounding communities.

The city experienced a devastating fire at the Plastimet plastics plant in 1997. Close to 300 firefighters battled the blaze, and many sustained severe chemical burns and inhaled volatile organic compounds when at least 400 tonnes of PVC Plastic were consumed in the fire.

Though suffering through the Hamilton Street Railway strike of 1906, with industrial businesses expanding, Hamilton's population doubled between 1900 and 1914. Two steel manufacturing companies, Stelco andDofasco, were formed in 1910 and 1912, respectively, and Procter & Gamble and the Beech-Nut Packing Company opened manufacturing plants in 1914 and 1922, respectively, their first outside the US.Population and economic growth continued until the 1960s, with the 1929 construction of the city's first high-rise building, the Pigott Building, the move of McMaster University from Toronto to Hamilton, the opening of the second Canadian Tire store in Canada in 1934, an airport in 1940, a Studebaker assembly line in 1948, the Burlington Bay James N. Allan Skyway in 1958, and the first Tim Hortons store in 1964. Since then, many of the large industries have moved or shut down operations and the economy has shifted more toward the service sector, such as transportation, education, and health services.

On January 1, 2001, the new city of Hamilton was formed from the annexation of the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth and its six municipalities: AncasterDundasFlamboroughGlanbrook, and Stoney Creek. Before amalgamation, the "old" City of Hamilton had 331,121 Hamiltonians divided into 100 neighbourhoods. The former region of Hamilton-Wentworth had a population of 490,268. The amalgamation created a single-tier municipal government ending subsidization of its suburbs. The new amalgamated city has 519,949 people in over 100 old neighbourhoods, and surrounding communities.

The city experienced a devastating fire at the Plastimet plastics plant in 1997. Close to 300 firefighters battled the blaze, and many sustained severe chemical burns and inhaled volatile organic compounds when at least 400 tonnes of PVC Plastic were consumed in the fire.


 

 

 

 

Geography

 

 

 

Panoramic view of Hamilton Harbour from T.B. McQuesten High Level Bridge on York Boulevard, near Harvey Park.




 

 

Hamilton is located in Southern Ontario on the western end of the Niagara Peninsula and wraps around the westernmost part of Lake Ontario; most of the city, including the downtown section, is on the south shore. Hamilton is situated in the geographic centre of the Golden Horseshoe and is roughly the midway point between Toronto and Buffalo, New York, although slightly closer to the former. Its major physical features are Hamilton Harbour, marking the northern limit of the city, and the Niagara Escarpment running through the middle of the city across its entire breadth, bisecting the city into "upper" and "lower" parts. The maximum high point is 250m (820') above the level of Lake Ontario.

According to all records from local historians, this district was called "Attiwandaronia" by the native Neutral people. The first aboriginals to settle in the Hamilton area called the bay Macassa, meaning "beautiful waters". Hamilton is one of 11 cities showcased in the book, "Green City: People, Nature & Urban Places" by Quebec author Mary Soderstrom, which examines the city as an example of an industrial powerhouse co-existing with nature. Soderstrom credits Thomas McQuesten and family in the 1930s who "became champions of parks, greenspace and roads" in Hamilton.

Hamilton Harbour is a natural harbour with a large sandbar called the Beachstrip. This sandbar was deposited during a period of higher lake levels during the last ice age, and extends southeast through the central lower city to the escarpment. Hamilton's deep sea port is accessed by ship canal through the beach strip into the harbour and is traversed by two bridges, the QEW's Burlington Bay James N. Allan Skyway and the lower Canal Lift Bridge.


Between 1788 and 1793, the townships at the Head-of-the-Lake were surveyed and named. The area was first known as The Head-of-the-Lake for its location at the western end of Lake Ontario. John Ryckman, born in Barton township (where present day downtown Hamilton is), described the area in 1803 as he remembered it: "The city in 1803 was all forest. The shores of the bay were difficult to reach or see because they were hidden by a thick, almost impenetrable mass of trees and undergrowth ... Bears ate pigs, so settlers warred on bears. Wolves gobbled sheep and geese, so they hunted and trapped wolves. They also held organized raids on rattlesnakes on the mountainside. There was plenty of game. Many a time have I seen (sic) a deer jump the fence into my back yard, and there were millions of pigeons which we clubbed as they flew low."

George Hamilton, a settler and local politician, established a town site in the northern portion of Barton Township in 1815. He kept several east–west roads which were originally Indian trails, but the north–south streets were on a regular grid pattern. Streets were designated "East" or "West" if they crossed James Street or Highway 6. Streets were designated "North" or "South" if they crossed King Street or Highway 8. The overall design of the townsite, likely conceived in 1816, was commonplace. George Hamilton employed a grid street pattern used in most towns in Upper Canada and throughout the American frontier. The eighty original lots had frontages of fifty feet; each lot faced a broad street and backed onto a twelve-foot lane. It took at least a decade for all of the original lots to be sold, but the construction of the Burlington Canal in 1823, and a new court-house in 1827, encouraged Hamilton to add more blocks around 1828–9. At this time, he included a market square in an effort to draw commercial activity onto his lands, but the natural growth of the town was to the north of Hamilton's plot.

The Hamilton Conservation Authority owns, leases or manages about 4,500 hectares (11,100 acres) of land with the City operating 1,077 hectares (2,661 acres) of parkland at 310 locations. Many of the parks are located along the Niagara Escarpment, which runs from Tobermory at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula in the north, to Queenston at the Niagara River in the south, and provides views of the cities and towns at the western end of Lake Ontario. The hiking path Bruce Trail runs the length of the escarpment. Hamilton is home to more than 100 waterfalls and cascades, most of which are on or near the Bruce Trail as it winds through the Niagara Escarpment.

 

 

 

 

 

Culture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hamilton has built on its historical and social background with attractions including the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, the HMCS Haida National Historic Site (Canada's most famous warship and the last remaining Tribal Class in the world), Dundurn Castle (the residence of a Prime Minister of Upper Canada), the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, the African Lion Safari Park, the Cathedral of Christ the King, and the Workers' Arts and Heritage Centre.

Founded in 1914, the Art Gallery of Hamilton is Ontario's third largest public art gallery. The gallery has over 9,000 works in its permanent collection that focus on three areas: 19th century European, Historical Canadian and Contemporary Canadian.

 

 

The McMaster Museum of Art (MMA), founded at McMaster University in 1967, houses and exhibits the University's art collection of more than 7,000 objects, including historical, modern and contemporary art, the Levy Collection of Impressionist and Post Impressionist paintings, and a collection of over 300 German Expressionist prints.

Hamilton has quite an active theatre scene, with the professional company Theatre Aquarius, plus long-time amateur companies, the Players' Guild of Hamilton and Hamilton Theatre Inc.. Many smaller theatre companies have also opened in the past decade, bringing a variety of theatre to the area.

Growth in the arts and culture sector has garnered high level media attention for Hamilton. A Globe and Mail article in 2006, entitled "Go West, Young Artist," focused on the growing art scene in Hamilton. The Factory: Hamilton Media Arts Centre, opened up a new home on James Street North in 2006. Art galleries are springing up on many streets across the City: James Street, King William Street, Locke Street and King Street, to name a few. This, coupled with growth in the downtown condo market which is drawing people back to the core, is having an impact on the cultural fabric of the city. The opening of the Downtown Arts Centre on Rebecca Street has spurred further creative activities in the core. The Community Centre for Media Arts (CCMA) continues to operate in downtown Hamilton. The CCMA works with marginalized populations and combines new media services such as website development, graphic design, video, and information technology, with arts education and skills development programming.

The 2009 film Defendor, starring Woody Harrelson as a vigilante superhero, is implied to take place in Hamilton, referred to by its nickname of "Hammer Town" several times throughout the film. It was filmed in Hamilton and Toronto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamilton,_Ontario


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