As an Englishman in Hamilton it never ceases to amaze me how many Hamiltonians completely disregard the charms of their own city.
I only became a permanent resident of Canada a few months back. The country is new to me, as is the city of Hamilton. Already, however, one aspect of Hamilton feels all too old: the words “There’s nothing to do here.” I’ve given up asking Hamiltonians what to do in Hamilton, the answer is always “Nothing.”
I’m something of an expert on the concept of there being nothing to do. I came from a small village in rural England, a village called Helmdon, which somehow found itself lost in a blackhole between Oxford, Northampton and Milton Keynes. The options of something to do in Helmdon include having a pint down the local pub with a group of perhaps (on a busy day) five old men, and going for a walk around “The Track” – a five mile empty road which winds lazily through various yellow and green fields. THAT’s nothing to do.
Hamilton has tons to do. So, here, Hamiltonians, are the top ten things to do in Hamilton, or, as I like to think of them, the ten ways to answer the question “What is there to do in Hamilton?”
What is there to do in Hamilton?
10: Visit the Botanical Gardens
Let’s not forget that this is a site about meditation and that, as such, many of my personal favourite things to do in Hamilton involve meditating. One of the best places to meditate in Hamilton is at the Botanical Gardens. A few quiet hours spent among the beautiful gardens are the perfect way to relax on a weekend.
9: Copps Coliseum
Of course, you don’t always want it quiet, sometime you wan some action and some noise. Copps Coliseum offers this plentifully. Tons of amazing bands and artists visit Copps Coliseum, along with sports events and other happenings. Back in Helmdon we had a village hall where an old person might occasionally sing or recite from a book (rocking!). Hamilton has Copps Coliseum. Now that’s something worth doing!
8: Bruce Trail:
I love going out for a good spot of Zen Walking Meditation. It is the perfect relaxation. Burce Trail is my favourite spot for Zen Walking Meditaiton in Hamilton. Bruce Trail is a national reserve, home to gorgeous countryside and stunning waterfalls, including the magnificent Websters Falls. Why not sit down for some quiet meditation beside Websters Falls? Divine.
7: African Lion Safari
Nothing compares to the beauty and majesty of animals. In Hamilton, your best bet for getting close to the splendour of nature and of the wild is at African Lion Safari, where you’ll find elephants, giraffes, lions and more. African Lion Safari is perfect for kids and is a breathtaking experience.
6: Speak to random Canadians
Okay, so this one is a little strange, but honestly, my absolute favourite thing about Canada is Canadians. I’ve travelled a lot and been to many different countries. I’ve never met a friendlier bunch of people than in Canada. In Canada you’re free to just chat away to anyone because everyone is friendly and polite. Trust me, there aren’t many countries you can say that about.
5: Visit Dundurn Castle
I have to be completely honest and say that Dundurn Castle is not one of my favourite parts of Hamilton. I mean, I come from England, where castles are two a penny. I include Dundurn castle in this list simply because I’ve met a lot of foreigners who loved it. Dundurn Castle was the home of Sir Allan Napier Macnab, one of Canada’s first premiers. Dundurn Castle is a great way to learn about the history of Hamilton.
4: Spencer Gorge Conservation Area
Spencer Gorge Conservation Area is another beautiful place to stop and do either a Zen Walking Meditations or some simple breathing meditations. You could even do a spot of Tai Chi there. You can get to Spencer Gorge Conservation Area via the Bruce Trail. Just remember to take a picnic!
3: Confederation Park
Hamilton’s Confederation Park gives you the best of both worlds. You can take a relaxing meditative stroll through Confederation Park’s scenic lakeshore promenade, or enjoy the fun and excitement of the amusements, which include Wild Waterworks and Adventure Village – perfect for kids!
2: Lovely Tews Falls
I love meditating beside water. It is complete serenity. The best place to do this in Hamilton is at Lovely Tews Falls, a 41 metre waterfall. The sound of the water is fantastic and will get you back intouch with nature. Lovely Tews Falls is the number one place to go to relax in Hamilton.
1: The Moutain
Okay, so it’s not a mountain, despite how many Hamiltonians try to convince me. In fact in England it would pretty much be hill. Still, it’s a good hill. You get a beautiful view over the city, a relaxing walk along the trail and some excellent exercise. Perfect.
So, Hamiltonians, now you know the answer to the question “What is there to do in Hamilton?” The answer isn’t “Nothing”. There’s actually a lot to do in Hamilton. Hamiltonians should be proud of their city, I know I am!