2015-02-042015-02-04 Campervan hire Hamilton – the Steel capital
Campervan hire Hamilton – the Steel capital
Hamilton is a picturesque port city in Ontario, home to 100 waterfalls and a major steel industry. With a population of just over half a million, it is situated at the westernmost end of Lake Ontario and offers a selection of escapes and adventures for anyone in a Canada campervan rental. The city follows the lake around and heads towards the Niagara Escarpment - as the locals call it, “the mountain”. Many waterfalls can be reached easily from the city itself, while others require a day trip.
Hamilton campervan hire – get the best deals
Hamilton is where you head if you like the sound of cascading water. In the Greater Toronto Area there are many camper companies to choose from. Motorhome Republic makes it easy to see which Hamilton campervan rental company suits you best by comparing them all in one place. Everything you need to know is right there on the results page.
Hamilton is definitely for the nature lovers, so load up an RV and hit the road. RVs have all the necessary facilities, like a loo and shower, so it’s possible to stay in the national parks without too much hassle. Smaller converted vans can be a good option as they’re easy to drive and explore with, but have only a double bed and cooking equipment.
Don’t go chasing waterfalls – road trips from Hamilton
You can’t come to Hamilton without visiting Niagara Falls. Even those wanting to head off the beaten track find themselves amongst the hundreds of tourists here, for the simple reason that the Falls themselves are spectacular and known all over the world. There are plenty of attractions in the city too, but some are considered tourist traps. Instead, head back out to nature and enjoy more of the waterfalls.
You can learn more about the last Ice Age that shaped Ontario at the Rock Glen Waterfalls. As well as fossils, the museum here displays Native Indian artefacts dating back 10,000 years. There are picnic tables around the upper falls area and washrooms in the main building.
Webster’s Falls park is a great day trip, with opportunities to hike to Spencer’s Gorge and Tew’s Falls, or to picnic and walk about the parklands above the Falls. It’s only an 8km drive from Hamilton.
About an hour's drive north-west is Kitchener. This is an old German community with historical buildings. The quaint township and unique shopping and dining experiences make this a promising day-trip out of Hamilton.
From Hamilton, you can easily cross the border to discover some major American cities such as Chicago, Boston and New York City.
Motorhome camping – where to stay around Hamilton
Flamboro Valley Camping Resort is easy and convenient to get to and the prices are extremely reasonable. The family who runs this campground go above and beyond to make sure all the guests are happy and accommodated. A number of travellers here are repeat visitors, which says it all.
Emerald Lake Trailer Resort & Waterpark is a beautiful seasonal camping ground with all modern and clean facilities. Centrally located just minutes from Hamilton, it makes for a perfect base.
Fifty Point Conservation Area and Campground sits near the shores of Lake Ontario. Try your hand at salmon fishing, soak up the sun, or amuse the kids in the playground.
Gulliver's Lake & Park is set in restful wooded surroundings. You’ll feel secluded and carefree out by the lake. Swim in the cleanest waters found in Southern Ontario, right on your RV doorstep.
For the LGBT community, Cedars is a wooded camp ground atop the Niagara Escarpment. It is one of the longest-running parks in Canada and there’s all the space you need to become one with nature.
The Centennial Parkway area has several RV camping options. From tranquil lakes to waterparks, there is everything you need to enjoy a healthy and fun RV getaway. Wake up to an incredible panoramic view of nature, with more than 500 different and rare plants and wildflowers. The Hamilton Reserve is also home to waterfalls like Webster’s and Tew’s, which were carved out by giant glacier melt waters more than 10,000 years ago.
Fun fare – restaurants in Hamilton
Chuck’s Burger Bar is an institution. The burgers are insane, with creative toppings and meats to choose from. Chicago Style Pizza is a very busy restaurant and you may have to stand in line. But the wait is worth it for Chicago deep-dish pie and beers.
Harbour Diner is a homely restaurant with great food and careful servers. The chowder is amazing and portions are good. It’s fairly busy, so you might have to wait if you don't have a reservation. Wild Orchid Restaurant is one of the best Portuguese eateries in the city. Make sure to stop by and order the arroz de marisco (seafood on rice).
The City of Waterfalls, what to do in Hamilton
The steep cliff of the Niagara Escarpment cuts through the region at a height of around 90 metres above Lake Ontario. From the top are breathtaking views and wide panoramas of the entire region. At the peak, the escarpment rises to 110m and is accessible within the Spencer Gorge Conservation Area. Look west for almost unspoiled views – all the rooftops are under the thick of canopy trees.
Coming to Hamilton you’re here for the waterfalls. Over 100 are known of, but many dry up. For the best of them, take the Bruce Trail. It winds through the Niagara Escarpment and has some incredible viewing platforms. For the adventurous, go on a haunted tour of downtown Hamilton. Explore the buildings where ghosts of the past linger to this day – the Historic Customs House and the Hermitage Ruins in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area.
Despite the steel industry, Hamilton is not just an industrial city. The botanical gardens are not to be missed. They are Canada’s largest and have five garden areas and four nature sanctuaries. Or walk along the Waterfront Trail for views of Hamilton Harbour. Restoration of the beautiful Pier 4 Park at the bottom of Bay St is worth checking out, and at Pier 8 you can explore the HMCS Haida, a WWII destroyer that has been maintained.
Mountain Brow Blvd is a good place to stop for a look down. One of Hamilton's most-recognized landmarks, Dundurn Castle is a National Historic site. This historic chateau built to house Sir Allan MacNab, later prime minister of the united Province of Canada between 1845 and 1856. Now it is a civic museum and a popular spot for wedding photography.
Another interesting place to visit is the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. The collection is modest, but still impressive. Or for something a little less turbocharged, the McMaster Museum of Art houses a significant collection of more than 6000 works.
Hamilton motorhome guide
Handy tips for your campervan holiday in Ontario:
Hamilton resides on a highly polluted area of Lake Ontario. High levels of E. Coli bacteria usually prevent the beach from being open for swimming season.
Use common sense and avoid walking around alone at night. Police presence is usually infrequent in less-busy neighbouroods, so it can be best to avoid them.
The roads go for miles and miles, so investigate grabbing a GPS before you travel.