top 10 best tourist places to visit in hamilton, ontario canada

despite being born & raised in hamilton, most of my life i've never been a hamilton booster until the last 5yrs or so. i guess most of the blame goes to being so close to toronto and niagara falls. these two cities, toronto in particular, would always get the best attractions built there. although being the 9th largest city in canada by population (~780,000), it has a small town feel and convenience. it doesn't have top tourist attractions or sports teams, but it does manage to book some top entertainment names. and the great thing about that is, you can drive in and out of the city in a less than 30min. try doing that in toronto (took me over 4hrs to get to a live theatre show there and the show was over half way through so, that was $200 wasted). the hamilton airport is a big time saver over toronto, as well. lots of parking and you're in and out in a breeze. destinations, however, are limited. when the dream of owning a home in toronto became impossible, people turned to hamilton. covid-19 ramped up interest when people started working from home. you could buy a home for half the price of the GTA (greater toronto area) and get twice the size approximately. this has sparked an interest in condominium construction in the downtown area and a revitalization of the core. restaurants and artists have made the city home, particularly, on and around james street north. there is a monthly art crawl where the street is closed off. my favourite thing about hamilton is the waterfront. the trail is extensive and somewhat closer to nature than toronto and most cities along lake ontario. another somewhat unique feature of the city is what locals call "the mountain". actually, it's part of the niagara escarpment and "cuts" the city into an upper and lower portion. there are parks on the edge of the escarpment that on a clear day allows you to see toronto and the mist from niagara falls. those looking for a cardio workout can do the wenthworth street stairs that connects the lower part of the city to the upper half. there are 500 steps. if you visit one of the gardens of the royal botanical garden, check out an eating "institution" nearby--easterbrook's. it's been serving hotdogs since 1930. choose from a menu of more than a dozen 12" dogs each with their toppings. i favour the "bellybuster".
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