Hamilton’s Waterfront – the West Side

Greetings all! It has been a very long time since I wrote a blog post. This fall I was hired by a local charity as a communications officer and while it is part-time, the juggle with volunteer work, motherhood and other obligations has added up to a busy – and great – life. As 2012 winds down, my pre-new year resolution is to catch up on a few blog posts which I didn’t get around to publishing. Like this one, saved in draft on September 12th and abandoned until today. Cheers and happy reading.


It is an absolutely beautiful day in the Hammer today. I met friends for coffee at Williams Cafe on the waterfront this morning – their patio was calling to us.

Before meeting for coffee, I strolled through nearby Bayfront Park and saw lots of people biking, walking, roller blading and boating. During my first visit to this park in 1985, I was a university student studying landscape architecture. The Waterfront Trust had not yet transformed the barren, windswept land into the recreation gem that it is today.

012006004In 1985, I remember thinking the adjacent railway yard could be a limiting factor to the waterfront and some Hamiltonians today would prefer to see the CN operations moved. However, the waterfront trail constructed between the yard and the park is still a very popular feature used heavily in all seasons. And who knows – maybe the City will negotiate with CN to move the yards as many have recently been asking. (note, since September, CN has made it clear that the chances of moving the yard are like a snowball’s chance in…well, you get the idea.)

You can see portions of the rail yard across the water on the left

Looking from Bayfront Park across to Burlington and further in the distance, to Highway #6 as it climbs up the Niagara Escarpment to Clappison Corners.

The Waterfront Trust runs trolley rides along the Waterfront Trail from Princess Point, further west on Cootes Paradise, to Pier 8 where Williams Cafe is located. This earlier post of mine shows pictures: Cootes Paradise Once you arrive at the harbour, you can take a boat tour, grab some ice cream or eat at the Waterfront Grill or William’s. Check out the Trust’s website for more details on attractions.

There is a new spot too, called Sarcoa Restaurant and Bar that many are raving about for its very classy and sophisticated design and great views across the harbour.



Wrapping around the corner of Sarcoa’s patio, the Waterfront Trail takes a right near the far end of this ship and leads you to Pier 9 where the HMCS Haida, the ‘last remaining example of 27 Tribal Class destroyers built for the Royal Canadian Navy’ is parked. You can find out more about this amazing ship here, including times of tours.

The west side of Hamilton’s Waterfront also includes two yacht clubs: the Macassa Bay Yacht Club:

And the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club:
In between the two clubs, the Waterfront Trail winds by this fun playground with a tugboat for a climbing structure next to the beach.

017I always enjoy visiting the waterfront, sometimes by bike along the Waterfront Trail from Hamilton’s west end or by car, through nearby downtown. There are many things to do here or perhaps best of all, you can choose to do nothing other than enjoy the fine views.

Looking across to York Road's High Level Bridge over the Desjardin Canal

Looking across to York Road’s High Level Bridge over the Desjardins Canal



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