Hamilton in the Summer

Hamilton in the Summer

Published: Jun 26, 2024

With so many festivals, events, and attractions, Hamilton is the place to be this summer! Explore the Hamilton Waterfront or the eclectic art scene on James Street North — there are summer activities in Hamilton for every member of the family. Convenient travel on GO Transit is part of the fun!

Plan your day trip to Hamilton now!

Take GO Transit to Hamilton

Start your day trip to Hamilton the relaxing way — with a ride on GO Transit! Spend your travel time enjoying free music, eBooks, videos & more on the GO Wi-Fi Plus entertainment portal. But don’t worry about spending all your day trip budget because your GO travel is easy AND affordable.

A GO One-Day Weekend Pass is just $10 for your Saturday,Sunday or statutory holiday round trip to Hamilton, and a GO Weekday Group Pass starts at just $30 if you’re traveling during the week with friends or family. Kids 12 and under always ride free on GO Transit so you can budget for lots of summer fun together.

Buy your GO e-tickets & passes!

Explore the Hamilton Waterfront

People roller skating at Pier 8

Take the GO train to West Harbour GO Station and spend the day enjoying art, food, and entertainment along the Hamilton Waterfront. It’s a short walk from the GO station and has everything you need for an amazing summer day in Hamilton.

Admire the Art

As you enter the Hamilton Waterfront area, you’ll be greeted by the 40-foot tall art installation, All Our Relations, created by local Cree/Metis artist Angela DeMontigny. Be sure to stop and take a closer look at this beautiful piece before you continue into Bayfront Park.

Composed of more than 7,000 colourful glass spheres (made by Dundas-based glass blower, Paull Rodrigue), All Our Relations is a grouping of five huge panels that show the connections within nature and their relationship to Indigenous culture.

Hop on the Hamilton Waterfront Trolley

If you’re looking to save some steps and learn a little about the history of the Hamilton Waterfront while you enjoy the scenery, hop aboard the Hamilton Waterfront Trolley! This trackless trolley travels from Pier 8 to Bayfront Park and back again. It operates as a hop-on, hop-off ride, so you can pause for some time at the children’s playground or to visit the HMCS Haida along the way.

Your trolley conductor provides an informative commentary throughout your tour of the Hamilton Waterfront. Purchase your boarding pass from the Ticket Office next to William’s Fresh Cafe.

Lounge at Copps Pier Park

Relax and unwind at the Sandy Beach loungers at Copps Pier Park in Hamilton. Nestled along the picturesque waterfront, these comfortable loungers offer a perfect spot to soak up the sun and enjoy breathtaking views of the shimmering waters. Ideal for a peaceful day of leisure or a casual gathering with friends, the loungers at Copps Pier Park provide a serene escape in the heart of Hamilton.

Experience Hands-On History at the HMCS Haida

Add a little educational aspect to your summertime day trip with a visit to Canada’s “most fightingest ship”. The HMCS Haida is a Tribal Class Destroyer that served in WWII, the Korean Conflict, and the Cold War. It is now docked at Pier 9 in the Hamilton Harbour and operates as a hands-on museum with guided tours and programming. Every Thursday from June 27 - Aug 29 is Late Night at HMCS Haida, and the museum will stay open until 8 pm.

Head Out on the Water

If walking along the Hamilton Waterfront isn’t enough for you, consider exploring by boat! You can book a Hamilton boat tour aboard the 12-passenger Hamiltonian and enjoy a 50-minute cruise of the Hamilton Harbour while the captain shares interesting facts and stories about the area.

If you’d prefer to be your own captain, look into Skipperi — the world’s first boat-sharing app. Similar to car or bike sharing programs, Skipperi is a great way to get out on the water when you don’t own a boat and they provide information on getting your boating license.

Lace Up Your Roller Skates

Looking for a day trip where you can be active and have fun? The Hamilton Waterfront Outdoor Rink at Pier 8 is the place for roller skating during the summer! Skate rentals are available if you don’t have your own pair, but it is highly recommended that you book your rental skates in advance online.

Theodore Tugboat is docked nearby, so pop over for a visit if you’re bringing little ones on your Hamilton day trip.

Attend a Hamilton Festival or Event

Any day is a great day to GO to Hamilton, but going during one of these awesome special events will make your trip extra exciting! Check out the Hamilton festivals happening this summer to pick the perfect day for your visit.

Celebrate Canada Day 2024 in Hamilton

On July 1, head to the Hamilton Canada Day Extravaganza at Bayfront Park! This FREE event will be packed with fun for the whole family. Enjoy live performances with music, juggling, a strongman and more! Check out the Sports Zone, art activities, face painting, food trucks, and a roaming magician.

At 10 pm, the Hamilton Canada Day fireworks will light up the skies over the Harbour and create a spectacular ending to your day trip.

Enjoy a Hamilton Beer Festival

Why should you plan your trip to Hamilton on July 12 - 14, 2024? Because Beer! The Because Beer Festival in Hamilton is a can’t-miss event for any craft beer enthusiast. Sample beers, chat with brewers, check out specialty food vendors, and see live musical performances by Billy Talent, Tokyo Police Club, PUP & more!

Because Beer Hamilton takes place at Pier 4 Park — approximately a 15 - 20 minute walk from West Harbour GO Station.

Watch Live Sports in Hamilton

If you’re a football or soccer fan, Hamilton is a great place to GO to a game! Grab a spot in the stands to cheer on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats or Forge FC. Both of these great Hamilton hometown teams play at Tim Hortons Field. From West Harbour GO Station, walk to Barton St E and take the HSR along Barton to Melrose Ave. Walk 2 minutes south on Melrose to Tim Hortons Field.

Check out the Hamilton event calendar to choose a game day that works for you!

Visit the Lucky Lion Night Market in Hamilton

Eat, shop, and be entertained at this exciting food festival in Hamilton! The Lucky Lion Night Market brings extra fun and tasty foods to Hamilton Bayfront Park from August 2 - 5, 2024. Admission to the festival is free and there is plenty of entertainment and activities for the whole family.

Enjoy the spectacular lion dancers while you savour delicious foods and browse the many merchant booths at the Lucky Lion Night Market Festival in Hamilton!

Join a Hamilton Art Crawl

The second Friday of every month is the right time for a day trip to Hamilton if you’re an art lover! During the famous monthly Hamilton Art Crawl, the shops, restaurants, studios, and galleries along James Street North stay open late and the street becomes a celebration of art and music.

During the summer months, a portion of James Street North is closed to traffic during Art Crawl to allow for a pedestrian-only block party atmosphere. Gather your friends and enjoy the street performers, artisans, and food vendors — and use a Weekday Group Pass to GO together!

Satisfy Your Hunger in Hamilton

People sitting between mural clad walls by the street

You’ll definitely work up an appetite enjoying all the fun activities in Hamilton’s West Harbour area! If your day trip doesn’t include one of the Hamilton festivals filled with tasty food trucks, you’ll need to find somewhere to eat. Luckily Hamilton’s dining scene is as hot as the summer weather!

You’ll find awesome Hamilton waterfront restaurants nearby so you can beat the summer heat with frosty beers, cool caffeinated bevvies, or tasty ice cream.

Grab a Drink at Collective Arts Hamilton

Collective Arts Hamilton — Brewery + Beergarden is an amazing place to be surrounded by art while you have a drink! They make craft beer, cider, spirits & more, and their cans feature original artwork from emerging artists. The walls of the brewery also showcase rotating works of art. They’re open Wed - Sun, so drop by for a drink during your day trip!

Hamilton Waterfront Restaurants

A casual summer meal is perfect for your day at the Hamilton Waterfront. At Bayfront Park, you can stop at Hutch’s Harbour Front to enjoy classic diner fare and ice cream.

At Pier 8, Williams Fresh Cafe is the place to get coffees and delicious sandwiches. They have both indoor seating and an outdoor patio with a beautiful waterfront view.

You can also take a short walk over to James Street North for some of the best restaurants in Hamilton. See the downtown guide for downtown guide for up-to-date food and drink stops.

Save Room For Dessert

End the day on a sweet note with an ice cream treat from Waterfront Scoops. Ice cream pairs perfectly with a stroll through West Harbour.

Or, if you headed to James Street North for your lunch or dinner, be sure to stop in at the iconic Grandad’s Donuts for dessert.

It’s All Happening in Hamilton

There are so many more things to do in Hamilton this summer so plan for multiple day trips! It’s just a GO ride away!

Plan your trip now!

Land Acknowledgement

Metrolinx acknowledges that it operates on lands that have been, and continue to be, home to many Indigenous Peoples including the Anishnabeg, the Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat peoples. We are all Treaty people. Many of us have come here as settlers, as immigrants or involuntarily as part of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, in this generation, or generations past. We acknowledge the historic and continued impacts of colonization and the need to work towards meaningful reconciliation with the original caretakers of this land. We acknowledge that Metrolinx operates on territories and lands covered by many treaties that affirm and value the rights of Indigenous communities, Nations and Peoples. We understand the importance of working towards reconciliation with the original caretakers of this land. At Metrolinx, we will conduct business in a manner that is built on a foundation of trust, respect and collaboration.