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6 Fun Historical Facts About the City of Hamilton

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Not too many people know about Hamilton’s long and interesting history. In fact, Hamilton has been a full-fledged city since 1846 — longer than most would likely think. Known for its steel and iron production, as well as being the “Waterfall Capital of Canada,” Hamilton has gone through many transformations and has turned into a fun and exciting city to live in today. For all you history buffs out there, here are our favourite six historical facts about the city we have grown to love.

Hamilton Had an Incline Railway

Not that long ago, the city of Hamilton had a railway that travelled from the lower city and up the mountain. From 1892 until 1932, the railway ran six days a week and took only 90 seconds to travel up and down the mountain. In fact, it was only 800 feet in length and was an excellent way to get to and from the mountain brow. Thanks to the incline railway, the city’s growth flourished, especially over the escarpment.

Part of the City Was Once Underwater

Millions of years ago, the area that is now Hamilton was actually underwater. In fact, the top of Hamilton Mountain was at the bottom of the sea! How’s that for strange? It’s safe to say that the city is more than habitable and above water today, but it still boasts over 100 waterfalls to this day for those looking for a day of outdoor exploration.

Home of the First Tim Hortons

The National Hockey League legend, Tim Horton, opened the first ever Tim Hortons store right in Hamilton in 1964. Since then, our country’s beloved donut and coffee shop has grown to become the biggest and most popular coffee spot in all of Canada, with locations expanding worldwide. 

Gore Park was the First Public Square

The town of Hamilton was established by George Hamilton shortly after the war of 1812. He named Gore Park the public square for the new settlement, which to this day still remains the center of the city. Today, a monument stands to commemorate Hamilton residents who served in the First World War.

The Hamilton Spectator Has Been Around Since 1846

The same year that Hamilton became a city in 1846, the Hamilton Spectator and Journal of Commerce was born. Robert Smiley and a partner began publishing soon after and then sold the paper in 1877 to William Southam, who created the Southam Inc. (that would later own the Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Vancouver Province, and The Winnipeg Tribune).

Hamilton was a Major Center and Immigration Route

Hamilton was also the hometown of the Great Western Railway that started operating in 1854. This railway, combined with the Niagara Suspension Bridge, turned Hamilton into a significant center and part of the American immigration route that travelled from New York City or Boston to Chicago or Milwaukee.

The Location of Bell’s First Telephone

Just a few years after Alexander Graham Bell invented the first telephone, Bell Canada installed its first public telephone in Hamilton’s Lancefield Stationary Store. This phone was not yet equipped for coin collection, so users had to pay the store owner directly.

A Hamiltonian Wrote the National Anthem

Did you know that there were various written versions of the Canadian national anthem throughout history? While not the first person to attempt this piece, Robert Stanley Weir, a judge and poet from Hamilton, wrote the most popular version we know today.

Present-Day Hamilton

Hamilton has a rich history with even more to offer in the present day. It’s now one of the country’s largest industrial hubs and is home to vibrant communities, perfect for those looking for a new city to call home. If you’re looking to rent in Hamilton, at CLV Group, we have rental listings all across the region that can meet your lifestyle and budget needs.