Hamilton Waterfront – 47 Discovery Drive

Ahoy, mateys!

To mark the beginning of June, which we deemed nautical month, the four of us figured, what better way to kick off all things nautical than spending an afternoon at the Hamilton Waterfront?? The Hamilton Waterfront is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike year round, though things really pick up in the spring and summer. Known for its scenic beauty, calm waters and noteworthy history, I’m sure many of us have fond memories of cycling, jogging, strolling or rollerblading along the pathways and checking out the annual Canada Day fireworks. I think the four of us were all particularly excited to go on the boat though. You know, I think our goal should be to incorporate every (okay not every, but a few) forms of transportation into this tour. We’ve done automobile and boat…perhaps train and trolley next?

We first headed to Williams Fresh Cafe to grab some lunch. With outdoor patio seating right by the waterfront, Williams is without a doubt a popular place to grab a bite to eat year round. While we waited in the queue (British/of the colonial vernacular for line), we had a little photoshoot and soaked up the sun. Summer had finally arrived here in Canada and we intended to make the most of it, especially by the water. As it’s been noted in a few of our entries, the four of us are generally, individually and collectively, indecisive which leads to moments of (somewhat) panic and hilarity so we took advantage of the queue to check out the menu! Carly and I chose the roasted veggie and goat cheese panini while Kristin went for the tuna wrap. Jenny and I were feeling particularly summery and got strawberry banana smoothies.

After lunch and a brainstorming sesh (involving designating duties amongst the group), we still had time to kill until our boat cruise so we took a stroll around the waterfront, attracting onlookers due to our colourful I Heart Hamilton shirts in the colours of sunshine, lime, slate and mauve that just POP!! The waterfront also popped with colour from murals displayed all around the waterfront. These are done by students from some of the local primary schools in the Hamilton area and it was great to see their interpretations of a fun day at the waterfront. Making the most of the beautiful weather, we found a spot on the hill and caught up on things, as friends do. We also spotted the infamous hop on, hop off red trolley which travels along the Hamilton Waterfront trail. Definitely a must for next time!

Soon it was time for us to board the boat! Tickets in hand, we made our way to the boat where we were greeted by our captain and took a seat. Our captain was hilarious, his dry sense of humour made for an entertaining boat ride around the waterfront. Rather than taking us on the typical scenic route, we sped through the water while he provided some historical background on the waterfront, highlighting notable sights such as a house with underground tunnels and the Desjardins Canal train disaster of 1857. He then turned it over to the passengers, inquiring if there were any history buffs. After learning that Carly had studied History, he wasted no time in quizzing her on historical facts of Hamilton. In her defense (despite Jenny and I being backup historical experts), we hadn’t studied that much Hamiltonian history in our undergrad so it was great to learn more about the area. He took us to an area called Carol’s Cove and we sat there in silence, taking in and admiring our surroundings.

It was such a beaaaaautiful day, perfect weather for a boat ride. We weren’t the only ones taking advantage of the beautiful weather. As we rode around the harbour, we spotted many boats anchored, clearly boat owners enjoying a relaxing afternoon out in the water soaking up the sunshine. While we passed by the collection of boats in the harbour, we kept an eye out for a potential tour boat. That’s right, ladies and gents, the Hamilton Tour Girls Super Sensational Summer Boat Tour, coming soon…

The boat cruise was about an hour and before we knew it, we were already back at the dock. We’d passed by the HMCS Haida, another site which we are planning on taking a tour of at some point this summer. To round off the tour, we grabbed some local Hewitts Dairy ice cream from Scoops, a perfect refreshment after a day in the sun and found a bench where we sat, enjoying the beautiful weather, looking at clouds, watching fishermen, and even spotted the Hamilton Harbour Queen making its way around the harbour! The Harbour Queen has a number of dining, sightseeing, special event and party cruises, one of which we’ll be going on in July, so keep an eye out for a recap of that.

What a neat way to spend a Sunday afternoon, simply delightful. The four of us will definitely be visiting the waterfront again and have even been brainstorming ideas for our next visit.


Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *