By Waterfront ShoresPartners

There’s no doubt that the city of Hamilton is ripe in history. From the founding of McMaster University to its rich history of steel and iron, Hamilton has a strong history that’s made it the city we know and love today. Waterfront Shores Partners have compiled a list of the most significant historical events in Hamilton’s history by the decade to get you reminiscing about the past, starting in the 1940s.


In 1941 the Province of Ontario created Royal Botanical Gardens through a special Act, which gave the botanical garden the ability to develop and display gardens, prepare educational facilities and programs, acquire new lands, and undertake all of the activities that visitors can enjoy today.

In the 80 years that followed, diverse landscapes have converged and RBG has established a museum for science, a connecting point for children to understand and appreciate the outdoors. Today, the RBG are one of the largest in all of Canada.


Everyone from Hamilton is familiar with the Tiger-Cats, but do you know how the name came to be? Before the Tiger-Cats, Hamilton was home to two clubs – the Tigers and the Wildcats.

In the 1950s, it was decided that the two clubs should amalgamate and form one representative team for Hamilton, the Tiger-Cats, marking the modern era of football.


Coffee lovers might already know this one. The year was 1964, and the first Tim Horton’s store opened, giving Hamilton the title of birthplace. Today, the original store still operates on Ottawa Street.


1972 was an exciting year for Hamilton’s North end, with the establishment of North End Breezes community paper. Eva Googe published the first edition under the name North End Information Services, which was later changed to North End Breezes as we know it today. Eva continued to volunteer her time at the publication from 1972-2001, and in 2001 Wendy Collin’s stepped up to bring crucial updates to residents in the North end.


Perhaps the biggest highlight of the 1980’s was the development of sports and entertainment arena Copps Coliseum, with a capacity of 19,000. Opening doors in 1985, Copps Coliseum is named after the former Hamilton mayor Victor K. Copps.


1995 marked the first time Hamilton hosted the Juno awards, and over a 10-year period following, Hamilton hosted an astounding three additional times. Representing Canadian music industry achievements of the previous year at a ceremony in the Copps Coliseum, Rick Mercer, Mike Bullard and Jann Arden were among hosts over this period.


2009 marked the opening of McMaster Innovation Park, home to several laboratories specializing in everything from life sciences to industrial engineering, and the development of the Hamilton Health Sciences network, bringing thousands of talent and jobs to Hamilton.

Moving forward to today, we’re hopeful that years from now Pier 8’s landmark and visual anchor to the waterfront will be a significant historical moment in the revitalization of the Hamilton Harbour.

To learn more about the Pier 8 development and to register, visit: