Hamilton, Ontario, familiarly know n as the Birmingham of Canada, covers an area of about 4,700 acres, and is situated upon a plain that rises gradually from the shores of Hamilton Bay, a beautiful land-locked harbor at the western end of Lake Ontario.
Tradition informs us that the first white man to set root on the land was La Salle and his voyageurs, who explored the head of Lake Ontario in 1669, when everything was forest in all its primeval glory and in the undisturbed possession of the aboriginal red man. About the first authentic record gives us the name of Robert Land, under date of 1778. locating in Hamilton. The life of the early settlers in this part of Ontario must have been full of hardship and the toil required to reclaim the land tested to the utmost the energy of the first V. E. Loyalist settlers, and also the hardy sons of England, Ireland and Scotland, who left their native lands and emigrated to the new world of which .su little w as known at that time.
The city is situated forty-two miles west of the celebrated Falls of Niagara, and lies nestling at the foot of the escarpment over which the Falls of Niagara plunges. From the summit of the escarpment, or mountain, as it is generally called, a magnificent view is to be had. The city lies immediately below, the squares in the centre are as distinct as those of a chess board, and the foliage of the majestic maples, with w hich so many of the streets are lined, make a veritable lower garden lying immediately at your feet. In standing there looking from west to east, one is struck very forcibly with the surprising beauty of the scenery in the immediate neighborhood of
Hamilton. At your feet, extending from Beasley’s Hollow in the west to the Delta on the east, a distance of over five miles, and In width from the mountain to the bay, two miles, lies the city in all its beauty, with its wide regularly laid out and well paved streets, its fine residences and public buildings, and its wealth of beautiful shade trees. To the north of the clear waters of Vie bay are the green banks of Oaklands, with the blue heights of Flamboro Head for a background. To the %vest is a bird’s eye view of the surrounding country. Looking up through the Dundas valley is the town of that name nestling in the green vale and forest covered heights. Turning your vision towards the north you look over the bay to the blue and placid waters of Lake Ontario, while separating lake and bay is Burlington Beach. Hamilton’s favorite summer resort, or, as one writer recently and very aptly put it, “Glistening and gleaming in the sunlight like a ribbon of burnished gold.” It is a little over five miles in length, and stretches across the east end of the bay from shore to shore It has a varied width of about three hundred feet, ant is intersected only by the Hamilton Canal, which affords an entrance for the largest lake going vessels. Over this canal the Grand Trunk Railway have erected a new swing bridge, which is one of the largest, if not the largest, single span swing bridges in the world, being nearly 400 feet in length and weighing more than one hundred thousand tons, just double the weight of the one it superseded.
The Hamilton Radial and Electric Railway use an electric swing bridge, which also accommodates vehicles and foot passengers. To the north end of the Beach you turn into the pretty village of Burlington. which is also a favorite resort for the citizens of Hamilton during the heated months of summer. Allowing your eye to wander towards the east, there is straight before you a panoramic view greeting the eye, seldom equalled and certainly not surpassed by any other view on the American continent. Fields of green and gold like tesselated pavement, broken here and there by stretches of woodland, and In the distance the blue waters of Lake Ontario forms a symmetrical frame for so beautiful a picture.