Thinking of buying a new home in Hamilton?
If so, you should become familiar with Hamilton Mountain (aka the Niagara Escarpment).
Spanning the entire length of the city (and then some), Hamilton Mountain neatly bisects the city into upper and lower regions.
- A unique geographical feature
- Home to over 100 individual waterfalls.
- An important part of Hamilton’s history
There was an incline railway
Hamilton Mountain used to be a big problem for the city’s growth because getting up and down it was so difficult.
That changed on June 11, 1892, when the Hamilton Incline Railway opened for business.
Running six days a week from 6:30am-10:00pm, it encouraged people from the lower city to travel up and see what the Mountain had to offer.
It’s no surprise that shortly after it opened, homes and business sprung up all over the Escarpment.
Some other fun facts about Hamilton Ontario’s incline railway:
- It was 800 ft. in length
- In 1890, a trip cost $0.02; in 1930, it cost $1.25
- It took the incline railway around 90 seconds to travel up and down the Mountain
In 1936, 44 years after it opened, the Hamilton Incline Railway was abandoned.
The main reason: People started buying cars instead to get around Hamilton.
You can walk up and down it
Dotted throughout the city are stairways which go all the way up (or down, depending on where you are) Hamilton Mountain.
The steps are mostly named for the streets they’re closest to:
- Wentworth steps: 498
- Dundurn steps: 326
- Uli’s steps: 305
- Chedoke stairs: 289
- Kenilworth stairs: 229
Add it all up and you’ve got 1,874 stairs to climb.
It’s quite a workout in the spring and summer – but they can be quite slick and slippery in the winter.
It used to be underwater
Here’s a short, but sweet interesting fact about Hamilton Ontario:
- Way back in the day (about 41 million years ago), the top of Hamilton Mountain was actually the bottom of a tropical sea.
Think about it: If you were standing at the bottom of Hamilton Mountain (where the base meets the lower city), you’d be under 330’ of water (at minimum).
To put that into perspective, the current depth of Lake Erie is approximately 210 feet.
It’s very, very long
The city of Hamilton itself is approximately 33 kms in length (give or take).
The Niagara Escarpment is much longer than that.
Spanning the entire length, the Niagara Escarpment (including Hamilton Mountain’s 33 km chunk) is over 890 kms long.
Even more impressive is that the Niagara Escarpment – in its entirety – cuts through the following cities or regions:
- Watertown, NY
- Milwaukee, WI
- Hamilton, ON (of course)
- Chicago, IL
- Sault Ste. Marie, ON
- Green Bay, WI
- Manitoulin Island, ON
- Niagara Falls, ON
Hamilton Mountain has many waterfalls going over it
Did you know that Hamilton is known as the “City of Waterfalls?”
The Mountain’s height – combined with rock erosion and water sources – mean that there are over 100 individual waterfalls in Hamilton alone.
Many of these waterfalls are accessible by locally or provincially-maintained Hamilton parks.
As mentioned earlier in this blog, Hamilton Mountain is about 330’ tall.
With that in mind, here are some of the tallest and biggest waterfalls you’ll find in and around Hamilton Mountain:
- Webster’s Falls: 98 ft. crest length
- Tew’s Falls: 135 ft. in height
- Felker’s Falls: 72 ft. tall
- Tiffany Falls: 69 ft. tall, 20 ft. wide
- Devil’s Punchbowl: 121 ft. tall, 36 ft. wide
At night, many waterfalls are illuminated with spectacular and colourful lights – even in winter.
Perhaps the most interesting fact about Hamilton, Ontario – and Hamilton Mountain in particular – is that it’s a great place to live.
To experience it all, register for Laguna Village and receive updates on our upcoming release of urban town homes located in Hamilton Mountain’s Summit Park community