Experience Nine City-owned Museums
Our Museums. Hamilton's history.
Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museum
Fieldcote is a cultural heritage centre that collects and exhibits local history and promotes fine arts in Ancaster. The Tudor-revival house is set in three hectares (7 acres) of park and woodlands featuring walking trails, public art and award-winning gardens.
Hamilton & Scourge National Historic Site
The wrecks of the Hamilton and Scourge are a designated Historic Site of Canada. Designed as merchant schooners, both vessels were converted into American warships when the War of 1812 began and each played a role in the capture of Fort George on May 27, 1813. While stationed off Port Dalhousie, they capsized and sank with a loss of over 50 lives during a sudden squall in the early morning of August 8, 1813. Discovered 90 metres below the surface of Lake Ontario in 1973, these remarkably preserved wrecks are outstanding archaeological records of shipbuilding and naval warfare of their time. The ships are in remarkably good condition, despite their initial sinking and despite some decay brought about by the passage of years at lake bottom. 2008 sonar image shows the wreck of the Scourge resting on the bottom of Lake Ontario. The ship’s bow is to the left.
Battlefield House Museum & Park National Historic Site
This National Historic Site is home to the 2020 art installation Eagles Among Us. Created by Indigenous artist David General, it is dedicated to peace and reconciliation after the war. Battlefield Park and the Gage house occupy land traditionally used by Indigenous peoples. In the early 19th century, the Gage family farmhouse was a community hub for farmers, itinerant preachers and Indigenous peoples who came to meet and trade at James Gage’s store. A monument built in 1913 commemorates a War of 1812 battle on the site. It was commissioned by the Women’s Wentworth Historical Society, one of the first all-women’s historical societies in Canada.
Whitehern Historic House and Garden National Historic Site
Located in downtown Hamilton, the house known as Whitehern was home to three generations of the McQuesten family. In 1959, the three surviving members of the family bequeathed the home to the City together with its original contents. The house and gardens opened as a museum in 1971. The McQuesten family’s history includes several distinguished members who were responsible for the development of industry in Hamilton and for parks, highways, bridges, and landmarks throughout the Golden Horseshoe and Niagara and other parts of Ontario.
Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology National Historic Site
The Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology is located in the 1859 Hamilton Waterworks. Constructed with limestone and dolomite quarried in Stoney Creek, the building still houses the two massive rotative beam engines which originally pumped water from Lake Ontario to a reservoir above the city. The Museum preserves and interprets the original waterworks complex and through it the social and mechanical life of Canada’s early industrial revolution. The Hamilton Waterworks has been designated a Canadian Civil and Power Engineering Landmark.
The Hamilton Military Museum
The Hamilton Military Museum preserves and shares the military history of Hamilton and area through exhibits, programs and events. The building that houses it was originally constructed as a gate house for Dundurn Castle by Sir Allan MacNab in the late 1830s. It was first known as Battery Lodge as it is located on the site of a War of 1812 artillery emplacement.
Hamilton Children’s Museum
Housed in an 1875 farmhouse in Gage Park, the Hamilton Children’s Museum invites young visitors to stretch their imagination as they touch, build and experiment in a friendly, child-focused setting. Home to interactive, hands-on galleries, the museum encourages learning through self-directed play and offers a range of engaging programs and experiences to children and their families.
Griffin House National Historic Site
Enerals and Pricilla Griffin, fleeing enslavement in the US and seeking a better life for themselves and their children, settled in Ancaster and purchased Griffin House in 1834. The Griffin family lived on this 20-hectare (50 acre) site for 150 years as prosperous farmers and active members of both white and Black communities in Hamilton and Ancaster. Today Griffin House stands as a testament to the determination and accomplishments of African American/Canadian men and women who broke the colour barrier to become prominent community figures.
Dundurn National Historic Site
Known as Dundurn Castle, this 40-room Italianate-style villa was built in the 1830s on Burlington Heights, also the site of a fortified military encampment established by the British during the War of 1812. It was home to Sir Allan Napier MacNab, railway magnate, lawyer and Premier of the United Canadas from 1854 to 1856. Today Dundurn Castle tells the story of the McNab family and the servants who lived and worked at the house.