Rising 30m above lake level, this 2.5km narrow stretch of land overlooking Cootes Paradise and Hamilton Harbour is designated a National Historic Site of Canada. The site was a pivotal location during the War of 1812; the British military used this stretch of land as a military post and barracks. In addition to being a key position in the defense of Niagara, it also was a supply depot for the navy on Lake Ontario. The Heights also served as the assembly point for the famous British attack on American troops in Stoney Creek, the taking of Fort Niagara and the recovery of Fort George. Sir Allan MacNab, member of Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, later used elements of the post in the construction of his home, Dundurn Castle.
In the 1830’s, large numbers of immigrants from Great Britain arrived on Hamilton’s shores seeking refuge from poverty and famine in their home countries. Many of the travelers were ill with diseases such as typhus, smallpox and cholera but Hamilton did not have municipal hospitals to treat the ill. The barracks were once again repurposed to house the sick and dying. Many immigrants and local Hamiltonians succumbed to their illnesses and were buried in the military cemetery on the Heights.
Today, the Heights features cemeteries, gardens owned by the Royal Botanical Gardens and a few parks. For more information click here.
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The Bay Area Restoration Council leads and promotes collective action to revitalize Hamilton Harbour and its watershed through education and community engagement. Our vision is a thriving, healthy and accessible Harbour for all.