Community,  Locations

Experience Hamilton’s Waterfront

Despite what most people see driving on the QEW highway across the sky bridge, Hamilton, Ontario has a waterfront full of activities, events, tours and more!

Still under development, Pier 8, part of Hamilton’s waterfront just east of Bayfront Park has a lot to offer!

red roller skates next to yellow pier 8 crane sign and war ship

Pier 8 Gantry & HMCS Haida

Pier 9 Promenade with orange umbrellas next to lake ontario

Pier 8 Promenade

Experience Hamilton’s Waterfront at Pier 8

Location:

Pier 8 is part of Hamilton Waterfront Trust whose mission is for everyone to use and enjoy Hamilton’s waterfront. “Connecting You to the Water’s Edge”

Hamilton’s waterfront is located on Lake Ontario and is connected from Princess Point (part of the Royal Botanical Gardens) to Bayfront Park to Pier 4 to Pier 8. Pier 8 is east of Bayfront Park and north of Downtown Hamilton.

roller skating beside Theodore the Tugboat

Roller Skating beside Theodore Too

Access:

Parking:

  • Free parking lot next to the Outdoor Skating Rink and Discovery Center
  • Free street parking on the new roads around Pier 8 development.

Public Transit:

  • Route 99 Waterfront – runs for free from the end of June through to labour day weekend in September (dates vary year to year)
  • Regular HSR (Hamilton Street Railway) service Route 4 and 20 stop beside Pier 8 close to the Outdoor Skating Rink.
  • West Harbour GO station is 1.5km away. A 20-minute walk or a 5-minute bus ride on Route 20 or Route 99, just steps away from the GO station.
HSR Route 20 and trolley at Pier 8

HRS Route 20 & Waterfront Trolley

Biking:

  • Multiple bike racks to lock your bike. Racks are next to Williams Fresh Cafe.
  • See below for bike rental options
Bike racks at pier 8

Bike Racks at Pier 8

Walking:

  • Pathways and sidewalks all along the waterfront from Princess Point through Bayfront Park to Pier 8.

Activities:

Outdoor Skating Rink:

  • Free!
  • Roller skating in the summer and ice skating in the winter
  • As of Spring/Summer 2024 Rentals are no longer availableRoller skates and ice skates are available for rent as well as helmets and safety gear. Rentals during the week from 5pm-10pm and 12pm-10pm on weekends. Closed in the shoulder seasons.
  • DJ Skate nights on Friday and Saturday 7pm-11pm in the summertime. Typically a busy night and can be crowded which makes it more difficult for beginners. 

Outdoor Roller Rink

Promenade/Copps Pier Park:

  • Located on the north side of Pier 8
  • Newly built and launched in the summer of 2022
  • Accessible walkway along Lake Ontario.
  • Playground, sand area, beach lounge chairs, shaded picnic tables along with other forms of seating, and art sculptures.
  • There is a water filling station beside the playground but the closest washrooms are in the Williams Fresh Cafe building.
Beach chairs at pier 8 beach

Pier 8 Promenade

Bike Rentals

  • SoBi Hamilton bike share.  Bike station on Discovery Driver just before you get to the outdoor skating rink or by the Pier 8 yellow gantry.
  • Waterfront Wheels – closed for maintenance summer 2022

HMCS Haida National Historic Site:

  • Located on the east edge of Pier 8.
  • HMCS Haida is the last of 27 Tribal class destroyers in the world
  • The ship’s career included World War 11, The Cold War and the Korean War. 
  • Open from the end of May to June on weekends 10am-5pm  and July to Labour day weekend the site is open Wednesdays to Sunday 10am-5pm
  • Adult (18+) $4.25, Seniors (65+)  $3.75, ages 17 & under are free. Group, seasonal and Canada Discovery Passes pricing is available too
HMCS Haida

HMCS Haida

Theodore Too:

  • Theodore Too is a full real-life version of Theodore Tugboat from the CBC TV show.
  • Built and resided in Nova  Scotia until 2021 when Hamilton became his home of residence. 
  • Theodore is an ambassador for Swim Drink Fish and a Great Lakes Guide travelling around the Great Lakes helping connect people to the water.
  • Check his schedule to be sure he will be in Hamilton at Pier 8 when you visit. Usually updated on his Instagram account.
Paddleboarders beside Theodore Tugboat

Paddled from Bayfront Park to Theodore Too

Events:

Pier 8 Pop-Ups:

  • A series of community events presented by the City of Hamilton on the waterfront during the summer.
  • Events range from movie nights, markets, local artists and food
  • Most events are free but some do have a cover charge.
Lewis Mallard a life size duck costume by a local Hamilton artist

DJ and Lewis Mallard at a Pier 8 Pop-Up Event

Music on the Waterfront:

  • Free at the Waterfront Stage
  • Typically Thursday 6:30pm-8:30pm in the summertime

Fishing Derby:

  • Free (Ontario Fishing licence required for ages 18-64)
  • Typically held in August

Waterfront Festival of Lights:

  • Mid-December to mid-February

Check out Hamilton Waterfront & Pier 8 Pop-Ups for more info and schedule of events.

Tours:

Waterfront Trolley:

  • Runs from Pier 8 to Princess Point and back
  • Runs daily from the end of June to Labour Day weekend & on weekends only from September to Thanksgiving weekend
  • 7 different tour departure times
  • $10.75 for adult, Seniors (65 +) & Children/Youth (4-17) $6.75
  • Ticket office beside Williams Fresh Cafe at Pier 8
  • See their website for up-to-date days, times and pricing

Boat:

  • 50-minute narrated boat tour of the Hamilton Harbour
  • Runs daily from the end of June to Labour Day weekend & on weekends only from September to Thanksgiving weekend
  • 6 departure times during the week and 7 on the weekends
  • $21 for adult, Seniors (65 +) & Students (4-17) $19 & Children (4-12) $10.50
  • Ticket office beside Williams Fresh Cafe at Pier 8
  • See their website for up-to-date days, times and pricing

Food & Drink:

Williams Fresh Cafe:

  • Open daily 8am-11pm
  • Licenced facility
  • Large outdoor patio overlooking the water and skating rink
Williams Fresh Cafe next to Pier 8 walkway and water

Williams Fresh Cafe & Patio on the water at Pier 8

Waterfront Grill:

Waterfront Scoops Ice Cream Parlour:

Tips:

  • Washrooms are next to Williams Fresh Cafe
  • Want to try roller skating? Go during a weeknight when it’s less busy
  • Take a stroll or ride a bike along the waterfront. You can go as far as Princess Point on paths and sidewalks/roads.
  • Looking to go for a paddle? See blog posts on Bayfront Park where you can launch boats, kayaks, paddle boards, canoes etc. See Princess Point and Cootes Paradise for other Hamilton area paddling options.
  • Bring a picnic and enjoy it on the Promenade “beach” or sit beside the roller rink and watch the skaters.
  • Check activity and location websites for up-to-date pricing and time

What activity are you most wanting to experience at Pier 8 Hamilton? Let me know in the comments below!

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2 Comments

  • Darryl Williamson

    Hello Marybeth, I happened to stumble across your YouTube video today. I posed a comment there, but I thought I would also leave one here as well. You may want to update your section above, in regards to rollerskating at the Pier. Hamilton Waterfront Trust is no longer doing roller skate rentals this year.

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