Dundas, Ontario

Last updated
For the county in eastern Ontario see Dundas County, Ontario. For the upper tier county, see United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.
Dissolved municipality
Dundas Downtown (May 2005).JPG
Downtown Dundas
The Valley Town
Hamilton locator map 2021.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates: 43°15′51″N79°57′11″W / 43.264198°N 79.953182°W / 43.264198; -79.953182
Province Ontario
City Hamilton
Incorporated 1847 (town)
  Total23.31 km2 (9.00 sq mi)
  Density1,041.8/km2 (2,698/sq mi)
Time zone Eastern (EST)
Forward sortation area
Area code(s) 905 / 289 / 365
Highways Ontario 8 crown.svg  Highway 8
Ontario 99 crown.svg  Highway 99

Dundas /ˈdʌnˌdæs/ is a community and town in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. It is nicknamed the Valley Town because of its topographical location at the bottom of the Niagara Escarpment on the western edge of Lake Ontario. The population has been stable for decades at about twenty thousand, largely because it has not annexed rural land from the protected Dundas Valley Conservation Area.


Notable events are the Buskerfest in early June, and the Dundas Cactus Festival in August.

History and politics

King Street in Dundas King Street, Dundas.jpg
King Street in Dundas

First Nations peoples have inhabited the Dundas area for as much as 10,000 years. [1] The first European to visit the area was Etienne Brulé in 1616, who noted that about 40,000 "Neutrals" lived in the Burlington Bay area. [2]

History and politics to 1974

The location of Dundas was a prime location for hunting wildfowl, hence a "hunter's paradise" and was unofficially named Coote's Paradise. It was renamed Dundas in 1814. [3] It was named after the Dundas military road (also known as Governor's Road) that passed through the village, the road in turn named after Scottish politician Henry Dundas who died in 1811. [4]

In 1846, this "manufacturing village" had a population of just over 1,700. The Desjardins Canal had been completed and connected the community with Lake Ontario allowing for convenient shipping of goods. A great deal of cut stone was obtained from the "mountain" and much of it was shipped to Toronto. There were six chapels or churches, a fire company and a post office. Industry included two grist mills, a furniture factory, a cloth factory and two foundries (for making steam engines). Tradesmen of various types also worked here. Four schools, six taverns, three breweries and a bank agency were operating. [5] Dundas was incorporated in 1847 from parts of West Flamborough Township and Ancaster Township in Wentworth County, Canada West.

The Great Western Railway (GWR) put their line through Dundas in 1853, but it was not until 1864 that the first Dundas station was built. [6] By 1869 the population was 3500 and was known as a small manufacturing centre. [7]

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Dundas enjoyed considerable economic prosperity through its access to Lake Ontario via the Desjardins Canal, and was an important town in Upper Canada and Canada West. It was later surpassed as the economic powerhouse of the area by Hamilton, but for decades it led in importance. A number of Ontario cities (including Toronto) retain streets named Dundas Street, which serve as evidence of its one-time importance. Dundas was once the terminus of Toronto's Dundas Street (also known as Highway 5), one of the earliest routes used by Ontario's first settlers.

With the establishment of McMaster University in nearby west Hamilton in 1930, Dundas gradually became a bedroom community of the university faculty and students, with a thriving arts community. Dundas has a large community of potters and several studio shows/walking tours of the town feature their work each year.


Source: [8]

The 2001 census population of Dundas was 24,394.

Visible minority status:


Age characteristics of the population:


Fine arts

The Dundas Valley School of Art Dundas 6.jpg
The Dundas Valley School of Art
Dundas escarpment as seen from Dundas Peak, located in the abutting district of Flamborough Dundas, Ontario escarpment 11-2005.jpg
Dundas escarpment as seen from Dundas Peak, located in the abutting district of Flamborough

The Dundas Museum & Archives, located at 139 Park St. West, was established in 1956. Their collections, exhibits, and events showcase how Canadian history and geography has unfolded in the unique Dundas Valley. Several local events also take place at the Museum, including art shows, book launches, community celebrations, and more. [9]

Dundas is home to the Dundas Valley School of Art. [10] Marion Farnan and Emily Dutton established it in 1964, and it became a non-profit corporation three years later. Since 1970, it has been located in the former Canada Screw Works building from the 1860s. It began a full-time diploma programme with McMaster University in 1998.

The Carnegie Gallery [11] is housed in the 1910 Carnegie library building and celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2005. It is run by the Dundas Art & Craft Association and hosts art exhibitions, book readings, concerts, McMaster custom framing and a gift shop.


"Dundas, Ontario" is also the title of a song from the album Start Breaking My Heart by the artist Caribou (formerly Manitoba), a native of the town. Dundas' sobriquet The Valley Town is used as the title of a song on the album Mountain Meadows by the band Elliott Brood; one of the band members, Casey Laforet, spent part of his childhood in Dundas. The town has produced other independent artists including Junior Boys, Orphx, Koushik, and smaller bands such as Winter Equinox and The Dirty Nil. Folk singer Stan Rogers, who died in an airplane fire in 1983, lived in Dundas. He grew up in the Hannon area and moved to Dundas as an adult. He is best remembered for his songs about Canada's Atlantic provinces. [12]

Another one of Dundas' sons who came to fame as a singer/songwriter is Ryan van Sickle. A notable aspect of his career is that he was one of the first musicians to embrace Google's social platform Google+ and used it to become successful as an independent reggaeton artist with his album "Ghosts of the Brokenhearted".

Dundas is home to the Dundas Valley Orchestra. [13] The DVO is an amateur, community orchestra and was founded in the fall of 1978 by Arthur Vogt. Many have made the DVO a way station en route to successful musical careers. Former conductors include Rosemary Thomson, Michael Hall, Stephane Potvin and Dr. Glenn Alan Mallory. The DVO is currently conducted by Laura Thomas.

Dundas is also the home of Dundas Concert Band. [14] The Dundas Concert Band was established in 1873 as a military band. In 1923, the band was renamed "The Dundas Citizens' Band" and became known as the Dundas Concert Band in the early 1940s. The Dundas Concert Band's "Concerts in the Park" series have been put on at the Dundas Driving Park Bandshell since 1958.

Dundas Conservatory of Music [15] is located in historic downtown Dundas and has been providing musical instruction in the community for thirty years.

Avalon Music Academy is in its 19th year of creating and nurturing musicians, many of whom have gone on to be professional performers. It was founded by Steve Parton, and is based out of the historic St. Paul's United Church.


Because of Dundas' 19th century downtown architecture, films such as Haven, Cabin Fever , Wrong Turn , and others have made use of its location. In December 2005, major filming was completed for Man of the Year , starring Robin Williams. Mr. Williams delighted townsfolk, taking time for pictures and autographs in the downtown core. [16]

In early December 2004, The West Wing did some filming; remaking parts of Dundas (Town hall, a residence, and Deluxe Restaurant) into New Hampshire locales. The three episodes aired in late January and early February 2005. Several dozen fans of the show braved chilly weather to witness the snail's pace of television filming and grab autographs and photos with celebrities.

In September 2007, a scene of The Incredible Hulk was filmed around the exterior and inside the DeLuxe Restaurant in Dundas, and other scenes were filmed at other locations in Hamilton. [17]

From 2004–2007 parts of the YTV program Dark Oracle were also filmed in Dundas.

From 2015 until present, parts of the W Network series The Good Witch have been filmed in Dundas.


The J.L. Grightmire/Market Street Arena J.L. Grightmire Market Street Arena - Dundas, ON.jpg
The J.L. Grightmire/Market Street Arena

The Dundas Blues are a junior ice hockey team from Dundas, they play in the Provincial Junior Hockey League.

The Dundas Real McCoys are a senior ice hockey team from Dundas, they play in the Ontario Hockey Association's Allan Cup Hockey league. The Real McCoys won the 1986 Hardy Cup as Senior "AA" Champions of Canada.

On April 3, 2010, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman named Dundas the winner of the 2010 Kraft Hockeyville competition during a live announcement on Hockey Night in Canada. As a result of being named the winner, the community received $100,000 CAD in arena upgrades, and got to host an NHL pre-season game between the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres prior to the 2010–11 season.

After existing for 93 years, the Dundas Chiefs senior baseball team folded in 2010. The "Chiefs" had won 11 Ontario Baseball Association provincial titles over the years with the first in 1961 and the last in 2001. Their success included 3 straight titles from 1976 to 1978 and back-to-back titles in 1987 and 1988.



Panoramic view of Dundas, East-West, from the Dundas Peak


Dundas is near to two commonly visited waterfalls that are located in the abutting district of Flamborough. These are Webster's Falls (named after Joseph Webster) and Tew's Falls. Both waterfalls are accessible by the Bruce trail leading to the Dundas Peninsula.

In 1819, Joseph Webster purchased property on the escarpment above Dundas, including the waterfall which still bears his family's name. In 1856, his son built a huge stone flour mill just above the falls but it was destroyed by fire in 1898. After the fire one of the first hydro-electric generators in Ontario was built at the base of the falls. In 1931, a former Dundas mayor, Colonel W.E.S. Knowles, generously bequeathed monies so that the area surrounding Webster's Falls could be made into a public park. [21]

Dundas Peak

Dundas Peak Dundas Peak.JPG
Dundas Peak

Dundas is also near to the Dundas Peak, which is located in the abutting district of Flamborough. The Peak overlooks Dundas from The Bruce Trail in Flamborough and has become one of the most visited parts of Dundas. Hikers can take the Bruce Trail from Tews or Webster's Falls to the peak and look over Dundas and West Hamilton.


Dundas is famous for The Collins Hotel, the longest running hotel in Ontario. One feature of the building is a front portico with four fluted Doric columns; above them are triglyphs and metopes found on a traditional Doric entablature with a discrete cornice. The roof has a series of dormers with Florentine pediments. There are two floors to the hotel, the second of which has a balcony running the full length of the building. On the street level there are shops. [22]

Notable people

Sister city

See also

Related Research Articles

Burlington, Ontario City in Ontario, Canada

Burlington is a city in the Regional Municipality of Halton at the northwestern end of Lake Ontario in Ontario, Canada. Along with Milton to the north, it forms the western end of the Greater Toronto Area and is also part of the Hamilton metropolitan census area.

Paris, Ontario Unincorporated community in Ontario, Canada

Paris is a community located in the County of Brant, Ontario, Canada. It lies just northwest from the city of Brantford at the spot where the Nith River empties into the Grand River. Paris was voted "the Prettiest Little Town in Canada" by Harrowsmith Magazine. The town was established in 1850. In 1999, its town government was amalgamated into that of the County of Brant, ending 149 years as a separate incorporated municipality, with Paris as the largest population centre in the county.

Ancaster, Ontario Community/former town in Ontario, Canada

Ancaster is a historic town in the city of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, located on the Niagara Escarpment. Founded as a town in 1793, it immediately developed itself into one of the first important and influential early British Upper Canada communities established during the late 18th century eventually amalgamating with the city of Hamilton in 2001. By 1823, due in large part to its easily accessible water power and location at the juncture of prehistoric indigenous trading routes, Ancaster had become Upper Canada's largest industrial and commercial centre. Additionally, Ancaster had at that time attracted the 2nd largest populace (1,681) in Upper Canada trailing only Kingston, but surpassing the populations of nearby Toronto (1,376) and Hamilton (1,000). After this initial period of prosperity beginning in the late 18th century, sudden significant water and rail transportation advancements of the early 19th century would soon better benefit Ancaster's neighbouring towns situated closer to the Lake Ontario waterfront. Stationary steam engines for industries that had rapidly developed in the 19th century would eventually make Ancaster's water-powered industries less vital. As a result, after the 1820s, Ancaster's influence during the remainder of the 19th century would begin to wane.

Fergus, Ontario Unincorporated community in Ontario, Canada

Fergus is the largest community in Centre Wellington, a township within Wellington County in Ontario, Canada. It lies on the Grand River about 18 km NNW of Guelph. The population of this community at the time of the 2016 Census was 20,767, but the community is growing as new homes are being built for sale.

Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale Federal electoral district in Ontario, Canada

Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale was a federal electoral district in Ontario, Canada, that has been represented in the House of Commons of Canada from 2004 until the electoral boundaries were redrawn for the 2015 election.

Flamborough, Ontario Former municipality, now part of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Flamborough is a district and former municipality in the city of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. For most of its existence before amalgamation with Hamilton in 2001, Flamborough comprised the former townships of East Flamborough, West Flamborough, and Beverly, as well as the village of Waterdown. The largest suburban community is the former village of Waterdown containing perhaps one third of its thirty thousand or so inhabitants. Other Flamborough communities include Carlisle, Christie's Corners, Clappison's Corners, Copetown, Freelton, Greensville, Lynden, Kirkwall, Millgrove, Mountsberg, Orkney, Peters Corners, Rockton, Troy, Sheffield, Valens, Strabane and Westover.

Waterdown, Ontario Dissolved municipality in Ontario, Canada

Waterdown is a village in Canada which since 2001 has been a community of Hamilton, Ontario. Waterdown is approximately 60 km west of downtown Toronto.

Westdale, Hamilton

Westdale is a residential neighbourhood in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. It is centred in the Westdale Village shopping district and located near McMaster University. It is bordered to the north by Cootes Paradise, an extensive nature reserve marking the western end of Lake Ontario, to the south by Main Street and Ainslie Wood, to the east by Highway 403, and to the west by McMaster University.

Aldershot GO Station Railway station in Burlington, Ontario, Canada

Aldershot GO Station is a railway station and bus station used by Via Rail and GO Transit, located at Highway 403 and Waterdown Road in the Aldershot community of Burlington, Ontario, Canada.

Highland Secondary School was a high school in Dundas, Ontario that opened in 1966. The school was a member of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, in Ward 13. Highland was originally conceived to be 25% Academic and 75% Vocational, but evolved into a fully comprehensive secondary school. Only 60% of Highland Secondary School students who graduated pursued post-secondary education, making Highland one of the lowest in the board. Highland Secondary was renamed Dundas Valley Secondary in June 2014, when nearby Parkside Secondary closed.

Carlisle, Hamilton, Ontario

Carlisle is a community in Flamborough, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The town lies about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) north of Waterdown.

Hamilton Conservation Authority

The Hamilton Conservation Authority maintains the greenspace, trails, parks and some attractions in the Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Dundas District Public School was a middle school, that was originally a high school, built in 1928 located in Dundas, now part of the City of Hamilton, Ontario. It was part of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. It is currently a condominium called District Lofts.

Wilson Street (Hamilton, Ontario)

Wilson Street is a Lower City collector road in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. It starts off at James Street North and works its way East and ends at Sherman Avenue North. The section between James Street and Ferguson Avenue was a one-way road, but was converted to a two-way street at 10 am on December 10, 2010.

Spencer Gorge Conservation Area

Spencer Gorge/Webster's Falls Conservation Area is located on the Niagara Escarpment in Dundas, Ontario, a constituent community of Hamilton, Ontario, and is owned and operated by the Hamilton Conservation Authority. It has views over Hamilton and a two major waterfalls that are accessible via a system of trails. The natural features found in the area are considered to be provincially significant. A shuttle service runs from Christie Lake Conservation Area to Spencer Gorge/Webster Falls Conservation Area, for visitors to access this conservation area on weekends and holidays.

Websters Falls Waterfall in Ontario, Canada

Webster's Falls, noted for its panoramas, is a 22-metre-high (72 ft) classical curtain/ plunge waterfall found in the Spencer Gorge/Webster's Falls Conservation Area in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The water flows down Spencer Creek. In the past the falls have been known by various names such as Dr. Hamilton's Falls, Spencer Falls, Hart Falls, Fisher Falls and Flamborough Falls.

Borers Falls Waterfall in Hamilton, Ontario

Borer's Falls is a 15-metre-high (49 ft) ribbon-style waterfall found in the Borer's Falls Conservation Area in Dundas, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Its source is Borer's Creek. A very picturesque waterfall featured on many Hamilton waterfall postcards over the years. Named after the Borer family who ran a sawmill for over a century. This mill was the lifeblood of the village of Rock Chapel. Also known as Rock Chapel Falls. The area is a hiker's haven and also an ice-climbing destination in the winter when the weather is cold enough to freeze the Falls.

Darnley Cascade Waterfall in Hamilton, Ontario

Darnley Cascade is a 4-metre-high (13 ft) cascade waterfall located at Crooks Hollow Conservation Area in Greensville, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Nearby attractions include Bruce Trail, Dundas Valley Conservation Area, Spencer Gorge/Webster's Falls Conservation Area, Hermitage ruins, Royal Botanical Gardens, Dundurn Castle, Christie Lake Conservation Area, Dundas Historical Society Museum and Carnegie Gallery.

King Street (Dundas)

King Street starts off as a collector road in the east-end of town in Dundas, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada beside Cootes Paradise and the Desjardins Canal at Olympic Drive and switches to an arterial road at York Street and cuts through the town of Dundas where it ends in the west-end by the CN railway tracks at the base of the Niagara Escarpment. It is a two-way street throughout.


  1. Miller, Bucovetsky p. 114
  2. "Dundas". ontarioarchitecture.com. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  3. Watson, Milton; Chapman, R R; Biehl, F C (1947) [First edition published 1938 by courtesy of The Hamilton Spectator]. Saga of a city : 330 years of progress in Hamilton (2nd ed.). Hamilton Board of Education. OCLC   41674212.
  4. "Dundas". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  6. Stan Nowak (16 July 2004). "Dundas' Grand Trunk Station". Dundas Star News.
  7. https://archive.org/stream/provinceontario00mcevgoog#page/n164/mode/2up, page 137
  8. "2001 Community Profiles". www12.statcan.ca. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  9. tor.cityhosting.ca, fpm3.com. "Dundas Museum & Archives – About Us". dundasmuseum.ca. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  10. DVSA. "Dundas Valley School of Art". Dundas Valley School of Art. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  11. "Carnegie Gallery – Exhibitions, art, gifts". www.carnegiegallery.org. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  12. Angela Page. "Barrett's Privateers". Wjffradio.org. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  13. "Next concert — Sunday May 27, 2018 at 3:00 pm". dundasvalleyorchestra.ca. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  14. "Dundas Concert Band – Dundas, Ontario, Canada". www.dundasconcertband.com. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  15. "Home – Dundas Conservatory of Music". Dundas Conservatory of Music. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  16. "thearchies.blogspot.com". thearchies.blogspot.com. 2005-12-05. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  17. "The Hamilton Spectator". 2007-09-04. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  18. hwdsb.on.ca Archived 2008-04-19 at the Wayback Machine Parkside High School website
  19. providencecs.ca Providence Christian School website
  20. SiTE school website
  21. "hamiltonnature.org". hamiltonnature.org. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  22. "ontarioarchitecture.com". ontarioarchitecture.com. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  23. sil.mcmaster.ca Archived November 9, 2004, at the Wayback Machine

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Dundas, Ontario at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 43°15′51″N79°57′11″W / 43.264198°N 79.953182°W / 43.264198; -79.953182