Why it’s awesome:
Ten years ago you might have wrinkled your nose at Hamilton, but after a recent influx of Toronto artists and musicians drawn by the cheap rent, the city has earned a reputation as both trendy and down-to-earth. Hamilton has beautiful architecture, quiet boulevards and lush parks — along with a great music scene and tons of festivals.
What to do:
Hamilton’s constant buzz of musicians and artists crescendos at the James Street Supercrawl, a free three-day art and indie music festival held downtown, that draws some of Canada’s most well-known artists as headliners. It’s also a great way to support local artists and businesses, and you can be sure that the whole town will be in attendance.
If you're hoping to avoid the mosh pit, Hamilton and surrounding areas are also dotted with over 100 natural waterfalls, which you can access by hiking trails.
When to visit:
Spring is the best time to see the waterfalls before they dry up, so aim for the first couple weeks of June. If you miss them, you can still catch the Supercrawl festival from September 9 to 11 this year.