For the county in eastern Ontario see Dundas County, Ontario. For the upper tier county, see United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.

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 20,000, largely because it has not annexed rural land from the protected Dundas Valley Conservation Area.

Dissolved municipality
Downtown Dundas
Downtown Dundas
The Valley Town
Dundas is located in City of Hamilton
Coordinates: 43°15′51″N 79°57′11″W / 43.264198°N 79.953182°W / 43.264198; -79.953182
Incorporated1847 (town)
 • Total23.31 km2 (9.00 sq mi)
 • Total24,285
 • Density1,041.8/km2 (2,698/sq mi)
Time zoneEastern (EST)
Forward sortation area
Area code905 / 289 / 365
Highways Highway 8
 Highway 99

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

History and politics edit

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 edit

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 3,500 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 area's economic powerhouse by Hamilton, but for decades it led in importance. Several 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 and town walking tours feature their work each year.

Demographics edit


The 2001 census population of Dundas was 24,394.

Visible minority status:


Age characteristics of the population:

  • 0–14 years: 18.29%
  • 15–64 years: 63.53%
  • 65 years and over: 18.18%

Culture edit

Fine arts edit

The Dundas Valley School of Art
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 have unfolded in the unique Dundas Valley. Several local events also occur 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. 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.

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.

Music edit

"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]

Ryan van Sickle is another Dundas resident who became famous as a singer/songwriter. 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. Laura Thomas currently conducts the DVO.

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 has performed at the Dundas Driving Park Bandshell venue 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, founded by Stever Parton, is in its 19th year of creating and nurturing musicians, many of whom have become professional performers. It uses the historic St. Paul's United Church as its primary location.

Film edit

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 enthusiasts of this HBO series 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 different locations in Hamilton.[17]

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

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

Sports edit

The J.L. Grightmire/Market Street Arena

The Dundas Blues are a junior ice hockey team from Dundas, and 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 three straight titles from 1976 to 1978 and back-to-back titles in 1987 and 1988.

Schools edit

  • Central Park – Elementary School (Closed)
  • Cornerstones Hamilton Special Needs Services @ Dundas Valley Secondary School - Adult Day Program
  • Dundana – Elementary School
  • Dundas Central Public – Elementary School
  • Dundas District – High School (Closed June 1982)
  • Dundas District – Middle School (Closed November 5, 2007)
  • Dundas Valley Montessori School – Private Elementary School
  • Dundas Valley Secondary School – High School (Formed by the amalgamation of Highland and Parkside Secondary Schools)
  • Highland – High School (Closed June 2014-amalgamated with Parkside Secondary School)
  • Yorkview – Elementary School
  • St. Augustine – Catholic Elementary
  • St. Bernadette – Catholic Elementary
  • Sir William Osler – Elementary School
  • Parkside – High School (Closed June 2014-amalgamated with Highland Secondary School)[18]
  • Pleasant Valley – Elementary School (Closed)
  • Providence Christian School – Independent Elementary School[19]
  • SiTE Schools Dundas - Private Montessori based High School [20]

Geography edit

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

Waterfalls edit

Dundas is near two commonly visited waterfalls near the 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 hydroelectric 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 edit

Dundas Peak

Dundas is also near the Dundas Peak, which is also in the Flamborough district. 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.

Landmarks edit

Dundas is famous for the Collins Hotel. After opening in 1841, it has since been the longest-running hotel in Ontario.[22] One feature of the building is a front entrance (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.[23]

Notable people edit

Sister city edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Miller, Bucovetsky p. 114
  2. ^ "Dundas". 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. ^, page 137
  8. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  9. ^, "Dundas Museum & Archives – About Us". Retrieved 3 April 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ DVSA. "Dundas Valley School of Art". Dundas Valley School of Art. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Carnegie Gallery – Exhibitions, art, gifts". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  12. ^ Angela Page. "Barrett's Privateers". Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  13. ^ "Next concert — Sunday May 27, 2018 at 3:00 pm". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Dundas Concert Band – Dundas, Ontario, Canada". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Home – Dundas Conservatory of Music". Dundas Conservatory of Music. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  16. ^ "". 2005-12-05. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  17. ^ "The Hamilton Spectator". 2007-09-04. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  18. ^ Archived 2008-04-19 at the Wayback Machine Parkside High School website
  19. ^ Providence Christian School website
  20. ^ [1] SiTE school website
  21. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  22. ^
  23. ^ "". Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  24. ^ Archived November 9, 2004, at the Wayback Machine

External links edit

  Media related to Dundas, Ontario at Wikimedia Commons

43°15′51″N 79°57′11″W / 43.264198°N 79.953182°W / 43.264198; -79.953182