Culture Division, City of Hamilton

Tourism Region: Souther Ontario

Parent organization for seven museums, including four National Historic sites (Dundurn Castle, Battlefield House, Whitehern and the Hamilton Steam Museum. Also responsible for the Hamilton and Scourge National Marine Site. Also oversees the Hamilton Farmer's Market, arts, events and the public art program.



77 James Street North
Hamilton, Ontario
L8R 2K3

Telephone: (905) 546-2424
Fax: (905) 540-5511

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Hours of Operation

Operations: Year Round

The Culture Division oversees the operations of seven museums including Christmas decorations and events at Dundurn Castle and Whitehern which occur in late November and December. The Division also plans and stages Remembrance Day celebrations in November as well as Winterfest in February.

Open: The Division Offices are open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

Closed: Saturday • Sunday
The Division Offices are closed statutory holidays.

Administration fees

Admission: Free
Each of museum sites have their own admission rates but access to the Culture Division offices is free of charge.

About Collections

The Culture Division manages a collection of approximately 60,000 3D artefacts, located at the museum sites and two off-site storage locations. In addition the Division maintains about 300,000 archival records and archaeological specimens. The collection is overseen by a Registrar who in employed by the Division and available to all the museum sites.

Approximate number of objects in the collections: 400,000


The Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology, Whitehern Museum and Fieldcote Museum all have extensive archives. There are minor archives at the other sites as well.

Architectural Records • Cartographic Materials • Electronic Records • Prints and Drawings • Manuscripts • Microforms • Films and Videos • Photographs • Textual Records

Decorative Arts

Both Dundurn Castle and Whitehern have extensive collections of silver and textiles. Both also have extensive furniture collections. Dundurn, Whitehern and Battlefield House also have extensive costume collections.

Ceramics, Porcelain or Pottery • Costumes • Furniture or Furnishings • Metalwork, Silverwork or Goldwork • Textiles or Tapestries

Fine Arts

The division oversees the Corporate collection of the City of Hamilton which includes a variety of Fine Art pieces. In addition Dundurn Castle and Whitehern and the Hamilton Steam Museums have significant art collections including works but Currier, Robert Whale and other significant figures.

American • Canadian


Painting • Photography • Prints and Drawings

Human History

The Human History collections held by the Division are broad and span the time period from 10,000BC (represented by some archaeological collections), to the modern day. The collection includes significant collections of Furniture, dish and silverware, household items, medals and military uniforms and science and technological items.

Agriculture • Archaeological Objects • Ceremonial Objects • Clocks or Time-Keeping Devices • Communications Devices • Costumes and Accessories • Electricity • Furniture or Furnishings • Household Objects or Domestic Technology • Imaging • Industrial Technology and History • Local History • Manuscripts • Maps, Charts, Plans or Blueprints • Marine History and Technology • Medals • Memorabilia • Military History and Technology • Oral History • Transportation : Marine : Non-motorized ground

Services & Activities

The Culture Division oversees the operations of seven museums, four of which are National Historic Sites. The Division also plans events such as Remembrance Day, oversees the public art program for the City of Hamilton, and runs the Hamilton Farmers Market. The public monuments owned by the City of Hamilton are maintained by the Culture Division and the plaguing program is run through the division as well.

Research Services

Six of the seven museums have archival records which the public can view. Research can also be conducted on the collections of any of the museums.

Archival Records • Conservation or Restoration • Genealogical Research • Library • Conference or Symposium

Educational Programs

Each of the museums has a full offering of school programming, primarily for grades 1 through 6, however Dundurn Castle and the Steam Museum also have highschool programs. The Hamilton children's Museum has extensive offerings for preschool children. Programs include topics from the history, art and science curriculums. All museums also offer special programming during March Break. The Culture Division maintains a program committee which oversees and provides integration between the programs and a marketing committee which provides promotion.

Classes or Workshops • Discovery Room or Centre • Internships • Lectures • School Programs : Age 5-11 (k-6)

Visitor Services

Five of the seven museums (including all four National Historic sites) run by the Division offer guided tours. The Hamilton Children's Museum and Fieldcote Memorial Park are self-guided. Services are provided for bus tours and school groups and are available in French if required. The Division runs competitions for public art design and plans special events. Research is available through the museum sites and general historical inquiries are welcome.

Guided Tours : English : French • Accessible by Public Transportation • Children's Activities or Services : Playground : Nursing area or Change Table • Meeting Room Rental • Nature Trails, Walks or Gardens • Special Needs Facilities : Parking : Signs : Washrooms • Washrooms • Parking Facilities : Free

Volunteer Services

Volunteer Services Available • Volunteer Training Offered

Number of Volunteers: 30

Activities: Volunteering is largely done through the museum sites. Activities include assistance with special events and programming.

Food Services

All seven museums have picnic facilities either on the property or located nearby. Food is generally only available during special events. All museums with the exception of the Military Museum also provide rental space and catering can be arranged for rental groups.

Picnic Area • Reception Facilities

Internet Services

General InformationEventsEducationSchool Visits or Programs

Local Tourism Links

Local Attractions

Publications & Products

The Culture Division prepares and distributes the Hamilton Civic Museum lure brochure. The Division also maintains the web-site, designs and distributes all other marketing products (Christmas flyers, etc.). The Division also publishes the Field Trip Planner for teachers and and electronic quarterly newsletter titles "Museum Moments".

Brochures • Newsletters