Saga of a City [Art Gallery of Hamilton]

Founded in 1914, the Art Gallery of Hamilton is the oldest and largest public art gallery in southwestern Ontario. Its permanent collection, which is focused on historical Canadian, 19th-century European and Contemporary art, now numbers more than 10,000 works and is recognized as one of the finest in Canada.

The AGH is a vital creative hub and centre of lifelong learning that enables people of all ages to enrich their lives by gaining a deeper understanding of art.

Gallery Hours: ​Tuesday & Wednesday 11am - 6pm; Thursday 11am - 8pm; 
Friday 11am - 6pm; Saturday & Sunday 12 noon - 5pm


Saga of a City

Hamilton at 200 Years

On view April 9, 2016 to March 19, 2017 
Curated by Devin Therien, Adjunct Curator, European Art and 
Bill Manson, Hamilton Historian

Saga of a City commemorates the bicentennial of the founding of the city of Hamilton in 1816.

This historical exhibition traces the foundations upon which an obscure frontier hamlet in 1816 grew to become a major North American manufacturing and transportation centre by 1925. Historically, the development of the city rested solidly on the foundations of location, water, rails, immigration, and industry. However, since 1945 these traditional foundations have been shaken, and today a very different city is in the process of reinventing itself.

Indigenous Nations have lived at the western end of Lake Ontario for centuries. The proximity to water, a temperate climate, and bountiful natural resources made this location ideal. European settlers were attracted to the Head-of-the-Lake, as they called it, for the same reasons. Early European settlers at the Head-of-the-Lake created agricultural lands and harnessed the power of the many waterfalls to create mill towns like Ancaster, Albion, and Dundas. Many entrepreneurs were active in land speculation. One such was Niagara businessman George Hamilton, who in 1815 purchased 257 acres of land upon which to found a town.

The Art Gallery of Hamilton, 123 King Street West, Hamilton
905.527.6610 or email


Saturday, April 9, 2016 (All day) to Sunday, March 19, 2017 (All day)
Art Gallery of Hamilton, 123 King St West, Hamilton, ON