Festivals & Events

Stories in the Stones Tours

Cemetery with text Stories in the Stones

Hamilton Cemetery Free Public Tours

Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries are like museums, with their headstones serving as a record of our culture and social history. Through an enduring stone, they reflect personal and national sentiment; speak of love, pity, and patriotism; summarize lives of remarkable longevity and remind us of lives lost through tragedy.

Many of Hamilton’s colourful characters and history lie buried in our cemeteries. The cemetery tour – The Stories In The Stones - tells their fascinating stories through free guided walking tours at Hamilton Cemetery.

The Hamilton Cemetery is Canada’s first and oldest municipally owned and operated cemetery providing a lasting memorial, permanent tribute and a final resting place to many loved ones. Hamilton Cemetery houses some notable burials. Early settlers such as Robert Land and George Hamilton, victims of the Desjardins Railway Disaster and a large number of past Mayors of Hamilton rest here. Former Senators and American Civil War Veterans (War of 1812) can also be found buried in this historical cemetery.

Join us for a lively, informative tour of selected grave sites in historical Hamilton Cemetery. 
Tours start at 11 am at the Cemetery Gatehouse 777 York Blvd. across from Dundurn Castle and run for approximately 2 hours. Tours are free and hosted by volunteer guides. Tours and dates are subject to change.

  • No reservations necessary
  • Tours run rain or shine
  • Bring any necessary food or drinks
  • Dress appropriately for weather conditions
  • Schedule subject to change

Cemeteries are sacred places where the dead are laid to rest with dignity. Visitors are asked to behave respectfully, please follow the directions and instructions of your tour guide.

Schedule of tours

Each tour has a unique theme. In some cases the theme has several parts. The tours that indicate Parts 1 & 2 have been split to share more historical information, stories and due to the geographical area in the cemetery. The Best of Part 1 & 2 is a combined tour that includes parts from both tours.

Stories in the Stones: The Veterans Tour - CANCELLED

Saturday, June 6, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Honour the men and women from Hamilton, who served from 1776 to the Korean War.

Stories in the Stones: Art Crawl Tour Part 1 - CANCELLED

Saturday, June 13, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Continue the James Street North Art Crawl in the Hamilton Cemetery. Meet the artists, poets and musicians of the past and learn their stories.

Stories in the Stones: The Disasters Tour Part 1 - CANCELLED

Saturday, June 20, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Disasters, demises, diseases, and yes disappearances. Learn of events that tried to destroy our city.

Stories in the Stones: War of 1812 Tour - CANCELLED

Saturday, June 27, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

From fort to cemetery. Learn about the War of 1812 and the Fort at Burlington Heights.

Stories in the Stones: The Civil War Tour - Part 2

Saturday, July 4, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Learn about Hamiltonians who went to war, survived and returned home. The Canadian history and involvement in the Civil War.

Stories in the Stones: Art Crawl Tour Part 2

Saturday, July 11, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Continue the James Street North Art Crawl in the Hamilton Cemetery. Meet the artists, poets and musicians of the past and learn their stories.

Stories in the Stones: Hamilton Firsts Tour

Saturday, July 18, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Learn about the many firsts of Hamilton, The first mayor, the first doctor, the first settler, and many more.

Stories in the Stones: Art Crawl Tour Best of Part 1 & 2

Saturday, July 25, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Continue the James Street North Art Crawl in the Hamilton Cemetery. Meet the artists, poets and musicians of the past and learn their stories.

Stories in the Stones: War of 1812 Tour

Saturday, August 1, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

From fort to cemetery. Learn about the War of 1812 and the Fort at Burlington Heights.

Stories in the Stones: Art Crawl Tour Part 1

Saturday, August 8, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Continue the James Street North Art Crawl in the Hamilton Cemetery. Meet the artists, poets and musicians of the past and learn their stories.

Stories in the Stones: The Firefighters Tour

Saturday, August 15, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Learn about these local heroes who died saving our lives, homes, and our city, from devastating fires.

Stories in the Stones: Power of the City Tour

Saturday, August 22, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Learn about the “powers” that drive this city. Industry, transportation, crime and yes the power of love.

Stories in the Stones: The Masonic Tour Part 2

Saturday, August 29, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

A Da Vinci Code Tour? Learn about the Masons in Hamilton and their influence on the City. Secrets will be revealed.

Stories in the Stones: The Hamilton Women’s Tour

Saturday, September 5, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Women have played an important part in the history of Hamilton.

Stories in the Stones: The Disasters Tour Part 2

Saturday, September 12, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Learn of events that tried to destroy our city. Disasters, demises, diseases, and yes disappearances.

Stories in the Stones: The Past Mayors Tour

Saturday, September 26, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Who were these guys and what did they do for our city? Learn who lead us, when, and what happened in Hamilton on their watch.

Stories in the Stones: The Hamilton Women’s Tour Part 2

Saturday, October 3, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Women have played an important part in the history of Hamilton.

Stories in the Stones: Art Crawl Tour Part 2

Saturday, October 10, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Continue the James Street North Art Crawl in the Hamilton Cemetery. Meet the artists, poets and musicians of the past and learn their stories.

Stories in the Stones: Power of the City Tour

Saturday, October 17, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Learn about the “powers” that drive this city. Industry, transportation, crime and yes the power of love.

Stories in the Stones: The Firefighters Tour

Saturday, October 17, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Learn about these local heroes who died saving our lives, homes, and our city, from devastating fires.

Stories in the Stones: War of 1812 Tour

Saturday, October 24, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

From fort to cemetery. Learn about the War of 1812 and the Fort at Burlington Heights.

Stories in the Stones: The Civil War Tour

Saturday, October 31, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Learn about Hamiltonians who went to war, survived and returned home. The Canadian history and involvement in the Civil War.

Stories in the Stones: The Veterans Tour - Remembrance Event & Tour

Saturday, November 7, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Honour the men and women from Hamilton, who served from 1776 to the Korean War.

Stories in the Stones: The Veterans Tour

Saturday, November 14, 2020
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hamilton Cemetery, 777 York Boulevard
Across from Dundurn Castle
, Hamilton

Honour the men and women from Hamilton, who served from 1776 to the Korean War.

Tours are presented by: Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries
Sponsored by: Dodsworth & Brown Funeral Homes
Hosted by:  Robin McKee of Historical Perceptions