Stories in the Stones Tours

City of Hamilton CemeteriesHamilton 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. Therefore, visitors are asked to behave respectfully, please follow the directions and instructions of your tour guide.

2017 Tour Schedule

Presented by Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries

Sponsored by Dodsworth & Brown Funeral Homes

Hosted by Robin McKee of Historical Perceptions

Hamilton Firsts Tour

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

  • May 6
  • May 7 (Jane’s Walk)
  • June 24

The Hamilton Women’s Tour

Women have played an important part in the history of Hamilton. You will learn about the stories of mothers, matrons, educators, artists and even a murderer. Over 10 years of research has gone into the Hamilton Women's Tour.

  • ​May 13
  • July 22
  • September 2

War of 1812 Tour

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

  • May 20 (Flag event)
  • June 3
  • July 1
  • August 5
  • October 21

The Civil War Tour

Learn about Hamiltonians who went to war, survived and returned home.

  • May 27
  • July 29
  • October 28

Art Crawl Tour

Continue the James Street North Art Crawl in the Hamilton Cemetery. Meet the artists, poets and musicians of the past and learn their stories. On the way, learn about cemetery art, statues and Victorian symbolism.

  • June 10
  • July 15
  • August 12
  • September 9
  • October 14

The Disasters Tour

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

  • June 17
  • ​September 16

The Masonic Tour

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

  • July 8
  • October 7

The Firefighters Tour

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

  • August 19
  • September 23

Power of the City Tour

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

  • August 26

The Past Mayors Tour

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.

  • September 30

The Veterans Tour

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

  • November 4 (Remembrance event)
  • November 11