Haven’t packed up and left Dodge? Celebrate our unofficial first weekend of summer right here at home. From a turn around the roller rink, free tours of the Haida and local fireworks, you’ll find lots to keep you busy this Victoria Day weekend.
The HMCS Haida National Historic Site at Pier 9 is now open for the season. It’s the last example of tribal class destroyers built for the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Navy between 1937 and 1945. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday to Sunday, until June 30. Admission is free this summer in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. For information, see hmcshaida.com
Outdoor roller rink
It’s opening weekend for roller skating at Hamilton’s Waterfront Outdoor Rink. Skate rentals are available on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday until June 30. Sundown Saturday runs Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m. at 47 Discovery Dr. Skate rentals cost $6.50, which includes a helmet and safety equipment.
The bike rental concession behind Williams Fresh Café is open on the waterfront Saturday and Sunday from noon to dusk. Hourly rates apply to children and youth bikes, adult bikes and trikes, adult fat-boy cruisers, tandems, surreys with one bench or with two benches. Helmets and baskets are free. hamiltonwaterfront.com
Two 37-passenger trackless trolleys allow both young and old the chance to travel along the Hamilton Waterfront Trail starting Saturday. The trolley route is shortened due to the trail closures from water damage this season and will turn at Bayfront Park. The conductor provides a narrated commentary. The trolley leaves from 47 Discovery Dr. every hour and one-half beginning at 10:30 a.m. and the last at 7:30 p.m. Adult tickets are $6. Seniors and children four to 12 pay $4. Children three and under ride for free. Pay the conductor in cash.
Tour the harbour from the water with a ride on the 12-passenger Hamiltonian Tour Boat. No reservations are required and the season opens Saturday. Tickets are $16 adults and can be purchased at the Hamilton Harbour Tours ticket office located inside Waterfront Scoops. Weekends only in May and June.
Victoria Day fireworks are Sunday at Dundas Driving Park on Cross Street. Donations are appreciated. Music and food trucks start at 6 p.m. and fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. Limited on-site parking and free at any Dundas municipal parking lots. https://www.hamilton.ca/Enjoy the free fireworks display over Niagara Falls on Sunday and Monday. The evening begins with a free concert at 8 p.m. with fireworks to follow at 10 p.m. Parking is available at the Falls Parking Lot, directly across from Table Rock Welcome Centre.
Explore Westfield Heritage Village and discover what life was like in Victorian Canada. Monday only, enjoy the music of the Della Sera Strings orchestra at 2 p.m. (Seating is limited.) Tickets are $11; for seniors and students, $10; for children and six to 17, $6.50. Westfield Heritage Village is at 1049 Kirkwall Rd. off Highway 8 in Rockton. 519-621-8851.
Shake out the sleeping bags and set your sights on Valens Conservation Area in Flamborough this weekend. Call and reserve a spot at 905-525-2183.
What’s open, what’s closed
Most retailers — including banks, grocery, beer and liquor stores — will be closed Monday for the Victoria Day holiday. All Hamilton and Burlington municipal offices, civic museums and libraries are also closed. In Hamilton and Halton, garbage collection moves to the next pickup day all week. Check your waste collection calendar. The HSR and Burlington Transit will operate on a Sunday/holiday schedule. Call HSR information at 905-527-4441 for details. GO Transit will also run on a holiday schedule. For GO information, call 1-888-438-6646. The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum is open.
Compiled by Jennifer Moore, The Hamilton Spectator
The HMCS Haida on its first day of operation this season. The tribal class warship, which is a Parks Canada site, is free to visit this year. The ship is now open from Thursday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.