Picturesque Ancaster is located on the Niagara Escarpment. The area attracted European settlement in the 18th century because a break in the Escarpment allowed movement from the lakeshore to the interior lands. There were also a series of streams and waterfalls which facilitated industrial growth.
The former Town of Ancaster was founded in 1793. By 1823, Ancaster was Upper Canada’s largest industrial and commercial centre. However, water and rail transportation advancements in the early 19th century benefitted Ancaster’s neighbouring towns situated closer to the Lake Ontario waterfront. Ancaster lost its relative economic prominence. In 2001, Ancaster was amalgamated within the City of Hamilton.
According to the 2006 Census, the population of Ancaster was 33,000. Points of interest include the historical village core, Fielcote Memorial Park and Museum, recreational walking trails, and a unique variety of restaurants, pubs and shops. A portion of the Bruce Trail that connects Queenston to Tobermory runs through Ancaster.
Today, Ancaster is considered an affluent bedroom community. Residents are typically professionals who work in downtown Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga or Toronto. Annual events include the Paris to Ancaster Bicycle Race (April), Lobsterfest (May), Ancaster Heritage Day (June), Ancaster Old Mill Road Race (June), Festival of Friends (August), and the Ancaster Fair (September).