This beautiful valley town of 23,000 people is bounded north and south by two sides of the Niagara Escarpment with Cootes Paradise wetlands on the east and conservation lands to the west. The small community of Cootes Paradise, which existed in the late 1700s, became the Town of Dundas when lots along Spencer Creek were surveyed in 1797. An important transportation hub, it soon grew in terms of population and industry. This growth was given an added boost with the completion of construction of the Desjardins Canal in 1837, which was designed to bring lake shipping from Burlington Bay (Hamilton Harbour) to warehouses in Dundas. While its importance as a transportation centre ultimately diminished, Dundas boasts a proximity to the area’s natural wonders and a shopping area that combines sophistication with a welcome small-town feeling. It remains one of the most desirable areas in Hamilton to raise families.
Among its many gems, Dundas houses a highly regarded independent art school, Dundas Valley School of Art. DVSA dates back more than 40 years to its founding by two art-minded citizens, Marion Farnan and Emily Dutton, who recognized the need for professional art instruction in the area. With a student enrollment just over 3,800, the DVSA offers part-time programs to residents from children to seniors and full-time programs to area high school students and post-grad students from other universities. In 1998 a new diploma program was launched with McMaster University. The Dundas Valley Historical Society promotes awareness of local history and the Dundas Museum & Archives highlights the stories of people and events that have shaped this beautiful valley town.