Ottawa Street is known as the Fabric & Textile District and is Hamilton's "Decor Destination." It is the largest Fabric and Textile District in Canada and Hamilton's #1 tourist destination. It also hosts an annual Ottawa Street Streetfest, a shopping extravaganza that includes shopping deals, entertainment, foods, crafts; all a part of an outdoor street sale.
In 1862, The city had invested in the Great Western Railway but the government of Canada favoured the rival Grand Trunk Railway. Also, after the end of the Depression (1857–1862), the population dips downwards in Hamilton and the city could not meet the interest on its bonds, many of which were held by British investors. To save the city from its creditors temporarily, Henry Beasley removes the assessment rolls, thus preventing a levy of special tax. Foundries and machine shops associated with the Great Western Railway failed and several established wholesalers closed their accounts. Daniel C. Gunn's locomotive works went bankrupt, but the manufacturers of farm implements and stoves-the mainstays of iron foundries- were able to weather the crisis. Those owned by Dennis Moore and the Copp brothers endured, but their employees suffered wage cuts and layoffs. Canadian patent laws and the underemployed workers skilled in machinist trades lured an important new industrial enterprise from the U.S.A.- the manufacture of sewing machines by Richard Wanzer. From this development there evolved the ready-made clothing industry, which William Eli Sanford introduced locally. The Textile District evolved in East Hamilton, centered on Ottawa Street and boomed during the First and Second World Wars. It's a thriving district today.
In 1913, Procter & Gamble Manufacturing Company (based in Cincinnati, Ohio) purchased 7 acres (28,000 m2) of land and 2 acres (8,100 m2) of water on the south side of Burlington Street between Depew and Ottawa Streets. This event marked the beginning of Procter & Gamble's operations outside of the United States. In 1914, Construction started on the Procter & Gamble Hamilton plant, which cost $1 million and consisted of seven buildings: the Crisco building, the boiler house, the gas plant, the soap building, the hardening plant, the kettle and glycerin house, and the machine shop. By 1915, Procter & Gamble officially opens Hamilton plant, employing 75 workers who made six different products.
Hamilton became the birthplace of the Tim Hortons chain in 1964. The original store ("Store #1") still operates on Ottawa Street today. Ron Joyce, was Tim Horton's partner and first franchisee for his Canadian donut chain.