McMaster University has been an important city institution since 1930. Mohawk College, established in 1967, evolved from the Provincial Institute of Textiles, which later became the Hamilton Institute of Technology. In 1982, Redeemer University College — an undergraduate Christian liberal arts college — was also established in the Ancaster area.
Hamilton's central library was opened atop the new civic market in 1980, and was renovated extensively between 2009 and 2011. The city operates an extensive park system, the famous Royal Botanical Gardens (1941) and seven museums, including four national historic sites: Battlefield House (1796), Dundurn Castle (1835), Whitehern (1848) and the Hamilton Waterworks (1859). The Museum of Steam and Technology, built around the 1859 waterworks, and the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, which presents exhibitions in the Custom House (1860), provide the anchors for two heritage industrial trails. Hamilton's substantial Art Gallery includes works by Cornelius Krieghoff and William Kurelek. The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Mohawk College Singers, McMaster Chamber Orchestra and Opera Hamilton continue the city's musical traditions. Theatre Aquarius, dramatic productions at McMaster and by small theatre groups maintain long association with the stage. Touring companies often perform at the Hamilton Place complex.
The Hamilton Spectator, the Southam chain's first newspaper (1846), is now owned by Torstar Inc., but continues to be the city's leading daily newspaper. Various ethnic and weekly suburban newspapers are also published out of Hamilton. Until the late 1990s, the television station CHCH remained one of the country's few independent and unaffiliated television operations by focusing on a Hamilton audience. In reaching out to a province-wide audience, the company attracted the attention of, and was eventually acquired by, Canadian media giant CanWest Global Communications.
In sports, the city has shown a special interest in running, with the annual Around the Bay run and regular track meets. The city lost its National Hockey League team in 1924, and has been unable to attract a franchise since, although Copps Coliseum was constructed in the hopes of doing so. (In 2009 Jim Basillie, then co-CEO of Research In Motion, attempted to bring the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton, but his bid was contested by the NHL, which successfully stopped the deal in court.) In professional sport, the city has one team, its beloved Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and is home to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.