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Hamilton is an industrial city at the west end of Lake Ontario with approximately 537,000 residents. The city owes much of its growth to steel production with as much as sixty percent of Canada’s steel coming from Hamilton’s Stelco and Dofasco plants after WWII and until the 1990s. The steel industry is in decline at present, but other manufacturing businesses remain employing most of the workforce. Hamilton’s municipal government consists of one mayor and 15 city councillors, each elected individually in their respective city wards, to serve on the Hamilton City Council. Additionally, both Public and Catholic school board trustees are elected for defined areas ranging from two trustees for multiple wards to a single trustee for an individual ward. Hamilton also has a notable French community for which provincial services are offered in French. The Hamilton Conservation Authority is a major employer as they own, lease or manage about 4,500 hectares of land within the city, and another 1,077 hectares of parkland at 310 out-of-town locations. Many of the parks are along the Niagara Escarpment, which runs from Tobermory at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula in the north, to Queenston at the Niagara River in the south, also fall under their auspices. This includes the famous Bruce Trail hiking path that runs the length of the escarpment. Hamilton is home to more than one hundred waterfalls and cascades, most of which are on or near the Bruce Trail as it winds through the Niagara Escarpment.

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