101 York Blvd, Hamilton ON
Formerly known as Hamilton Place, this massive complex was rebranded as the FirstOntario Centre in 2016. The Complex includes the arena-sized Centre, a Concert Hall and a performance space called the Studio.
With a capacity of 19,000, the Centre is a cavernous arena that hosts Hamilton’s biggest concerts and sporting events. Headliners have included Green Day, Alice in Chains, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Paul McCartney, Shania Twain and Elton John.
With a capacity of 2913, the smaller FirstOntario Concert Hall attracts some of the biggest names in music, theater and comedy for a cozier alternative to arena shows. Canadian royalty Bruce Cockburn, the Tragically Hip and Gordon Lightfoot have performed here, along with Maroon 5, the Arkells, Mother Mother, Florida Georgia Line, Dixie Chicks, comedian Jerry Seinfeld and illusionist David Blaine.
Many symphony, theatrical and ballet performances use the space; patrons claim that acoustically there are no bad seats in this well-designed hall, but that it’s worth springing for the front rows of the balconies for visual performances.
The Studio is an intimate performance space for musical, theatre and photography events. The room holds 300 to 500 patrons depending on setup. Acts like Ben Caplan, Bif Naked and Chantal Kreviazuk have performed here.
Located minutes from the GO Station and at the intersection of many bus routes, the FirstOntario Centre is easy to find. Accessibility is excellent; the building is equipped with ramps, escalators and elevators to most levels of seating and bathrooms, and special seating is available through the box office for visually-impaired individuals. All venues within the Centre are fully licensed with a two-drink maximum.