First Ontario Centre
First Ontario Centre
4
What people are saying
Convenience of Event Planning
4.0 of 5 bubblesApr 2023
The old Copps Coliseum is in downtown Hamilton between Main Street East and York Street-Catherine. FirstOntario Centre’s not a very walkable area. The best thing is that it’s just 45 minutes from Toronto or Niagara. Seating 219 or 115 is directly under the box. Seating @16(208-09)/17(107-08) and 19(210-11) is probably cheaper—in the middle where the screens are. It’s accessed by stairs descending from FoodWorks poutine ($10-14) past PizzaPizza & the ATM. They directly face midway seats 55(228-29) and 53(121-22) by the Lounge. The nearest parking, by the bottom of the Centre escalators, is adjacent—under Jackson Square next door (flanked by Tim Horton’s coffee shops)—South-East of York’s one-way on Bay St. The other (W) side of the intersection at York-Bay is a grey Canadian Forces /government building without public parking there nor at the old red-brick Macdonald High School. From the sidewalk, it’s a bit confusing finding FirstOntario Centre (not to be confused with ‘Ontario Place’). The “Ontario Insurance” branding or Box Office sign is your best bet to enter the hockey arena/concert venue. Carry your own water bottle, which can be bought at the Nations Fresh Foods store with min. $30 supermarket receipt /parking validation (& washroom), just inside JacksonSquare’s Bay doorway. For wheelchair access there’s mainly one pay lot: on the other side of York Street (with RBC bank machine & BMO ATM beside Jackson Square’s Sheraton Hotel rear Starbucks /Pita Pit), past Anchor Bar fried pizza. For pickup/group order: 905-527 -7383 or ca208 @mypitapit.ca. Except holidays the ground level accessible door is open at the TekKlinic-Dollarama /food court corridor of Jackson Square. The Tim Horton’s (without washroom) is always open at the other end of the Square below Hamilton City Centre & college too. For Atkins dieters, Subway salad bowls (besides Pita Pit halal) is hidden behind Royal Shawarma. York Street is one way though. If you need to stop while driving East toward Toronto, in reverse, turn left off Bay onto Cannon Street and veer right along the water past Dundurn Castle; it’ll turn into the York Street ramp to access highway 403 that changes names (by highway 407 toll North or 403-Niagara S) to Queen Elizabeth Way E-Gardiner Expressway, toward downtown Toronto. Without the perks, FirstOntario is more conveniently located than one would think in SW Ontario!

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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles161 reviews
Excellent
58
Very good
58
Average
29
Poor
9
Terrible
7

AnLil
912 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Family
The old Copps Coliseum is in downtown Hamilton between Main Street East and York Street-Catherine. FirstOntario Centre’s not a very walkable area. The best thing is that it’s just 45 minutes from Toronto or Niagara. Seating 219 or 115 is directly under the box. Seating @16(208-09)/17(107-08) and 19(210-11) is probably cheaper—in the middle where the screens are. It’s accessed by stairs descending from FoodWorks poutine ($10-14) past PizzaPizza & the ATM. They directly face midway seats 55(228-29) and 53(121-22) by the Lounge. The nearest parking, by the bottom of the Centre escalators, is adjacent—under Jackson Square next door (flanked by Tim Horton’s coffee shops)—South-East of York’s one-way on Bay St. The other (W) side of the intersection at York-Bay is a grey Canadian Forces /government building without public parking there nor at the old red-brick Macdonald High School. From the sidewalk, it’s a bit confusing finding FirstOntario Centre (not to be confused with ‘Ontario Place’). The “Ontario Insurance” branding or Box Office sign is your best bet to enter the hockey arena/concert venue. Carry your own water bottle, which can be bought at the Nations Fresh Foods store with min. $30 supermarket receipt /parking validation (& washroom), just inside JacksonSquare’s Bay doorway. For wheelchair access there’s mainly one pay lot: on the other side of York Street (with RBC bank machine & BMO ATM beside Jackson Square’s Sheraton Hotel rear Starbucks /Pita Pit), past Anchor Bar fried pizza. For pickup/group order: 905-527 -7383 or ca208 @mypitapit.ca. Except holidays the ground level accessible door is open at the TekKlinic-Dollarama /food court corridor of Jackson Square. The Tim Horton’s (without washroom) is always open at the other end of the Square below Hamilton City Centre & college too. For Atkins dieters, Subway salad bowls (besides Pita Pit halal) is hidden behind Royal Shawarma. York Street is one way though. If you need to stop while driving East toward Toronto, in reverse, turn left off Bay onto Cannon Street and veer right along the water past Dundurn Castle; it’ll turn into the York Street ramp to access highway 403 that changes names (by highway 407 toll North or 403-Niagara S) to Queen Elizabeth Way E-Gardiner Expressway, toward downtown Toronto. Without the perks, FirstOntario is more conveniently located than one would think in SW Ontario!
Written April 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Richard T
Hamilton, Canada151 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
Great hockey and great location. Staff are super friendly hand helpful. Plenty of reasonably priced parking close to the stadium.
Written October 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Doglover
Hamilton, Canada108 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021
came here for the 2021 grey cup festival and was very impressed with how they organized it. it was a perfect location and we had an amazing time.
Written February 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Taylor
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021
I went on Core Entertainment's website to purchase tickets for a show in December. Core Entertainment's website directed me to a third party website as the only method of purchasing online tickets. I proceeded to purchase three tickets. Upon attending the show, I realized that 1) the show was not as was advertised on Core Entertainment's website and 2) I had overpaid by hundreds of dollars for my tickets. Ultimately, me and my two guests left at intermission. For the last two months I have tried to get in touch with Core Entertainment to explain this issue. I have had an exceptionally difficult time getting in touch with anyone and when occasionally I have a response (once by phone and once by email), they indicate there's nothing they could do and have refused to even issue a partial refund. Core Entertainment's own website directed me to this third party. Core Entertainment accepted my ticket when presented at the door. I am disappointed in the customer service I have received and cannot trust Core Entertainment to honestly sell tickets or protect consumers. Would not recommend.
Written February 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jerry D from Bramalea
Caledon, Canada248 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We were here for the recent NHL Prospects CHL hockey game.
Nice arena - no complaints (but should still have reference to Copps Coliseum).
I went to purchase a couple of chocolate bars (needed something after our great (not) meal at George Hamilton Restaurant lol - the girl said $10.
I thought she was joking around but she was serious - I laughed.
She kept apologizing - I told her not your fault don't worry about it.
I laughed all the way back to my seat.
Staff are nice, arena seating and sight lines are good, food prices are high - amen !
Written February 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jenny
Burlington, Canada438 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Family
Came to the First Ontario Centre for a Bulldogs game. This is a good venue for a game, with good acoustics and visuals. Our seats provided a great view, and staff were friendly.

I'd recommend parking a bit further away from the arena - on Macnab, Queen, etc. To save a few bucks. There are city lots a short walk away! Also, food and drinks are pricey so get ready for that.
Written January 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dani S
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
As someone who attends concerts all over, and quite frequently, I have seen all kinds of staff, both good and bad. From those many concerts, Hamilton absolutely takes the cake for my best staff experience at a venue.
I travelled to the First Ontario Centre to see Ghost play in October, not expecting much more than bored looking security and ushers. I was pleasantly surprised by how friendly the staff was throughout the night during entry, waiting for the doors to the stage area to open, and waiting for the band to start. They were all lovely!
After the concert was over, I was immediately offered the elevator when the staff saw me with my cane, as well as water and a place to sit down when I made a comment to my friend about being tired/feeling slightly unwell. We were even given some extra confetti and bills from the canon that had collected on the other side of the barrier once most of the crowd had cleared out.
The venue staff made my night all that much better, as the behaviour of security can truly make or break a concert. Keep it up guys!
Written December 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mitahari
Playa Las Lajas, Panama8 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 • Couples
She was great! The logistics around getting tickets was terrible. We had tried to download e-tickets but couldn't. Ticketmaster tried too. Couldn't. Said to ask at the venue. They were no help.
Food was terrible. Venue terrible. Location bad as traffic horrific.
Expensive.
Would not do it again.
Written November 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ssklt589
Mississauga, Canada36 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019
Concert acoustics was good. Remember no food or drinks from outside is allowed at this venue.
If you have prepurchased your tickets scan to your phone as the WiFi is horrible as everyone else is trying to access the website to produce their tickets. All isn't lost as the box office will charge you $25. to reprint tickets.
Written September 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Janet K
Mississauga, Canada62 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Couples
Great venue, clean washrooms. Could have had a few more concession stands to handle crowds but overall very good.
Written July 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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