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Traditionally, the local economy has been led by the steel and heavy manufacturing industries. Within the last decade, there has been a shift towards the service sector, particularly health sciences. The Hamilton Health Sciences corporation employs nearly 10,000 staff and serves approximately 2.2 million people in the region.
Hamilton is home to the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, the Bruce Trail, McMaster University and Mohawk College (Largest skilled trades college in Ontario). The Canadian Football Hall of Fame can be found downtown right beside Hamilton City Hall and across town to the east, the Canadian Football League's Hamilton Tiger-Cats play at Ivor Wynne Stadium. The Erland Lee (Museum) Home (c. 1808) is a National Historic Site of Canada on the Canadian Register of Historic Places. An Ontario Historical Plaque in front of the Erland Lee Museum was erected by the province to commemorate the First Women's Institute's role in Ontario's heritage.
Partly because of its diverse environment, numerous TV and film productions have been filmed in Hamilton, regulated by the Hamilton Film and Television Office. A growing arts and culture sector garnered media attention in a 2006 Globe and Mail news article, entitled "Go West, Young Artist," which focused on the growing art scene in Hamilton. The article highlighted local art galleries, recording studios and independent film production.