Scuba diving was created by Jacques Cousteau who invented the Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, which includes the air tanks, regulators, hoses and mask needed for effortless breathing under the water. Scuba diving is a great sport for seeing the undersea nature. When you have your PADI (Professional Association of Diving
Instructors), TDI (Technical Diving International), or NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) scuba diving certification, you can dive almost anywhere in the world.
Scuba diving involves not just the cost of the equipment, but also travel to good & often execotic scuba locations. The equipment for scuba diving is life-critical and always top quality, though you can rent it (especially if you don't dive a lot) at almost any resort or dive shop when you have a recognized certification.
Typical diving gear includes: a mask, a snorkel, a full length wet suit, a hood, a pair of diving gloves, a weight belt, a BCD (Buoyancy Control Device), a primary regulator with an alternate air source (second stage), an air tank, instrument console, diving boots, flippers, a diving knife, dive tables, a slate and an equipment bag for carrying the gear. The equipment is not cheap to buy, with a BCD costing $300-$800y.
Equipment and lessons are available at one of the scuba diving shops here. Try on every piece of equipment before buying. Those with a pool on location, will even let you try it underwater to make sure it functions and fits properly. If you choose to buy used equipment, check it thoroughly, have it inspected by a professional scuba diving equipment technician and ask to test it out (remember, its your life support underwater).
There are a number of places to dive close to Hamilton, in both Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, as well as a little further away in Tobermory on Lake Huron.
The Wrecks of Long Point
Though bad for some, the incursion of Zebra Mussels has improved Lake Erie's visibility & water quality. The many wrecks around Long Point, a long sandspit stretching almost to the middle of the lake are buried in a layer of silty water, sometimes covering a deeper layer of crystal-clear water. Watch for fishing nets around most of these wrecks.
This passenger steamer sunk many years ago, with great loss of life, in 140 ft water just off Long Point has been the subject of a long court battle. While off-limits to divers for quite some time, it may become diveable again.
Sligo and Julia B. Merrill
The Sligo lies in about 65' of water just off Humber Bay, near Toronto. Limited visibility, especially after storms. The Merrill is nearby, and can be done together in a day trip.
Reputedly a "black wreck in black water", since it was burned off Toronto as a public spectacle in approximately 140' of water.
Tobermory is widely considered the Dive Capital of Canada, with its deep clear waters and plenty of wrecks. Visit Canada's first National Marine Park, Fathom Five National Marine Park which two components, 45 square miles of clear water plus an archipelago of 19 islands. The park features sheer cliffs, limestone overhangs and large caves can be found both on the islands and submerged beneath the water. There are also the remains of over 20 historical shipwrecks in these waters.