The town of Hamilton was conceived by George Hamilton when he purchased farm land in the area. Hamilton's industrial sector improved in 1832 after a canal was created from the outer sand bar, making Hamilton a major shipping port. As the city grew, several prominent buildings were constructed in the late 19th century, including the Grand Lodge of Canada in 1855, a public library in 1890, and the Right House department store in 1893. The first commercial telephone service in Canada, the first telephone exchange in the British Empire, and the second telephone exchange in all of North America were each created in the city between around 1877. The city had continuous growth, and in 2001, the new city of Hamilton was formed from the amalgamation of Hamilton and its five neighbouring municipalities: Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Glanbrook, and Stoney Creek.