By: James Hand

Moving To and Living In Hamilton, It's Amazing

Tags: living in hamilton vs toronto, buying a home in hamilton, Hamilton Ontario blogs, moving to hamilton from toronto



Why has there been such a huge migration of extremely devoted Torontonians making the move from the city they love and living in Hamilton?  For anyone who is not in the know about Hamilton, it unfortunately tends to make a terrible initial impression. As you travel along the QEW it screams “avoid this apocalyptic land like the plague I’ve been told it has”. With its dark, smoke belching stacks dotted along the harbour it has been used as the “danger zone” more than once for the myriad of movies and tv shows that have been filmed within the borders of the city. So again, why have so many from Toronto decided that living in Hamilton is not just a necessity for escaping the insanity of Toronto's real estate market but their choice and often their first and only choice. One reason is the street in the picture above is actually very common but also, Hamilton has many other secrets hiding behind those smoke stacks, it’s a nature lovers paradise, a foodies dream, a place for families, a place for the arts, for innovation and education and it is a city that is filled with history and culture. I can’t say that every part has always been this way, as it is a city within transition. It has had both extreme booming economic times and also its hardships, but with the latest gentrification of Hamilton, it has quickly become a go to diamond in the rough that people are taking notice of. 

As with all large cities, Hamilton is ranked 9th in Canada, there are of course areas that are still in need of repair or deemed less desirable and there is no hiding the fact that Hamilton is not immune to this. But for many these few detractors are just a blip on their radar. "You have to sidestep some harshness every once in awhile in order to immerse yourself in the allure of the city".

For so many first time home buyers in Toronto and even those that have already owned a home, their real estate dreams live within the borders of Hamilton. Living in Hamilton gives you something that you just can’t get in Oakville or Burlington. So many from Toronto (over 23% of all homes sold were Toronto expats) say you’re part of a very historic city that has so many amazing pieces, living in Hamilton feels vibrant, community oriented and just feels like home, it’s not just one of the suburbs. So what are some of these great pieces that living in Hamilton offers you, especially for those moving from Toronto?

                                                             Hamilton is filled with character and historical homes

The first reason so many are moving from Toronto and living in Hamilton, which is not a secret, is the abundance of home you can purchase. Properties in Hamilton list for approximately half of what their Toronto equivalent would. Like most cities, property price points are dependent on a number of factors such as the location, the condition and the type of home but the comparable properties between the two cities is still approximately half.  Many moving from Toronto and living in Hamilton have enjoyed the new condos downtown and the more historical areas closer to areas such as Locke Street or even the east ends family friendly neighbourhoods. Up on “the mountain” as many residents of Hamilton call it, you can find the newer subdivisions as well as the older neighbourhoods. 


For those moving out of Toronto, living in Hamilton is still an amazing option even if you continue to work in Toronto. Hamilton is the first stop on the Lakeshore West line with GoTransit. Your travel times on the train are about an hour and cost about $10.00 if you use your Presto card. If you’re going to be traveling every day your fares continue to decrease, after about the 20th day or trip 40 it’s Free.  If you’re deciding to make the drive yourself, you can be 40 minutes to 2+ hours, depending on the time of day and the traffic you’re up against.


With the smokestacks often being the unintentional mascots of the city it is unfortunately overlooked for how much green space and natural beauty there is. Whether you’re moving to Hamilton from Toronto or if you’ve been living in Hamilton for your entire life, many miss what the waterfront and the Niagara escarpment offer the city. Did you know Hamilton is not only known as Steeltown but also the City of Waterfalls?

What many Torontonians have been exposed to from magazines to celebrity influencers, is the abundance of food Hamilton offers. Whether you choose a local diner or the latest in culinary fusion the city has you covered. What some former Big Smoke residents have found however is the often “small town” hours that have often been adhered to. The 24 hour clock on the late Sunday night snack from some of the hot spots will have to wait until Monday. This is not the case across the board but is simply for an awareness. 

Another misnomer about living in Hamilton is that everyone is blue collar. The cities roots are solidly planted with the hard working men and women in the industrial sector but today the top employers in the city aren't the steel mills but rather education, healthcare and technology. McMaster University, Mohawk College and Hamilton Health Sciences are just a few top employers. Hamilton is expected to generate close to 4000 new jobs this coming year. For many who have moved from Toronto the change in commute time has decreased tenfold by finding employment within the city. 

As both the economy and employment grow the cities infrastructure has been given a major resurgence. A second GoTransit station has been built, a light rail transit system is in the works and a $143 million budget has been given to additional development of the West Harbour. 


Anyone living in Hamilton knows that sports and recreation are everywhere, whether it’s rollerblading along the waterfront trail, hiking along the hundreds of kilometres of trails around the city, free outdoor pools, Confederation Park, the Conservation Areas that both have natural landscapes and active adventures, indoor and outdoor rinks plus so many more options.

A very popular spot, that still gives you room to roam through nature but is great for some action as well, is the Binbrook Conservation area. It is loaded with outdoor fun and is located on Lake Niapenco, which is much like Ontarios northern lakes. Here you can try your hand at wakeboarding with a two tower cable wake boarding system, play on the floating play zone or even experience TreeTop Trekking. If your adrenaline junkie is a little more subdued you can swim at the beach, fish for a variety of sport fish or take out a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Moving to Hamilton will afford you and endless amount of adventures right in your own backyard.

Whether you’re a lifelong resident living in Hamilton, or a newcomer moving in from either Toronto or elsewhere, this city has so many amazing things to offer you. Get out and enjoy them but if you'd like any information that pertains to Hamilton and the surrounding area feel free to reach out, we always love to chat. You can also read some of the other blog posts about everything related to the communities, the events, awesome things to see and do, plus a little real estate and investing added in. Living in Hamilton and talking about all the things related to this amazing area is a passion of ours and we hope you find the same.