By: James Hand

Moving to Hamilton the Pros and Cons

Tags: MOVING TO HAMILTON, living in Hamilton, why you should move to hamilton, so you re thinking of moving to hamilton, about hamilton ontario, 





Are you moving to Hamilton? Well, welcome. Hamilton is one of the most under appreciated cities in the GTA and Golden Horseshoe. Unfortunately, Steeltown or the Hammer as some call it has been stigmatized by the initial view of factories belching out smoke as you crest the Burlington Skyway bridge. For many that is why they have discounted moving to Hamilton instead of finding out why so many others have decided to call it home. As with any large city, Hamilton is ranked 9th in Canada with just about 700,000 residents, it has its issues but what many are finding appealing is the nature and rebirth of a bustling metropolis.



The video shows some of the beautiful and amazing pieces that make up the city and what it offers all who call it home and those that simply come to visit. It's not all smoke stacks and industry, like we often associate with Hamilton. Let’s have a more in-depth look at some of the greatest reasons why so many are deciding that moving to Hamilton is a great choice.  I'll also touch on some that still make the city “the underdog”


1.  Affordability 


Hamiltons cost of living make it an obvious choice for so many and a migrating choice for so many from fleeing Torontos lack of affordability. With only being 40 minutes away from Torontos hub and being accessible by your own transport or GoTransit trains and buses it has made for a great option for those not wanting to be in the condo market. The average detached home in Hamilton/Burlington is priced at just over $500,000 and many properties are  going between $300 and $400,000. To compare the average condo price in Toronto is about the same as a Hamilton detached home but with only having a few hundred square feet. When you discuss investment return Hamilton is also a very strong contender having home prices up by over 70% in the last 5 years.





2.  Nature and the Outdoors


Hamilton is often overlooked for how much greenspace and natural beauty there is. With the city being nestled in between the Niagara escarpment and Lake Ontario it affords Hamilton the luxury of hundreds of kilometres of natural walking and biking trails with many of them being accessible from some of the busiest parts of the city. The hidden wonders that Hamilton offers are also a treat to all of those within the city confines. Hamilton is The Waterfall Capital of the World with over 100 amazing cascades and many of them being accessed from the trails. Without having to go very far, you can also often see the abundance of wildlife that also call the Hamilton area home. Both within and just outside the city are an abundance of conservation land that contain even more rivers and lakes. 


The Binbrook Conservation area 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.



3.  Waterfront of Lake Ontario and Hamilton Harbour


Continuing with the natural beauty and the adventures that are available in Hamilton is the waterfront of Lake Ontario and Hamilton Harbour which are separated by the lift bridge on Eastport Drive. Williams coffee pub is located on the bay side and has views of both the yacht club and the bay. Bring your skates in the winter and skate on the outdoor rink and then warm up with some hot chocolate. In the summer you can also walk or rollerblade along the waterfront trail which stretches from there all the way to Cootes Paradise at the western end of Hamilton Harbour. Just on the opposite side of Cootes Paradise is the Royal Botanical Gardens which offers both amazingly beautiful gardens and education for children and adults alike. From the lift bridge you are also able to venture towards Burlington or along the waterfront trail where you can get fish and chips and other delicious snacks or even ice cream at Hutch’s on the Beach. You can also sit on the patio at Barangas before hitting the go-karts, batting cages and so many other summertime adventures.






4.  Foodies Adventures Galore


The new meets the old when it comes to Hamiltons restaurants and entertainment. The classic favourites have blended with the new renaissance of culinary flair. Whether you’re moving to Hamilton or coming from out of town, many publications have touted the city’s draw when it comes to culinary prowess or just good old fashioned eats. A very small sampling of some of the places you can eat are:



Check out all of the best of the best



5.  Employment 


Moving to Hamilton for a job is one reason many decide to come but if it’s for one of the many other reasons employment is something you could be looking for. The main employment sectors in Hamilton are:






If you’re moving to Hamilton and are seeking employment or a job change, the city is located within the centre of the wealthiest area of Ontario, with the highest employment rates within the province. The employment rates are very strong and diverse, however travelling to other nearby cities is easily managed on the many highways interconnecting them. Toronto the north east is less than 70 kilometres away, St.Catharines in the Niagara Region is less than 60 kilometres away and Brantford is approximately 40 kilometres away.




6.  Transportation



Whether you’re travelling within the city or needing to get to one of the many surrounding highways and parkways for pleasure or your commute Hamilton and the surrounding area can get you moving. The great part about travelling in Hamilton is that it’s available to everyone. If you currently don’t have access to your own transportation, The HSR which is the public transit provider for the city has buses that run from every part of the city, which will take you to one of the main transit hubs downtown where you can easily access either the trains or buses of GoTransit. Having access to GoTransit can get you from Hamilton to Toronto, Barrie, Niagara, Peterborough, Orangeville and Kitchener-Waterloo,


The major highways of the QEW/403/401 are easily accessible from anywhere in Hamilton, especially with the help of the intercity expressways know as the Lincoln Alexander Parkway (Linc) and The Redhill Valley Parkway. Combined these two parkways can get you from the far west end of the city to the QEW at Stoney Creek in about 20 minutes. During peak hours your travel time can slightly increase of course due to the influx of traffic.


If travelling a little further is more in your plans after moving to Hamilton, the John C Munro International Airport along with WestJet, Air Canada and charter airlines have you covered. The airport is located just outside of the city centre and is quick to get to and travelling from here is about as easy as you could ask for. The hustle and bustle of the major airports in Toronto, Montreal or many of the American hubs is the furthest thing from HI (Hamilton International).




7.  Shopping


Whether it be at the largest traditional mall in the city, Limeridge Mall, which is located up on the escarpment or one of the many newly integrated Power Centres throughout the city or the downtown shops there is always an option for everything you could want or need. The malls and power centres are great for your name brands and the few “Main Street” style shopping areas are amazing for those hidden gems, like Antique Avenue on Ottawa Street,  Sexton in the City on Locke Street or Kuma’s Candy in Westdale. You also have access just down the QEW about 20 minutes, one of the newest premium fashion outlets in Ontario, where you can shop for top brands like Hugo Boss, Lacoste and Coach just to name a few. If you’re looking for some amazing gems for your own culinary delight and adventures, try the indoor Hamilton Farmers Market located downtown or one of the other neighbourhood farmers markets.


We’ve only gone over a portion of the pros of moving to Hamilton as we’ve not touched on the sports and recreation the culture and so many other pieces. Just to give you a taste though, whether you want to catch a professional game with either the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for football at Tim Hortons Field or the Hamilton Bulldogs for hockey at The FirstOntario Centre or you want to hit one of the areas many golf courses you’re covered. A short distance away you can downhill ski at Glen Eden/Kelso Conservation Area which is about 30 minutes away. There is an abundance of recreation centres, indoor/outdoor public pools, arenas, parks, cultural venues such as the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the FirstOntario Concert Hall and Theatre Aquarius. The US/Canada border is also only about 65 kilometres away for a quick trip to the USA or you can do a wine tour at some of Canadas best vineyards staring about a 15 minute drive away in Grimsby. No matter what you're looking for, the city and the area have you covered.




Here are some other top things to do in Hamilton




So what are some of the negatives about moving to Hamilton?



1.   The plethora of one way streets throughout downtown and that the city changes them too. Nothing makes your gps more confusing than driving downtown……but you get used to it eventually. Also what is known as the Sherman Access which is a roadway that takes traffic up and down the escarpment or as locals call it “the mountain”. At different times during the day it stops being a two-way street in some spots (to allow for greater traffic flow at peak times) and becomes a one way. It’s assisted by barriers and warning lights but I have yet to know a gps that has the schedule. “Make a u turn” becomes very frustrating when your gps only wants to take the Sherman Access.

You’ve found the waterfalls, YAY!!!! So has every tourist on a warm Saturday and Sunday in the summer. If you’re moving to Hamilton, plan your hikes and waterfall excursions accordingly. Monday to Friday are your best times to get to really see the natural beauty and not be part of a mob.

3.   The city is full of beauty and amazing architecture in many places but has some areas that are very run down with closed up storefronts and dilapidated houses. The sad part is many of these areas also have some of the most intricate designs that are hidden by the ruin and has some of the best residents of the city only to be mired by some unsavoury ones. Many of these same areas however are in a massive transition and gentrification which will be amazing to see in the coming years.

4.   The horrible conditions of the streets in the industrial section. The weight of trucks makes even the newly resurfaced roads fall into disrepair very quickly.




Some Final Words About Moving to Hamilton

Hamilton is full of so many amazing people, places and adventures. Come have a visit or check out one of our other blog posts for some extra tidbits on some of the more specific gems that this city has to offer.


If you’re moving to Hamilton or are considering it, you’ll be happy you did as it is truly a fantastic place to live, work, and play. You’ll never run out of things to do and there will always be more friendly people and communities to interact with.  If you’re seriously thinking about moving to Hamilton or if you just have a few more questions before deciding, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions about the entire area of Burlington, Hamilton, Haldimand County, Brant and Niagara.


Still have questions about a potential move to Hamilton? You can get in touch with me HERE, or  send me a text at 905-537-0910. With being part of this community and area for over 40 years I can and would be happy to provide you with whatever information you’re looking for, or at the very least, point you in the direction of where to find it. I’m glad you’re thinking of moving to Hamilton.