Like major cities around the world, Hamilton neighbourhoods have developed distinctly different ambiances and amenities. When considering where to live in Hamilton, it is important to think about factors beyond the house or apartment itself. Are you looking for a bustling urban environment with plenty of restaurants and shops steps from your door? Or are you hoping for a quieter community feel? Questions like these are key to ensuring you find the quality of life you expect from your new home.
This Hamilton Neighbourhoods Guide aims to give you a bit of background on various areas in Hamilton, to help your decision of where to live. For more articles and tips, check out the complete Moving2Canada Hamilton City Guide.
Many neighbourhoods in Hamilton huddle around a main street of shops and restaurants, with residential streets branching off. This format is attractive to many; it is possible to find well-proportioned family or starter homes with off-street parking and gardens, steps away from grocery stores and other amenities.
Ottawa Street is one such neighbourhood. Recently named as the best place to buy property in Hamilton, the average home price in 2017 was just over $330,000. Houses in this area are typically three-storey (including a basement) with two or more bedrooms, parking spaces, and period features such as bay windows and red brick. In addition, the nearby Ottawa Street itself is increasingly popular as a gallery and art spot. Its status as a Business Improvement Area means there is continued investment in public amenities, so there are some lovely benches and flowerbeds too.
This is one of the original downtown Hamilton neighbourhoods and, as such, has an authentic historic feel. Home to the Hamilton GO station, it is also well connected to public transport and walking distance from the downtown core of malls and businesses. Several new-build high-rises in Corktown provide apartments alongside older historic homes, and there is a definite atmosphere of being in the centre of a large city. House prices are higher than elsewhere in Hamilton but still reasonable in comparison with other cities, with a 2017 average of around $348,000.
Next to McMaster University, this residential neighbourhood has the distinct atmosphere of any university-adjacent neighbourhood – lively, quirky, and at times rowdy. But ongoing mediation and collaboration between McMaster and neighbourhood associations has ensured that the area remains comfortable for all residents. Professors and university staff also favour the area, so while many houses are rented out to students, Westdale is also home to many young families and professionals. The central Westdale Village shopping area is a favourite with locals, cultivating true small-town feel away from Hamilton’s downtown. Westdale is a good starting point if you are looking to rent or share a house, as the large student population means there may be more renting options than other areas.