What is living in Hamilton, Ontario like? How easy is it to start a new life there? Is Hamilton an expensive city, and what are the career options like? These are all crucial questions if you are considering living in Hamilton.
The following guide will help you get some perspective on life in Hamilton, so that you can make the right choice for you. Don’t miss the rest of our Moving To Hamilton city guide for further research.
Hamilton is a mid-size city of approximately 537,000 people in the central core. In 2001, several smaller towns were amalgamated into the new City of Hamilton, and the resulting metropolitan area has a population of over 747,000 – the third-largest metropolitan area in Ontario and the ninth-largest in Canada.
Hamilton doesn’t quite yet rival the diversity and multiculturalism of Toronto. Almost a quarter of Hamilton’s population is formed of permanent residents or naturalized citizens, and the number of newcomers settling in Canada each year has been steadily growing over the past few decades.
Thanks to both its proximity to Toronto and its low rents, Hamilton has recently begun to attract a growing crowd of young people and creative professionals to the downtown core. As this community grows, so does the range of restaurants, stores, and creative pursuits available. From themed bars to specialty restaurants, niche artisan stores and collectives, Hamilton is becoming an impressive creative hub in southern Ontario.
Hamilton is Ontario’s fifth most-populous city, but it ranks 27th for population density. This means that there is plenty of space for everybody. Properties can be large, with plenty of garden space, and a large share of the population lives in dispersed suburbs around the downtown core. If you are looking to make a home in a spacious suburb with lots of room for kids and pets, living in Hamilton could fulfill that vision while providing vibrant and convenient amenities.
Working in Hamilton
Hamilton was known across Canada as an industrial centre through the 20th century. Although production and employment declined dramatically in the 1990s, with many of those living in Hamilton at the time suddenly finding themselves out of work, the city has since been going from strength to strength in recent years, regaining its reputation as a major player in several sectors. In fact, the Conference Board of Canada recently ranked Hamilton as the top city nationwide for economic diversity – so you can be sure there are plenty of opportunities for a successful career in a wide range of fields.
Hamilton still plays a critical role in Canada’s manufacturing industries, in areas such as agri-food, chemical engineering, steel, and construction. McMaster University, close to the downtown core, is an international-standard institution with leading teaching and research programs. Its faculty of medicine holds the number two spot on Canada’s top 40 research hospitals list.
The service industry is also experiencing an exciting boom as Hamilton gets a taste for increasingly diverse and innovative restaurants, boutique hotels, and specialty bars. While downtown was once a haven for dive bars and cheap beer – and rest assured, these options aren’t going anywhere – you’re now just as likely to find an Old Fashioned and a fancy taco truck to satisfy your cravings.
Where is Hamilton?
Hamilton is located in southern Ontario, about 75 minutes’ drive from Toronto and less than two hours from the border crossing with the United States at Buffalo, New York. The province of Quebec is to the east, and the American states of New York and Michigan are to the southeast and southwest, respectively.
Situated on the shores of Lake Ontario, Hamilton has an extensive waterfront, and there are several conservation areas and activity centres to help people living in Hamilton and visitors make the most of the beautiful lakeshore.