For anyone moving to a new, relatively unknown city, it can be challenging to know where to start when choosing your ideal neighbourhood. Are you planning a move to Hamilton, Ontario? If so, read on and find the best neighbourhoods in Hamilton.
Why Should I Move To Hamilton?
Hamilton is one of the fastest-growing cities in Southern Ontario. It is less than an hour away from Toronto but has a lower cost of living and better property values. Despite its rapid development, it has retained its small-time vibe and isn’t as congested as other cities in Ontario.
That’s why many people are moving to Hamilton—and discovering that they can afford their dream home. To give you an idea, the average price of a house in Hamilton is about $785,000; a house in nearby Toronto of a similar size will cost approximately $1,050,000.
Even the prices of groceries, dining out, child care, and transportation are around 20% lower than in Toronto and other big cities in Canada (this resource can give you a reasonable estimate of what you can expect to spend every month).
Best Neighbourhoods In Hamilton – An Overview
There are over 200 neighbourhoods in Hamilton. If money isn’t an issue, some of the more expensive areas are Ancaster, Flamborough, and Waterdown.
There are more affordable housing options in areas like Glanbrook, East and West Hamilton, and new neighbourhoods that are under development and expected to increase in value over the next few years.
Ancaster is one of the oldest and certainly among the best neighbourhoods in Hamilton. It is surrounded by nature spots like Tiffany Falls, Hermitage Falls, and the Dundas Valley Conservation Area. Dundas alone has forests, streams, meadows, and lush plant and animal life.
Ancaster also has a thriving arts scene. Throughout the year, you can look forward to many key events (such as the Ancaster Film Festival, Fieldcote Concert Series, and Brott Music Festival).
The area was founded in 1793, and the area has a rich history preserved in the Ancaster Heritage Village. Walking around the neighbourhood, you’ll also find some historical houses dating back to the 1800s.
While Ancaster Homes command the highest prices, the good news is that there are now many condos and apartments that you can buy for less than $600,000.
Corktown is one of the best neighbourhoods in Hamilton for young professionals and couples. Once a sleepy row of cottages, the area has seen rapid development, with many old homes being converted into commercial buildings or modern apartments and townhouses. There are also more high rises with special facilities for the residents.
Even in the 1980s, Corktown was popular for its relatively low rent and proximity to the downtown area. But the new development has given you more reason to live there: it has several restaurants, shops and better public transportation.
You can use the Hamilton Street Railway, the regular bus service, and a DARTS service with wheel-chair accessible buses and taxis.
The East End is comprised of 21 smaller neighbourhoods. The properties are affordable, and many homes have small yards and gardens. It’s great for a “first home” and one of the best neighbourhoods in Hamilton for newlyweds, young families, or older couples looking for a place to live out their retirement.
East End is very close to King’s Forest and has beautiful views of the Niagara Escarpment. So, this is perfect for people who love nature but also want shopping malls within short driving distance. For example, a CF Lime Ridge Mall has big brands like H&M and Old Navy and local boutiques that offer goods at affordable prices.
Many streets—especially in the more developed neighbourhoods—are lined with trees and have small parks and playgrounds. The area is also pedestrian-friendly, so it’s easy to run errands quickly and safely for an evening walk.
This area was once trendy in the 70s and 80s when people wanted to escape the city or find more affordable housing during the economic downturns.
While many have migrated to the downtown and urban areas, many neighbourhoods here can appeal to nature lovers, retirees, or people who don’t mind commuting in exchange for peace and quiet.
Property prices are very affordable—even the bigger and more lavish homes at the mountaintop. However, with some renovation, these charming historic buildings can become dream homes with beautiful views and extensive gardens.
This area is perfect for people who love a laid-back, artistic and hipster vibe. It has artisanal shops, microbreweries, third-wave cafes, and many other local shops offering niche goods and interesting interiors. The downtown area is also a favourite filming location because of 19th-century architecture.
The house prices are on the rise but definitely lower than the rest of Ontario. For example, you can find a large house with four or five rooms at the same price as a small apartment in the central business district. On average, a single detached home costs about $450,000; at the top end, you can pay about $1.5 million.
While you must commute to work or school, you can take the GO train or the bus. If you drive, it will take about an hour to get to Toronto and 15 minutes to get to the center of the Hamilton business district.
So, you are still reasonably close to the city—and your commute will take you past waterfalls, parks, and beautiful scenery.
This area has a cozy, small-town feel. It is very popular among young families or the students and professors of the nearby McMaster University.
There are many local businesses where you can shop for groceries and other supplies, as well as restaurants and cafes with affordable menus. Everyone is also very friendly; this neighbourhood will make you feel you are part of a community among all the areas in Hamilton.
As expected of a university town, Westdale has a lot of cultural spots like the Westdale Theatre and McMaster Museum of Art. The area is also home to many hiking trails, including the wildlife sanctuary Cootes Paradise.
It doesn’t have much nightlife, which can be a bonus for people who prefer a quiet and safe neighbourhood to raise their families.
If you want a lively, eclectic neighbourhood with a diverse population and trendy destinations, then Kirkendall may be one of the best neighbourhoods in Hamilton for you. It has restaurants, clubs, pubs and bars—so after work or on weekends, it’s easy to walk or take a quick drive to find fun and entertainment.
But that doesn’t mean Kirkendall is just one big party district. It also has nature spots and very picturesque streets lined with turn-of-the-century homes. Some properties are located near Highland Gardens Park, on top of the city reservoir.
While property prices are a little higher here, it is one of the safest places in Hamilton, and the mix of modern entertainment and quiet country charm sets it apart from many other areas.
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FAQ Best Neighbourhoods In Hamilton, Ontario
How Far Apart are Hamilton and Toronto?
Hamilton lies around 70km southwest of Toronto. It takes about an hour to drive between the two cities; the route from Hamilton takes you along Hwy 403 and Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW). In addition, you can take the GO Transit train line from Toronto Union Station to Hamilton GO Centre, which takes approximately one hour and fifteen minutes. Bus lines also run between Toronto and Hamilton, typically taking around 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Why is Hamilton Called The Hammer?
Hamilton is called The Hammer because of its manufacturing history in steel production. The Hammer is a nickname commonly used to describe towns whose industry was based on steel. Other related nicknames for Hamilton are “Steel Town” and “Steel City.”
What is the Climate Like in Hamilton, Ontario?
The climate of Hamilton, Ontario, is classified as humid continental. The city experiences four distinct seasons, with warm and muggy summers, cold winters, and wet springs and autumns. The average July high is 27 degrees C, and the average January low is minus 9 degrees C. The city has relatively high rain and snowfall for Canada, with an annual average precipitation of almost 1000mm.
Where Can I Fly from Hamilton Airport?
John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport flies to a good range of domestic and US destinations. In addition, the airport offers direct flights to several destinations in Mexico and also to Cuba. Hamilton International Airport is around a 20-minute drive from downtown Hamilton.