Monday, April 15th, 2024

The Pros & Cons of Moving to Hamilton, Ontario

Home buyers have a lot of things to consider when moving to a new city, let’s check out some of the upsides and downsides of the Ontario city of Hamilton.

The Pros and Cons of Moving To Hamilton

Hamilton, Ontario, is a city that offers a rich and diverse lifestyle with a combination of urban amenities and natural beauty. It is located in the heart of southern Ontario, making it an ideal location for those looking for a change of pace or a new place to call home. Hamilton has something to offer everyone, whether you are a young professional, a family, or a retiree.

One of the primary reasons why people move to Hamilton is its affordability. The cost of living in Hamilton is lower than in other cities in Canada, and the average home price is also relatively affordable, making it an attractive place to move to for those looking to buy a home

The city also has a growing economy, with major industries like manufacturing, healthcare, education, and technology providing job opportunities and helping to sustain the local economy.

Hamilton is also known for its natural beauty, with the Niagara Escarpment running through the city and numerous parks and waterfalls to explore. This makes it an excellent place for outdoor enthusiasts and those who appreciate natural beauty. 

The city has a thriving arts and culture scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and performance spaces. It also has a rich history and heritage, with many historic buildings and sites.

The city is well-connected to other major cities in the province by highways and public transit, making it easy to travel to Toronto or other nearby cities for work or leisure. Additionally, Hamilton is home to several excellent public and private schools, making it an ideal place for families with children. The city's growing population, with a mix of cultures and backgrounds, creates a diverse and inclusive community.

While Hamilton has many advantages over its larger neighbours, some might wonder what deterrents to living in a smaller city might be. Traffic and transportation are some issues that could feel like limitations to those who are used to having everything at their fingertips.

Before making any big real estate purchase, you'll want to research the pros and cons of living in that city.

What are the Advantages of Moving to Hamilton? 


While many might look to Hamilton's more prominent neighbour of Toronto for entertainment, you might be surprised by the wide variety of entertainment options within city limits. From football to fringe festivals, there is something for everyone's taste. 

Hamilton, Ontario, is home to one of the Canadian Football League's teams, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Fans flock to Tim Horton's Field to watch their local team play regularly. 

While football might not be everyone's entertainment choice, Hamilton will surely get a touchdown with its thriving food scene. Because of the wide-ranging diversity of the city, restaurants range from fine Italian like La Spaghetti Pasta House to delicious food trucks like The Shuck Truck.

Residents flock to the Hamilton Farmers Market all year long, which boasts one of Hamilton's oldest markets. There are over 50 vendors selling everything from fresh produce to local artisans. No trip to the market is complete without coffee from Lina's European Pastries and Coffee and a sandwich from Sam's Cheese and Meats.

Hamilton also has a thriving arts and culture scene. This Ontario city is home to several museums and galleries that showcase the city's rich history and cultural heritage, including The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum and the Art Gallery of Hamilton, one of the country's largest public art museums. This city celebrates its cultural diversity with a range of festivals during the year. The Supercrawl Festival, in September, draws locals and visitors with its live music, art installations and food.

Hamilton is Surrounded by Nature

With over 100 waterfalls in the area, Hamilton is known as the waterfall capital of the world. Most of these falls, scattered throughout the region, are easily accessible for residents, making them a popular destination. If the local falls, such as Webster Falls and Albion Falls, aren't enough, the world-famous Niagara Falls is only a short day trip away.

Hamilton is on the shore of Lake Ontario, providing miles of sandy beaches and picturesque marinas. Summer is busy with beachgoers and boaters alike out enjoying everything the lake has to offer. Confederation Beach Park stands out among the rest as one of the best beach parks. This 93-hectare park offers something for everyone. There is plenty of picnic space for families and friends, a large sandy beachfront for sunbathers and a 4.3-kilometre walking path.

Hamilton is surrounded by rolling hills, lush forests and scenic countryside, offering residents the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of city life for some quiet time. Hiking through the Niagara Escarpment is a popular pastime. This UNESCO world biosphere reserve has North America's oldest forest ecosystem and trees. It is a popular place for hiking, biking and bird watching in the Summer and snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the Winter. 

Those residents looking for a quiet, nature-oriented community tend to flock to the beautiful valley of Dundas with its small-town feel and close proximity to nature. Another excellent choice for living amid nature is the neighbourhood of Waterdown, which is on the edge of the Niagara Escarpment.

Lower Cost of Living

Hamilton, Ontario, is a city that is well-known for its affordable cost of living. The town is an excellent alternative to living in Toronto, a more prominent and expensive neighbouring city. One of the key factors for the low cost of living is the relatively low housing costs in the city, compared to Toronto. The wide range of housing opportunities is attractive to singles, young families, and retirees. 

In addition to housing, Hamilton benefits from a lower tax burden than Toronto, including property taxes. On top of taxes, necessities like transportation, food and utilities are less expensive than in neighbouring cities. 

While wages tend to be slightly lower in Hamilton than in Toronto, the commute into the city is relatively easy, giving residents higher salaries and lower living costs in Hamilton. 

What are the Disadvantages of Moving to Hamilton

There are many advantages to calling Hamilton, Ontario, home. However, with any city, there are always a few downsides. Traffic and transportation issues, weather and living in a tourist hot spot are some things to consider when planning a move to Hamilton.

Traffic and Transportation

Traffic can be considered a drawback to living in Hamilton. With the significant growth in population in recent years, more vehicles are on the road. In addition, the infrastructure wasn't designed for the current flow of traffic. This results in some congestion on major thoroughfares and bottlenecks on some of the narrow-built roads. The long commutes might be a deterrent for some people, while others work around this by commuting during off-hours or opting for remote work options where possible.

The public transportation system in Hamilton is extensive and makes getting in and out of Toronto a seamless trip. However, with any medium-sized city, the transportation options aren't as comprehensive as their larger neighbours. While many take advantage of the transportation system, many residents still choose to have a vehicle as a backup for navigating the city. 

Hamilton, Ontario’s Weather

Hamilton has interesting weather. The town experiences cold winters with significant snowfall and icy conditions and could be a deterrent for some looking to call Hamilton home. These winters can make it challenging to get around the city for those who aren't prepared with a vehicle equipped for winter driving or aren't familiar with the skills required for driving in those conditions. 


People not used to the winter weather may find it challenging to engage in outdoor activity during these months. On the flip side, those prepared for cold, snowy conditions can enjoy beautiful cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on the local trails. 

Summers are often hot and humid, with temperatures reaching well into the 20s and low 30s. This can be uncomfortable for those who aren't prepared with ways to cool down, such as air conditioning. However, for beach lovers, this weather is welcomed after the cold winters.

Hamilton is a Tourist Destination

Hamilton, Ontario, is a popular summer tourist hot spot due to its prime location on Lake Ontario. People living in Hamilton benefit from living on the lake full-time, but there can be some downsides to living in a tourist destination. 

During the Summer, the influx of tourists can result in overcrowding. Local residents tend to find it difficult to access local amenities and attractions. This can result in longer wait times at restaurants and local shops. It can also lead to higher traffic and congestion on the roads.

Additionally, the increased activity in popular areas can be disruptive, particularly for those living by popular tourist destinations. This can also lead to increased litter and other environmental impacts, impacting the cleanliness and beauty of the city.


Alternatively, living in a tourist hot spot has many advantages, such as boosting the economy, bringing more cultural diversity and making it a more vibrant place to live with more festivals and attractions. Many residents find the pros outweigh the cons of living in a tourist destination. 

Other Considerations Associated with Moving to Hamilton

Safety and Security

Hamilton is a generally safe city with a lower crime rate than other large Canadian cities. While on a downward trend, property crime is the primary concern for people who call this city home. As with any larger city, residents should be aware of their surroundings and lock their properties and vehicles when leaving them unattended. 

In general, Hamilton is a very safe city to live in. The community has a strong sense of pride in the city, giving neighbourhoods a close-knit feel where residents feel safe and know their neighbours. 

Employment Opportunities

Hamilton is one of Canada's leading industrial centers, with iron and steel at the forefront. Large industrial employers make up a significant portion of the workforce. 

In recent years, the city has shifted to a more diversified economy with growing employment industries such as healthcare, education and technology. Most recently, Hamilton is attracting a growing start-up scene offering opportunities in the tech sector.

However, many high-paying employment opportunities are located in the larger neighbouring cities. With the rise in telecommuting and the ease of commuting into the city, living in a smaller city isn't as big a concern for residents as it once was. 

Family Friendly Community

Hamilton is home to just under 570,000 residents. Since it's a lower-cost alternative to Toronto, the population has been growing steadily over recent years. With the average salary needed to live comfortably in Hamilton being $50,000 to $60,000 per year, many young families and retirees are opting to call this city home.

Hamilton has many excellent schools, including McMaster University, one of Canada's leading universities. In addition to great universities, there's a diverse range of public and private schools. 

On top of the abundance of parks and gardens, Hamilton has a lot of recreation facilities that cater to various ages. There are pools, gyms and community programs for young kids, teens and adults to take advantage of. In addition to the many community centers, there are also several senior centers offering a variety of programs as well. 

Healthcare is always a concern for people moving to a new city. Hamilton is home to several large hospitals, such as Hamilton Health Sciences, St Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and McMaster Children's Hospital. In addition to the variety of hospitals, there are many walk-in clinics and community health centers to access healthcare.

Mike Heddle

Mike and his team have built their business primarily through referrals, from other professionals, and from satisfied clients while representing developers, investors, and residential resale sales. His educational backgrou Read More...

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