The Best Places to Live in Hamilton

Thinking of making a move to Hamilton? Whether you want to be in the middle of the city action, or prefer to be in a quiet, suburban setting with your family, the city of Hamilton – or more often referred to as ‘The Hammer’ or ‘Steel City’ by its residents – may be just the place for you to call home. Given that this city is the City has a population of over 747,000, making it the third-largest metropolitan area in Ontario, where does your ideal lifestyle fit in?

Let me break it down for you:


Corktown is the original downtown neighbourhood in Hamilton, bursting with energy as it’s home to Hamilton’s downtown GO station – the hub of the city’s public transit system – and is saturated with trendy bars, restaurants & shops.

This neighbourhood is also home to St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH), a hospital that is nationally recognized as a leading academic and research centre within Canada’s healthcare organization, renowned for outstanding patient care and innovative medical and surgical treatments. Medical professionals from all over come to live in this part of Hamilton in order to work at SJHH.

Offering comfortable and affordable living in the middle of this large city, Corktown caters to the diverse population looking to live, work, and play in the area. It comes as no surprise that the area hosts a mix of condominiums – both old and new – as well as historic detached homes, lending to the area’s “authentic” vibe.

Ottawa Street

Ottawa Street is a bustling street with a rich history, once home to Hamilton’s “Textile District” during WWI and WWII, and the first-ever Tim Horton’s storefront in Canada (which is still there)! Now revitalized as the Ottawa Street “Shopping District” the street’s old fabric stores have been turned into popular restaurants, antique shops, and art galleries. Not to mention that Ottawa Street is also host to weekend Farmers Markets and amazing street festivals throughout the warmer months.

Surrounded by several different neighbourhoods, the majority of these residential side streets are populated with 1-2 storey single-family starter homes, many of which have deep 100ft lots and green space for gardening. Close to all amenities, including Hamilton’s renovated Centre Mall, this area is ideal for young families, single couples, or first-time home buyers of any kind.

Hamilton North End

From Hamilton’s Downtown to Lakeshore, you will find the collective of Hamilton’s North End Neighbourhoods. This industrialized area was turned mainly residential, thanks to Hamilton’s industry collapse in the 80’s and 90’s – now the area is home to a mix of condominiums, family homes and businesses. The area is consistently improving with the help of new, trendy restaurants and shops popping up on James Street North, not to mention there is no lack of accessibility in the area due to the West Harbour GO Station anchoring its many public transit routes.

While it would seem that Hamilton’s North End is saturated with factories or overshadowed by industry, nature is actually a cornerstone of the area. Less than two kilometers north of the City Centre, the North End is home to some of downtown’s most picturesque parks and trails. Many people on visiting Hamilton for the first time, have seen their pre-existing notions of the city’s waterfront evaporate when confronted with the natural beauty of Bayfront Park and the West Harbour.


Westdale is a long-established suburban neighbourhood in the city of Hamilton, that was once predominantly home to young families, as well as elderly residents. Now thanks to its proximity to McMaster University & hospital, Westdale is also a hotspot for students and young professionals. 

The neighbourhood streets are lined with charming homes that sit on well-sized lots, which attract the savvy investor who can build their portfolio turning them into rental properties – these affordable housing options attract the renter community, composed mainly of young families with small children, or groups of students who need to live near the University.

If you are looking to reconnect with nature, Westdale is bordered to the north by Cootes Paradise, the Royal Botanical Garden’s largest and most diverse sanctuary. If you are looking to be more in tune with the city, centered in the area is the ‘Westdale Village’ – a shopping district with a vast collection of shops, restaurants and bars, giving the area a lively, quirky and sometimes rowdy reputation. But the neighbourhood associations and the University collaborate with each other in order to ensure the area remains comfortable for all residents. 

Hamilton East End

Hamilton’s East End extends from the gorgeous Gage Park, right down to the city’s waterfront. Gage Park itself is is one of Hamilton’s most iconic, historical and cultural landscapes. Among several free attractions and activities, the park features a newly built 14,000 sqft tropical greenhouse which includes beautiful plants, stunning waterfalls, and lush ponds with fish and turtles! More family fun can be found at the East End’s famous waterfront – spend the day walking or biking along this beautiful stretch of Lake Ontario, and end the day devouring delicious french fries from “Hutch’s on the Beach.”

This part of Hamilton is known for its suburban feel and neighbourhood streets lined with mid-century bungalows and smaller homes, all at an affordable price point. While this means the shops and restaurants are a bit further away, the lots tend to be bigger which means more greenspace, perfect for the avid gardener or young families – not to mention that there are several public & Catholic schools within close proximity to these neighbourhoods. And if you are looking for a night out on the town, Hamilton’s East End is well situated within the city’s vast public transit system, meaning that travelling to the city’s central restaurants and shops is a breeze.

Hamilton Mountain

The Hamilton Mountain covers a vast area, largely residential with varying valued homes – from affordable single-family homes in quiet neighbourhoods, to lavish (and expensive) real estate with huge lots and gorgeous escarpment views. The area is saturated with great schools, parks galore, and community centres, while the main streets are lined with plenty of amenities and shopping malls, both large and small. 

It’s clear, there is no shortage of things to do in the Hamilton Mountain, including its many opportunities to get up close and personal with nature. Don’t believe me? Why not check out the Escarpment Rail Trail, Albion Falls, Felker’s Falls or Eramosa Karst Conservation Area (just to name a few). Or if it’s a rainy day, why not spend it at one of the mountain’s greatest attractions, the Canadian Warplane Museum, featuring dozens of Canadian military planes, plus aviation exhibits & flight simulators!

Given that Hamilton’s downtown is a hub for industry and business, it’s no surprise that the mountain became an area for working families to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Similarly, the area became a prime location for people with even longer commutes – considering that the Lincoln Alexander Parkway and the Redhill Valley Parkway connect to major highways like the 403 and the QEW, people commuting to Toronto and Niagara found their home in the Hamilton Mountain as well.

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