Is Hamilton a Good Place to Live?

Just 45 minutes to an hour from Toronto, Hamilton is an up-and-coming, medium-sized city with great opportunities if you know how to look for them. Each city in Canada is different, and each has different cultures, environments, and opportunities, and some might suit you.

Some might not. So, if you’re reading this, you might be asking yourself if Hamilton is the right place for you, and we’re here to help you answer that question.

Hamilton is a city in the southwestern part of Ontario. It is 75 kilometers or 46.6 miles from Toronto and is a city that includes Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Glanbrook, and Stoney Creek.

The History Of Hamilton

The settlement in Hamilton began in 1778 when loyalists arrived to flee from the 13 American colonies. The city got the name Hamilton from the man who laid out the original town in 1815, George Hamilton.

Hamilton is known as one of the most prominent industrial centers in Canada. The steel industry began in the 19th century. Since then, it’s grown to be a manufacturing hub responsible for creating parts necessary in appliances, automobiles, clothing, and more.

The Overall Feel Of Hamilton

Hamilton has quite the culture. Bigger cities such as Toronto might have a more vibrant nightlife, but that doesn’t mean Hamilton’s is non-existent. It is a growing city, so its nightlife is getting more and more prominent but, at the moment, it’s not as lively.

This city is still home to many restaurants and bars, art studios, fun theater groups that perform in performance centers, and places rich with history. There are many things to discover in Hamilton, zoos to see, and parks to enjoy the day.

Hamilton’s health care is top-notch. Add the growing economy and the high demand for specific jobs such as those in the medical field, and Hamilton is a great place to live. Housing might be a bit more expensive than other cities, but it’s still generally affordable.

The cost of living is also higher but smaller than in the big cities. It’s slowly turning into a commuter city, but, for now, the city is a mix of commute and driving. It’s more suburban and smaller than Toronto, so it’s suitable for raising families, especially when you want to be near Toronto for visits at any time without actually living there.

What You Need To Know About Hamilton

Let’s dig deep and lay it all out. Here are essential facts you need to know about Hamilton to make an informed decision.

1. Unemployment Rate

As of April 2022, Hamilton’s unemployment rate has decreased to 5.2%. Translated further, this means that full-time jobs have increased by 3,600.

There were higher employment rates in the natural resources, business and building services, education, public administration, and financial sector, among other things. This is a good sign for Hamilton’s overall employment trends as it means a better, albeit more competitive, job market.

2. Crime Rate

When surveyed, residents believe that the level of crime in Hamilton is high, with most crimes being property crimes such as vandalism. Residents have also noted that the crime rate has increased in the past three years, and there have also been reports of violent crimes such as assault. Although it’s increased in the past four years, overall it’s lowered.

Crime rates have lowered by 34% since 2006. It increased in 2016, but the overall crime rate is still lower than in 2006. Hamilton still has a lower overall rate than big cities like Toronto, which is 4% lower than in Ontario. Nonetheless, it’s essential to stay safe in Hamilton.

Here are a few tips we’d like to give you so you can remain safe no matter where you are. First, when you leave your vehicle, make sure to grab all of your valuables. Please do not leave them in the vehicle.

Don’t forget to lock the vehicle after. Next, lock all your doors leading outside at home. Never leave the front door, garage door, or back door open.

Do the same for your windows. Our second to the last tip is to make sure you turn on a light outside and keep your porch light on.

You might even want to invest in high-quality surveillance systems. Finally, when walking home alone, be hyper-aware of your surroundings.

Keep a key between your fingers with the key’s stem facing outward. If you feel like you’re being followed, make sure you’re always in a crowded place and call for help as soon as possible.

3. Education

Hamilton has a solid public school system. Public schools are schools you can send your children to virtually for free as these schools are government-funded. There are still private schools present, but they are expensive.

Schools in Hamilton follow the K-12 program, and students will begin in Kindergarten to secondary or high school. High school graduates are usually at 18, following the K-12 curriculum; however, there are times when students are younger.

The Ontario Ministry of Education creates the standard curriculum for public schools. To learn about that, feel free to browse their website. Schools in Hamilton are usually co-ed.

4. Housing Cost

Housing in Hamilton is expensive. In January, the average price of a residential property was $1,058,756, which was an all-time high for the city. Fortunately, it lowered to $949,149 in April. However, it remains higher than other cities in the country. To be specific, detached homes have increased and now cost, on average, $1.06 million.

Semi-detached or townhouses cost an average of $825,000, and condominiums and apartments now cost around $583,000. Unless you get lucky and score a high-end but cheap home, Hamilton’s housing costs have risen higher than most.

As for the cost of living, it is estimated that a family of four will have a cost of living of over $3,000 without rent. A single person, on the other hand, will typically have a cost of living of $900 without rent.

5. Healthcare

Residents in Hamilton can avail of the OHIP, otherwise known as the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. You’ll have free access to doctors; your appointments will be covered along with a few blood tests and x-rays. These are all basic procedures, but many choose to avail of this plan as it is free.

There is also an abundance of community health centers that provide free but quality care for individuals not under the OHIP. Overall, Hamilton’s healthcare is good and remains a top contender. To apply, visit the Healthcare Hamilton website.

Let’s Summarize these Stats

Unemployment RateCrime RateEducationHousing CostsHealthcare
The unemployment rate decreased to 5.2%High crime rate which has been increasing in the past three yearsHamilton has an excellent public school system.The average cost of homes in Hamilton in April is $949,149Residents can avail of the OHIP or the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.
Full-time jobs increased by 3,600Most crimes are property crimes, but there are reports of violent crimes.Schools follow the K-12 program, where students begin in Kindergarten to secondary or high school.Detached homes cost, on average, $1.06 million, while townhouses cost an average of $825,000This plan covers primary healthcare, including doctor’s visits and specific blood tests.
  Visit the Ontario Ministry of Education for more information on the standard curriculum of public schools in the city follows.Condominiums cost around $583,000 

Pros Of Living In Hamilton

Let’s start weighing the pros and cons.

1. A Variety Of Attractions And Natural Landscapes

Hamilton has tons of attractions, including a botanical garden, a castle, and festivals you can enjoy. There are also zoos you can enjoy during your day-outs.

An example of a festival is the Supercrawl, an art and music festival that happens every September. There are usually over 200,000 visitors.

2. Moderate Climate

Hamilton has a moderate climate which a lot of people find appealing. They experience all four seasons, but nothing is too intense.

Summers are warm. Winters are, as usual, snowy and windy, and occasionally freezing. The usual weather is partly cloudy.

Cons Of Living In Hamilton

As much as we’d like to keep looking at the bright side, the negatives can’t be ignored.

1. Nightlife Is Not As Prominent

Hamilton doesn’t have a prominent nightlife, and it’s working towards that, but it doesn’t beat the bigger cities yet. There are a variety of restaurants and bars you can visit if you’d like to visit some of them.

2. Expensive Housing Market

Hamilton has an expensive housing market. In January, the average cost of a home even reached over $1 million. If you can afford it, go for it.

Hamilton has tons of excellent amenities. If you can’t, there are cheaper cities in Canada you can think about and consider.

The Final Verdict

You have two choices. One, you can move to Hamilton. Two, you decide this city doesn’t suit you and continue your search.

Whichever choice you make, we’re sure it’s the right one. But, if you decide to move to Hamilton, here are a few things to remember. If you choose to live in Hamilton, you’ll have to make sure you have the savings to buy a good home or apartment.

The housing market might be cheaper than Toronto’s, but it is still expensive. The job market is not as vast as in some places, so be sure to either start your job search immediately or have a job lined up before you move.

Hamilton is a great place to live. We wish you luck and hope you have a wonderful experience in Hamilton.

Check Out: Is Brantford a Good Place to Live?

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