We have good news for you! Just outside of the GTA, this city is booming with an amazing combination of urban city life, quiet residential neighbourhoods, stunning wildlife, outdoor recreation, waterfront areas, industrial sectors and so much more! There are so many wonderful and life-changing things to know about Hamilton, especially if you’re planning to move there. That’s why it has so many nicknames, like Steel City, Tiger Town, The City of Waterfalls and The Hammer. In fact, we could go on and on about the numerous benefits, but for now, we’ll narrow it down to the top five things you should know about this beautiful place.
No matter the time of year, the Hamilton beachfront is always booming. Rain or shine, wind or snow, you’ll always find at least one person who is enjoying the scenery and local shops of the beachfront. This little slice of heaven right on Lake Ontario stretches from far East Hamilton and Stoney Creek, all the way to Burlington. There’s no doubt about it, the beachfront provides the perfect setting for many local businesses and activities.
From go-carting and mini putt, to beach volleyball or relaxing by the water, there is so much to do. The beachfront is even home to the biggest waterpark in the area, Wild Water Works! So, whether you’re visiting the Lakeland Centre banquet hall for an event, stopping in at Hutch’s on the Beach for a burger and some fries or simply riding your bike along the fully-paved pathway stretching from city to city, there’s no doubt you’ll find something enjoyable to do!
2. Escarpment & Waterfalls
Did you know that Hamilton is The Waterfall Capital of the world?
That’s right – Hamilton is home to over 100 jaw-dropping waterfalls, with many easily accessed or viewed, as most are connected to popular hiking trails, including the Chedoke Radial Trail and the Bruce Trail.
Some of the most popular waterfalls in Hamilton include:
- Albion Falls
- Tew’s Falls
- Webster’s Falls
- Felker’s Falls
- Devil’s Punchbowl
- Tiffany Falls
These waterfalls go hand-in-hand with the Niagara escarpment, which Hamilton lands smack-dab in the middle of. The escarpment is a vertical wall of limestone, sandstone and shale that runs from western New York, through southern Ontario, and all the way to the Wisconsin and Illinois border – making it the world’s longest escarpment. Although locals refer to the escarpment as “The Mountain”, anybody from British Columbia or Alberta will gladly show you how big a mountain really is.
The escarpment divides Hamilton into two parts, the lower part and the upper part. Using a variety of man-made routes, scaling the escarpment by foot, bike or car is quite easy. In fact, it can take as little as a few minutes by car. Some streets in the lower part of Hamilton will “continue” when on the mountain, with the only difference being that “Upper” is added to the beginning. For example, James St. turns into “Upper James St.”, Sherman Ave. switches to “Upper Sherman Ave.”, and Kenilworth Ave. changes to “Upper Kenilworth Ave.”.
To newcomers, the escarpment can appear very intimidating. Especially when in combination with the many one-way streets, mountain access routes, highways, parkways, and more. But we assure you, once you get used to it, living in Hamilton is well worth it.
3. Hot Spots & Entertainment
This is the part many of you have been waiting for – the food and entertainment! People travel from far and wide to experience the cuisine of Hamilton, especially in the downtown sector. No matter your tastes, we believe you’re bound to find something you like. From chic coffee shops and breakfast nooks, to cozy pubs, food trucks, and glamorous restaurants filled with booming nightlife – Hamilton has it all.
Some of the top restaurants you may want to add to your list of places to visit include:
- 33 Bowen
- Aberdeen Tavern
- The Ancaster Mill
- Chicago Style Pizza
- The Burnt Tongue
- Berkley North
- The Bedrock Bistro
- Jack and Lois
- Gorilla Cheese
- Hutch’s on the Beach
- The Ship
- Salty Espresso
- The Mule
- Earth to Table Bread Bar
This list could quite literally go on and on. There are so many delicious and well-known restaurants and eateries in Hamilton. But we should really get to some of the hot spots for entertainment! Some of the best places to check out on your day off include the Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH), the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBC), African Lion Safari, Dundurn Castle, Gage Park, Hamilton Farmers’ Market, the HMCS Haida National Historic Site, and Pier 4 Park, among so many others.
For shopping, Hamilton offers a variety of shopping centres and malls. This includes Limeridge Mall, Eastgate Mall, Jackson Square, the Centre Mall Outlets, and more.
One of the many things that makes Hamilton so desirable is that it’s geared to accessibility and equality. No matter your current situation, there are transit systems in place to help you get to your destination quickly, efficiently and affordably.
Besides the many roadways, highways, parkways and expressways to help vehicles get from point A to point B in the least amount of time possible, there are many bike lanes on main roads and pathways in wooded areas for cyclists and pedestrians.
Hamilton has a modern public transit system known locally as the Hamilton Street Railway (HSR). The HSR has over 40 convenient routes. There are also two GO Stations located in the downtown sector, with more routes planned to connect through East Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Grimsby, St. Catharines, and Niagara Falls.
Wherever you need to go, Hamilton has a solution to help you get there.
5. Mapping the City
So, we’ve covered many of the wonderful benefits of moving to and living in Hamilton. But when it comes to actually investing in property and creating a home for you and your family, there is no right or wrong way to go. Certain parts of the city may be more appealing to you based on your budget, needs and personal preferences.
For example, if you’re looking for a more affordable home with a big backyard for a growing family, purchasing a home downtown might not be in your best interests. Instead, looking in East Hamilton or on the Stoney Creek mountain might be a little more up your alley.
On the other hand, if you’re a busy professional who needs to access the highway or GO Station in a hurry, a bright and modern condo downtown might be your best bet. Hamilton has so many hidden gems and wonderful neighbourhoods. Unfortunately, if you’re new to the city, you might find it less than favourable to navigate them yourself.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is where an experienced local realtor can really come in handy. The Woolcott Team has an experienced and strategic team of realtors who have virtually unlimited expertise in Hamilton real estate. Are you looking for a real estate agent to buy a house in Hamilton? Contact us today. Our team of Hamilton realtors can help you identify exactly what you’re looking for in a home and help you find the perfect fit.