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Hamilton City Guide

Updated: November 15th, 2022

Do you have your sights set on the iconic city of Hamilton? With a growing population, Hamilton is heavily invested in primary metals, making it one of the largest industrialized cities in Canada. Hamilton has one of the most diverse populations, with many immigrants settling in the city due to its abundant opportunities.

About Hamilton

Ontario, Hamilton

The city was first discovered by a French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, in 1669. However, the city derived its name from George Hamilton, who planned the original town in 1815 between the waterfront (North) and the Niagara Escarpment (Lake Ridge).

During 1830, the Burlington Canal was linking Hamilton Harbour to Lake Ontario, serving as a vital port and rail centre, and this development resulted in the amalgamation of other neighboring communities - which to this day, largely contributes to the increased population of the city.

Today, Hamilton takes the forefront in the industrial centres, with the iron and steel industry being the lifeblood of the city economy. The diverse industry further branches out to manufacturing railroad equipment, clothing, appliances, turbines, automotive parts, wire, nails, and candy.

Where is Hamilton on the Map?

Where is Hamilton on the Map?

This large port city is found on the west end of Niagara Peninsula and Lake Ontario, an hour west of Toronto in Southern Ontario. The city is also one hour away from five border crossings to the United States of America and about an hour's drive from business hubs and Canada's international airport.

Climate and Weather in Hamilton

In Summer, you can expect warm days, while winters call for freezing temperatures with snow and wind. During the year, the days can be partly cloudy with temperatures varying from 18°F (-7 °C) to 79°F (26°C) as per the data on Weather Spark.

If you are wondering about the ideal time to visit Hamilton, it would be during warmer days from late June to early September so you can be in time for the finest warm-season activities. These days could extend from June to September, while July can be marked as the hottest month, hitting a whopping average of 79°F (26°C), ranging to a lower average of 63°F (17°C). Colder weather can last from December to March, calling for an average temperature below 40°F (4°C), therefore making January one of the coldest months.

Work and Jobs in Hamilton

If Hamilton will be your place to settle, you need to know about the current in-demand jobs in Hamilton and ensure you're targeting the right jobs that fit your skill set. Before choosing to live and work in Hamilton, we advise you to conduct the necessary research on the city.

Below are some current active jobs you can apply for in Hamilton, according to Canada Job Bank.

Contact Centre Manager

  • Salary: $42.50 hourly for 35 hours per week
  • Job Bank #2239630

Marketing Manager

  • Salary: $44.00 hourly for 35 hours per week
  • Job Bank #2239627

Engineering Manager

  • Salary: $53.85 hourly for 40 hours per week
  • Job Bank #2234918

Retail Merchandiser

  • Salary: $15.50 hourly for 15 to 25 hours per week
  • Job Bank #2239038

Domestic Housekeeper

  • Salary: $19.00 hourly for 30 hours per week
  • Job Bank #2236400

Heavy Equipment Mechanic Helper

  • Salary: $26.06 hourly for 42.5 hours per week
  • Job Bank #2238736

Bear in mind that the above jobs are currently active but may be unavailable by the time you apply. For your convenience, we have provided you with the resource to explore the current active jobs in Hamilton here as a starting point.

While we are not held responsible for finding you a job, we can advise and guide you throughout the process. Additionally, we can curate your resume based on the Canadian standard to maximize your chances of securing a job offer in Canada. Further, we can advise you on a suitable immigration program that accommodates your needs. Feel free to speak to our immigration experts today.

Cost of Living in Hamilton

So, you want to live and work in Hamilton but are uncertain what your expenses would look like? Don't despair. We have taken the time to compile some relevant factors that will influence your cost of living in Hamilton, as per the data on Numbeo:

Category Average monthly costs
A family of four estimated monthly costs. $4,627.74 (excluding rent)
A single person's estimated monthly costs Approximately $1,287.80(excluding rent)
Mortgage Interest Rate Yearly, for 20 years fixed-rate:4.44%
Apartment (one bedroom) in City Centre $1,610.00 and apartment (one bedroom) outside of Centre: $1,454.50
Childcare - Preschool (or Kindergarten), full day, private, monthly for one child $1,133.33
International Primary School, yearly for one child $15,000.00
Basic utilities (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment $209.36

Note that every economy goes through various challenges, so the values presented in the above table will be subject to change. Economic factors are always evolving, therefore influencing the data and living expenses.

Neighborhoods in Hamilton

neighborhoods in Hamilton

When choosing a neighborhood, one must consider many factors such as schools, safety and easy traveling. Luckily, Hamilton is a flexible city with many neighborhoods to choose from. Below, we compile some of the best six neighborhoods in Hamilton:

Mountview

Found right at the top of Hamilton Mountain, Mount View's neighborhood boasts some of the most accomplished and highly regarded education facilities. St. Teresa Avila Catholic Elementary school and Holbrook Elementary school offer high-quality education with experienced tutors who aim to improve students' test scores.

Olympic and mountain view parks are also in the vicinity of the neighborhood, offering excellent facilities for the young and old to enjoy their downtime after a long week.

North End

This evergreen neighborhood will be ideal for families that enjoy being around nature - it is home to Pier 4 Park and the immaculate Bayfront Park, North End, split into two neighborhoods, North End West and North East West. The historic neighborhood of North End is between Hamilton Harbour, the CNR railway line, and the famous St. Lawrence Catholic Elementary school, which is also based in this area.

Kirkendall

The Neighbourhood combines Kirkendall North and Kirkendall South. Kirkendall North is home to St. Joseph Catholic School, a top-rated school that offers the French immersion program from kindergarten students to grade eight. On the other hand, Kirkendall South has the feel of a more relaxed part of the neighborhood, with Highlands Garden Park and the Bruce Trail, also known as the Chedoke Redial Trail.

People residing in the neighborhood who want to go out for a bite or even some retail therapy can go to Locke Street South, home to beautifully arranged eateries, coffee shops and shopping malls, all within walking distance.

Delta West

Located right in the middle of King and Main Street intersection, Delta West is a picturesque neighborhood with a well-kept rose garden and a tropical greenhouse open to the public throughout the year. It is also home to St, Baptist Elementary school.

Huntington

If you and your family love to go out and enjoy outdoor activities together, then this is your neighborhood. The Huntington Park Recreation Centre offers residents a place to swim and shoot hoops; parents who want to improve their golf skills or teach their kids some putt and drive skills can use the King's Forest Golf course, which is found on the east side of the neighborhood. The Escarpment Rail Trail also offers an opportunity for family day trips. In addition, families can use the 32 KM pedestrian and cycling routes that offer breathtaking views of the lower city, Niagara Escarpment and the Hamilton Brick Works.

Durand

Lastly, we look at the Neighbourhood of Durand. Named after the wealthy politician and entrepreneur who fought in the war of 1812, James Durand is a stylish and pricey neighborhood sought after by the rich and famous. The area is home to countless heritage buildings: the Hamilton art gallery, the central branch of Hamilton public library, Hamilton's first elementary school and the Central Elementary School opened way back in 1853.

Transportation

Transport in Hamilton

Hamilton's geographical location makes it possible for the city to be well-positioned for the transportation network in Ontario. Hamilton residents, many of who also work in Toronto, can travel by car when going to work.

Many industrial city manufacturers prefer using affordable trucks to transfer steel and other materials through the expanding expressway system. However, the Canadian National Railways still maintains industrial freight facilities in the city.

Below are some common transportation services in Hamilton:

  • Megabus
  • Aldershot GO Station
  • Appleby GO Station
  • Burlington Bus Terminal
  • Burlington Transit
  • West Harbour GO Train Station
  • Sharp Bus Lines

Since Hamilton has excellent bus connection services, it is a top-rated and reliable source of transportation with frequent bus services available in and around Toronto and surrounding cities.

Things to do in Hamilton

If you want to visit Ontario or migrate to Canada, here are six reasons you should visit Hamilton soon for the ultimate experience:

Waterfall in Hamilton

African Lion Safari

Visit Canada's African Lion Safari located in Hamilton and get a closer look at the various exotic birds, elephants, giraffes, bison, white lions and rhinos. Below are the rates:

Admission Fees

  • Adults: $28
  • Seniors: $25
  • Children: $23
  • Children 2 and under: free, and rates are discounted in spring and fall.

Royal Botanical Gardens

As the most extensive botanical garden in Canada, you'll be spoiled for various activities and beautiful sceneries to explore. The Royal Botanical Gardens is a National Historic Site and aims to teach the public and children about the importance of plants and nature.

Set out in nature sanctuaries that feature two canoe launch sites, kids can join day camps where they will be kept busy with educational workshops and fun activities. A few must-visit parks are the Rock Garden, Arboretum and Laking Garden.

Waterfall City

Falls, Falls and more Falls. Hamilton is home to over 100 spectacular waterfalls. Most of the waterfalls wind through the Niagara Escarpment. Explore and collect pictures of the best Waterfalls in Hamilton. Here's a list of the Top 10 Waterfalls that are a must-see:

  • Buttermilk Falls
  • Borer’s Falls
  • Great Falls
  • Sherman Falls
  • Chedoke Falls
  • Tiffany Falls
  • Albion Falls
  • Webster’s Falls
  • Tews Falls
  • Devil’s Punchbowl Falls

Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

Are you a fan of history? The Warplane Museum is where you will be mesmerized by stories of Second World War aviation. Also, discover incredible aviation artifacts and memorabilia of significant importance to this period.

Feeling daring? You can book a flight in a rare Fairey Firefly for a rush that'll last you a lifetime. Have you ever wanted to experience flying a plane by yourself? Be the captain of your aircraft when you try out the 10-minute flight simulator, that's also free of charge!

Hamilton Farmers Market

If you don't know where to find the Hamilton Farmers Market, just follow your nose- the delightful aromas of freshly prepared pasta, handmade ice cream and fresh local produce will lead you straight to the source.

The Hamilton Farmers Market is the oldest in the city, dating back to 1837. The somewhat 70 vendors bring you various culinary experiences and artisan shops, all indoors at the corner of York Boulevard and James Street. Don't leave without taking some pure Canadian maple syrup, raw honey and local wine with you.

Art Gallery Of Hamilton

If you have an eye for art- you wouldn't want to miss the magnificent collection of art pieces in the Art Gallery of Hamilton, located in Downtown Hamilton. The sculpture atrium and breathtaking glass pavilion are the main attractions that leave you with a sense of wonder. What's more, on the first Friday of each month, you can take advantage of free admissions on Thursdays.

Education in Hamilton

If you are an international student wanting to study in Canada, the City of Hamilton should top your options. Hamilton is a city that welcomes students from all parts of the world, offering a wide range of options and opportunities.

The transition in a foreign city can be daunting; a diverse city such as Hamilton exposes students to many ideas and cultures while equipping them with new practical skills in an environment that makes integration easy and conducive to learning.

School Boards

If you're interested in the schooling system, you'd be pleased to know that Ontario has a publicly funded education system. According to the official Ontario Government website, Hamilton has four distinct school boards that are divided into the following sectors:

  • 31 English Public
  • 29 English Catholic
  • 4 French Public
  • 8 French Catholic

Find out more about Ontario's school boards and educational system.

French Immersion Schools

French immersion is a school system that offers an opportunity to students who speak little or no French but wish to learn both official languages of Canada. The French immersion program enables students to enroll in English-language schools and simultaneously learn French as a second language. The program has proved to be highly successful in Hamilton and is very popular among international students.

University Education in Hamilton

Hamilton has several Universities and colleges that are internationally recognized with well-renowned educators equipped to teach a range of fields and industries. Below are some highly regarded institutions you should consider if you want to live in Hamilton:

McMaster University

The University has more than 70 research centres and institutions on campus and has six specialized faculties: Engineering, health sciences, humanities, science and social sciences. The University's main campus is based in the West dale neighbourhood of Hamilton and is located on land with beautiful views of Lake Ontario.

Mohawk College

Considered a leader in health and technology education, Mohawk College has achieved the highest satisfaction scores in Hamilton among fellow colleges. In addition, the college is well-renowned for skills training and addressing workforce shortages through upskilling and training for jobs in the real world.

Redeemer University College

Redeemer University is considered a model in its ability to combine academics, athletics, and service opportunities that promote a sense of belonging and peace with its surrounding communities. It is an undergraduate university that provides quality education in Liberal arts and sciences and prides itself in encouraging its students to use the beautiful, environmentally friendly campus and be spiritually vibrant. With its Christ-centred teaching, research, and services to the outside communities, Redeemer University also sponsors arts, music, athletics and theatre events.

Columbia International College

Columbia is the largest and most culturally diverse boarding school in Canada and strongly commits to being the best. Columbia is the only school to embrace and use the Total Care Education System that tailors education programs for every student's specific and unique needs.

Unique Immigration Visas to Hamilton

Hamilton bridge

If you're planning to settle in Hamilton, you need to know which immigration program will suit your needs and circumstances. Let's take a closer look below:

Express Entry System

This is not a program but a points-driven system designed to manage immigration applications. If you want quick immigration results, you can explore the three Express Entry streams, which are highly accommodating. These are as follows:

  • 1. Canadian Experience Class
  • 2. Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • 3. Federal Skilled Trades Program

Note that while the system is designed to yield quick results, the processing times of your application will still depend on how accurate you are in the information you're providing. Failure to be honest or accurate in the information on the Express Entry system, find our resource on how you can get the most out of your Express Entry profile.

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

The PNP is a province-driven program that enables you to target a province of your choice. However, it's best to target a province that falls short of your skills. Skilled workers may have to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from their Canadian employees.

Feel free to learn more about the Provincial Nominee Program here. Alternatively, see how you can go from temporary resident (TR) to permanent resident (PR).

Move to Hamilton, Canada - The Application Process

Follow these steps below if you are applying for permanent residence in Canada:

  • Step 1: Check if you meet the program criteria (and the job requirements) - you can do this with our eligibility assessment.
  • Step 2: Check your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score - under the Express Entry system or other points-driven programs
  • Step 3: Gather your documents beforehand and have them ready
  • Step 4: Create your online Express Entry profile
  • Step 5: Apply to the most suitable program, pay the application fees and submit your application

For assistance in your immigration journey, feel free to contact our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) to assist and advise you through the process.

Pros and Cons of Hamilton

Pros:

  • Affordable to live in with a range of neighborhoods to choose from
  • Transportation is easily accessible
  • A range of colleges and universities to choose from
  • Great festivals and views

Cons:

  • The traffic lanes are altered too often to accommodate tourists
  • The steel industry and factories can have dangerous effects in the city
  • Some areas consist of a lot of run-down houses

FAQs

What is the Easiest Program to Migrate to Canada?

The Express Entry system and Provincial Nomination Program - these programs cater to the myriad of needs and circumstances of various individuals. Find out more about the Express Entry and Provincial Nomination Program (PNP).

Is Hamilton, Canada, a good place to live?

It depends on what immigrants look for in a city. Still, Hamilton can be your ideal city since it is also listed as one of the top real estate markets while offering professionals (old or young) a wealth of opportunities.

Which city is best for new immigrants in Canada?

Ontario ranks fairly well as the best place for immigrants, but British Columbia is also a popular destination. However, Ontario is highly accommodating of tourists and immigrants looking to live in the city.

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