AN OVERVIEW OF HAMILTON WEST

EXPLORE OUR CITY

Hamilton West, as designated by the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) is bounded to the West/South-West by Main and Osler, on the North by Hamilton Harbour and Bayfront Park, on the East by James Street, and on the South by the Niagara Escarpment. The reader should note that these boundaries are different from say the boundaries of Ward 1 (which end at Queen Street, not James Street), but as we will be supplying the reader with numerous statistics on the real estate market of the area, we will be using the boundaries determined by RAHB. For population and income data, we are using census-tract level data from the 2011 Census.

Hamilton West is divided into several neighbourhoods, the most noteable being Ainslie Wood, Cootes Paradise, Westdale, Kirkendall, Strathcona, Central, Durand, and North End West (hereafter known as Bay Front West). Before we get into a discussion on the history and notable landmarks of the area, we’re going to begin with some brief neighbourhood stats. As mentioned above, these figures originate from the 2011 Canadian Census, meaning of course that these stats are five or six years out of date. Unlike the real estate market, such a timeframe is unlikely to have a consequential effect on demographics.

 

HAMILTON WEST NEIGHBOURHOODS

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AINSLIE WOOD & CHEDOKE

De facto established in 1838 when George Howett Ainslie moved onto a sixty-acre farm in the area. It became a popular destination for inhabitants of the city, eventually becoming known as Ainslie Wood and covering the whole of the area between Ancaster and Central Hamilton. Today, it is bordered by Main Street in the north, Dundas and Ancaster to the west, and to the south and east by the 403 and Niagara Escarpment. Awash with greenspace, this neighbourhood comprises a substantial portion of the route of Hamilton’s Escarpment Rail Trail, suitable for hikers and cyclists of all kinds and skill levels. Near to Ainslie Wood lies Chedoke Golf Course, which hikers pass next to when hiking another of Hamilton’s trails, the Chedoke Radial Trail.

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KIRKENDALL

Kirkendall, holding Locke Street South within its boundaries, remains one of Hamilton’s largest tourist attractions. With a rustic vibe and a small town feel, Kirkendall and its many unique shops and historic homes and neighbourhoods offer its residents and visitors an enjoyable adventure. Home to such Hamilton landmarks as Locke Street, the Hamilton Amateur Athletic Association (HAAA) Grounds, Ryerson Middle School, and McMaster Innovation Park, Kirkendall stands as one of Hamilton’s most varied, sustainable, and inclusive neighbourhoods.

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STRATHCONA & DUNDURN

Home to one of Hamilton’s largest urban greenspaces, Victoria Park, Strathcona is a primarily residential neighbourhood, popular to new and first-time buyers for its historical homes (some of which date back to the 19th century) and close proximity to the city’s downtown core and its waterfront. In this neighbourhood you’ll also find Dundurn Castle, a historic neoclassical mansion that was purchased by the City in 1900 and now operates as public attraction and museum.

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WESTDALE

Established in the 1920’s as Canada’s first planned community, Westdale is known for its unique eateries, quaint boutiques, and diverse integration with the McMaster University student population. With a high number of students residing within its boundaries, Westdale remains quite lively year round, with restaurants, an art deco movie theatre, artistic coffee shops, and more

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CENTRAL

One of Hamilton’s most populated areas for residents, tourists, and general attractions, Central Hamilton has a lot to offer. With everything from concert venues, to City Hall, world renowned hotels, shopping centres, historical buildings, museums and more, Central is the major hub of activity in the city. Within its borders you’ll find the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the Hamilton Convention Centre, the First Ontario Centre, and the McMaster satellite David Braley Health Sciences Centre.

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DURAND

Established in 1972, Durand is home to roughly 12,000 Hamiltonians. Filled with rich history, architecturally astounding buildings and the close by escarpment, Durand is definitely a neighbourhood you must visit. Within its borders lies Hamilton City Hall as well as some of Hamilton’s most desirable and historic homes.

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BAYFRONT WEST

Officially known as North End West, this portion of the Hamilton Bayfront is home to some of Hamilton’s most frequented landmarks, such as Pier 4 and Bayfront Park, the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club and Hutch’s Harbourfront Eatery, home to some of the best fish and chips you can find in the city.

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COOTES PARADISE

Owned and managed by the Royal Botanical Gardens, Cootes Paradise Marsh is the smallest wetland at the western edge of Lake Ontario. It is a popular destination for Hamiltonians and citizens of the surrounding municipalities, well known for its hikes, animal watching, and fishing.

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TOP 10 LIST

PILLAR INSTITUTIONS

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MCMASTER

MCMASTER UNIVERSITY 1280 MAIN STREET WEST
Originally in Toronto in 1887, McMaster University is ranked 4th amongst Canadian universities and 83rd in the world according to 2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities. With a student population of over 20,000 students, some of those being Rhodes Scholars and Nobel laureates, and a wide variety of degree programs, McMaster stands to be one of the biggest attraction to bringing in both local and international affairs to Hamilton. With breathtaking nature reserves, Gothic Architecture, and a bustling student population, it’s no wonder McMaster is so well known and world renowned.

MCMASTER CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL 1200 MAIN STREET WEST
Founded in 1988, McMaster Children’s Hospital remains one of the world’s highest ranked pediatric institutions. By providing highly specialized services, people not only across the country, but across the world come to use their health care services.

MCMASTER INNOVATION PARK 175 LONGWOOD ROAD SOUTH
This award winning research and innovation park is a space to generate, transform, and produce ideas, research, and businesses. Used alongside McMaster University, located only minutes away, McMaster Innovation Park is used as an innovative hub to support startups, businesses, research, and anyone else who might need it.

MCMASTER AUTOMOTIVE RESOURCE CENTRE (MARC) 200 LONGWOOD ROAD SOUTH
The McMaster Automotive Resource Centre is located only feet from the McMaster Innovation Park. This 92,000 square foot space is used for students, researchers, and industry professionals in the automotive industry. MARC focuses on generating new ideas that can help the technological world around. MARC also houses the McMaster and Mohawk College Bachelor of Technology Program within.

MCMASTER AUTOMOTIVE RESOURCE CENTRE (MARC) 1 JAMES STREET NORTH
McMaster Centre for Continuing Education was established in 1931 and Canada’s largest and leading institution for continuing education. CCE helps students and individuals continue their education through night, weekend, and online courses. Located in Jackson Square on James Street, this is an ideal location and central to everything within the city.

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CHCH TV

163 JACKSON STREET WEST

CHCH is an independent television station owned by Channel Zero. Featuring Children’s programmes, syndicated series, sporting games, newscasts, and more, CHCH appeals to a wide range of viewers all over Hamilton and the Greater Toronto Area.
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CITY HALL

71 MAIN STREET WEST

Opening in 1960 and designed by Stanley Roscoe , City Hall remains to be Hamilton’s central location for political endeavours and municipal government. Located on Main street West, City Hall remains to be open and welcome to Hamilton residents, newcomers, visitors, and anyone interested in interacting with Hamilton.
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CANADIAN FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME

58 JACKSON STREET WEST

Awarded to Hamilton and officially opening in 1972, The Canadian Football Hall of Fame & Museum was built to celebrate the many great achievements of Canadian Football. The Hall of Fame is currently closed to the public and will be transitioning from its current location on Jackson Street West to its new location at the new Tim Horton’s Field.
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CADBURY TREBOR ALLAN FACTORY

45 EWEN ROAD

One of Hamilton’s last remaining factories and one of the last remaining candy manufacturers in Canada, the Cadbury Trebor Allan Factory has been making candy since 1950 and currently makes Maynard’s Fuzzy Peaches, Swedish Berries, Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish and Sour Cherry Blaster candies “and a plethora of other brands.”
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Conservatory for the arts

126 JAMES STREET SOUTH

Located at 126 James Street South and home to over 100 distinct and professionally-run arts programs, the HCA first opened its doors in 1897. Ever since, the HCA has been dedicated to providing arts education to young Hamiltonians, regardless of financial means.
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Dundurn castle

610 YORK BOULEVARD

Dundurn Castle remains to be one of Hamilton’s largest tourist attractions. Built in the 1830’s, this 40 room villa was once a military encampment and later the home to Sir Allan Napier MacNab, Premier of the United Canada. Today, Dundurn Castle is a historical site open to the public.
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hamilton Convention & firstontario centre

1 SUMMERS LANE & 101 YORK BOULEVARD

Home to some of the largest music and entertainment events hosted by Hamilton, the Hamilton Convention Centre, Hamilton Place, and the First Ontario Centre (formerly Copps Colliseum) see a combined total visitorship of over a million attendees per year. Hosting such events and concerts as the Hamilton Franchise Expo, Paul McCartney, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, these three venues host some of the largest events in the city.
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Columbia international College

1003 MAIN STREET WEST

Canada’s largest boarding school and one of the top-performing boarding and prep schools in the country, the establishment of Columbia College in 1979 has brought an increased international touch and feel to the city.
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The Hamilton spectator

44 FRID STREET

Founded in 1846, this leading newspaper services Hamilton, Burlington and surrounding communities. The Hamilton Spectator Features everything happening in the Hamilton region and within global news.

restaurants

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Mezcal Tacos & Tequila and Uno Mas Bar

150 JAMES STREET SOUTH


Mezcal, the Mexican-inspired restaurant, is located in the heart of Hamilton on James Street South. Not only are their authentic ingredients imported from South America, but they are also locally grown. With their warm and rustic interior feel, you’ll be eating there every night of the week. Located directly below it’s brother Mezcal, Uno Mas offers Mexican tradition through drinks, cuisine, good times, and more.

SUNDAY – THURSDAY: 11:30 AM – 11:00 PM FRIDAY – SATURDAY: 11:30 AM – 2:00 AM

WWW.MEZCALTNT.COM289.389.8328

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mapleleaf pancake house

1520 MAIN STREET WEST

If you’re looking for a breakfast spot, this is it. Offering everything one might want for a sweet and savory breakfast or brunch, this Main Street businesses will not only offer great food, but great quality service.
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Naroma pizza bar

215 LOCKE STREET SOUTH

Founded by Mario Spina, NaRoma Pizza Bar on Locke Street strives to achieve the highest level of perfection. With authentic imported ingredients and freshly baked pizza with traditional methods and techniques, this will easily become one of the best pizza bars you’ll come across.
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Gown & Gavel

24 HESS STREET SOUTH

Founded in 1979, Gown and Gavel is one of Hess Streets great eateries. With indoor and outdoor patio seating areas, this award winning restaurant and bar has everything you’ll ever need. Offering everything from burgers, fast food, coffee, drinks and more, this is a great place to go if you’re looking for a night out.
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Aberdeen tavern

432 ABERDEEN AVENUE

Voted ‘Best Restaurant’ and ‘Best New Restaurant’ in View Magazine’s Readers Choice Award 2015, this stunning tavern located on Aberdeen Street offers both bar and restaurant services. Whether you’re holding private events in their upstairs event space or having a private dinner for two, Aberdeen Tavern is a great choice.
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Mattson & Co.

225 LOCKE STREET SOUTH

Mattson & Co. is one of Hamilton’s finest restaurants and jazz bars. This elegant venue overlooks the bustling Locke Street South and offers the perfect spot for a night out with live music.
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snooty fox

1011 KING STREET WEST

A traditional pub fare, The Snooty Fox is a one of the most frequented pub or restaurant in Westdale. With daily specials and karaoke nights on Sunday, the close by student life bustles there.
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The staircase

27 DUNDURN STREET NORTH

Located on Dundurn Street North, The Staircase not only serves as a restaurant but also as a venue. Featuring events such as theatrical performances, live music, health and fitness events, and more, The Staircase remains to be a Hamilton staple.
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earth to table Bread Bar

258 LOCKE STREET SOUTH

Originating from creating a cookbook, Earth to Table: Bread Bar is more than just food, it’s a way of life. Located on Locke Street, this restaurant offers handcrafted food with only the best and freshest ingredients, this is simply one of the best places for breaded delectables and more.
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west town

214 LOCKE STREET SOUTH

One of Hamilton West’s more traditional and historical places, West Town is a well known bar and grill. Located in the heart of Locke Street, it’s the ideal location for a lunch break or pints with the team. It’s casual yet archaic feel will have you feeling at home in no time.

shops

DAKOTA MAE
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Gilbert’s big & tall

439 KING STREET WEST

Founded in 1954, Gilbert’s has specialized in providing clothing to hard-to-fit clients and offers a wide array of brands and styles.
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comic connection

895 KING STREET WEST

Comic Connection remains one of Westdale’s oldest shops, having opened in 1986. Since then, it has provided residents and their children with comics, collectibles, and other hobby items.
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walker’s chocolates

1050 KING STREET WEST

Established in 1983 in Westdale and now holding additional locations in Burlington and Oakville, Walker’s chocolates has been providing hand-crafted, premium chocolate to Hamiltonians for over 30 years.
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Casual gourmet

1027 KING STREET WEST

Established in 1997 and remaining a staple in the Westdale Village to this day, the Casual Gourmet specializes in premium kitchenware, including professional-grade cookware and accessories.
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weil’s bakery

981 KING STREET WEST

A major institution and anchor in the area, Weil’s Bakery has operated in Westdale since the early 1900s. Predating most of the businesses in the Village, staff at the bakery make everything from scratch – from their meat pies to their pastries, their cookies to their cupcakes, and so on. When you next find yourself in Westdale, a visit to Weil’s is a must.
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bitten cupcakes

219 LOCKE STREET SOUTH

Opening in 2015, Bitten set up shop on Locke Street. Still relatively new to the area, the cupcake and whoopie pie store quickly became a staple. They now sell butter tarts too.
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Westdale Jewellers

2 NEWTON AVENUE

Originally beginning as a wholesale repair and design facility, Westdale Jeweller opened their regular retail store just off the main strip of the Village in the late 1980s. Specializing in the recycling of old materials and ensuring all services are completed and carried out in-house, Westdale Village would not be complete without Westdale Jewellers.
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white elephant

1032 KING STREET WEST

Originally located on James Street North, White Elephant set up a second location in Westdale Village in August 2014. Run by owners Hollie and Jane, White Elephant is principled upon supporting Hamilton and its designers and artists and carries locally made clothing, jewelry, and accessories.
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Locke street antiques

200 LOCKE STREET SOUTH

Owned and operated by John Strachan for over twenty years, Locke Street Antiques predates most of the other businesses in the area, harkening back to a time when Locke Street was primarily known for its shops providing antique furniture, artwork, and silverware.

events

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west fest

WESTDALE – KING STREET WEST

Taking place at the beginning of September, West Fest located in Westdale is an event that brings both the students and residential families and neighbours out to the streets of Westdale. Proceeding with a Pajama Parade from McMaster students finalizing their Welcome Week, West Fest holds live music, unique vendor booths, kids zones, and much more for you to discover.
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art alley

KIRKENDALL – LOCKE STREET

Art Alley takes place every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. where artists of all kinds bring their talents and skills and sell their handmade art throughout various locations and alleys on Locke Street.
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winter wander

WESTDALE – KING STREET WEST

Usually held in mid-December, Winter Wander is Westdales annual Christmas event which offers free hot chocolate and candy canes, photos with Santa, fire breathers, acrobats, ice sculpting and more. This is the perfect opportunity to spend time with your family and friends and wonder the lovely streets of Westdale.
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lights of locke street

KIRKENDALL – LOCKE STREET

Lights of Locke Street takes place at the beginning of December. Taking place at this festival are Christmas crafts, photos with Santa Claus, carolling, tree lighting and much more. This is a chance to wander the streets of Locke, take part in holiday activities, and maybe even find that perfect gift.
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Locke street festival

KIRKENDALL – LOCKE STREET

Held the second weekend of September, Locke Streets annual event featuring live entertainment, diverse vendors, a wide range of food and more, has thousands of people coming from all around Canada to see it each year.
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canada day fireworks

BAYFRONT PIER 8 – 47 DISCOVERY DRIVE

The annual July first Canada Day tradition lives in the heart of Pier 4. With a magnificent firework show and live entertainment, Pier 4’s fireworks can be seen and heard all around Hamilton and its surrounding cities.
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Locke street farmers market

KIRKENDALL – LOCKE STREET

Running every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. throughout Spring and Fall, the Locke Street Farmers Market displays a wide range of fresh and locally grown food straight from the farmers themselves.
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Hamilton philharmonic orchestra

HAMILTON CONVENTION CENTRE – 1 SUMMERS LANE

Originally founded in 1884 as The Hamilton Orchestral Society, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra is one of Hamilton’s longest outstanding programs. Not only showcasing talented performances year round at Hamilton Place Theatre, but also providing music education programs to individual and groups, the HPO remains to be a leader in the Hamilton arts community.
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Hamilton farmers market

JACKSON SQUARE – 35 YORK BOULEVARD

Originally established in 1837 in the downtown core of Hamilton, the current Hamilton Farmers Market continues the Hamilton tradition in Jackson Square. Open year round, this market features over sixty vendors from all over the world showcasing different products, such as locally and internationally grown foods, international imported goods, flowers, artisans and more. Open every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, this market will be sure to have what you need.
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Hamilton bulldogs

FIRSTONTARIO CENTRE – 101 YORK BOULEVARD

Founded in 1981, the Hamilton Bulldogs are a major junior ice hockey team within the Ontario Hockey League featuring players between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one years old. Based out of Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre, the team plays throughout the months of September through to March annual. Be sure to grab some friends, some drinks and some Hamilton spirit and head over to support our local Hamilton Bulldogs.




NEIGHBOURHOOD CAPTURE



Interviews

STORIES FROM HAMILTON WEST

Throughout our features, we will be interviewing prominent business owners, politicians, citizens, and individuals in order to get a deeper and more personal view of what Hamilton represents.

For Hamilton West, we have Mark John Stewart (Associate Director, Advancement [Development and Outreach] – DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University), Aidan Johnson (Ward 1 Counsellor), and Brandon Stanicak (Local Restauranteur).


MARK STEWART

Associate Director, Advancement – DeGroote School of Business

Brandon Stanicak

Local Restauranteur

Aidan Johnson

Ward 1 Counsellor




DEMOGRAPHIC SNAPSHOT

HAMILTON WEST BY THE NUMBERS

Holding a population of nearly 50,000, Hamilton West has just under 10% of the 2011 Hamilton population of 520,000. At the time of the 2011 Census, 16% of the area’s population were over the age of 65. With a growing population of elderly, this is one figure that is likely to have increased between the 2011 and 2016 censuses. For the purposes of comparison, the whole of Hamilton has a percent of population over the age of 65 of 15.7%, meaning Hamilton West sits just above the City average in that regard.

In terms of other statistics, Hamilton West is younger and somewhat less affluent than the rest of the city, as well as also living in a fewer number of single-detached homes. There are also more dwellings in need of repair than the rest of the city. These findings run contrary to the notion that Hamilton West is older and more wealthy than the rest of the city. In reality, the area is only older in the sense that it has more old buildings that have fallen into disrepair. Many of these buildings have since been repaired and repurposed, now housing many of the most interesting businesses in the area. In terms of income, several individual neighbourhoods within the Hamilton West area, such as Westdale and Coote Paradise, those around McMaster University, boast higher incomes than the city average (approx. $67,000). The same can also be said for the Kirkendall South neighbourhood, south of Aberdeen Ave, which has an average income of just over $100,000. The point of this discussion is to demonstrate the size and variety of the Hamilton West area. Each neighbourhood has its own demographics, characteristics, and qualities that make them unique.

THE HAMILTON West REAL ESTATE MARKET

As we’ve noticed through our look at the above neighbourhoods, Hamilton West covers a large and varied area, with numerous landmarks, businesses, and institutions, all with their own history. Turning now to our overview of the real estate market, we’re going to examine how each area has grown in the last few years.

Below, you will find summary tables of the change in average sale price for each of the three districts that make up the Hamilton West area. Each will be briefly discussed but the intention is that the tables speak for themselves.

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district 10

Comprised of neighbourhoods North End West, Strathcona, and Central, this district covers some of the core neighbourhoods that make up the downtown of the city. As is evident from the above chart, this district is currently in the midst of substantial growth, faster than both the average of the district (12.4%) and the city as a whole (15%).. Traditionally somewhat undesirable areas, these neighbourhoods are garnering increased demand due to their relative affordability and core-based location and therefore way of life.


things to remember

  • Central, downtown area
  • Substantial growth here, faster than city and district average
  • Growth can be largely attributed to many choosing to live more centrally and buy where prices are more accessible​
VIEW DISTRICT 10
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district 11

Hamilton West District 11 covers all of Ainslie Wood, including Ainslie Wood North, East, West, and Middle, Westdale North and South, and Cootes Paradise. The growth here has been more moderate than that currently being experienced by District 10, but is still quite healthy, boasting historically upscale prices. Many of the houses in the Ainslie Wood neighbourhoods have been converted from single-family homes to income-generating student houses, due to the neighbourhoods’ proximity to McMaster University. In Westdale, this is the case as well, but to a lesser degree. There, the ratio of single family homes to student houses remains balanced. In almost their entirety, neighbourhoods in this district are primarily comprised of historical and heritage homes, with some dating back to the early 1900s.


things to remember

  • More moderate growth here, but still healthy
  • Historical, heritage neighbourhood with much character
  • Growth a little slower here because of already-healthy prices
  • Escalation in purchase and sale of income-generating student houses
VIEW DISTRICT 11